Remember when World Championship Wrestling was the hottest thing on the planet?
In the late '90s, WCW was giving the WWF the fight of their lives. The nWo(s), Goldberg, Sting, DDP, Raven, Bret Hart, Ric Flair; that wrestling company from down south had one of the most ridiculous rosters in the history of the business. Pro wrestling was white hot. If you weren't watching wrestling on TV, you were playing a wrestling video game. And there wasn't a better option than WCW/nWo Revenge.
The THQ/Nintendo 64 wrestling games are the stuff of legend. I don't know if there's a video game series I've spent more hours of my life with than the four horseman of 64-bit wrestling. WCW World Tour was the first one, and it planted the seeds that would eventually blossom into it's sequel; WCW/nWo Revenge. I wasn't the biggest fan of WCW's TV product (I was a hardcore WWF guy), but I couldn't get enough of their video games. The WWF had video games - War Zone and Attitude specifically - but as much as I tried to like them, they just weren't that good. The graphics tried to look real and didn't, and the controls were a disaster.
WCW/nWo Revenge was the first "perfect" wrestling game. The graphics were bright, colourful, and a little cartoon-ish (it worked great), and it had the most iconic control scheme of wrestling game history. It didn't have things like individual wrestler's entrance music, create-a-wrestler, or a decent career mode (all things that would be added to the later THQ wrestling games), but it was finally a wrestling game that felt fun to play. Being able to play it with 3 of your friends was mind-blowing. And being able to change each wrestler's name and wardrobe added a surprising level of depth. I remember drafting a roster of wrestlers to go up against my friend Shawn's, we'd assign all of our wrestlers a certain shirt, and battle for HOURS.
If you hold a conversation about the greatest wrestling game of all-time, the two runaway answers are WWF: No Mercy and SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain (both covered in our archives, FYI!). And while those answers aren't wrong, they wouldn't be options without WCW/nWo Revenge. My favourite memory of World Championship Wrestling isn't anything they did in the ring, it was this video game.
My buddy Brad returns to the show this week, and man oh man did we have a time talking old wrestling, old wrestling games, and old Nintendo 64. Enjoy!