Day of Reckoning 2 (THQ: Gamecube)
By David Simpson
And ding dong the Gamecube Wrestler’s dead!
OK, a little over-dramatic, but bear with me. After 5 games you would have thought that THQ would have understood the Gamecube by now. Seen what it can and can’t do. Nope. Still they push it and still they fail. Over the years the questions have been asked and we all thought that by this time, this being the (probably) last Gamecube WWE game that they would have got it right? Right?
Unlike the successful Playstation 2 Smackdown games, the WWE games for the Gamecube just never worked. Or at least not properly.
The essence of this game is a story mode. This is a linear story with only 2-3 actual twists along the way. This is much longer then the previous game, taking in many more matches. Sounds good? Except that the story (unlike last years’ which made sense, with you trying to get to the Championship gold) revolves around the theft of the World Heavyweight Title? ‘Your kidding me?’ I hear you cry. No. Unfortunately, not. You spend the rest of the game, acting like Columbo, figuring out who stole the belt. Why? I’m having flashbacks to the awful… AWFUL story mode from Wrestlemania XIX. The sad point of this, is the fact that you can only play the game once, unlike Smackdown which offers at least 5-6 story options, and at least allows you to use Superstars aswell as Created Wrestlers to increase the longevity of the game.
Another point is why go on about how this is the continuing story of the character you created from the first game, if you can’t use him in this? I know none of the Smackdown games have offered this, but it shouldn’t be hard, seeing as they are made by the same company? And again, why not allow the use of Superstars in the storymode.
On the plus side (and there is one) the roster is full and now includes Legends Stonecold, Bret Hart and Hogan. Though much less than the last game, at least they are worth finding, though a little unoriginal. (To get Hart you have to play a single game 20 times!!!???) However, the roster bugs me. With so many unnecessary players (Paul London, Orlando Jordan, Chris Masters?) you wonder why (although this being the last WWE GameCube game it sounds like too little too late) they didn’t cut the roster to 20 key players and save the space to use on more legends (Why have Hogan if you don’t include Andre or Warrior, or Savage?) or, here’s a crazy thought, on more stories and options.
The options and matches available are extensive as always (with the usual omission of the Elimination Chamber), the CAW is excellent with the ability to create the wrestlers they didn’t use in this game.
Onto the playing.
The game itself is fun to play, though far too much thumb-bashing for my liking. The new submission option and stamina bar is an interesting touch of realism, but is not exactly setting the world on fire in terms of innovation. Blocking is jerky as ever, with only a 4 in 8 chance of you actually blocking the move. Unlike Smackdown, your character is equipped with 8 Special moves, which makes for an interesting match. However, this also makes it too easy. Whereas with Smackdown, you are given just one shot at your finishing move, this game gives you a limited amount of time to do it as many times as you want. This means if you have a quick move eg. Stunner, Rockbottom, they can be performed as many as four times, thus ending the match.
Overall? This game is an improvement on the last game but nowhere near the brilliance of Smackdown vs Raw. A good game, but really you may aswell just succumb to the inevitable and buy a PS2 and see how good a WWE game can be.
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