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Retro Reviews: WWE Raw

by: Gustavo Lequerica-Calvo ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

“One of the coolest games ever" is the best way to describe WWE: Raw. Being one of the first fighting games, it was revolutionary for its time because it showed characters in a more dynamic and fluid way. The game also was one of the first to let players to play as their favorite wrestlers

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    A Brief Intro to the WWE World

    As long as there have been video games, there have been sport games. There are games such as football, soccer, and tennis; almost from any sport you can imagine, all have been adapted to an electronic entertainment form. And one of those sports that have gained critical acclaim over the years for its different adaptations and highly replay value is wrestling.

    One of the first known wrestling games was Wrestlemania, which launched in 1989 for the Nintendo system. The game contained six characters based on popular wrestlers such as Andre the Giant, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, and a couple of others. The gameplay was limited, the characters could only perform certain actions such as running, kicking, punching and head banging; also every character move was customized to mimic the movements of the actual wrestlers.

    After Wrestlemania a new series of games came, and every one of them looked similar to Wrestlemania. Then in 1994 WWF: Raw appeared on the market (the game was a sequel to WWF: Royal Rumble and a "spiritual" successor to WWF: Super WrestleMania). WWF: Raw was the game that marked the standards for wrestling games: as the gameplay was perfect for the time, from graphics to the controls and the sounds, giving the player for the first an actual sensation of what it is to be a wrestler, without actually getting hurt in the process.

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    The gameplay for WWE: Raw is a synonim of perfection in terms of sport games, I even think that WWE: Raw was a game ahead of its time as it gave a more realistic gameplay than any other game before.

    The graphics were fully supportable for personal computers, they weren't majorly advanced in terms of realism, but there weren't any technical problems in the game play. The developers got the escences of the wrestlers stage personas, and it was one of the first games to give facial expressions to the characters, as well one of the few of the decade to add voices to the characters. The controls were spectacular, you could practically feel the weight of the players during the game experience, it was a revolutionary aspect for his time since not many games gave balanced character that could fit to the players needs.

    The only problem that I found was the game difficulty itself, because the foes were hard to defeat as they could be more quicker than the character the player selected. But the game as a whole it is perfect with zero technical problems.

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    I highly recommend this game because of the highly replay value. The score that I give to WWE: Raw (1994) is a perfect 5, and this game is one excellent vintage game with a great gameplay and is a blast to play, even in today's higher tech gaming world. If you are a fan of WWE and wrestling this game is a must in your collection, and the good news are that there are a remakes for both X-Box and P.C. (It can't be considered a port since the two new versions are made from scratch rather than adapting the old game to the new consoles), and the new version of WWE: Raw is fantastic because it grabbed the essences of those old games that many of us played in our childhoods.