My interest in professional wrestling comes in phases. In the early 90s, when I was an impressionable youngster who thought wrestling was real, I idolized the likes of Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and Bret Hart. I cried when Shawn Michaels kicked Marty Jannetty through the glass, officially ending The Rockers as a tag team. After a few year hiatus, I jumped back on board thanks to the one-two punch of fantastic AKI-made Nintendo 64 games and some of the best stories and action during the Monday Night Wars. I was even in attendance for Wrestlemania X8, where I screamed my lungs out as Hulk Hogan faced The Rock in one of the most legendary bouts of all time.
After ECW folded into the WWE in the 2000s, I took a long hiatus. Oddly, it was my wife who pulled me back in a few years ago, as she went through a phase where she was deeply invested in the Total Divas reality TV show. When the opportunity arose for us to see her favourite wrestlers perform at a local event, I’ve been “sort of” following the scene again ever since.
The last great WCW game turns 20 in 2018! Of course we had to fire up the Nintendo 64 to play this WCW vs. NWO Revenge in celebration! Tune in as Rey Mysterio makes a run at the world title, and Goldberg is eliminated from the battle royal in shocking fashion!
Before WCW vs. NWO World Tour, wrestling video games were very basic. Wrestlers were cartoony, move sets were limited and they primarily offered an arcade-like experience. For video game players of that time, this genre of game was fun for what it was. However, the genre definitely was lacking in the (dare I say it) realism department. As a wrestling fan at the time, I was disappointed in the fact that most of the games in the genre had only a handful of characters, a single shared move list across all characters except for finishers, and limited use of weapons (if there were weapons at all). I wanted to play a wrestling game that felt more like I was actually playing a WWF match, rather than playing a beat-em-up that just so happens to take place inside a wrestling ring.
Then I played WCW vs. NWO World Tour.