Replacing Older and Newer Posts by Actual Names

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why WWE'13 is a step back

So The revolution is coming, but is it here to stay.

From the time I saw Shawn Michaels Vs. Bret Hart in an iron-man match in 1996, I fell in love with wrestling. As a kid I was mesmerized by these flashy gladiators(Hulk Hogan, Doink, Papa Shango, Undertaker) as a teenager I was smitten by the bold ladies(Lita, Trish and Torrie) and the brash gentlemen(DX, The Rock, Chris Jericho), and as a young adult its a sport that I enjoy not limited by the names but by the art itself (AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy). I didn't know it then, but what I watched growing up was the Attitude era, a timeline in the wrestling world punctuated by the spunky new grit that became the signature of my generation. Today as the WWE tries to garner to a totally new generation of kids with what they call the PG-era(John Cena, Rey Mysterio), it tries to relive that time (and potentially cash in on it) by bringing the Attitude Era to the latest iteration the WWE gaming franchise in WWE'13.

Check out the awesome Punk in the awesome release trailer below:

For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, each WWE game has a season mode or in recent years Road to Wrestle-Mania mode as it was called. This season mode was basically a story mode to play out using a given wrestler. Over the years, the story has had its background in the time of its creation, so if you played Smack-Down: Here Comes The Pain, Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle would feature heavily because they dominated that particular time in the wrestling industry. This time however, WWE and THQ have decided to throw that chain of thought out the window and replace it with the settings of the 90's when Austin 3:16 was born, Mick Foley started putting bums on the seats, and The Rock became the people's champion. WWE '13 will allow you to control the superstars of those times (Austin, Rock, Mankind, Brothers Of Destruction, DX and Bret Hart have been announced so far) taking part in the greatest and iconic matches and events of that time. Its great right, for people like us (who grew up watching it) with the technology like today (Xbox-360 and PS-3), this is the best way to actually witness those legendary, epic, and awesome moments again, and again and again (and be a part of them), then why do I feel its a step back rather than forward.

By the way below is the Rock inspired WWE'13 trailer, tell me what you feel about this:

So while the whole world goes gaga (me included) over the attitude era coming back, I sit back and look at the big picture for once. I love everything about this (including the fact that CM Punk is on its cover, which is awesome), but for one small itsy-bitsy question. And that question is: "What after the Attitude Era Mode?". Sure the game will come out, and sell like hot cakes, everyone will buy it, play it and love it. It may even become the watershed that Here Comes The Pain once proved to be. But what happens when WWE'14 comes around. Would it be another Attitude era mode? Will the Road To Wrestle-Mania return? Or will they try to relieve another part of WWE history?

While you ponder over that, here is the DX inspired WWE'13 trailer:

The truth is Attitude Era mode is a stop-gap measure. WWE'12 was a huge improvement on its predecessor's game-play (if we ignore the collision-detection), but it took a lot of flack for its Road To Wrestle-Mania. A lot of people didn't like it, they wanted something better, something more interesting and realistic than Sheamus winning every single Championship that WWE has to offer simultaneously. THQ wanted something that could stick this year, and with their financial problems, a poorly received game is the last thing they want on their list. Ditto with WWE (though they are not under impending threats of being dissolved), CM Punk and his pipe-bomb apart, WWE is struggling with its ratings. Their PG appeal is not sitting down with most Wrestling lovers, and in today's connected world, these lovers make sure that they are heard. More than a few, are asking for the return of the Attitude times. This game is an attempt to satiate those appetites.

And to satisfy the hunger for trailers, below is the Austin 3:16 inspired WWE'13 trailer:

From WWE's point of view, the game provides novelty to the fans of that time(remember a lot of those kids who watched wrestling then, are young gamers today), and bases its game on the most popular names of its company rather than the popular names today. And if you don't believe that's a solid strategy, just play WWE'12 online. The community is filled with created classic wrestlers, and the lobby is full of Eddies, and Rockys and even Batistas. The fact is, that what WWE had yesterday still outshines what it has today, so it has decided to cash in on it while it can.While I don't hate the move, I realize the short-sightedness of this. How will the people back Drew McIntyre if WWE doesn't. How will Kofi Kingston get his place in the sun, if WWE doesn't give him the opportunity. Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett are knocking on the doors, the video game at-least could have acted as their catalyst. Even CM-Punk who is on the high tide of his career, would miss out being a central part of the game (an opportunity that might not ever come again, remember Goldberg was a part of just one installment) even when he is on its cover (gives more heat to CM Punk's view of being overshadowed every time doesn't it). What this is, is a feeble attempt to satisfy the hundreds out there who want a more 90s WWE, if you can't give them Television, at-least give them the video game.
Breaking The Ring. Another new and awesome thing you can do in the game

Coming to THQ, as I said they have problems of their own.With the company almost in ruins with their self-destruct investment in U-Draw, they have been having a hard time maintaining finances. Though times have improved with the encouraging sales of Saints Row 3 and Darksiders 2, THQ still need to run a tight ship. They can't afford another ill-reviewed game (in any aspect), and god-forbid a low selling game may put them back where they came from.So they pulled up their boots, buckled up and produced whats looking like the most improved wrestling game till now. While the game-play and other things would come under the scanner soon, its the Attitude mode that's under the spotlight currently. As I said earlier, this is a defense mechanism from THQ, pulling out the RTWM mode and replacing it with a sure thing, but in the long run this is more harmful than helpful. What THQ should have done is pay more attention to the season mode, make it more like Day Of Reckoning (probably the only wrestling game that was known for its story line), allow for players to carry forward their created characters and provide a smooth flowing storyline, which I assure you is more easier to implement in the WWE than in Mass Effect or Dragon Age. While this would have been a more subtle change, but it would have allowed for user loyalty over a longer period of time instead of this one shot of adrenaline.

Before I forget the Attitude mode is not the only highlight of the game. Don't believe me check out this video below:

If the WWE and THQ were so keen on building an Attitude inspired game, they could have made it as a one-off offering. Something like WWE ALL Stars, and the upcoming WWE Brawl. This would have allowed even more in-depth coverage of that iconic time. They wouldn't have had the pressure of adding all the current superstars, and thus have a little more muscle to flex budget-wise. They could have then fleshed out the current 1 year into the real Monday Night Wars that it was. Add to this the fact that WWE today owns the rights for WCW as well, just imagine how awesome it would be to play both sides of the fence. Iconic matches that made or broke both the promotions, Goldberg Vs. Hogan, Macho Man Vs. DDP alongside Austin Vs. McMahon and Rock Vs. Mankind. Yes that would be the true return of those dangerous times. At max this could have been a freak hit, and at minimum this would have been a history lesson to the young who still don't know why that time was so cool (sounding old at 25 am I?).
King Of The Ring returns

And So Does the I-Quit Match

THQ and WWE are still going to achieve those goals mind you, and I sincerely believe that this game would be a major improvement in the franchise. But alas, it would be overshadowed with the Attitude logo, rather than its technical advancement. Something that WWE has been all too familiar with. What is done is done however, and in a few weeks time we will see WWE '13 hit stores. With all that I have written about this game, I would be the first one to buy it (just like I have bought every installment since Here Comes The Pain), because even though its a dirty tactic, I won't get my principle get in the way of me having fun. I just hope that the kids watching wrestling today don't get treated to a PG Era mode in 20 years time from now.

Before we say bye, here is the latest release trailer, once again featuring our very own CM Punk:

The opening cover is from this awesome website that houses Wresting Wallpapers called kupyWrestlingWallpapers, check them out here.
All the other videos are from tha actual WWE'13 home page, where you can find even more videos, screenshots and news, once you click here.

Before I say goodbye, I would like to say:
"In Punk We Trust"
Signing off,
Ayush "Kabel" Chauhan

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