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Retro Review: WWE Superstar Showdown

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23 May 2019 00:00 #297534 by AndrewMcAlpine
Balance? Overrated. Fairness? Overrated. Deterministic simulationism? Overrated. The human spectacle...

A look back at the greatest wrestling game that almost was.

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23 May 2019 10:30 #297535 by charlest
Loved this game but really struggled to connect with the wrestlers on offer. Wish it was more of a throw-back and all-star lineup.

This exited my collection, but you know what stayed in? Luchador!
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23 May 2019 11:03 #297538 by hotseatgames
I like this game, but will sell it if anyone here wants it. Make me an offer!

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23 May 2019 11:16 #297540 by ubarose
@Charles
Luchador is awesome.
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23 May 2019 11:46 - 23 May 2019 11:46 #297541 by Josh Look
I love this game dearly. I don’t think it will ever leave my collection.

However, I’m also a big pro wrestling fan. Enough to warrant having this, Wrasslin, Luchador and Rumbleslam all on my shelf. I wasn’t a fan of the roster when the game came out, but I really like most of them now.

Damn shame we didn’t get more. I guess they had 30+ more wrestlers planned.
Last edit: 23 May 2019 11:46 by Josh Look.
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23 May 2019 13:16 #297544 by Jarvis
The lack of variety is the piece that hurt it. Especially with the focus on current ones and no Attitude or Legend era ones.

There is a user on boardgamegeek who came up with another 20 or so wrestlers and did a great job on them. He added new and Attitude era ones and it feels like a more complete game now.
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24 May 2019 04:45 #297582 by san il defanso
I liked this game, and I've never been a wrestling fan. There were some marketing choices that probably didn't help this one though.

The wrestlers included were a big problem. I think the better strategy would have been to choose a couple of modern stars, like John Cena and Roman Reigns, and then plumb through WWE's history to get the others. Get Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, etc. More wrestlers would have been nice, but I think grabbing into the past might have brought on more people like me. I.E., people who never watched wrestling but remember particular personalities from pop culture when they were younger. There's an Epic Duels quality the game missed out on.

I also think the title is kind of a mouthful. I really think calling it Wrestlemania or Royal Rumble would have been the way to go.

It could have really used a better way to play with more than two people. The tag team method in the box was a little stupid. This, along with the wrestler choice, probably kept this from being played in my group more than anything else.

From a design standpoint I don't think there are many complaints. But I think the big one is the reliance on symbols to generate all the different moves. By this I mean that even though all of the wrestlers are unique, their moves all feel like matters of degrees different, rather than distinct. It's a similar problem to the Dominion base set, where every card was some combination of draws, buys, actions, etc. I think this one shouldn't have been afraid to throw in more cards with text to describe more unique moves.

Still a fun game. It didn't stick around for me either, but I do think wrestling fans missed out if they didn't grab it.
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