Showdown: Legends of Wrestling - Xbox

Got packs, screens, info?
Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Wrestling
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Acclaim Soft. Co.: Acclaim
Publishers: Acclaim (GB/US)
Released: 2 Jul 2004 (GB)
22 May 2004 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


Though there are a great deal of wrestling games available, there are few that can compete with the popularity of THQ's record-breaking Smackdown! series. But there is one ongoing competitor, and that is Acclaim's Legends of Wrestling. The first game and its sequel were relatively popular, but the third in the series, a game in development for a great length of time, looks set to be the best so far.

Carrying the name Showdown, Acclaim's third outing pits some 73 of the world's greatest and most renowned wrestlers in the ring for a 'battle-of-the-champions' slug-fest. Of the wrestling line-up, some of the best include Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, Ultimate Warrior, Jake the Snake and Bret Hart. Partaking in the Showdown Challenge, players can re-enact infamous feuds from the 70s, 80s and 90s and even change virtual wrestling history.

That's effectively your career mode, but of course those looking for a quick way into the game are accommodated by Showdown's quick-play options. These include Table, First Blood, Ladder, Steel Cage, Iron Man, Battle Royal and Elimination games. Additionally, a fresh ready-to-brawl play mechanic has been put in place for the third instalment. Simple button-bashing can actually work rather well for the inexperienced player, whereas the seasoned wrestler is still able to execute specific combinations in order to unleash devastating attacks.

Visually, Showdown is naturally the best of the series, with the Xbox version in particular looking very polished indeed. A library of more detailed textures and the ability to physically enhance and mould your own unique wrestler are where the most obvious improvements can be seen.

With three-way commentary from Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko and Bobby Heenan, massive fighting arenas and loud audiences, Showdown raises the benchmark for the series even further.