Legends of Wrestling II

Legends of Wrestling II

Here’s the Legend of a good fight gone bad, a hotly contested ladder match of a wrestling game where the combatants climb ever higher in search of the prize, but ultimately end up hurtling to the unyielding canvas below. Only there is no canvas. There is only toilet.

Forget the many improvements that would have launched Legends of Wrestling II far beyond its predecessor. Painful as it sounds, the new wrestlers, the wonderful interview clips, the souped-up Career mode, etc., did not redeem a game that, at its core, holds fundamental flaws.

Perplexing camera shifts occur when two grapplers get near the foreground ropes, horribly obscuring the action. Four-way brawls disintegrate when two combatants go outside the ring and two stay within its confines; the camera displays a great hatred for capturing all the action when this occurs, and more than a few times, player-controlled wrestlers will be caught off-screen. Stupid A.I. ensures that computer-controlled fighters will ignore the grapplers they’ve supposedly developed a hate for, and stand idly by while pins are being made.

To top off this mess, the game also shipped with crash bugs. During two separate Three-Way Dance matches in Career mode pins were made, and the third grappler interrupted the count by putting boot to skull. Although the three-count stopped and the player was awarded a bonus for breaking up a pinfall, the pin animations did not stop. Kee-rash. Waiting for the third strike would be folly.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.