Throwback Thursdays are our excuse to pick out retro games that hold a special rose-tinted place in memory, to plumb the depths of titles that we wished we’d never played, and indeed to peruse titles we never the chance to pick up on release.
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What was WWF WrestleFest?
Only one of the finest wrestling games ever to grace the arcade, putting boots to asses and laying the ghost of terrible wrestling games of the past.
Produced by Technos, WrestleFest was unique in the sense it managed to capture the likenesses and special moves of its protagonists in (for the time) spectacular fashion.
It was easy to control with only a few buttons to master and combinations to learn, offering up superb multiplayer action to go along with its colourful visuals. It was also incredibly cheap wherever you found it, forever managing to get itself stuck in the 10p section of your local chippy or the shady corner at a funfair.
Was it worth playing back then?
Without a doubt. The WWF was in the middle of a boom in popularity thanks to the likes of Hulk Hogan, Jake the Snake and Ultimate Warrior, and they pitched the difficulty at just the right level to appeal to kids and adults alike.
Tag team moves and finishers added a dose of unpredictability and excitement into proceedings, and WrestleFest let you run wild recreating your favourite matchups from a decent roster of superstars.
Is it worth playing now?
It’s aged a little, but the bright and chunky art style totally holds up to retro vision. The animation is a little clunky, but totally gets the spirit of each protagonist across.
It’s surprisingly still fun to control as well. Maybe I’m getting old or something, but the simplistic two-button approach hides more than enough depth for this type of arcade game, and if somebody did something similar on XBLA I can safely say that I’d be all over it in a flash.