I'd have to agree that the folks at Acclaim seem to think wrestling is more 'real' than Vince McMahon or even the average WWF fan would claim (for the record, I consider myself to be an average fan). They've taken wrestling way too seriously and given Attitude the same 'definitive' treatment that they have for their other, more 'legit' sports games. Ordinarily, the extreme abundance of statistics, options, and features lends itself well to technical games like Baseball and Football but good old rough and tumble Rassling? It's a rare occasion that I will say this, but given the subject matter, Attitude had too much depth. So much so that I was drowning in it. Ideally, I would like to see the same amount of features and options, but more simplistically executed rather than presented with head-scratching complexity as is here.

In terms of gameplay, Attitude is stuck somewhere between a Final Fight slugfest and Tekken-type meticulous coordination all within a wrestling ring. With the amount of move memorization, it's probably safer to say that it's more like the versus type of fighting games. Compared to the original Warzone, the controls and moves seem more streamlined in a welcome way, but it's still not the kind of game where you can just pick up and really go at it. There definitely needs to be a certain amount of time invested not only to learn the distinct moves of over 40 different wrestlers, but for the unbelievably extensively create-a-wrestler customizations and the lengthy career modes as well.

I found the overall graphics and animation to be remarkably well done; easily conveying the look, feel, and even the exact movements of each wrestler. The sheer athleticism and choreography of holds, stomps, locks, and slams in wrestling are all lovingly recreated in Attitude. The individual entrance music for each wrestler did sound a bit weak (like .midi files), but abundant use of digitized voices from wrestlers and lively crowd involvement more than make up for it. Typically, ringside commentary in any sports game comes off annoyingly repetitive, but with the real-life Jerry Lawler and Shane McMahon being equally as annoying and repetitive, the game's matched reality there perfectly!

Overall, it's hard for me to complain about a game that takes its craftsmanship so seriously. My only real complaint is that Attitude is a cerebral wrestling game (there's an oxymoron if I've ever saw one!), which requires too much of an investment of my time in order for me to fully enjoy it. If only the developers had dialed back slightly on the whole thing, I would still be taking my customized Bruce Lee look-a-like wrestler (complete with yellow jump suit and mockingly named 'Stereotype') all the way to Wrestlemania! Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Disclaimer: This review is based on the Nintendo 64 version of the game.

Chi Kong Lui
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