Although I may not be the wrestling fan I once was back in the days where wrestling was at its highest peak, I remember having quite a few entertaining Pay Per View parties. As I grew older, my age started to get the best of me and that love quickly went away. So now I am told people are so into this entertainment that they try to reproduce it in there own backyards. Now although I was first introduced to this concept in the first installment of this series, this second game reiterates how crazy this hobby/sport/suicide really is in Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood for the Xbox.
I remember the last Backyard Wrestling game, and although the concept behind it sounded like a blast, the execution was nowhere near where it needed to be. The game had a terrible camera that always seemed to get stuck, and the gameplay seemed like something from a few years ago and not something on the next generation consoles. When you compared the first game to the newer wrestling games of the present time, Backyard Wrestling just didn’t have what it took to compete. Can Backyard Wrestling 2 muster up some of these essential gameplay elements to compete with all of the other wrestling games?
The one thing I must say about Backyard Wrestling 2 is that it really is a game that attempts some things but then has left a few things unchanged from the previous version. The addition of a storyline would have been a more exciting feature had the game used it better. Basically what happens in the story is the game starts off with the so-called president of Backyard Wrestling coming out talking about hosting the first pay per view event. The big announcement he has his last man/woman standing match, where the winner gets one million dollars. The game has this but never really does much else with it. I wasn’t expecting much from the story, and would have been satisfied with quite a bit, but this just didn’t cut it.
But before embarking on this enthralling storyline (note the sense of sarcasm) you are off to create your wrestling, arguably the strongest suit the game has to offer. Creating your character is a pretty detailed process that really allows you to customize everything in the manner you want to. You can really make some very unique looking characters with this tool.
So you got your character, heard the run down on the story. Now let’s get to where the game takes its horrible nosedive. The game hosts a measly two modes, which include exhibition and career. Of course the exhibition is there to allow you to easily jump into a match and go from there, where the career mode is supposed to offer a solid deep experience. Once you get past the pretty interesting start to the career mode you are dropped off and sent into a pile of boredom.
This monotony is mostly caused by the gameplay in the game which I think hasn’t been improved whatsoever. You still have very little options when it comes to deciding how to wrestle, because you only have a limited amount of moves. Also it has been quite a while since I have seen collision detection as bad as this game. You can miss a move by a few feet and yet it will still show that you hit them. I am not sure what exactly they were thinking when releasing this game, because it feels more like something that is half way through development, not something that should already be on store shelves.
I am not sure if the developers rushed, or if they honestly thought they had a good games on their hand here. Because this game just lacks any sort of finetuning, any polish. With so many better playing fighting games it was just hard to find anything positive to come out of this game.
Another problem the original Backyard Wrestling game had was with the graphics of the game, which were pretty ugly to say the least. The environments of the game were the only real unique part of the game, and even they didn’t carry much detail or color. So do the developers manage to increase the level of detail and color in this game?
Well similarly to the gameplay, the visuals of Backyard Wrestling 2 are not what I would call awful but couldn’t call them average either. The developers have made strives in the right direction with some more detail, better character models, and more colorful environments. But there is still so much lack of polish so many times where things get very clunky that this still is just a bad looking game. Like I mentioned in the gameplay portion of the review, there are many times where you will sing a few feet away from your opponent yet it still hits them. These are the sort of problems that should not be in the game, but unfortunately are.
Although the game has made strides in the right direction, this is still nowhere near as good as any of the other fighter/wrestling games on the market today.
What’s funny is I think that I am a pretty big fighting/wrestling fan (when it comes to videogames that is) and most any of these sorts of games have their own unique characteristics that make them fun. What I found with Backyard Wrestling 2 is that there really isn’t a whole lot to have fun with in this game. Although some of the sequences can be pretty over the top, for the most part the game doesn’t really pick up any steam. There are so many other deeper, cleaner, more exciting fighting games already on the market that it doesn’t help this game at all.
Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood makes some strides in the right direction, but not anywhere near as it needed to be. This is a game that I simply can’t recommend at all, due to its many flaws and the quantity of other great fighting/wrestling games already on the market today.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.