Back in 1991 it was a great time for coin op gaming. There were soo many cool titles and back then you got a loat more for your coin than you do these days. I hate arcades these days with the lack of machines and the greed of the presets. You walk in any arcade now and you just have your bog standard house of the dead shooting game which you get one credit for a pound, a shit dance machine along with maybe a crap driving simulator. Back in the early 90s arcades had Street Fighter, Simpsons, Mortal Kombat, Punch Out, Terminator shoot em ups and cool pinball machines. As a child you could spend an entire afternoon in one going from game to game playing a few levels on each. Now you cant be in there more than 10 minutes without running out of change unless you're a dab hand at playing house of the dead without dying or you have a £100 to feed in the machine. I found as gaming has advanced to the stage it has with xbox 360 and PS3 we are at a junction where nothing is impossible but coin op has kinda been left behind which is a real shame.
Anyhow this is about a game I love so I will stop ranting about the decline of arcade gaming in the 21st century (although I'm sure its something I will bring up again at some point) and talk about WWF WRESTLEFEST. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time hanging out at a bowling alley just outside of Romford called Roller Bowl. It was a cool place and most of the birthday parties were held there from school as there was a Quazer and a kick ass adventure playground thing as well. I used to spend a lot of time there with my friends as it was a safe place to go and above all it had the coolest arcade floor next to the bowling alleys. It had all the above mentioned games and pinball tables but the one thing it had which kicked the most ass was WWF Wrestlefest.
Wrestlefest was a sequel to a previous WWF arcade game called WWF Superstars by Taito. Superstars was a game where you had to go at it as a tag team to take on Million Dollar Man and Andre the Giant after beating 3 other tag teams. Superstars was very empty and the ring was the size of a football field and it doesent play to well but its an early effort from the late 80s so I let it off. Its not half as bad as the Nintendo games they were releasing at the time which if you would have filled your nes console with cat shit and pressed the power button you would have had more fun than playing them!
Wrestlefest improved on the last games flaws with better graphics, up to four players can join, better game play, better sounds, an Royal Rumble game mode, the ring looked better and all in all the game captured the atmosphere of the WWF programing at the time.
Before playing this game I stood in awe watching the insert coin screen with amazement it was just so fucking cool. Dont believe me? Take a look!
The "Winners dont use drugs" message at the beginning is kinda confusing, if winners dont use drugs then how comes Hulk Hogan had the belt for like 4 years? Anyway after that you would insert your coin and go to the character select so lets see who was available.
Some top guys in here which made it that little bit more awesome. Playing this on four player used to be great as there wasnt any arguments as there was always someone decent if Hogan or Warrior had been picked.
Royal Rumble was the most fun between four and was the most fun to play alone I found. The tag team mode was good if you were in a pair and the tag team mode show cased a different arena with each match including one with the old school blue barred cage.
The game play was pretty much button bashing out of grapples and stomping people while they were down. All of the wrestlers had their own finishers just like in real life and they play off really well. The tag team mode goes on until you ultimately face the legion of doom.
The Legion of Doom are relatively easy to beat compared to the previous game where Andre the giant was cheap as hell and killed you every time he touched you.
The game has some cool weapons if you go to the outside like cameras, chairs and steel steps.
If youve never played this before and your a wrestling fan then go play it. Dont get me wrong its no WWE 12 but its hell of a lot of fun and it ties in with that period of time so well.
PS. Roller Bowl still exists and is now called city limits and the arcade is still there. However it is now one of those ones that has a house of the dead machine and all that crap. There is no longer a Quazer and its not a very nice/safe place to go. Its a shame really!