Video Games: WWF Royal Rumble

Publisher: THQ
Developer: Jakks
Platform: Sega Dreamcast
Price: ???
Release Date: Available Now
Players: 1-4


Dreamcast wrestling fans have been stuck with Acclaim games for a long time now. Unfortunately THQ's WWF Royal Rumble is not the game that will make the future bright for grapplin' on Sega's machine.

Rumble Bumble
Wrestling games have enjoyed an across-the-board simplification since the thumb-blistering WWF War Zone hit shelves. Many gamers felt that the genre had reached equilibrium with THQ's grapplers in WWF Wrestlemania 2000 and SmackDown, and a lot of wrestling fans on every console have put their trust in THQ to deliver the goods. It is with some surprise, then, that WWF Royal Rumble, THQ's first Dreamcast wrestling venture, fails to impress on nearly any level.

Royal Rumble takes the simplicity trend all the way to the extreme. Developed as an arcade-style beat-em-up with wrestling tendencies, Royal Rumble is less a wrestling game than one of party mayhem, in which four players beat the hell out of each other until only one remains. The closest Rumble gets to a Career mode is its Arcade segment, in which you have to survive ten matches to reach the end: that's all there is. There are no belts, no title defenses, no backstage shenanigans, and no cool Create-A-Wrestler mode. All you "beatdown madmen" who're constantly asking for tables and special matches might as well go buy a PlayStation now, because this Dreamcast squared-circle sim is missing most of what you want.

What It's Got
Royal Rumble does deliver the goods when it comes to graphics, for the most part. Gameplay still screens look pristine and highly detailed, and even some of the animation, especially for the more powerful moves, looks good enough to eat. The problem is that the wrestlers themselves move like arthritic zombies, and that the animation of common moves, like grapples and punches, looks jerky and unrealistic. On the other hand, the Dreamcast allows Royal Rumble to have quite a few wrestlers onscreen at once, and every match has a polygonal referee there to add to the action.

The crowd cheers, music pumps, and wrestlers grunt in pain, but in general the sound is merely decent. It's good enough for a crowded, noisy arcade, but not for a home system. Still, matches can get pretty exciting when there are four players going at it, with the crowds going wild and cheering your character's name. When you consider that Royal Rumble is meant to just be an arcade beatdown, it comes across as fairly fun. Its controls, simple as they may be, allow four players to jump into the ring and deliver the smack-down with surprising grace, but it's difficult to target a specific opponent with your attacks, and you'll often go wandering off into some mid-air combo that exposes your back to the enemy. You have a punch button, a grapple button, a run button, and a block. That's it. There's no real depth to the controls, and those of you looking for extensive move-lists will be very disappointed.

That's The Way The Rumble Crumbles
It's a shallow arcade port that doesn't offer much more than a chance to beat up your friends. If you're looking for a deep, WWF-based wrestling game for Dreamcast well, you're just out of luck.


Shane McMahon:
Win Royal Rumble mode under the easy or hard difficulty setting.

Vince McMahon:
Win Exhibition mode under the easy or hard difficulty setting.

Alternate background:
Enter the ranking section and view each section, then return to the main menu.

Alternate costumes:
Highlight a wrestler, then hold Start and press A at the character selection screen.

Call in your partner:
Press A + X, A + B, or B + X to have your partner help you. Note: This may only be done at certain times.

Hint: Quick specials in exhibition:
Select Rikishi as a partner and use his Rikishi Taunt double team move. He will remain in the ring and allow your special to build quickly.

Hint: Avoid attacks:
Hold Block and repeatedly press the D-pad in all directions. You will dodge every time your opponent punches or grapples, and an opening will eventually appear.

Hint: Unlimited double team moves:
Knock out the ref by hitting him with a weapon. Note: You must hit ref twice in order for this to work. A message stating "The Referee Is Knocked Out" will appear. "Double Team" will light up in different colors. Now is your chance to do double teams as many times as needed until the ref gets back up.

Hint: Stay in Rumble longer:
Rotate the D-pad when your holding on to the ropes to stay in Rumble longer.

While playing in Royal Rumble mode, look for someone that has an "S" under them when they come in to the ring, Once you see him enter, try to knock him out to get 40 extra seconds instead of 20. Note: The opponent also uses his special attacks.

If you have an "S" (special) and you get hit and are about to go over the top rope, you can press R to hold on to the ropes and stay in the action. Note: This will make one of your specials disappear and you will have to earn another one, but is useful if it is difficult to rotate the D-pad.

Hint: Kicking out of a pin:
If you are getting beat up badly and you have an "S" (special) when they try to pin, you can press R to kick out easily. Also, if someone tries to pin you can move the D-pad around. If this is done, a pale blue bar will cover your health meter. If the bar reaches the top, your superstar will kick out (hopefully before the three count). Note: This will make one of your specials disappear.

Hint: Getting up:
If your opponent does their special to your wrestler and you cannot get up, press R. Note: You need an "S" (special) to do this. It will make one of your specials disappear but is very useful in Royal Rumble mode if your opponent is about to pick you up and hit you out of the ring.

Hint: Weapons:
If you are in the backstage area (corridor, kitchen, etc.), you can find hidden weapons. Note: You must Irish Whip towards the object.

Kitchen (top left): Look for the blue broken plates in the top left area near the sink.
Kitchen (lower left): Look for boxes. Irish whip them all the way in that area.
Corridor: Vending Machine. Have a Stevewieser if desired.
Boiler Room: The first machine that has a monitor on it.

Hint: Defeating Vince McMahon:
When you go through exhibition mode, there are ten stages. You will fight a wrestler on each stage, but on stage 10 you will fight Vince McMahon. He is very difficult since his partner Shane McMahon will interfere frequently. To defeat him, select a partner with many yellow partner attacks. As soon as the match starts, bring in your partner and save your special letters until he tries to pin you. Then press R or move the D-pad. Bring in your partner, beat him up with double teams, and go for the pin.

Hint: Partner mistakes:
When you face the 2-player, 3-player, 4-player, or CPU in exhibition or versus mode, they will have partners. If you have a special and you are near your opponent or their partner, you will most likely do your special on their partner. Avoid this by staying away from their partners. Note: This can only happen backstage when your opponent's partner is just standing around. Your special will have no harmful effect on their partner -- they will just get back up.

Hint: Recommended partners:
Information in this section was contributed by ROBnAPPLE.

Player Partner
Kane Al Snow or The Undertaker
The Undertaker Big Show or Kane
Alsnow HHH
Vince McMahon Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon Vince McMahon
Kurt Angle Matt Hardy
Edge Rikishi
Stone Cold D'lo Brown
Jeff Hardy The Rock or Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy Edge or Jeff Hardy
HHH Tazz
Road Dogg Kane or X-pac
X-pac Mankind or Road Dogg
Tazz Chris Jericho
The Rock Road Dogg
D'lo Brown Chris Jericho
Mankind The Undertaker
Rikishi X-pac
Big Show Godfather
Godfather Stone Cold


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