those of you who don't like to read a lot, let me
say that the XBL feature of this game is glitched
and you won't be getting online until somebody fixes
the problem. How this game managed to ship without
anyone actually testing a retail copy of the game
is beyond me, but someone needs an asskicking. Earlier
builds of the game allowed XBL - I should know, as
I was given the opportunity to take it online with
the guys here a month ago. That's my public service
announcement. You now may commence reading the rest
of the review.
Gigante's take on Wrestlemania is fraught with bugs,
glitches and options that appear in the manual but
aren't anywhere to be found in the game itself (auto
targetting system). As previously mentioned, the online
portion of the game is currently unplayable as you
cannot connect. So things aren't off to a rousing
start. I should preface these complaints with the
following: it's the nicest looking glitchiest product
I've played in recent memory.
XXI (XXI for short through the rest of the review)
does a fine job presenting the gamer with as realistic
a take on an unrealistic sport as possible. The roster
of brutes and phillys, while a little light in the
coffers, is fleshed out well and in my personal opinion
I would say at least 2/3s of the wrestlers look excellent.
Even if their faces are a tad mashed and unnatural,
the bodies are all done well and dripping literally
with details such as sweat and other glistening fluids.
Entrances are over the top and while certain sticklers
will complain that so and so doesn't do his dippity
doo while walking into the arena, most of us will
be fast forwarding these presentations after day 2.
of your personal created character is very well done
and brimming with options. You won't find this area
of the game lacking in the slightest. Taking that
created wrestler through the Career mode can be a
slightly more frustrating endeavor. Wrestling is all
about reversals and the almost endless array of counters
at your disposal makes XXI extremely entertaining.
With a stable of 200+ counters and reversals available
to you and your opponent, you will notice on higher
difficulty levels that you'll barely be able to get
a move in edgewise. Almost everything you throw at
your CPU opponent will be reversed and you'll be going
down. You will also find that once you go down, it's
extremely hard for you to get back up. For this very
reason, I am going to call the higher difficulty mode
at best unenjoyable and at worst virtually unplayable.
It's not balanced at all and the CPU is always in
Studio Gigante nailed the feel of wrestling along
with the reversals available is the Heat gauge. This
gauge will increase the more you dazzle the audience
with your moves and combos- which is possible on the
easier difficulty. Get the gauge high and you'll be
blessed with the ability to pull off your characters
presentation of XXI left no stone unturned in terms
of wrestler recognition. The wrestlers real voices
are present and as mentioned they are visually stunning.
Most of them anyway.
Career mode is a fun way to pass the time and much
like TV wrestling you'll spend your time fighting
for revenge, fighting for advancement and fighting
for more revenge. Contrary to forum posts, Career
mode IS playable. I've went through it twice without
any hitches. Although it should be noted that older
Xbox systems with the Thompson drive may experience
freezing, lockups and long load times which may lead
to freezing and lockups.
with 4 real players who have an intricate knowledge
of the game, XXI's worthiness becomes apparent, but
only because of the aforementioned reversal system.
It really does make videogame wrestling that much
more entertaining. Once this game goes online and
if the XBL features turn out to be as good as promised,
there may be a very good reason to look at XXI more
closely. As it stands now, XXI seems unfinished and
in desperate need of some sort of patch to fix a few
glaring issues. Had this game been sent to me as a
build, I wouldn't have reviewed it out of professional
courtesy. Unfortunately I've been playing a store
bought copy. Until the bugs are worked out, pull off
a reversal of your own and keep this one on the EB