ECW Hardcore Revolution Review

For PlayStation, Dreamcast, and Nintendo 64

Rating: Crappy
   ECW Hardcore Revolution is exactly what I feared it would be: 
A shameless re-hash of WWF Attitude that's nowhere near as good as WWF 
Wrestlemania 2000.
   The biggest problem with Hardcore Revolution is its ancient gameplay 
system.  It wasn't impressive when it debuted in WWF War Zone back in 1998, 
and it's nothing but a joke in 2000 when there are games like Wrestlemania 
2000 on the market.  There's no flow or realism to the gameplay because big 
moves can be executed out of nowhere easily and repeatedly.  Also, the 
wrestlers get up immediately after almost every move.  The flow of the 
gameplay is ruined by the fact that you have to enter Mortal Kombat-style 
button combinations for every single move.  The result is that you spend 
more time pausing the game and trying to memorize button sequences than you 
do actually playing the game.
   Another big problem with Hardcore Revolution is that it fails to capture 
the unique spirit and atmosphere of ECW, where tables and/or chairs can be 
used at any time and in any way that you can possibly imagine.  Not only 
are weapons and props a rare thing in this game, but the action never even 
leaves the ring unless you force it to.  I realized how much Acclaim really 
knows about ECW when I left the ring for the first time and the ref started
a ten count to try to make me get back in the ring (there are no count-outs 
in ECW).  The blood looks just as fake and painted on as it did in WWF 
Attitude.  There's nothing in the game really deserving of the Mature 
rating other than Balls Mahoney saying the s-word.  Acclaim even had the 
nerve to bleep out Rob Van Dam's "Whole F'n Show" line.
   The personalities of ECW's wrestlers are never conveyed in the game.  
You can't learn anything about their personalities from the pre-match 
sound-bites other than that they like to say cheesy things like, "I'm going 
to show you what hardcore wrestling is all about!"  ECW is really like two 
different leagues in one, with big stars like Mike Awesome and Rob Van Dam 
being vastly out-numbered by glorified jobbers with no established 
personalities or marketable personas.  The game doesn't do anything to let 
you know the difference between the big stars and the jobbers.  None of the 
wrestlers seem very tough or cool when simple moves like chinlocks make 
them say things like "Oh, mama mia!" or "Owwie, it hurts!"
   Since a large percentage of this game's audience doesn't know anything 
about ECW's wrestlers, why not include a background mode in which each 
wrestler cuts a full-fledged promo and tells you about themselves?  They 
could have at least done this with the top dozen or so wrestlers.  Also, 
why on Earth wouldn't they include a screen during boot-up that says, 
"Watch ECW every Friday night at 8:00 Eastern on TNN"?  It wouldn't have 
been hard a hard thing to include, and it would probably have boosted the 
TV show's ratings.
   The Career Mode is nothing more than a linear progression up a ladder 
with randomly-determined positions.  The novelty of the schedule may have 
been fun for a little while in WWF Attitude, but it's not in ECW Hardcore 
Revolution.  The Create A Wrestler Mode is not the big selling point that 
it was once because it's in every wrestling game these days.  In a normal 
wrestling game, you put somebody in a submission hold, and they either 
submit or they don't submit.  In this game, it's considered a submission 
if the victim isn't able to escape from the hold within ten seconds.  
Otherwise, the match continues.  Now that makes sense...
   The entrances are truly pathetic, and they should have been taken out of 
the game completely.  Every single entrance theme is either a messed up 
version of the wrestler's real entrance music, or it's a completely 
different (and usually generic) tune that is nothing like the real one.  
There's not one entrance theme in the entire game that has been flawlessly 
translated into the game.  Some wrestlers make their appearance in silence 
until their music finally starts about half-way through their entrance.  
   The walking animations for the wrestlers appear to have been done by 
monkeys (seriously, they walk like apes).  Some wrestlers move their hands 
during their entrances as if they're clapping the hands of fans, despite 
the fact that the nearest fans are several feet away from them.  It makes 
them look like they're blind and they're trying to feel around so that they 
don't trip over anything.  Also, managers never come out with their 
wrestlers, so you can forget about cat-fights erupting between Dawn Marie 
and Francine in the middle of matches.
   Cyrus is probably the second-best color commentator in all of wrestling 
(behind only Jerry Lawler), and Joel Gertner always has a hilariously 
perverted nickname for himself.  However, neither of them are included in 
the game as commentators; only Joey Styles is, and he rarely says anything.  
When he does, it's usually something like oh, woah, come on, hey, or man.  
Who does he think he is, Michael Cole?  Styles usually refers to the 
wrestlers as Player 1 and Player 2 instead of their actual names.  He also 
doesn't use his signature line "Oh my God!" anywhere near as often as he 
should.  In addition, unlike real ECW crowds, the virtual crowds in this 
game never chant anything even remotely obscene.  Even the "ECW" crowd 
chant doesn't sound quite like it does in real life.
   Hardcore Revolution is much less polished than Attitude, with lots of 
annoying glitches.  Wrestlers often get dizzy for no apparent reason after 
doing things like whipping their opponent into the ropes or executing a 
simple hip-toss.  An awkward moment always occurs whenever someone is 
covered for a pin.  If it's less than a three-count, there's always a 
second or two of a silent pause before the kick-out.  If it's a three-
count, the losing wrestler kicks out right after three and stands up 
immediately, no matter what the finishing move was.  
   I simulated a few computer-controlled matches to see if the characters 
are accurately tough or weak.  To give you an idea of what I discovered, 
let me just tell you this: A jobber named Nova beat both Rob Van Dam and 
Mike Awesome in singles matches.
   The graphics are very outdated, and not detailed at all.  One 
particularly big graphical oversight is that everybody is almost the exact 
same height, ranging from Mike Awesome to Little Guido.  Also, everyone 
moves around the same way regardless of their size.
   One good thing this game has to offer is the crowd system, which makes 
you inflict more damage when the crowd is chanting your name.  If you avoid 
your opponent too much or use the same move too much, the crowd will be 
more likely to chant your opponent's name.  This discourages you from using 
the same move over and over again.  Unfortunately, you can still use the 
same three or so moves repeatedly without upsetting the crowd.
   The only other good thing this game has to offer other wrestling game 
developers is the way that it balances damage with the time limit.  Making 
the time limit five minutes will cause each move to do much more damage 
than they would if the time limit were 30 minutes.
   Wrestlemania 2000 makes Hardcore Revolution look silly in every area.  
ECW deserves much better than this.

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