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Arcade flyer featuring Hulk Hogan
|Designer(s)||Shinichi Saito (director)
Kunio Taki (producer)
|Mode(s)||1-4 players (simultaneous)|
|Arcade system||CPU: 68000 and Z80 with a YM2151 and an OKI MSM6295 ADPCM for sounds.|
|Display||Raster resolution 456x336|
WWF WrestleFest is a professional wrestling arcade game released by Technōs in 1991, featuring stars of the World Wrestling Federation. The game was distributed by Technōs in Japan and North America and by Tecmo in Europe and Australasia. It is the sequel to Technōs' previous WWF game, WWF Superstars. Compared to Superstars, WrestleFest adds a variety of different wrestlers to the roster as well as enhanced graphics and sound. There are more voice samples, including commentary and pre-match introductions by WWF ring announcer Mike McGuirk. The voiced cut scenes featuring Gene Okerlund from Superstars returned as well.
Just like its predecessor, WrestleFest simulates professional wrestling matches. The game adds support for up to four simultaneous players and the ability to insert more credits into the machine to buy energy.
Players can perform numerous double team moves. These are performed by tagging in a partner with the opponent in the proper position or tagging while holding the opponent in a headlock. Additionally, after a team member has been on the apron for a certain length of time, they will "power up," temporarily giving them the ability to win all grapples and inflict more damage than usual.
The moveset in WrestleFest differs from WWF Superstars in that more than one maneuver is assigned to each control combination and these vary widely among the characters. For example, Ted DiBiase may respond to the "punch" button during a grapple by performing a backbreaker, a piledriver, a suplex, or his Million Dollar Dream finisher. The move he performs depends partially on a CPU "variety" sequence and on the energy level of the opponent.
Two modes of play are available. In Saturday Night's Main Event mode, the player must pick two wrestlers to form a tag team and take them through a series of matches, including a title match with the Legion of Doom. After winning the title match, the player must once again take their team through a series of matches and finally defeat the Legion of Doom a second time to complete the game.
In the new Royal Rumble mode, the player picks one superstar and takes him through a Royal Rumble match. Elimination occurs by pinfall, submission, or being thrown out of the ring. Before a new wrestler enters the match, an inset of the wrestler taunting in front of a camera appears on screen.
The game features ten selectable wrestlers. Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Big Boss Man return from WWF Superstars. Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Earthquake, Mr. Perfect, Sgt. Slaughter, Demolition Smash, and Demolition Crush, are available as new characters, with The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) making an appearance as a non-selectable boss tag team.
By default, Demolition must be selected as a team in Main Event mode and can not be teamed with any other playable characters. Under emulation, cheat codes allow the player to team Smash or Crush with other characters.
Hawk and Animal are not initially selectable in the arcade version, but a second player can "buy-in" to the game while the first player battles Legion of Doom in the Main Event mode, allowing them to control Hawk and Animal and continue playing as them if they win the two-player match. Cheat codes for emulators exist to allow the Legion of Doom to be playable (both together and separately). Both Hawk and Animal have twice as much energy as the other characters.
The Legion of Doom can perform their team finisher, the Doomsday Device; however, if the move is not set up in a precise area of the ring, Hawk will not go to the top rope, and the timer will have to be allowed to run out or the game will need to be reset. The Demolition Decapitation finisher does not appear in the game. Instead, Smash and Crush perform a suplex and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, respectively, as finishers.
UK publication Zero gave the game a 3 out of 5, saying that while the graphics were cartoony, the game does "still manage to project the aggression of life in the ring." Sinclair User rated the game with an 88 out of 100, citing the game's variety of characters and high replay value. Computer and Video Games also gave the game a positive review, describing the gameplay as "highly enjoyable."
The remake features modern WWE stars The Undertaker, John Cena, Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio, along with former performers The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jake Roberts and Randy Savage (who was not in the original). In addition to the return of the Saturday Night's Main Event and Royal Rumble game modes, the remake also features standard one-on-one, tag team, steel cage and gauntlet match types. Also featured is a Road to WrestleMania mode, where the player goes through a series of matches to try and win various WWE titles. Players can also have online multiplayer matches. The game features Tony Chimel and Justin Roberts as announcers and also, Mike Chioda is the only referee in the game. Mean Gene Okerlund returns in the remake during the Road To Wrestlemania mode in the game.
On April 12, a third pack was released, featuring The Road Warriors, Big Show, R-Truth, Christian and a WCW Nitro arena. Before DLC pack 3 was released, a folder titled "Hogan" was found in the game files hinting that Hulk Hogan may be included in the remake of the original game.
On July 5, DLC Pack 6 was released which included Batista, Dusty Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Kevin Nash and the Classic Summer Slam Arena. DLC Pack 6 was also the first DLC pack since the remake was released that did not include any superstars from the original game.
- WWF WrestleFest review. Computer+Video Games. January 1992.
- Good, Owen (2012-02-16). "Rasslin’ Goes Mobile Next Week With WWE WrestleFest". Kotaku. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- Clayton, Corey (2012-02-16). "Bring It Back!: "WWE WrestleFest""". WWE. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- WWF Wrestlefest operator's manual, p.6
- WWF WrestleFest review. Zero. December 1991. p. 92
- WWF WrestleFest review. Sinclair User. January 1992. p. 55
- Clayton, Corey (2012-02-21). "It's back! THQ's 'WWE WrestleFest' arrives in Apple's app store". WWE. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- Turi, Tim (2012-02-21). "Superstars Classic & Current Clash In WWE Wrestlefest". Game Informer. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- THQ-stephensonmc (2012-03-22). "WWE WRESTLEFEST "BROSKI PACK" RELEASED!". Game Informer. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- Foote, Alex (2012-04-12). "Tag Team Champions DLC Pack for WWE Wrestlefest Now Available". GameDemption. Retrieved 2012-04-14.