Retro Review: WWF Super Wrestlemania

WWF Super WrestleMania

Platform: Super Nintendo

Released: 1992

Developer: Sculptured Software

Publisher: LJN

With WrestleMania 34 recently coming to a close I thought it would be a good time to revisit a game from my childhood. Ladies and Gentlemen it’s time to lay the smackdown on WWF Super WrestleMania!

I was a huge fan of wrestling when I was a kid and loved the granny baiting antics shown on ITV’s World of Sport to the glitzy over the top World Wrestling Federation. My walls were covered with posters of wrestlers and it was a really special time in my life, as I would get utterly involved with the storylines and drama that the WWF did so well.

I remember being really excited to play WWF Super WrestleMania on my shiny new Super Nintendo as it gave me a chance to bring the action home and live out my dreams of fighting in the squared circle. I even traded in Super Mario World just so I could play this game!

As I play the game now the first thing that strikes me is the presentation which is excellent with some nice digitised stills of the wrestlers. Graphically the game looks great with each wrestler resembling their real life counterpart. The animation of each character is also good and there is a nice touch including the commentators arguing in the background whilst the action is taking place in the ring.

Another reason why I loved wrestling is that each wrestler had their own ring entrance music which helped to bring the characters to life. Thankfully the makers of the game recognised this and there is a brilliant touch when you are choosing your wrestler as their theme music plays in the background!

There is a decent line up of wrestlers including “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “The Legion of Doom” Hawk and Animal, “The Natural Disasters” Earthquake and Typhoon, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, and Sid Justice.

On the face of it we should be onto a winner but unfortunately there are three problems with the game. The first is that the controls feel a little bit stodgy and are not as responsive as I would have liked them to be. Secondly, even though each wrestler looks different there is no real difference who you play with as they all share the same moves. Thirdly, and perhaps the most crucial oversight of them all is the omission of finishing moves! Every wrestling fan will tell you that one of the reasons why they love a wrestler has a lot to do with their finishing move. “Macho Man” Randy Savage had the elbow off the top turnbuckle, Hulk Hogan had the big boot and leg drop, Jake “The Snake” Roberts had the DDT. To not include finishing moves is an utter crime and takes away a huge chunk of your enjoyment!

WWF Super WrestleMania looks and sounds the part but average gameplay and a shocking lack of special moves make it a distinctly average game. Only recommended if you have to own every wrestling game.

Graphics: Impressive looking digital recreations of the real life wrestlers as well as some nice background animations. 7

Sound: Decent sound effects but the icing on the cake is definitely the inclusion of the signature music from each wrestler. 7

Playability: Stodgy controls which aren’t very responsive hamper your enjoyment, but the biggest crime is the omission of finishing moves. 4

Re-playability: The game is quite limited and although there are a decent number of wrestlers to choose from they all have the same moves meaning it’s unlikely to keep you occupied for very long. 4

Overall: WWF Super WrestleMania is definitely a case of style over substance. The game looks and sounds great but limited match options as well as missing finishing moves quickly kill any of your initial excitement. 5

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With)