Sunday, April 2, 2017

WWF WrestleMania (NES) Review

WWF WrestleMania is a game based upon the WWF (WWE today) WrestleMania annual extravaganza. It was designed by Rare!?? and published by Acclaim Entertainment for the NES in 1989. WWF WrestleMania is the first licensed WWE game and was released right before WrestleMania V.

This game sucks for many reasons. Let's start with the wrestlers in which you have a choice of six including Hulk, Macho Man, Bam Bam Bigelow, Honky Tonk Man, The Million Dollar Man, and Andre The Giant. As will all things involving Hulk Hogan he is on the cover and the strongest wrestler.

Skin Tone Looks Just About Right
Each player has signature moves but with the NES controller you're fingers have to do some contorting to hit them. We'll use Hulk to demonstrate, the A button is for an uppercut and for a dropkick when running. The B button makes Hulk kick and a flying leg smash when on the turnbuckle. A+Up+Down makes Hulk headbutt. B+A delivers a back elbow smash when Hulk's back is toward the opponent and when facing the opponent will deliver a body slam. B+Up+Down will pin your opponent. I've lost many matches when I run out of time while trying to pin my downed opponent. It seems like it works about 1/4 of the time I try to pin.

The easiest way to win a match is to trap your opponent into a corner and blast away at him every time he gets up. Each wrestler has to be exactly on the same plain or your hits won't him and besides pinning this is my biggest gripe. It seems like you'll spend half the match just lining up your wrestler with your opponent.

What do YOU think they are doing?

During your match items for each player will move across the ring from the top left to top right. If you can touch it before it leaves you gain some energy back. Hulk has a cross, Macho Man has glasses, Million Dollar Man has a $, Honky Tonk Man gets a guitar, Bam Bam has a flame ball and Andre has a footprint. Due to the limitations of the NES, I'm guessing this is supposed to represent the fan cheering for their wrestler.

I'm not sure if that's a cross or a needle filled with steroids
The game has two modes, a one on one mode and a tournament mode. One on one can be played by the game or with a real person.  In the tournament, you can play with five of your friends, one wrestler for each, or a solo tournament against the other five wrestlers. If you win the tournament you've completed the game and then I hope you have enough real friends to play against because that's all you get. If you got this new in 1989 I bet you felt pretty stupid afterward.

You win, I guess.
The graphics in this game aren't great, even for an NES game. When you're pounding away on a guy his skin color starts to change from a nice Simpsons color to a reddish color that, in my opinion, is closer to wrestlers' weirdly tanned skin. The sound isn't anything to write home about, the music is just the two wrestlers' entrance music that loops during the match. It's not great but it's not terrible.

Maybe this game was more impressive when it came out but I don't ever remember playing it back then. Today it's not very good and I give it a 4 out of 10.


  1. This is the legendary game of already forgotten time. I often played it as a child, now the games have reached a new level of quality. If you are an adherent of the old school and want to play games of the past generation, you need to download on website the emulator, in the same place you will find a huge number of games that will remind you of your childhood.

  2. Thank you for the post and you're right that in order to play all the games from years past you need to either be rich or play games with emulators.


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