North American Nintendo 64 cover art featuring Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Raven and Goldberg
|Developer(s)||Asmik Ace Entertainment
WCW/nWo Revenge is a professional wrestling video game released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64 game console. It is the sequel to 1997's WCW vs. nWo: World Tour. Like its predecessor, Revenge features AKI's revolutionary grappling system as well as heavily improved graphics, a championship mode, and a large roster of wrestlers (real and fictional).
Revenge gained critical praise and tremendous commercial success. According to a 1999 article by IGN, Revenge was the best-selling wrestling game for the N64 console, and at the time, was the top selling third-party Nintendo game ever.
Revenge was the last AKI-developed WCW game for the Nintendo 64. The next WCW game released for the Nintendo 64 was a version of THQ's earlier WCW Nitro. The next AKI wrestling game released for the console, WWF WrestleMania 2000 sported THQ's newly acquired World Wrestling Federation license.
At the time of the game's release, the Monday Night Wars were starting to go in favor of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Despite this WCW/nWo Revenge was generally recognized as the best wrestling game of 1998.
The Revenge grappling system is part of what ensured the game's success and popularity. The system was simple to learn and allowed for a variety of moves to be performed depending on the character. The graphics were improved from World Tour, and many new features were introduced to expand the popular series.
New features and additions since World Tour
As the direct sequel to World Tour, Revenge possesses various tweaks and additions. This includes wrestler ring entrances, a larger roster, ringside valets and managers, brighter and more colorful graphics, a cartoon referee modeled after WCW referee Mark Curtis, and real TV and pay-per-view arenas. It also boasts EEPROM, which eliminates the need for a Controller Pak. In addition, there are new gameplay mechanics such as more frequent reversals, the introduction of multiple reversals, tall wrestlers stepping over the top rope, and being able to run and slide in and out of the ring. Also, Instant Replay was included.
New post-match features include replays of the last moments of the match, as well as a scoring system for wrestlers' performance. During gameplay, players can for the first time "steal" their opponents taunts, as well as perform their "down" taunt more easily. Also, certain wrestlers cannot ascend the top rope unless they are in "special" mode (the time when a player's spirit is maxed out and can perform their finishers).
For the first time, THQ introduced actual arenas into a game, such as Monday Nitro, Starrcade, Bash at the Beach, Souled Out, SuperBrawl, and Halloween Havoc. The new Championship Mode also enables the player(s) to select a belt held by a silhouetted wrestler and then defeat various opponents until eventually facing the mystery champion. Successfully completing a title mode unlocks the toppled champion. Titles include the Cruiserweight, World Television, World Tag Team, United States Heavyweight, and World Heavyweight Championship.
In addition, Revenge introduced a combo system where some wrestlers could execute a combination of strikes followed by a grappling move. The system was criticized as doing more harm than good as it is awkward to use and eliminated about half of a wrestler's strong front grapple moves. For example, popular WCW wrestler Goldberg is only able to perform strong grapple moves using the A and directional buttons. The combo system would be excluded from future THQ/AKI wrestling games.
Revenge also saw many new moves added since World Tour, as well as existing moves improved or made more accurate. For instance, in World Tour, Kevin Nash's finishing move is a generic powerbomb; in contrast, Chris Benoit has a kneel-down double under-hook powerbomb for a weak move. In Revenge, however, it is unmistakably Nash's Jackknife Powerbomb, complete with trademark Nash flourishes during execution. Other moves which were improved included the Stinger splash, the Outsider's Edge, and the Diamond Cutter. Also, certain characters like the aforementioned Chris Benoit were given their real finishing moves for the first time. Each wrestler also possesses more than 700 frames of animation.
Revenge has an expansive collection of wrestlers, as almost every WCW/nWo wrestler of the time was included in the game. Added since World Tour were such superstars as Bret Hart, Bill Goldberg, Harlem Heat, British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, Konnan, Curt Henning, Brian Adams, Chris Jericho, Fit Finlay and many more. One notable omission, however, who actually was in World Tour, is Ric Flair who was fired from WCW for no-showing an episode of WCW Thunder in early 1998; although, he would be rehired later in the year. By then, though, Revenge was in the final stages of production, and it was too late to add Flair to the game. Wrath was originally going to be in the game but was removed for unknown reasons. He appears in Sting's wrestling attire and can only be playable with the use of a Game Shark or other cheat devices.
Also included is the ability to interchange wrestlers' costumes and apply different colors to them. Masks and other headwear are also interchangeable for wrestlers that possess them. This limited feature would be heavily advanced in future THQ wrestling titles which would boast the acclaimed Create-a-Wrestler mode
WCW/nWo Revenge surpassed the success of its predecessor, World Tour. Within a month, it became the highest selling console game in North America. Like its predecessor, Revenge also won 1998's "Fighting Game of the Year" by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, marking the second consecutive year an AKI/THQ title achieved the honor. It would quickly reach Player's Choice status and become heavily responsible for THQ's profits in late 1998 and '99, eventually selling 1.88 million copies in the US and ranking substantially among the best-selling N64 games.
The game achieved critical favor for its numerous improvements on World Tour. Matt Casamassina of IGN: "More than any other wresting game on the market, Revenge feels, moves and plays like the real thing. . . My suggestion: if you own World Tour then sell it. Take the money you get for it and put it towards Revenge. It's a much more complete game with tons of style and ambiance. Once again, the four-player mode is addictive and reason enough to buy the game, especially if you're a big wrestling fan." In IGN's 2008 "History of Wrestling Games" article, Rus McLaughlin also commended Revenge for its expanded roster, authentic venues, and "style to burn."
- "WCW/NWO Revenge Information at". IGN.com. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. 2007-12-27. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
- IGN Staff The History of Wrestlemania IGN.com (September 24, 1999). Retrieved on 2-13-11.
- WCW/NWO Revenge IGN.com (October 1998). Retrieved March 22, 2008.
- IGN Staff THQ's Revenge Explodes in the Charts IGN.com (November 13, 1998). Retrieved on 2-13-11.
- 'Revenge' Tastes Sweet Reward IGN.com (May 24, 1999). Retrieved on 2-13-11.
- IGN Staff THQ Posts Pretty Penny IGN.com (October 27, 1998). Retrieved on 2-13-11.
- Casamassina, Matt WCW/NWO Revenge IGN.com (October 26, 1998). Retrieved March 22, 2008.
- McLaughlin, Rus IGN Presents the History of Wrestling Games IGN (November 12, 2008). Retrieved on 2-03-11.