When approaching any wrestling video game, my biggest fear is always the typically unresponsive controls. This wasnâ€™t always the way though – I had a WWF game for the original Game Boy that played perfectly well using just two buttons. And it had The Mountie in it. With the Wiiâ€™s occasionally flimsy waggle controls in mind, I was expecting myself to be literally wrestling the controller, rather than the virtual buffed up wrestlers themselves.
So it was a surprise to find that THQâ€™s second attempt at bringing the world of WWE to Wii uses just two attack buttons – plus you donâ€™t have to actually point at the screen at any given time. Holding the Z button and randomly waving will unleash a combo of kicks and punches, while the A button will set up a grapple. Getting on top of a floored rival and bombarding them with punches and head buts by shaking both controllers in a downwards motion is oddly satisfying. Itâ€™s a bit like playing on a set of human drums.
One new feature for this year is the ability to get the crowd pumped during the entrance sequences by raising the controllers in prompted ways – this builds up â€˜momentumâ€™ for your muscle head before they enter the ring.
The entrance sequences can be skipped, but only after theyâ€™ve loaded first, which is pretty time consuming. Another gripe: once in the ring, trying to change the direction you’re facing seems completely random. The 3D crowd are pretty shabby looking too, although I did laugh at a banner saying, â€œThe guy behind me canâ€™t see!â€
The facial expressions and reversal move animations are decent. The AI can be less decent – during royal rumbles some characters have a tendency to stand around waiting to get punched or thrown out the ring.
Easily the biggest new feature though is online play. There are only a handful of match types, but you can create custom matches, a friend rooster, and view leader boards. Miis feature too – you can have one representing your character along the top of the screen. Their eyes pop out amusingly every time you take a whack.
If a confused elderly person bought you this for Christmas instead of World at War it wouldnâ€™t be the worst Christmas ever, although youâ€™d still be better off buying some WWE DVDs and practising the moves on your little sister. Ignore her screams – she loves it really.