Developed and Published By: RetroSoft Studios Categories: Wrestling Release Date: 03.30.21
RetroMania Wrestling is the game fans of Technos’ Wrestlefest, or just wrestling games have been waiting for. It’s no secret that the world of wrestling videogames has been…lacking lately. Thankfully, this labor of love, inspired by wrestling games of a time long passed has arrived. It might be taking a bit too much inspiration from those older games though.
I might just be a tad slow with games, but RetroMania had a bit of a learning curve for me initially. I had no idea how momentum worked and was constantly getting my butt kicked by the opponent. This isn’t a game where you can just mash buttons. You need to ease into stronger attacks. Start with the weaker, quicker hits, then get to the stronger grapples the more your momentum fills up. When it’s full, you can use any of your grapples and toss your opponent across the ring. There’s plenty of ways to fight with the standard 1on1, tag teams, cage match, etc…Of course, the game isn’t just wrestling for wrestling’s sake, there’s also a story mode and survival modes.
The main story follows Johnny Retro, back from rehabilitation after a devastating injury, looking to get back to the top. If you want, you can be a Face (the good guys), or a Heel (the bad guys). Take the help from people, or just spit in their face. Team up with an old nemesis to fight a potential bigger evil, or enact revenge on the person who ruined your career. The choice is yours and the story will change. Something that gives me the feeling of this being a passion project is that the game is full of real life wrestlers, from Big Stevie Cool, The Blue Meanie, Hollywood Nova, Colt Cabana, Austin Idol, War Horse, The Road Warriors, and more, with even more coming as DLC. All have a great caricature look to their art and have their own logos.
I’m left with mixed feelings on how I actually feel about how the game looks. I love how everything looks…outside of the actual character sprites. While the game for the most part looks good, the character sprites, while not bad, all come off as a bit samey. Like they were all built from the same standard sprite, and then had stuff stacked onto them. Luckily, everyone has their own animations to differentiate the wrestlers more than their costumes.
Lets discuss the fights a bit in depth. Weak attacks, Medium, and Heavy. When enemies are downed, Weak and Heavy have their own moves, which can be different with a certain direction, while Medium will pin the enemy. With grapples, make sure you have the appropriate momentum and you can do different, again with directions, and stronger grapples, some of which are quite animated and ridiculous. I love how each wrestler has their own grapples, and attacks, even if it’s the same button presses, it’s a nice way to make the game have more variety. Of course, you’ll need to get the opponent nice and weak in order to pin them, and in tag matches, you’ll need to pay attention to the other wrestler to make sure they don’t interrupt anything you have planned, and luckily you can control your tag partner in these segments.
I didn’t start out liking RetroMania, as I didn’t really understand how the game wanted me to play, but as soon as that little bump was behind me, I started having a blast playing. I’m looking forward to seeing what the game is like after it gets it’s future updates too.
Buy Now: $29.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes