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 411mania » Games » Columns

Ask 411 Games 04.07.14: Ask411GamesAMania!
Posted by Stewart Lange on 04.07.2014


(Read it in a Vince McMahon voice).

Hello! I hope you've all been well and more importantly, you all enjoyed the crown jewel of the wrestling calender last night, Wrestlemania 30! Now, I should stress that because I'm UK time, I have submitted this before the event and will be avoiding the internet like the plague until after I've seen the show since I can't watch it until Monday at some point. So, I'm working on the assumption that Triple H is the champion, Brock Lesnar decided to shoot and end the streak, Triple H is the tag champ(s), John Cena squashed the Wyatt family with one A.A., Triple H is the Diva's champion and Sting won the Andre The Giant thing despite it being on the pre-show. Yeah.

To my regular readers, sorry I missed last week. I had a surprise family visit and it was a case of go out with them, have fun, drink and play video games, or lock myself away and write. I know, I know, my priorities are all over the place. Anyone who has outstanding questions to be answered, fear not as I'll be getting to the majority of them next week. If it's not gone live already, I've also reviewed Blackgate: Definitive Edition for the Xbox 360 too, so keep an eye open for how the Dark Knight's handheld adventure ports to the big screen.

But you don't care about any of that. Let's SOUND THE BELL.


No time for any of that this week, really. Far too many questions this week to get through, since I advertised on the Yes! Yes! Yes! Facebook page for questions and boy, did I get them. I will give a special shout-out to the poster called Gateshead FC- HEED ARMY!!!. Oddly, the day you posted that, I was in Newcastle for work. I know it's a few miles north, but still. Nice to know I have "local" readers. But I digress. There's questions to answer.


Bearing in mind, I posted a request for Wrestling based questions in a Facebook group so these questions pretty much exclusively came from people, rather than anonymous usernames. I'll just use their first names. First up, I have a bundle from Jonny. First one needed some research.

Who has the most appearances in wrestling games, from any franchise, series or company?

Well, at least we're kicking off with a big one! I did some research and used GiantBomb to cross reference my findings and the top five list looks something like this:

The Undertaker: 49 games
Hulk Hogan: 42 games
Steve Austin: 38 games
The Rock: 32 games
Kane: 30 games

Obviously, there's nothing too surprising there. Of that list, Hulk Hogan has the most appearances in non-WWE games (obviously), with I believe 14 of his showings in the WCW and Legends games.

Enough said. Most research, smallest answer. Makes sense. Let's keep this pace going with another from Jonny.

What happened to the quality of WWE games between 2006 and 2012? They were shit.

Quite the eloquent statement there and while I'm sure some people will disagree with you, I have to admit, I think you're right. I grew up playing the N64 titles and even the original Smackdown titles, however the games did lose some of their bluster within the time period you've mentioned. This is, though, just an opinion. Reading a few things online while searching for the video and any sort of "facts" surrounding the state of the games in this era, a lot of people cite their favourite Smackdown Vs Raw game to be 2008, or even 2011. I quite enjoyed the one with all of the ECW stars (the 2008 one, rather than the '09 release) but overall, they didn't measure up. There were AI issues, certain glitches within the games (the collision detection within 2010 especially was pretty questionable) but no real reason for the drop in quality other than opinion and possibly a little bit of lethargy on the part of the developers, considering the games hardly changed a beat for six years.

Has Owen Hart appeared in any games since his death?

Short answer? No.

Long answer? Yes.

In all seriousness, with the lawsuit with Martha allegedly "sorted" then we may get to see Owen in a WWE game, as he hasn't appeared in once since WWF Attitude in 1998. I said no, because I'm not sure if I can actually count the games he HAS appeared in- Legends Of Wrestling 2 and Showdown: Legends Of Wrestling (3). The last of those was released in 2004, so that's the last release I can find with Owen featured in it. Shame. Still, though. That's the beauty of the CAW system and the fact that unless I'm mistaken, every year for the last 10 the Owen Hart pre-sets have been included.

Next one is from Ross.

What is wrong with the AI in recent wrestling games? It's usually terrible.

Yeah, it usually is. This is another question I can't answer with a fact, more just my opinion as to WHY it might not be very good.

It's not that easy to create genuinely lifelike A.I. Models. Look at GTA V. The A.I is decent, but if you ACTUALLY WATCH what people do, the cops stick to cover, the pedestrians mill about on their own and so on, but it works on the assumption you just don't sit there and watch them milling around. Let's take that back to say, 2004. The ability to create truly "life-like" AI wrestlers wasn't particularly advanced at that stage so it comes down to "imitation of life." Looking back, we'll see the opponents in the much lauded No Mercy wasn't great either, it just was better than the Yukes series of games.

The reason they continue to suck (until the 2K series, I'd argue) is that they didn't really do anything to change the engine. You'll notice the same issues cropping up throughout the series, which is just lazy and goes back to how I answered Jonny's question earlier. When it's clear no work has gone into a game, it's not particularly pleasing to play.

Next one is from Joshua from the Yes! Yes! Yes! Facebook group.

What is the best feud/storyline in a wrestling game?

Wow, now that's a tough one to go through. I'll be totally honest, I always hated the career/story modes, because there were certain match types I absolutely sucked at. I very rarely saw any of them through to the end. I did think that Here Comes the Pain wasn't bad, but I don't think I'm truly qualified to answer this question. I'll throw it to the comments section.

What was YOUR favourite storyline featured in a wrestling game?

Anyway, back to your scheduled programming, here's none other than Ask 411 Wrestling's very own Mat Sforcina!

So, is Fire Pro available on the PSN in Australia yet?

No. Next.

Who has been in the widest number of company games?

I kind of hit this earlier, but the answer to this specific question is Raven, having appeared in licensed WWE/F, WCW and ECW games. Booker T and Scott Steiner were also in 3, with TNA Impact in 2008. If you include the Legends of Wrestling series (which I don't), Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart tie with him on 3 each, but if you do, Scott Steiner would win overall with 4 games, spanning WCW, TNA, WWE/F and LOW.

EDIT: Okay. After finishing up this article, I had to come back in and add more to this before it went live. I forgot about Hulk Hogan's terrible Kinect game, which would take him to 4 as well. Oddly, he'd also tie with Sabu who is the dark horse of this contest also with 4, as he was in ECW, WWE, LOW and Backyard Wrestling too. Awesome.

What was the first wrestling game to have blood in it?

I've watched a LOT of YouTube videos for this one and outside of anything really obscure, as far as I can tell it was actually WWF Warzone for the PS1.

I tried to go through some other Japanese titles but couldn't find anything concrete. I'd be happy to be proven wrong on this one. Blood has since been a constant in all wrestling franchises since, including the current "PG-Era" titles, although now blood can be toggled in the settings.

We have one more from Todd Vote. Not to be confused with his evil twin Rodd.

Do you think 2K Sports would ever consider using the AKI Engine in reinvigorating the WWE games>

I'm really not convinced they'd have any real reason to. The 2K releases have been the best received WWE games in a long time and I'm pretty sure they would want to dredge up a game engine that is now over 15 years old to attract new fans. I know that the majority of people would love to see a "new" AKI game, but realistically, it's just not going to happen.

Will they borrow features from it? Yeah, I could see them doing it, but I just don't see why they would want to. They have a perfectly serviceable product, so why would they think about going back in time? I'm not saying the current games are better than No Mercy, but I don't see that as anything other than counterproductive for them.

Last up, a loaded one from Blake.

Which is better, Here Comes The Pain......

Or...... No Mercy?

Place your vote in the comments section and I'll see you in seven!!!


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