WWF European Rampage Tour
Copyright/Publisher: Ocean/Arc Developments, Music: Mark Cooksey,
Release Year: 1992, Genre: Wrestling, Number Of Players: 1 or 2 2

Wrestling, the only sport(?) where rather overweight bullies parade around in front of thousands of screaming fans in little more than a skimpy pair of Cammy knickers and a pair of boots. 'Give me Ludo any time,' exclaims ROB 'CONSOLE KICK' MILLICHAMP, 'there's far less sweat for a start...'

Since the dawn of time, human beings have felt the need to settle their differences with scuffles, be they in private or in front of lots of intereted onlookers shouting SCRAP! SCRAP! SCRAP! The only difference with some of today's fights is that they're televised and the participants are paid vast amounts of cash in the name of a novel sports known as Wrestling.

There can't be many people out there who don't remember the might World of Sport introduced by Dicky Davies. All the big names were there, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks and Claire Rayner (shurely Mick Mc Manus? - Ed). Since those humble Saturday afternoon jaunts, the sport has become a much-loved international sports, especially with the onslaught of WWF and WCW.

Now finally, you can experience the thrill and excitement (well, sort of) of this energetic sport in WWF European Rampage Tour. Basically, the main aim of the game is to tour around various European cities, challenging a whole host of tough wrestlers who need to be defeated before you can move onto the next city and challenger.

There are a choice of four wrestlers to assume the identity of, in order to reach the final bad guy - known imaginatively as Animal from the Legion of Doom - who guards the coveted Championship.

The players you can pick are the famous Hulk Hogan, with his amazing powers of sporting a crap moustache. Bret Hart, an easy-going guy who turns rather nasty if you get on the wrong side of him, Randy Savage, who gets his epithet from his bizarre past times, and last but no way least is a mysterious guy simply known as the Ultimate Fighter. The guys you compete against are equally tough - and yes, they've got crap names as well.

Canvas crawler
You have a choice of two scenarios - the first one is a one player competition, the second is a two player practice match. As soon as you've decided between the two, off you pop straight to the ring.

With all the pleasantries out of the way, competitors can get down to the real business - fighting (a step away from real life; if there's such a thing as a realistic WWF fight, I'll eat a pack of Fruit Gums).

Players have a vast array of moves to inflict on adversaries, including Running Rolls, Shoulder Charges, Flying Kicks, Running Dives, jumping off the corner post, your common-or-garden dives, Drop kicks and stomps that bring water to your eyes from just looking at the screen, sic.

In fact, think of a positions and it's probably included. The moves are performed by simply waggling the joystick at certain speeds and directions, combined with manic fire button pressing to successfully perform some of the trickier ones. There techniques be practiced a lot before before there's hope of winning against the other wrestlers, let alone the mighty Animal.

Wrestling never was a favourite pastime of mine, I could never stomach twelve kilos of lard a day to keep that classic wrestler pshyique, and those leotards are well iffy! When I tackled this game it seemed that perhaps my narrow opinions of wrestling matches might be altered slightly, but alas, they weren't.

As soon as I began to play in a match, that classic feeling of boredom swept over me - the sat thing is, there really are a vast selection of moves to chose from, but only two are required - the punch or kick. As you can imagine, after the first fight or so, WWFER gets decidedly tedious to play.

Cosmetically sound, it's looks don't stop it from falling into beat-'em-up obscurity. There isn't exactly that much challenge - if you discover a successful manoeuvre, you may as well stick to it for the rest of the game, as you'll probably finish most of the bad guys with it. Not exactly tactic city, eh?

ROB! 48%

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE MOUSTACHE...
HULK HOGAN
Whaddya mean 'girly moustache'. If you reckon this is girly you musta been hanging about with pretty ddogy women.

RANDY SAVAGE
Of course it's my real name, given to me by my good parents at birth. C'mon - would you call yourself Randy Savage?

ULTIMATE WARRIOR
You want teeth like mine? Well just floss after meals, brush regularly and get a few friends to punch you in the mouth.

BRET HART
Hi! I'm the only blind wrestler in the WWF. That doesn't mean I'm not 'ard mind so don't gimme no stick (I've got a guide dog).

MILES
When will software producers learn that wrestling simply doesn't work in video game form? Even the best available on any home system, WWF Royal Rumble on the SNES, isn't much cop so, when you consider the power of that machine, what hope for the humble 64?

If you consider the 'sport' (I use the term very loosely) to be predictable, hype-driven and un-entertaining then congratulations must go to the programmers of European Rampage - they've managed to re-create that remarkably well in this lifeless follow up to WWF.

Recognisable digitised pics of the characters are a nice touch but other than that, presentation's minimal, as is gameplay. The main spanner in the works concerns control, or the lack of it. Accessing moves is more by luck than judgement, with games quickly reduced to holding fire and moving the joystick randomly.

I wouldn't mind, but that actually works for the first few opponents! It'd probably do the later ones as well but overlong bouts and tedious action didn't keep me at it for more than a couple of rounfs. If you have a friend, the two-player mode's a bit better, but aren't they always?

59%


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 43%
Okay title screen, few options.
GRAPHICS 56%
Some detail and colour, but sparce.
SOUND 42%
Forgetable tunes, silent crowd.
HOOKABILITY 40%
Get ready for boredom...
LASTABILITY 40%
...it's here to stay.
FORCE FACTOR 54%


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