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WRESTLEQUEST | REVIEW | PC

Updated: Jan 4

''SLAM INTO A SLIM JIM!''

 

Developed: Mega Cat Studios

Published: Skybound Games

Genre: RPG, Adventure

Release Date: August 8th, 2023

Platforms: PS4/PS5/XBOX Family/NSW/STEAM

*Review copy provided to me by SKYBOUND*


WrestleQuest is a brand new hybrid wrestling game that mixes the RPG world alongside classic age wrestling and its developed by Mega Cat Studios and published by Skybound Games. With wrestling having literal hundreds of games out that covers a variety of different genres from arcade simulations to realistic simulations, Mega Cat Studios decided they were going to shoot on the rest of the industry and create a new type of genre for the world to see, the first true Wrestling RPG. But was this a good idea to mix the two styles? or are we left Stone Cold Stunned and down for the three count? Only one way to find out, so lets go, BROTHER.


 


 

STORY:


Powerbomb and piledrive your way through a massive pixel art universe where professional wrestling and RPG fantasy collide. Do you have what it takes to endure grueling training, pay your dues, earn your stripes and work your way to becoming the next WORLD CHAMPION? It's sink or swim in this world, kid, and that's the bottom line.


''I NEED THIS STATUE ON MY SHELF''

 

GAMEPLAY:


There has been many wrestling games to come and go over the years, some being great like WCW vs NWO Revenge on Nintendo 64, WWE 2K23 on current gen, AEW Fight Forever, but others... like WWE 2K22 or WWE All Stars, being a complete mess of a show. My point being here is that whether you were or are a fan of promotions like AEW, WWE, TNA/IMPACT, Ring Of Honor or NJPW, chances are you have played at least one good game and one stinker game, but they've all either done one of two things - either they're an arcade simulator similar to the N64 games like AEW Fight Forever is, or they're realistic simulation experiences like the WWE 2K series. I mean that gets kind of dull after awhile, dont ya think? it's like trying sit through the era of ''The Yeti'' during WCW 1995's hype. But hey, at least its not the Shockmaster, so thanks I guess. Well if you're like me and have been looking for something just a bit different for the sport of wrestling, much like Golf Story did for the sport of Golf, then it seems Mega Cat is attempting to give us just that by creating an entirely new genre, a Wrestling RPG. Yes, that is correct, a tried and true turned based RPG, set in the style of classic RPG pixel-art aesthetics. By combining elements from traditional RPG's with a leveling system, upgrades, abilities and unique story that lets you meet a variety of cast members from wrestling's past, alongside mini games and side quests to keep you occupied when you're taking a break from the main story - with all this combined together, on paper, it makes for a rather unique experience. Now whether that experience overall is a good one or a bad one, we'll come to that conclusion shortly as we dive deeper into what makes this game tick.


As you begin your game, you will immediately see from the presentation alone that the devs here are not only huge fans of wrestling in general, but the spectacle of it all too. This much is evident in the opening scene featuring the ''Macho Man'' Randy Savage as he cuts a promo on a lizard wrestler in the ring before giving him a good ol slam to the mat to retain his title. But Randy Savage isn't the only wrestling Legend found in this game, other's tend to lend you their skills as well as you progress, some in a defensive manner or others with offensive capabilities. This lends well to the RPG mechanics of the game because just like traditional RPG's with your basic attacks, waiting, item use, special attacks, so too does WrestleQuest implement these features. Upon starting a battle with a local gang member or even a tag team brawl with a rival team, you will face off in a turned based style of combat that has you picking your regular basic attacking which can be chops and kicks, that when selected will prompt a very fast QTE, and if done correctly, will succeed and damage your enemy. However, should you miss that QTE, you instead will be countered and take the damage instead. Replacing ''wait'', which traditionally in RPG's is just your defensive capability, is ''Taunt'', a feature that allows you to hype up the crowd to raise the hype meter, making your attacks stronger, but leaving you vulnerable to attacks at the same time, so its best to use it on rare occasions if you must, otherwise, just like Wade Barret, I GOT SOME BAD NEWS FOR YA. But the mechanics still go even deeper than that if you can believe it. Besides basic attacking as stated previously, it even extends beyond this with an RPG's version of an irish whip. For non wrestling fans, an irish whip is when you toss your opponent into the ropes and they bounce off them and then head right back at you at full speed. If you've ever seen a Stone Cold or Triple H match, then you've seen this happen many times with the Lou Thez press and spinebuster. Here, overall, it sorta works the same, upon completing a successful basic attack against your opponent, they have a chance to fall back and get pressed against the ropes, which will make them come back at you for another super quick QTE, and if hit, you'll be able to do extra damage to your opponent. I cannot tell you how many times I failed at this, my reaction speed is as awful as the time the Gobbledy Gooker hatched at Survivor Series. Oh ya. That bad.


 

''TODAY IS THE DAY THAT DAVE MELTZER GIVES US 5 STARS''

 

Moving away from gameplay for just a minute, because trust me, we have way more to talk about in the combat department. In regards to the narrative, the story itself in WrestleQuest is both unique and endearing in a way that to me encapsulates what the world of pro wrestling is - whether its through the eyes of the wrestlers themselves as they attempt to ''shoot'' on each other backstage after a pre-determined match or wrestling dreamers like Randy Santos who grew up idolizing their favorite wrestler like Randy Savage, as they pull the ''ITS STILL REAL TO ME'' meme out, and believe wrestling is not scripted and is still real. Using this approach, which to me, is a down to earth style, as you take on the role of multiple characters throughout the narrative to see the paths that they're taking as a solo act or even as a tag team, as they struggle to become more ''over'' with the fans and make their way up to championship level of stardom - with all this, its able to be a fulfilling adventure to even people who may not be a long time fan of the wrestling world. The narrative is one of a true rags to riches story that gets you invested early, because come on now, who doesn't like a good babyface storyline? well, minus Cody Rhodes, we don't need him to do the same fake crying, shaking head and biting lip promo he does nearly every day of the week, but uhh, any other babyface promo, I'm totally there. As you can tell, I'm trying not to give away TOO much of what goes on in the story in order to keep things fresh for new players, but as you progress through the main narrative, you will go through the world map, visit the shrine and homage statue to the late Randy Savage, get caught up with some thieve wrestlers who are stealing face paint, see and get help from legends such as Diamond Dallas Page, Andre The Giant, Road Warriors, Jeff Jarret and even Jake The Snake Roberts. But don't worry, no cobra's will get loose in the ring this time and bite ya on the arm....well, maybe. Its really the authenticity that shines through here that will make any wrestling fan, no matter what era you watched it, see a reference, call back or signature move and be like ''WOOO!'' in excitement at the revelation. But I should get back to the gameplay now, shouldn't I?



As stated before, with each turn, your party member chooses between between Strike, Taunt, Item and your special moves that use up Ability Points, again like a traditional RPG, but with QTE events, which emulates reversals that you'd see in a real wrestling match, but where the game expands even further, has to do with each wrestlers unique special move. Every wrestler you come across that is recruitable to your roster, will have their own set of moves, like tag team double moves that has a character literally using a tag team move that involves a giant taco, which only makes me hungry, or a mighty ducks like attack that has you slapshot projectiles into the enemy like you're bracing them for some Knuckle Puck Time. While figuring out your own characters special moves is fun, it does get even more fun beyond that with Trio Tag Team moves as well, which would tick off Jim Cornette if someone told him about it. By selecting one team member to prepare for a tag team move and then with your next character picking the type of tag team move you will do, it will initiate a unique special attack that is specifically designated to work with that specific tag partner and no one else. Once your opponent is down on the ground and ''defeated'', proceed to go back to your special attack menu and select pin, then you're able to match the cursor to the moving green area with precision timing in order to get that good ol 1, 2, 3. Congratulations. You aren't a jobber anymore. Be careful not to get TOO excited though because remember, you're putting on a WRESTLING SHOW, which means, you have people booking these matches and sometimes you will follow a story to complete the match the way the writers and bookers set up, such as hitting a specific move for the finish of the match before pinfall or letting your opponent kick out for heightened drama. This is what makes the game extremely fun and makes it feel like every battle is more unique than the last one you fought. Its mind boggling to be honest. With every action you take in your matches, such as attacking, taunting, or failed actions, it will increase and decrease your hype meter, causing this to either have higher attack power or stacked debuffs on you to make you weaker to enemy barrages. All these ideas packed into one battle system creates the NEED to strategize and think about your moves before taking action, and doesn't allow you the satisfaction of just spamming a move like you're playing Pokemon, nope, instead, it keeps a pace going that is akin to something like a Lucha Libre style, fast moving and over the top and even in the turn based setting, can keep you on the edge of your seat.


 

''A WILD MUCHACHO MAN OUT IN THE JUNGLE''

 

EXTRA STUFF:


So what do you do if you just don't want to focus on the main story? well you can do a lot of things really. Either turn the game off and ignore the old ''DONT TRY THIS AT HOME'' warnings from the old WWE video promos and do a swanton bomb off your roof, or you can partake in the extra content that this potentially 30 hour plus game, has to offer you, should you want to play it to its fullest. Whether you want to grind as much money out as you can to buy new gear for your character such as hats, hands, boots, shirts and other ring attire that boosts your characters stats, try to level up your character to unlock new special moves to use in singles matches or tag matches, take part in dancing, crafting, boss battles, unlocking new characters to see which support abilities they give you, such as Andre The Giant literally picking up the ring and slamming it, etc etc, it legit feels like there's no end to the amount of content found here in this game. Honestly what cracks me up the most about it is the Toy Box theme it has going for it. Now I'm pretty stupid, so I didn't get it at first, but once I started buying upgrades at the local stores, I noticed, Ohhhhh, WERE TOYS. Were some kids action figures and this while world is theirs. Its Toy Story wrestling.


 

''I THINK IM CUTE, I KNOW IM SEXY, I GOT THE LOOKS, THAT DRIVES THE GIRLS WILD''

 

OVERALL:


At the end of the day, WrestleQuest to me has become the surprise hit of 2023. It isn't perfect with things like my first boot up of the game on PC getting nothing but a black background with character subtitles, a few sound glitches here and there but not often, combat I feel getting a tad bit complex for people that may not be too familiar with the genre or wrestling, etc. However with roughly 12 playable characters all having unique attacks and special abilities, different biomes areas from junkyards, gyms, stadiums, snow fields and jungles that offer fun and engaging traversal and story, engaging in depth combat that blends traditional RPG and Wrestling together so much so that it can rival any battle system currently on the market, large roster of Legends like Sergeant Slaughter, Macho Man, DDP, fun leveling and equipment system that offers you ways to create a wrestler of your choice based off being a powerhouse or speedster - its a love letter through and through, and it shows with every aspect, down to the very spec of its core. If you are or were a fan of wrestling or just an RPG junky looking for that next good role playing game, then I highly recommend checking this one out, It's definitely a must own. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW





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