I decided to drop the $59.99 and buy WWE 2K14. After spending a good chunk of the afternoon playing it (mainly the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode), I'm going to give my impressions of the game up to the point where I had to stop playing and work on some homework (Stopped playing at Rock vs Hulk-WM 18). Just so you know, I will be doing a good amount of nit-picking. However, as a whole so far, the game is pretty good
Since I bought the PS3 version, I had to go through the obligatory 5 GB install. After the game finished installing (which took about 10 minutes), I went though the Superstar and Diva rosters and adjusted the face/heel settings accordingly....and yes, I made Miz a heel, and he is also my bitch when I choose to beat the living snot out of a Superstar.
Before starting the 30 Years mode, I held a quick match to see the differences from WWE 13. For this first match, I chose Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose. After skipping the entrances (because I've seen them on YouTube), I quickly noticed two things. First, when you start a match as Daniel Bryan, the crowd does the YES chant, which I thought was a cool addition. And secondly, Yukes (ed. note - the company responsible for creating the game) definitely upped the difficulty from WWE 13. The timing window for hitting reversals was much, much smaller than in 13 (I'd say I hit maybe 20% of the reversals in 2K so far, as opposed to about 90% in 13). You opponent also moves faster than they did in 13. As a result, 2K is more challenging at first until you get used to it, which takes a few matches. And for those wondering, I lost to Dean ...shame shame.
After getting my ass handed to me by Ambrose, I dove into the 30 Years mode, which started with an introductory cinematic that I accidentally skipped. The first match was the Andre the Giant/Big John Studd Body Slam Challenge from WM I. While watching the entrances, I was pretty impressed by the presentation. The grainy quality to the graphics during the early Wrestlemania matches are really cool to see. However, I noticed a couple of things that made me have one of those "WTF were they thinking?" moments. First, on the jumbotron above the ring, they were playing entrance videos for the superstars. I could tolerate that, but the next thing I saw showed major laziness on Yukes part, and this concerns the microphone that Howard Finkel was using. The microphone shown was a modern WWE mic, with the scratch logo and everything. Just let that sink in for a few seconds.
After the weirdness that was the WM I entrance sequence, I played through the match, which was about as you would expect from wrestling in 1985-simple and non-flashy. After playing through a few more WM matches, you could definitely observe the evolution of wrestling styles through the 1980s into the 1990s and beyond. The matches start to move faster, and moves start to become flashier. I won't talk anymore about the 30 Years mode, because I don't feel like completely spoiling it.
I played through a couple more quick matches, and I did see something that I just have to bitch about: the crowd models. Holy damn are some of the crowd models absolutely horrible. I distinctly remember seeing a person in the crowd who had a very badly modeled head. It was definitely early PS2 modeling....not even joking. In addition, some people in the crowd do the exact same things at the exact same time (you'd have to see it to see what I mean). It's bad enough to the point where I'd love to see 2K completely take over graphical development from Yukes.
Despite this nit-picking, the game is not bad at all. It's actually quite good. There are still a few glitches, but I haven't encountered anything game-breaking as of yet. The gameplay is the same as it has been, but it definitely feels tighter and smoother (uh huh huh huh). I say it's worth checking out.
Til next time!