Why WWF No Mercy on N64 is still the best WWE game - Reader’s Feature
WWF No Mercy – they don’t make ’em like this anymore

A reader looks back at N64 classic WWF No Mercy, and asks why modern WWE titles are so lacking in comparison.

Modern WWE video games suck, there I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are good for what they are in the modern climate. And they tie-in seamlessly with the latest era, in ways that accentuate the desire for realism so that Seth Rollins’ biceps look a smidgen shinier than they did last year or the year before; but with such a demand for realism, we’re losing the foundation of why these games were endearing and joyous in the first place. Two descriptors that perfectly fit WWF No Mercy – definitely a game you should revisit and take note of, showing how a wrestling game is done almost flawlessly.

One of the many issues with modern WWE video games stems from a non-gamey conceit, that of the licensed soundtrack. Ever since Smackdown Vs. Raw was released in 2004, a setlist of nu-metal and alternative rock has filled our ear lobes, and as fine as some of these soundtracks were they weren’t freshly made in-house. I suggest you go back and listen to No Mercy’s soundtrack and witness how every single piece of music in the game is catchy, especially the Championship Mode back stage music. The beats are off the charts and hard to stop listening to, making you pine for a past we’ll sadly never get to witness again.

I’ve heard many complain about the difficulty of some aspects of WWF No Mercy, such as the mandatory requirement for the player to win or face constant retries. Don’t forget this is a video game, you lose so you learn to try harder and succeed in the end. You had to earn your championships. Current WWE games throw everything your way like a content Burger King customer, you can lose and continue on, and don’t get me started on the vapid excuse for a career mode and how shallow and boring the presentational aspects are.

You can still marvel at how far WWE games have come in the past 20 years, but visuals don’t make a game great and neither does needlessly pandering to your fanbase either. WWE games need a spine back, they’re usually too busy pussyfooting around their own inferiorities instead of transitioning them into superiorities.

I’d much rather have a funny, memorable story mode or career mode than the seismic slog we endure in 2K17 or 2K16’s career mode, where you have to play a shed load of matches before you get an opportunity to fight for a desired title of your choosing. And you thought the 2K Showcase modes were treading water!

Maybe old WWE/F video games have spoiled the more mature fanbases, but what 2K pumps out, whilst respectable, is wholly inferior to what came before. More WWE superstars is always a good thing, but at this point it’s a tepid excuse for a lack of innovation or ways to make their games stand apart from one another.

It’s ironic that for all of 2K’s box arts featuring progressive and groundbreaking WWE superstars, they refuse to break any new ground themselves. This might be less to do with 2K specifically and more to do with the familiar plague that riddles yearly sports game releases, but THQ had no problem creating a monstrous success with WWE Here Comes The Pain from the previous year’s stellar if unremarkable WWE Shut Your Mouth, so there is a possibility they can make this leap forward.

But for now WWF No Mercy is the gold standard, riding a streak that’s steadily but surely reaching the Undertaker’s lofty WrestleMania winning streak. Only this time there doesn’t seem to be a formidable foe to conquer it.

By reader crazy_man3000

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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