9.5

People only "hate" this game because of the "hard" controls

WCW/nWo Thunder is the sequel to the underrated (and my 1st) video game WCW Nitro. The focus on this game is the now defunct WCW's B Show Thunder (Nitro, the A Show, was the focus in Nitro). The Game includes new wrestlers and old wrestlers from the previous game, the roster begins with: Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart, Sting, Lex Luger, Giant, Diamond Dallas Page, Raven, Saturn, Goldberg (my favorite wrestler), Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, Macho Man Randy Savage, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Chris Jericho, Brian Adams, British Bulldog, Booker T, Dean Malenko, Wrath, Ultimo Dragon, Billy Kidman, Disciple, Chris Benoit, Scott Norton, Konnan, Anvil, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Buff Bagwell, Kanyon, and Alex Wright. Beat the game with one of the mentioned wrestlers to unlock new wrestlers. There are also managers to play as, as well as some strange characters, such as a Gorilla, Cow, Pig, a Knight and much more. New features include weapon use, unlike most wrestling games nowadays which try to be more real, in this game you can use stuff such as TV's (if you look closely the match you're doing will be shown), Milk Cartons, street signs (which are attached to the post) Spinning Office Chairs, etc, the WWE games need more fantasy like stuff. Another feature allows you to choose your stable: the stables include WCW, NWO White, NWO Red, Raven's Flock, and Four Horsemen, you press SQUARE on a selected wrestler to change his/her stable, it will change his/her uniform and the characters who help you during run ins and surprise attacks (press Select during matches, only can be used once, computer can do this as well), an example would be changing Hogan from NWO White to NWO Red. New matches are also include, match types that return are 1P Exhibition, 2P Vs, 1P Exhibition Tag Team, and 2P Exhibition Tag Team. The new matches are the Battle Royal and Cage Match. One of the best features in the game is when you start a match you see a Live Action FMV of the wrestler entering with their entrance theme playing in background, not really amazing by todays standards but in 1998 you would have been amazed. This game is often bashed because of its "hard" controls, which most are the same as Nitro, Im gonna be nice enough to type the controls right here:
Grappling: To perform a grapple move close to your opponent and press the right + circle button, when you have the opponent in your grasp, follow with a button combination to execute the special move of your choice, take too long and your opponent may counter, if the opponent has you in a grapple to counter you press up repeatedly (it might be down repeatedly, haven't played it in awhile). To engage your opponent in a test of strength, press the up + circle button repeatedly to wear him down.
Button Combination: All the button combinations refer to the wrestler facing right, reverse the left/right Directional Buttons for wrestlers facing left. Here are the button combinations:
WHEN FACING CLOSE OPPONENT:
Square Button: Basic Punch
X Button: Basic Kick
Triangle Button: Basic Chop
Circle Button: Action/Pin Attempt
L1 Button: Basic Block
R1 Button: Dodge
L2 Button: Taunt
R2 Button: Tag in tag team partner (Tag Team Matches only)
Right, Circle: Grapple Opponent
Left, Circle: Whip Opponent to Ropes
Up, Circle: Engage in Test of Strength
Left, Square, X: Frankensteiner (smaller wrestlers)
Up, Square, Triangle: Head Scissors (smaller wrestlers)
Up, Triangle, Circle: Gorilla Press (larger wrestlers)
Left, Square: Hip Toss
Up, Square: Snapmare
Down, X: Dropkick
Down, Square, Triangle: Backbreaker
Triangle, Square: Basic Suplex
Up, Triangle, Triangle: Bodyslam
Down, Triangle: Abdominal Stretch
Left, X, Circle: Toss opponent out of ring.
OPPONENT LYING ON MAT:
Circle: Pin Attempt
Square: Elbow Drop
X: Knee Drop
Down, X: Stomp
Triangle: Leg Drop
Up, Circle: Lift opponent off mat
Left, Circle: Drag opponent.
OPPONENT IN TURNBUCKLE:
Right, Triangle, Triangle: Foot Choke
Square: Elbow
Triangle: Big Chop
X: Knee
Down, X: Splash
Left, Square (repeatedly): 10 - Count Punches.
OPPONENT PLACED IN GRAPPLE (Right, Circle):
Square, X: Powerbomb
Triangle, Circle: Piledriver
Left, Triangle: Vertical Suplex
PLAYER ON TOP ROPE:
Square: Flying Elbow Drop
X: Flying Knee Drop
Triangle: Guillotine Legdrop
Down X: Missile Dropkick.
OPPONENT RUNNING TOWARD PLAYER, WHIPPED TO ROPES:
Square: Clothesline
Triangle: Spin Kick
PLAYER AT ROPES:
Circle + (away from center of ring): Climb out of ring
Circle + (toward center of ring): Climb into ring.
Player in Corner:
Circle + (away from center of ring).
WEAPONS:
Pick Up Weapons = Move to close object with Directional Buttons.
Swing Weapon = Square
Throw Weapon = X
Drop Weapon = Triangle
Knock weapons out of opponents' hands by kicking, punching or executing moves against them.
SIGNATURE MOVES
* With opponent on mat
** With opponent on mat, energy flashing red
*** With opponents energy flashing red
**** After whipping opponent to ropes
+ From top rope, with opponent's energy flashing red
++ With opponent dazed in turnbuckle.
HOLLYWOOD HOGAN:
X, Circle, Circle: Knee Bashes
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Big Boot****
Up, Square, Square, X: Hogan Legdrop**
BRET HART:
Square, Square, Square: Russian Leg Sweep
Triangle, Square, Square: Atomic Headbutt*
Down, Square, Triangle, Square: Sharpshooter**
STING:
X, Circle, Circle: Scorpion Deathdrop
X, Circle, X: Stinger Splash++
(in the center of the ring)
Down, Square, X, Square: Scorpion Deathlock**
LEX LUGER:
X, X, Circle: Manhattan Drop
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Diving Clothesline****
Up, Triangle, Square, Triangle: Torture Rack***
GIANT:
Square, Triangle, Triangle: One Hand Pancake
Up, Triangle, Square: Two-Handed Choke Lift
Up, X, Circle, Circle: Chokeslam***
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE:
Square, Square, X: Tilt-A-Whirl Side Salto
Triangle, Circle, Circle: Spinning Pancake
Up, X, X, Circle: Diamond Cutter***
RAVEN:
Square, Square, X: Cheap Shot
Right, X, Circle: Overhead Armdrag
Down, Right, Triangle, Triangle: Evenflow DDT***
SATURN:
X, Circle, X: Saturn Driver
Left, X, X: Gargoyle Suplex
Up, X, X, X: Death Valley Driver***
GOLDBERG:
Triangle, Circle, Circle: Gorilla Press Slam
Down, Triangle, Circle, Circle: Spear
Up, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Jackhammer***
KEVIN NASH:
Square, Square, Triangle: Side Slam
Up, Triangle, Square: Choke Lift
Up, Square, X, Square: Super Powerbomb***
SCOTT HALL:
X, Square, Square: Headbutt
Right, Triangle, Circle: Fallaway Slam
Up, Square, Square, X: Outsiders Edge***
CURT HENNIG:
Up, X, Square: Belly-to-Back Suplex
X, X, Square: Snap Suplex
Right, Triangle, Triangle, Square: Hennigplex***
MACH MAN RANDY SAVAGE:
Square, X, X: Face Smash
Triangle, Triangle, Square: Macho Suplex
Up, Triangle, Circle, Triangle: Flying Elbow Drop+
RICK STEINER:
Down, Triangle, Circle: Spinebuster
Square, Square, Square: Powerslam
Left, X, X: Gargoyle Suplex
Down, Triangle, Circle, Circle: Football Tackle***
SCOTT STEINER:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Forearm Smashes
X, X, X: Double Underhook Suplex
Left, X, X: Gargoyle Suplex
Down, Square, Square, Triangle: Steiner Recliner**
CHRIS JERICHO:
Left, X, Square: Body Scissors
Triangle, Square, Triangle: Swingin Head Scissors
Down, Square, Square, Square: Lion Tamer**
BRIAN ADAMS:
Square, Square, Square: Russian Leg Sweep
Triangle, Circle, Circle: Spinning Slam
Up, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Tilt-a-Whirl***
BRITISH BULLDOG:
Square, X, X: Face Smash
Triangle, Square, Square: Atomic Headbutt*
Up, Square, Square, Square: Running Powerslam***
BOOKER T:
Up, Triangle, Square: Harlem Axekick
Triangle, Circle, Triangle: Harlem Flip (inside ring only)
Up, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Harlem Hangover+
DEAN MALENKO:
Triangle, Triangle, Square: Malenkoplex
X, X, Square: Snap Suplex
Left, Triangle, Square, Square: Texas Cloverleaf**
WRATH:
X, Circle, Circle: Knee Bashes
Triangle, Square, Square: Death Penalty
Left, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Meltdown***
ULTIMO DRAGON:
Left, X, Square: Body Scissors
Triangle, Square, Triangle: Spinning Head Scissors
Down, Square, Triangle, Square: Dragon Sleeper***
BILLY KIDMAN:
Square, Square, X: Tilt-a-Whirl Side Salto
Triangle, Square, Triangle: Spinning Head Scissors
Up, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: 7 Year Itch+
DISCIPLE:
Up, X, Square: Belly-to-Back Suplex
Square, Square, Square: Powerslam
Left, Square, X, X: Apocalypse***
CHRIS BENOIT:
Square, Triangle, Square: German Suplex
Up, Square, Triangle, Triangle: Flying Headbutt+
Left, Triangle, Triangle, Square: Crippler Crossface***
SCOTT NORTON:
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Forearm Smashes
Square, Square, Square: Big Boot****
Left, Triangle, Circle, Circle: Shoulder Breaker
KONNAN:
Left, X, Square: Body Scissors
Triangle, Triangle, Triangle: Diving Clothesline****
Down, Square, Square, Square: Tequila Sunrise**
ANVIL:
Square, Square, Square: Russian Leg Sweep
Left, X, X: Gargoyleplex
Down, Triangle, Circle, Circle: Football Tackle***
ROWDY RODDY PIPER:
Square, X, X: Facebuster
Triangle, Square, Square: Atomic Headbutt
Left, Triangle, Circle, Circle: Sleepr Hold***
BUFF BAGWELL:
X, Circle, Circle: Knee Bashes
Square, Square, Square: Powerslam
Right, Triangle, Triangle, Circle: Blockbuster***
KANYON:
X, Circle, X: Scoop Bomb
X, X, X: Double Underhook Bomb
Right, X, X, X: Flatliner***
ALEX WRIGHT:
Up, X, Square: Belly to Back Suplex
Right, X, Circle: Overhead Armdrag
Up, Square, Triangle, Square: German Suplex***
There is all the basic controls and signature moves, you might have to print the controls out on a sheet of paper to get to know them, even I agree the game is hard to get used to playing at 1st, but eventually becomes very simple. The graphics for the time are good (I love the sparkling designs on the wrestlers boots like in Nitro). If you are a die hard wrestling fan, I defiantly recommend picking this game up. And don't just bash it because of the controls. WCW/nWo Thunder is a must have for die hard wrestling fans, one last thing is besides WCW PPV Events as arenas, if you unlock all the goofy wrestlers with a cheat code (look on cheatingdome.com or something) you will also get very strange arenas, some of the include Outer Space, Underwater, a dance club, a farm, and loads more, if you are a kid at heart like me you will think this is an awesome game and have a great time.
Overall: 9.5/10

Discussion