You Will Have a Better Time Stabbing Icepicks Through Your Eyes
I had never played the original Backyard Wrestling but I was always curious about it. I had heard that it wasn't so great, so now that there is a sequel, it must be great right? Well wrong. Upon turning on the game you see a great intro, it really gets you pumped up for the game, and brings you back to the times of ECW and whatnot. Unfortunately, the intro is about the only good thing about this game.
This game has many features, that sound great. There is the standard create a player. Unfortunately, it is horribly inadequate that making yourself is impossible. The moves list is impressive, there is a cornucopia of moves from standard grapples to outrageous finishing moves. There is a good grappling system. You can grapple from the front, the back, and the sides. From these positions you can either slam, or strike, or put your opponent in a submission. I'll admit, I think this system is good. There is a different system for weapons, you can bash, or do a special grapple hit. You can leap off of buildings with your opponent or onto your opponent. So far this is the best wrestling game ever. But, when you actually play it, this game is a disaster. Players plod around screen, their strides rivaling those of babysteps. Striking moves become platitudinous after seconds, forcing you to grapple. Although, I said I enjoyed the grappling system I never had a firm grasp of what grapple did what, or how to pull it off. The nescience of the grappling system controls combined with the mission mode, where you are told to do specific modes to pass, only compounds the frustration. Most of the time I felt grappling or striking was inconsequential. Most of my matches involved using a weapon and striking my opponent until he got knocked out. This approach led to matches that lasted less than two minutes at the longest. Needless to say I was left in a state of discontent. Backyard Wrestling is possibly one of the most frustratingly boring games I have ever played. I would rather play Drake of the 99 dragons than play this game again. This is not a game but rather a catastrophe on a DVD.
I would say that the graphics are better than the gameplay, but that isn't saying much. The insipid graphics failed to excite me. The diminutive and dull environments are also nothing to write home about. Sure wrestling games in general have a small ring that the wrestlers fight in, but if you are going to take your game outside, why not make it bigger. These arenas make playing the game an even more grievous activity. However, I will say the characters animate well.
The sound in this game is atrocious. The sound effects are awful, I only think there are two of them. The voices for the created players and jobbers bromidic. The soundtrack however is adequate, there are some good songs on there. The celebrity voices (while I only played enough to hear New Jack and ICP) sounded alright.
I mentioned at the beginning that the intro was the only good part of the game, well I stand by that statement. There are also a lot of other entertaining videos in the game that I thought were better than the actual game. If you wan t my advice go buy a wrestling video or watch the backyard wrestling Pay-Per-Views instead of buying this game. Doing so will save you a lot of sanity in the long run.