Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Wrestling Video Game Alternative....

Well today i decided to play a game on my computer that I haven't tried in awhile. A game most of you probably have never heard of (due to the creator not really promoting his games very much on the net), being that most wrestling game fans are familiar with the Smackdown vs. RAW series on the major consoles, there isn't much competition out there in the mainstream. I too enjoy the Smackdown vs. RAW series each year and it seems to be improving with time finally after years of unrealistic game play (in my opinion), and many other complaints that the hardcore wrestling game fans have every year. With TNA Impact on the video game horizon soon, hopefully there will be variety to choose from again like their used to be a few years ago back when the legendary WCW vs. nWo World Tour, WCW Revenge, and WWF No Mercy games were out and wrestling gamers were extremely happy....but the scene has gone down hill ever since those games for some reason. The three above mentioned games were made by the same company and used the same engine, and it seems even today every time a new game is on its way, fans are hoping it will be similar to one of those games from the late 90's.

Well I too sometimes want to play something different, and a few years back i stumbled across a computer game called "Federation booker." I read the description and it grabbed my interest because in this game, you took the role of the person who signs the talent, puts the matches together, controls the finances, etc. I downloaded the trial to check it out, and found my self having some fun with the game. the graphics were only 2D and definitely not on the level of one of the major console games, but still the idea was fun and it was a different concept being able to just make my own wrestling shows then sitting back and watching them. I looked further into things and more information about this game. I was taken to, who is the creator of that game and many others which are based more on fun and humor than graphics and game play. That was a few years back and I've kept up with this guy and his games over the years, and they've steadily improved. The game I played today was Booking Encore which is his latest wrestling game which puts you in control of running your own wrestling show. He's upgraded to making 3D games now instead of 2D, and this game is much improved over the games i played years ago. In the latest game, not only are the graphics improved to 3D (even though the series still aims for a more cartoony feel than realism), but the game is much deeper with all kinds of hilarious antics. Imagine creating yourself on the game (Yes you get to create your own look), then having a wrestler come up to you backstage and ask you their opinion on their new costume idea, then being able to tell them "Sure its great" or "No it sucks keep your current gear." Or meeting with a TV executive who wants to see a certain one of your wrestlers spotlighted in the next few shows, do you listen and get on his good side? Or do you rebel and go another direction? Also look out for court cases when wrestlers take you to court, blaming you for their career being ruined. This stuff is entertaining to me as a wrestling fan and not something you'd find on a console game. If your someone who is all about graphics or perfect game play, this game probably isn't for you. I enjoy it for the humor and ability to create your own show right down to the look of the ring and arena, but I would've liked a little more focus on the wrestling mechanics, as sometimes it feels like very match turns into a hardcore street fight with a ton of weapons, which is cool sometimes, but I'd like to see some more normal wrestling in the series and have the option to entertain your audience either way. But the fun factor here outweighs the negatives I think. This is the only game out there where you can have 20 guys in the ring at once for a realistic battle royal, and just about every match type from a variety of cages, to survivor series style tag matches, to backstage brawls.

The really cool thing is you can check out and download the free trial to see if its for you, and then a couple of different options to purchase it for only 14.99. They give the option to download the game in just a few minutes, or mail a full boxed version in a case (This is what I did because you can download new versions and updates to your game this way.) As I mentioned, if you check this game out with an open mind and looking for a laugh, its an entertaining game and a break from the games we've seen in the mainstream the past few years.

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