This game brings back good memories every time I would go to my friends house we would play this for hours. Me as Rey Mysterio and him as John Cena. Good times.
WWE Day of Reckoning 2 Review
Though some may be disappointed by the fact that it isn't a huge leap past what Day of Reckoning put forth, fans of the first game are certain to have a great time with the sequel.
- New submission and stamina systems are welcome additions
- Same great gameplay with better AI and hit detection
- Superb character models--some of the best Yuke's has ever produced
- A surprisingly solid storyline in the season mode
- Deep create-a-wrestler mode.
- No new match types to speak of
- Still the smallest roster of wrestlers in a current WWE game
- AI can still be a little problematic
- Not exactly a big leap forward for the franchise, overall.
GameCube owners finally got a decent WWE game last year in the form of Yuke's and THQ's WWE Day of Reckoning. It took the developer three tries to finally make a product that followed in the tradition of quality of the old, AKI-developed Nintendo 64-era wrestling games, but hey, be it one try, three tries, or a hundred tries, a winner's a winner. WWE Day of Reckoning 2, the follow-up to that great title, is effectively more of the same. Maybe Yuke's was worried about messing with a good thing, so rather than make any drastic shifts to the gameplay or roster of modes, it has simply gone through the game, fixing a few artificial intelligence issues here, adding a few more wrestlers there, and raising the overall quality of the graphics and presentation. Undeniably, Day of Reckoning 2 is a better game than its predecessor, but some may find it to be a touch too familiar for comfort.
Just to get all the basics out of the way, Day of Reckoning 2 features all the major Pay-per-view and TV show arenas, more authentic entrance sequences, pretty much every match type you'd expect from a wrestling game (with perhaps the sole exception of something like the elimination chamber, which has been in the last couple of SmackDown! games), and a few more wrestlers than the last title, totaling 45 in all. A few new faces, like Kenzo Suzuki, Eugene, and Paul London make their way into the roster, replacing no one of consequence. You'll also get a few unlockable legends, like Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, and The Rock to play around with. The legends thing was a cute idea for a while, but now you can't help but feel like they're starting to cut into the real-life roster. At least superstars like Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin have made some recent appearances on TV, so it's not like they're completely irrelevant.
The gameplay engine that was so great last year is just as great this year--largely because it hasn't changed much and there isn't exactly much competition out there from other wrestling games. You'll still use the same system of weak and strong strikes and grapples, controlled by either tapping or pressing the respective attack buttons. Special attacks, Irish whips, top rope maneuvers, and taunts are all handled just about the same. Reversals still require you to press the right and left triggers to correspond with strikes or grapples respectively, and the timing is still quite fast. The single-player opponents are even more adept at reversing your attacks this year, so you won't be able to fumble your way through matches, tossing out random attacks that look pretty. The artificial intelligence still gets hung up in spots, occasionally pausing at irrational intervals while standing over your downed wrestler just waiting for you to get up and kick them in the face; but compared with the last game, this happens far less often.
Both of the unique gameplay components from last year's game are back yet again, namely the momentum shifts and changed weight-balancing system. Joining them is a pair of new gameplay mechanics: a new submission system and a stamina system. The submission system isn't especially complex. Essentially, once you put an opponent into a submission hold that could conceivably be a match-winning move, you're presented with a little menu that lets you choose the options of submit, drain, rest hold, and taunt. Each choice is assigned to a direction on the C stick, and once you make your choice, your opponent (working without the knowledge of what you've chosen) chooses one of the four options too. If he or she guesses which of the four you've picked, they'll break out of the hold and do some damage to you in the process. If they guess wrong, you get to put some pain on them.
The interesting thing about the system is that there is some palpable difference between some of the choices in how they function. For instance, the rest hold option plays into the new stamina meter. Every wrestler has one, and pulling off especially tough maneuvers, really working to get an opponent to submit to a hold, or any strenuous activity at all really, drains your stamina. Just like the real thing, rest holds help you regain stamina, as does just kind of standing around from time to time. If you let your meter get all the way down, it'll take a good while to get you back to a point where you can function without doubling over in exhaustion. It's basically the same system the Fire Pro and King of Colosseum games from Japan employed and it's used to great effect here. Of the two new features, the stamina system is probably the most important. It definitely adds an important layer of strategy to the game that simply wasn't there before, and it does it without completely wrecking the pacing of a match. The submission system is neat too, though it would be better if some of the other options actually gave some visibly different feedback. There's not much difference between picking a rest hold, a taunt, or a pure submission, animation-wise; but this is just a minor dent on an otherwise good mechanic.
The rest of the changes Yuke's made to the gameplay are basically clean-up work. Hit detection is way, way better in Day of Reckoning 2. Pretty much every single hit registers just as it should, and though rare, blatant misses still do occur, it isn't like the first game, where running attacks and ground attacks would frequently be ignored. Tag and other multiwrestler gimmick matches have been improved too, specifically in the realm of AI. It's much more difficult to win a tag match now without making at least one or two tags during the course of the bout. This is because Yuke's fixed the issue with partners or other opponents simply not bothering to run into the ring. You can still walk over, knock an opponent off the apron, hit a special move on the legal man and then pin him, but getting to that point takes much more effort, as partners will run in to break up not just pins and submissions, but also special moves, even before you've actually hit the move.
It's smart thinking on the AI's part, but at times, it can be way overzealous. Take fatal four-way matches, for example. Once a match has been going for a while, if you try to hit a particularly strong move on an opponent, another will run over and break up the move on a near-constant basis. This makes some of the multiwrestler singles matches a real pain, since you'll constantly be challenged just to pull off a move, let alone pin or make a guy submit. You haven't seen rage-inducing frustration until you've tried to win a fatal four-way cage match with this kind of AI. By no means do these frustrations wreck the gameplay--it's just too bad that the AI wasn't a bit more fine-tuned.
- Player Reviews: 100
- Game Universe:
- WWF Raw (XBOX, 32X, GB, GG, SNES, GEN),
- WWE Crush Hour (GC, XBOX, PS2),
- WWF Royal Rumble (GEN, SNES, DC),
- WWF War Zone (N64, PS, GB),
- WWF Attitude (DC, GBC, N64, PS),
- WWF European Rampage Tour (AMI, C64),
- WWF In Your House (PC, PS, SAT),
- WWF Super Wrestlemania (GEN, SNES),
- WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 (PSP, PS2),
- WWF King of the Ring (GB, NES)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: