Showdown: Legends of Wrestling - PS2

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Also for: PC, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Wrestling
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Acclaim Soft. Co.: Acclaim
Publishers: Acclaim (GB/US)
Released: 22 Jun 2004 (US)
2 Jul 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Accessories: Memory Card
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only, Multitap adaptable


Aah, wrestling games - the staple diet of frustrated teenage boys the world over, and a gaming concept that only stands to achieve increased popularity as the virtually-recreated camp violence within it gets even more realistic. The third instalment in Acclaim's Legends of Wrestling series, Showdown, looks set to put this to the test anyway, offering even more believable on-screen action, complete with a host of new features, and 73 of the greatest wrestlers of all time.

The main concept of the game sees you battling through time, so to speak. The collection of wrestlers on offer spans the full history of the American 'sport', so you get to work your way through countless grapples with both contemporary stars and old favourites, including the likes of Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Jake "The Snake", and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Along the way you can unlock classic feuds, create dream matches and take part in an era-based career mode.

Aside from the extensive career mode, the game also offers a fair few quick-play options for the more time-hindered wrestling fan, including Table, First Blood, Ladder, Steel Cage, Iron Man, Battle Royal and Elimination games. And, as you'd expect, the multiplayer side of things (always one of the better aspects of such games) is fully supported, with up to eight players able to get in on the sweaty action, Multitap permitting of course.

New to the series in Showdown is a brand new control system dubbed 'Ready-to-Brawl' controls. Effectively this works kind of like a handicap, meaning that 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.

As is generally the case, the third instalment of the Legends of Wrestling series is a significant improvement over its predecessor - at least if you're a fan of the games anyway. The action is more authentic and there are so many modes and features that the 'bang for your buck' ratio is most certainly in your favour.