Developer(s) – Asmik Ace Entertainment, AKI Corporation & Natsume
Publisher(s) – THQ & Asmik Ace Entertainment
Following the success of WCW Vs NWO: World Tour and WCW Vs NWO: Revenge, the World Wrestling Federation approached publishers THQ and tapped them to developed a WWF game using the same mechanics and visual style as the two aforementioned games; despite them being able to provide stern competition prior with the likes of WWF War Zone and WWF Attitude. The gamble, however, paid off greatly, commercially and artistically in my opinion, and whilst it’s disputed which THQ published WWF game is better out of this and WWF No Mercy, I prefer Wrestlemania 2000 for a number of reasons.
Graphics – 9/10
The primary reason why my own preference lies with Wrestlemania 2000 is because of the visuals. Not necessarily in terms of the game’s presentation from a technical standpoint, but from a conceptual one. The biggest advantage that this has over No Mercy is that the ringside intros are shown in full, and it was great to look at back in the day and think about how realistic it was, and it’s great to do it now for anyone who have been a fan of the WWF back around the Attitude era, and may be looking for the nostalgia factor.
Gameplay – 9/10
In game, players and fans will want for nothing. There is a plethora of different features and game modes that will keep players busy for hours on end. They can choose to go through a career mode, or of course set up multiplayer exhibition matches, or apart from that, each primary annual WWF event is available for players to try out, such as King of the Ring, Summer Slam, Survivor Series etc. The only criticism I have towards the gameplay is that the career mode is a little bit inaccessible compared to the difficulty level of the rest of the game, but it’s not to the point of being unbearable.
Controls – 9/10
The control scheme is almost perfect, if not for the fact that the movement can be a little bit awkward, and at times, it may be just as awkward to land a specific hit or perform a specific move. Apart from that, however, they work just as well as they did in WWF War Zone or WWF Attitude, and to a slight extent, I found that they are an improvement on the previous THQ wrestling games as well.
Originality – 6/10
The entire game is basically a carbon copy of both WCW Vs NWO: World Tour and WCW Vs NWO: Revenge, but I’m far too apprehensive to deduct too many marks for this, since that was the whole point of tapping THQ as publisher anyway. WWF liked this style of play, and wanted to adopt it for their games and all things considered, it worked splendidly. The formula would arguably be improved upon with new gameplay features with the Advent of WWF No Mercy, but as a starting point, this game was far more than a mere question of trial and error.
To summarize, WWF Wrestlemania 2000 is my favourite wrestling game of all time. Though I was impressed with prior WWF games that came before this, and even the two THQ games that came before this, this title blew them all out of the water, and in my opinion, no other wrestling game has come close since.