Legends of Wrestling II Review
Legends of Wrestling II (LOW2) is a wrestling fan's dream. You can choose from over 60 wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, and a whole host of old school wrestlers. You can even wrestle as the original cross-gender champion, Andy Kaufman. While some wrestlers must be unlocked by playing the game's career and championship modes, the game makes many of the wrestlers available from the beginning. Should your favorite wrestler be missing from the game or you just want to try and turn an unknown wrestler into a fan favorite, the game includes a create a wrestler feature. The game does not include any female wrestlers, but you can create one yourself to correct this oversight ... just make sure that you steer clear of Andy Kaufman. The wrestlers in the game look like their real-world inspirations, and a true wrestling fan could probably tell them apart from their facial features. The bodies look more like molded-rubber muscle suits, though, and there seems to be just two classes of wrestlers: totally ripped and blubber balls. You can see a size difference between the small and large wrestlers, but this difference is only visual. Andre the Giant can move around the ring as agilely as an any of the other wrestlers, and even the smallest of wrestlers can lift Andre above their heads and slam him to the mat.
|A classic hold.|
A game of LOW2 can be played as a single match and it gives you several match types from which to choose. You have your basic one on one match and its three and four in a ring variants. Team matches are also supported, as are twenty wrestler brawls, although in all modes no more than four wrestlers can appear in the ring at a time. Two interesting match types are ladder and cage. In a ladder match a ladder is placed inside the ring and you can climb on it to deal serious hurt to any foe unfortunate enough to be lying at the point of impact. Caged matches place a cage around the ring that prevents the wrestlers from leaving the ring, and any help from entering. The cage has a door, though, and repeated bashing of it can open up the cage.
If you are looking for more than a single match, LOW2 provides tournament and career modes. These are also the modes that provide you with coins for your victories, coins that can be cashed in to unlock wrestlers, cheats, arenas, and other goodies. In tournament mode you must win a series of matches to capture the title. Lose once and you're out. Career mode puts you in the role of a new wrestling talent trying to make his way from small-time matches to the championship. Although the game treats your wrestler as an unknown, you can select any wrestler in the game in career mode. You begin by selecting a region and then having a chat with that region's promoter. These chats occur at periodic intervals throughout the career mode and serve to add a storyline to the game. The stories are razor thin and generic, but at least add a little something to break up the string of matches you must make your way through in this mode.
In keeping with the spirit of the showmanship of professional wrestling, each wrestler enters the arena before a match to his theme song and a short looping montage on the arena's video screens. While you get 60 plus wresters in the game, you do not get 60 plus theme songs. Some of the selections seem downright strange. I must confess that I do not know which themes the wrestlers themselves actually used, but was the Notre Dame fight song really ever used? By anyone? The musical mismatch extends to the matches themselves. You get a set of songs from today's artists such as Saliva. Most of the wrestlers in the game are from the 70s and 80s, so selections from AC/DC, Judas Priest, and Van Halen would have been truer to the game's spirit.