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Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This at Home Review

Developer: Paradox Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: October 7, 2003 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

In terms of popularity, wrestling is up there with baseball, football and basketball. Many of our society’s youth grow up watching and possibly performing these outrageous moves. With the help of video games, wrestling fans can now play their favorite sport on their favorite system(s). Backyard Wrestling is an over-the-top version of the sport (if you can consider it one). I don’t know how much more you can get when watching WWE, but still. Backyard Wrestling pins you into seven different environments, including a filthy backyard, truck stop, bloody slaughterhouse, gentlemen’s club, parking lot, doctor’s mansion, and talk show set, which is also used to feature the plot between single-player stages.

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Each environment is large and free-roaming. A multi-tiered height system allows players to climb structures for varying damage on their opponent. Each environment is fully interactive (and sometimes destructible), standing out as the game’s most entertaining element. Backyard Wrestling takes a different approach to the wrestling/fighting genre than many other games do. Not only are each environment unique and interactive, but players are encouraged to use weapons, whether a barb-wired bat or a chair, the number of weapons is satisfying.

Much of Backyard Wrestling is dependent on an opponent’s momentum. Players who are on the ground have an overwhelming disadvantage. While playing the computer, you will find yourself on the ground a lot and you will learn to run more than anything. The best way to fend off your opponent is to counter his attack, which proves to be more challenging than it should be. Seeing as though this is an “all-out� wrestling game, you would think the number of moves would be more impressive, but thanks to weapons and interactive environments, you should still stay engaged in the game for a while.

While the graphics in Backyard Wrestling are anything but flawless, they do get the job done relatively well. One thing that the graphics engine does well is spit out blood. In fact, this is one of the bloodiest games that I have ever played; after every move, your character will get battered with blood. Noticeable slow-down occurs throughout the game, but at a minimum and not to the point where you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, Backyard Wrestling suffers from some serious glitches. In the truck stop, my player actually got stuck inside the semi-truck and looked as if he was in quick sand and couldn’t get out. Ending on a positive note, Backyard Wrestling’s camera is excellent, always staying focused on the players, the multi-player is highly recommended, and the music is appropriate for a wrestling game. Even though wrestling games don’t appeal to me, Backyard Wrestling was a worthwhile title that I would consider renting, but if you are a fan of the genre, go out and purchase it.

Graphics: 4
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 6.5
Final: 5.8
Written by Kyle Review Guide