Fans of classic gaming and the era of arcade cabinets are probably also quite fond of this game. It’s one of the most bombastic WWE games to ever be released, and it came out long before the modern era of ultra-realistic titles that fans get today.
Releasing in 1995, WWF Wrestlemania the Arcade Game was a hit almost instantly, thanks to its wide selection of famed wrestlers, inventive game mechanics, and stunning visuals. It’s a bit of a cult classic these days, so there might be more than a few people looking to learn more about the fantastic arcade title.
Vince McMahon Was On Commentary
For a long time, wrestling games actually lacked any kind of commentary team during matches. It’s a small thing that's often taken for granted these days, but only a few short decades ago, wrestling games relied on music and sound effects to fill the voiceless void in matches.
To the surprise of pretty much everybody, Vinnie-Mac is on commentary for this game... and he brings that classic Vince energy. Every callout is filled with the kind of energy and passion that people learned to expect from Vince while he was on commentary. BOOM CHACKA-LACKA!!!
It Was Inspired By a Pair of Classic Games of the Time
One look at the game will tell anyone that it is strikingly different than most other wrestling games. The reason for this, is that the game was heavily inspired by two classic games of the era: Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam.
It actually goes a step further, with the game being made by the same developer as MK. Still, most people will agree that the digitized style of the characters works far better in this than in the original Mortal Kombat.
It Was So Popular, It Was Ported To Multiple Systems
These days, games are either console exclusive, or they’re going to end up on every console regardless of how popular it actually is. Back in the day, that wasn’t always a certainty, and even when games ended up on multiple systems, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for the games to be entirely different.
While there were tweaks made on each platform it was released for, WWF Wrestlemania the Arcade Game wound up on six different systems. Obviously, it was playable in arcades, but it wound up ported to the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sega 32X, Sega Saturn, Playstation, and even for computers.
It’s Really More Of A Fighting Game
It wouldn’t be a shock to hear that most people think of heavy grappling, whenever they think of wrestling games. While there is plenty of grappling to be found within WWF WrestleMania The Arcade Game, there's a lot more fighting in general.
Since the game was inspired by Mortal Kombat, it only makes sense that it became more of a fighting game. The hectic action sees a lot more striking and special moves than it does classic wrestling maneuvers. No need to become a submission specialist when you can bash them with a flaming fist. Ever see a pair of WWE Hall of Famers beat the tar out of each other with virtual headstones, until turkeys fell out?
It’s Incredibly Difficult
It’s probably safe to say that most modern gamers have never even played a game on an original arcade cabinet. It truly is a beautiful thing of the past, but something that was always a part of that past was brutal difficulty.
Anybody could try to make things easier, but even the game's easiest modes will require players to have serious knowledge of at least one character, to succeed. The game is filled with tough handicap matches, and the opponents won’t give you a moment to breathe.
It Used Actual Entrance Music
Another thing that was often overlooked is just how much entrance music can add to a game. While the game didn't feature in-depth entrances for the various wrestlers, WWF Wrestlemania the Arcade Game did feature a brief snippet of their classic entrance music.
Selecting The Undertaker to take on fellow WWE Hall of Famers Razor Ramon and "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels becomes just a bit better, when you can hear his classic theme play, as he charges at his foes. It’s a fantastic flourish and something that wasn’t a sure thing to be included at that time.
Super Nintendo Chalmers Didn't Make Players Happy
Everybody who grew up in the 1990s should be well aware of the rivalry between Super Nintendo kids and Sega kids. It was one of the hottest debates of the decade, and when it comes to WWF WrestleMania The Arcade Game... SNES kids lost out.
None of the console versions ran nearly as well as the original arcade, but that was common back then. The worst system to deal with the game was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a system that struggled with a screen full of characters and even had to leave out Bam Bam Bigelow and Yokozuna.
Adam Bomb Was Supposed To Be In The Game
A surprising fact for pretty much everyone is that the Federation's wrestler from Three Mile Island was supposedly nearly put into the game. People that worked on the game have actually confirmed that the late Bryan Clark was indeed in the game, but his character was simply left unfinished.
Seeing how Adam Bomb’s career ended up going, his inclusion alongside the likes of WWE Hall of Famers Razor Ramon, "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and Bret "Hitman" Hart would have been a bit of a headscratcher. If he had made it in, it might have ended up being the highlight of his career.
Some Performers Worked Harder Than Others
While those that worked on the game have shared plenty of info on that process over the years, they also made sure to mention the performers who truly stood out. It’s no secret that some wrestlers didn’t take video games all that seriously. See Matt and Jeff Hardy, who were pretty much exclusively providing the motion capture wrestling moves for WWF Attitude.
Apparently, performers like Michaels and Hart were hard workers, when it came to helping out with the game. The Dead Man was mentioned as well, and it was also said that some of the others were a bit more difficult to work with. No names were mentioned, but... I think we all have an idea.
Mister Perfect Was Meant To Be Included, As Well
While Adam Bomb’s inclusion might have been a bit of a question mark, the inclusion of somebody like this WWE Hall of Famer would have made a ton of sense. Playing as him was probably the dream of the smartest marks of the 1990s.
Unfortunately, it’s been said that the late Kurt Hennig essentially no-showed the entire process. While the team worked hard on how his in-game character would work, Mister Perfect simply never showed up to put the work into the game, leaving his biggest fans out to dry on that front.
Source: the Sportster