Wrestling has gotten good again. After the whole Rock & Wrestling connection dissolved and Capt. Lou Albano faded back into obscurity (unless you count his stint as Mario on the Super Mario Bros. Super Show), wrestling, too, faded, droning on in bad time slots with plots that played out like they were written on the back of a bar napkin an hour before the match aired. But lately, WCW has caused a wrestling renaissance of sorts. The writing is still bad, but now it achieves a certain campiness that it lacked in the past. The result is pure comedy - and pure cash. Quick to capitalize on a hot property, THQ has licensed a Japanese wrestling game, added nine WCW wrestlers, and shipped it. The result is a good wrestling game with some familiar faces thrown in for good measure.
The game boasts nine WCW wrestlers, including Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Sting, Dean Malenko, and the Steiner Brothers. The rest of the game's wrestlers hail from six different wrestling federations from all over the world. This sets up an atmosphere similar to the old Saturday morning wrestling shows, where a super-huge wrestler would beat the life out of some fool you'd never heard of.
The gameplay in WCW is pretty good, but feels a bit limited. Moves are selected by the length of time the grab button is held. Tap it, and the move will be fairly weak, like a toss into the ropes. Holding it down will result in a flashier move, but it also leaves your wrestler wide open to all sorts of punishment. The game also moves a bit slowly, and control is a touch sluggish.
The polygon graphics in WCW look sharp, but one has to wonder if the graphic detail should have been lowered a bit for the sake of speed. The music is decent, but so repetitive that you'll be flirting with insanity by the first hour.
All in all, WCW is a solid wrestling game. It's more enjoyable than Power Move Pro Wrestling, and features the faces that fans know and love. There are some problems with the play, and the sound is a bit lackluster, but the sheer number of characters and options make up for the deficiencies.