Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!
North American Release Date -
July 31, 1999
Pro wrestling is probably the only thing on the planet on par with retro video games when it comes to making me feel nostalgic. Being a teenager during the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era was something special. If you liked wrestling in those days (and who didn't?), you know what I'm saying. Combine the Attitude Era with the Playstation and the Nintendo 64, and you have nostalgia overload.
Enter WWF Attitude.
When people talk wrestling games from the 90's and early 2000's, the instant focus falls on THQ. WCW/nWo Revenge, Wrestlemania 2000, and of course, WWF No Mercy are all absolutely incredible. But before the WWF got in bed with THQ, Akklaim was in charge of bringing Stone Cold and friends into the world of video games. And while WWF Attitude doesn't have anything close to the legacy WWF No Mercy (or even SmackDown does), it doesn't deserve to be overlooked like it usually is.
A lot of features that are common place in wrestling games today began with WWF Attitude. Things like super deep rosters, in depth create a wrestler, and even the ability to create an event all started with this game. While the THQ titles were taking the game in an "easy to approach and simple to control" direction, Akklaim focused on trying to make their wrestling games a more complicated, simulation type of experience. And while it's easy to look back on some of their decisions and laugh - and believe me, we do on the podcast this week - I think the powers that be behind this game deserve a little bit of credit for trying something different. It may not have worked all that well, but they helped lay the groundwork for what wrestling games would become.
My guest this week is fellow wrestling nerd and podcast host Kyle Shaw, and we had a great time sharing stories about not only playing video games, but watching wrestling as well. Enjoy the podcast!