A quick perusal through the App Store for anything related to professional wrestling shows what slim pickings there really are to be had.
WWE has put forth a (garbage) remake of an arcade game from the early ‘90s, a cheap Angry Birds knock off and a game that uses plastic toys sold at Wal-Mart. They finally released an official app yesterday, which we'll review tomorrow.
TNA isn't much better, having a single game that isn't worth the $4.00 you would have to spend and another game that for some reason has been removed completely. The rest are simply RSS feeds of infamous "dirtsheets."
That is where Wrestling Revolution comes into play.
Wrestling Revolution offers a unique take for the pro wrestling fan. It completely forgoes the traditional D-Pad for a more simplistic touch and swipe mechanic. While it admittedly does take some getting used to, once you figure it out - the controls become second nature. Punching and kicking use just a tap of the finger (or two fingers for a more powerful attack). Pinching the screen activates grappling, and a swipe determines the specific move.
The main draw of Wrestling Revolution however, is the beauty of the characters it uses. While lacking any "official" professional wrestlers, the developer has found a way to program a number of familiar faces into the game.
In the very first match, "Redneck Rosteen," whose taunt is the double birds, faces off against "Slam Dunk," who is holding a championship belt and has "Straight Edge" tattooed on his chest. It really doesn't take much common sense to figure out whom exactly they are supposed to represent.
A full review after the jump.
Wrestling Revolution comes in both a free and $0.99 variety. The free version offers little more than the training session and a handful of matches. The paid version however, originally had an additional 12 matches, with 20 more being included over two updates. The matches encompass the standard one-on-one, hardcore, best of three falls, tag-team, and a battle royale.
The controls, as mentioned before, do take some getting used to. With no dedicated input for reversals or to get out of a pin or submission hold, you may find yourself banging on the screen like a little kid at a fish tank. For the most part, though, the game is very responsive. It's easy to perform a punch - piledriver - pin or kick - powerbomb - Boston crab combination without there being any confusion.
Occasionally, I found myself throwing a punch when I wanted to move across the ring, but that can easily be chalked up to me getting too excited while playing. Wrestling Revolution proves that the simplest controls oftentimes lead to the best games.
Each contest begins with a short promo from the characters, which are just as hilarious as the wrestlers they come from. My personal favorite is the confrontation between Shane Ass and Dragon Ryan mocking WrestleMania 28's "18 Seconds."
They are all brilliantly written though and are just as fun (or perhaps more so) than the actual gameplay. The matches themselves run pretty short, often only lasting a couple of minutes. But while they are over quick, they tend to pack the excitement in quite well. This isn't a game to be played hours on end. Instead, it works best in short bursts when you are trying to procrastinate from doing any actual work.
No one will be confusing this game for the latest installment of THQ's WWE series. The graphics are a far cry from the "Predatory Technology" but it holds up well enough to not distract the player. The A.I. does leave a little bit to be desired. Tag team matches are where it is most obvious, with your partners often failing to provide any support while you are getting double-teamed. Overall though, it plays well enough to keep you engaged and not screaming at your device in anger.
The biggest problem Wrestling Revolution has is the complete lack of a pause button. When you start up a match, you're pretty much in it for the (albeit short) haul. Yes, it is always possible to "home out," but depending on the device you are using it is possible that it will get forced closed.
(Note: I'm assuming this is more of a problem with iOS devices since they don't really run apps in the "background," but simply pause the apps before shutting them down when the memory is needed. If anyone has an Android device and wishes to test this out, feel free to put your experience in the comments.)
If you find yourself midway through a grueling Last Man Standing battle and your significant other calls, you have three options. A) Put the device down to take the call and plan on starting over, which is a little annoying. B) Ignore the call to vanquish your foe, consequences be damned. Or C) try to manage both at the same time, which will only leave you and whomever you are talking to pissed off.
When all is said and done, this app really is a must have for any pro wrestling fan. The free version has plenty to offer for a test drive, and the paid version is easily going to be one of the best bucks you've ever spent. Wrestling Revolution is continuously updated, so even when you think you're done with the game there will be more to polish off. The characters are just awesome, and you'll find yourself actually laughing out loud at some of the things said.
If you're in the neighbor hood for a fun game, or at the very least something to kill some time, make sure to check out Wrestling Revolution.