WWE Day of Reckoning (Hands On) (GameCube) Preview

By Nick Cheesman 03.09.2004 2

Day of Reckoning has gone from good press to even better press, and it deservers it fully. Easily better then the great WWF No Mercy on the Nintendo 64, the wrestling game every fan is talking about it as good as everyone thought and then some. At first it feels different from every other wrestling game, which seems odd to begin with, but soon becomes it's selling point, the fact it strives for something new.

First off the graphics in this game are just amazing, the likeness to their real life counterparts are verging on photo-realism, and the sounds, lights, animations just shine out in the game. It is just so polished over and visually amazing, that it can't be described in mere words. Playing it gives you such a better idea of how good the presentation all is. It looked painful when someone got a fist in the face, but when you play it you can feel the impact as the sound of the blow rings out and your wrestler recoils in agony.

Of course, the visuals count for very little of the game, it's the gameplay we need to worry about, and this is where Day of Reckoning excels. The A button is used for strong and weak grapples, strong you hold the A button down, weak you just tap it, and then using the joystick to do various moves, imitating No Mercy completely, as does the theory that strong grapples are easier to reverse, but do more damage. The B button acts as the strike, Y bounces you off the ropes and gets you in and out of the ring, and X picks up weapons and your opponents. There are several moves on offer for all 40 wrestlers, and 50 game modes to follow that up. But Day of Reckoning manages to stand out from the crowd.

The location specific damage is executed very well, as all moves now take damage on some body part, and working away on an opponent's arm can be a real advantage. What's more when they have really taken a beating you can see it by them limping or holding their arm in pain. Momentum is used excellently as well, should you be on fire and "laying the smacketh down" on your opponent they will reach danger levels and you will get your special, which is easily done by pressing A and B. And they do look impressive, the camera pans in from all sides to show the move, and then as they hit the mat, the screen inverts in colour, before you hear the slam. If ever specials have been good, they have never been as good as this. If you are on the other end of this situation and the one in danger, you can use your one chance and pull of a momentum shift. This is where you press A and B together and grapple your opponent to steal his momentum. It can turn the tables in a match, but you only get to use it once.

The only real flaws with Day of Reckoning is the control system takes some practice, mainly as you have to hold down some buttons to do something, like get out of the ring and pin. Which only gets annoying when you have your opponent beaten, but instead of going for the 3 count you start pummeling his face. Not the desired outcome. The opponents here are very smart, so it takes a few hard knocks before you start treating them with more caution, but really this is as good as it gets. The multiplayer is as good as ever, and with all the usual features done to excellence, this game is easily the best WWE game yet.

Final Thoughts

Forget Smackdown, the GameCube has the wrestler WWE fans have been waiting for ever since launch day. It doesn't get much better than this, and really this game is pure excellence. To flaw it, is to nitpick it, and when we finally get to sit down with the game properly, you can be sure it will only be more good news.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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