Legends of Wrestling II
Having slipped beyond Christmas 2002 Legends of Wrestling 2 for GameCube is the first game of its kind to be released in 2003. It’s the only genuine contender these days to the acclaimed Smackdown series and it even offers a hint of wrestling nostalgia.
Building on the success of the 2001 original Legends of Wrestling 2 retains its muscle-bound cast of legends featuring appearances from Hulk Hogan Bret Hart Sid Vicious Jerry Lawler and over sixty others. What’s more there are signature entrances familiar taunts and well known music setting the mood for a fantastic bout of deadly grapples and back-breaking combos.
This level of authenticity is not only achieved through onscreen action though. The wrestling dynamics and smooth controls also accurately represent what is a skilful sport. Combining the right button presses with the correct positioning can unleash one of hundreds of painful attacks. Fundamentally it’s a beat-em-up with a greater level of strategy. Bouts last longer and endurance plays a significant role in your quest for the championship belt.
Visually speaking Legends of Wrestling 2 is virtually identical to its PS2 and Xbox companions but does feature much improved loading times thanks to the small GameCube disk.
In terms of variety there’s a career mode for each individual wrestler an abundance of tag-team tournaments Elimination Bouts Battle Royal Ladder a create-a-legend option a Body Slam Challenge and a Brawl mode. Players will seldom become bored in single player mode and a four-way multi-player match means there’s no end to the fun.
Does Legends of Wrestling raise the benchmark for future wrestling games? You’ll have to play it to find out.——
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