WWE ’12 Review
Beats actually wrestling, at least.
It’s hard to sum up the huge amount of sentimental value that WWE (WWF as it was known way back when) has to me. While I was never a huge fan of the mind bogglingly dramatic – not to mention cheesier than a slice of cheddar – TV show, the games held a certain amount of wonder to a kid who spent the better half of his day bashing toys together in a mock fight; WWF Attitude (otherwise known as the first WWF game I ever played) allowed the same sort of experience as my day-to-day play time but with the wide-eyed joy of seeing my sadistic plastic-on-plastic wars unfold on a TV screen.
Having said all that, I haven’t kept up with any WWE games since then, so I have little to compare WWE ’12 to, although judging from the (little) research I did into its predecessors, I can write to you and say whole heartedly that if you enjoyed the previous games and/or enjoy watching the brain cell killing TV show, then it is more than likely you will love this game more than an idiot loves a backhanded comment i.e. a lot.
For a game with such highs and lows it’s hard to decide which end of the spectrum to begin on. Of course, seeing as I’m an optimist I would like to think most of you will read this to the end, therefore I’ll leave the good news until last.
Firstly, the bad news is THQ have ‘dun goofed up’ with the countering system. While they allow you plenty of opportunities to counter an attack – be they opportunities that are literally condensed into a split second – it seems as though at times you are either: 1) too slow to press the button and counter or 2) the game just doesn’t want you to counter right now and wants show you what it looks like when a 140kg man gets thrown off a 10 feet high ladder. Seeing as I prefer to look at games as virtual D-bags, I’m going to go with the latter option.
If you can work your way around this faulty controller system – I found that you could work out when it would allow counters before the button appeared so that you were ready – without taking the game and beating it into a glorious dust with your console controller, then you might just be able to play this game to experience one of the wonderful bugs that oh-so-gracefully forces itself on one of the characters during game play, thus forcing said character to levitate above the mat. Yes. Levitate. While these defects are few and far between, it kind of seems like just pure laziness that the designers did nothing to clean up the glitches.
Having gotten through the two major low points of WWE 12, it seems like a better time than any to look at what makes this game actually worth buying. Well apart from pretty much every aspect of the game – from the titles to the in game cinematic – looking like it was ctrl-c-ed, ctrl-v-ed from the TV show, WWE 12 offers a rounded experience for people who are heavily into WWE and want to customize everything from the arena they fight in, down to the little Speedos they dress their characters in. For the less enthusiastic WWE 12 players out there, you will be happy to know it is super easy to jump straight in to a match, with little, to no need to play the story mode to unlock characters (although there are quite a few old fighters that will be unlocked by playing it).