Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This at Home

Overview

Well the consoles as of late have all had there fair share of wrestling titles, but what if you took wrestling and played it in the backyard? Well when Eidos Interactive first discussed the game, a lot of us thought the game had quite a bit of promise. Well now the game is out, but it really has too many issues to be worth anyone’s time.

Gameplay

We have seen THQ become very successful with their wrestling titles (with the WWE license) and have really made some good money off of these games. Then you see games like Legends of Wrestling from Acclaim, which ended up not doing as well due to some poor gameplay. With that being said Eidos went out on a limb and decided to take wrestling out of the ring and into the backyard. The idea itself is golden, outside there is plenty more variables that set into to play to really enhance a wrestling game. If it wasn’t for poor execution on developers Paradox’s part, we could be talking about a high rated game rather then a game with a lot of potential that ends up failing right from the get go.

When you look at the normal wrestling title, you will just see a long list of game modes that usually help give a wrestling game the depth that is needed to be successful and to stay interesting. In Backyard Wrestling you are only given a few different modes, which are the Talk Show Mode (main mode), Exhibition Mode, Bonus Games, Create a Wrestler, and a Media Room. One of the key modes to any wrestling title is the Create a Wrestler mode, which is done quite nicely in Backyard Wrestling, with plenty of options and customizable features provided for you.

The main mode being the Talk Show mode is just one huge disappointment, because it is just so boring. Basically the "Talk Show" is called Today’s Topic and the topic is always of course Backyard Wrestling. You are given a certain number of objectives before you start each match, and the objective is normally just to survive your way through multiple wrestlers. The whole mode just seems uninspired and has nothing really going for it.

There are some bonus modes that are given to you throughout the game, and some of them are actually quite fun. The King of the Hill mode can be quite fun, where you are to be in the highlighted region for as long as you can. Other then the bonus modes, there really isn’t many positive choices on the game mode list.

Of course maybe Backyard Wrestling would be able to make up for the lack of any game modes with some good gameplay? That would have been nice, but unfortunately the developers didn’t do a very nice job on this department either. The one word that sums up the gameplay of Backyard Wrestling is "sloppy". This proves to be quite true in more ways then one. One thing you will notice is that even moving around the arena’s can be a challenge because of very loose controls. You will have to make sure you don’t press too hard or you will end up falling off because of the very loose controls. Grappling in the game is also not overly impressive and you are only given a very limited amount of moves to choose from, and after only a few matches everything in the game starts to feel repetitive and old. You also never really get the feeling that you are actually in the action. The main problem with the game is that you can find better wrestling titles elsewhere and it ends up putting this one down quite a ways because the gameplay of Backyard Wresting just feels really outdated and repetitive.

Graphics

"When it rains, it pours", and that really holds true when you talk about Backyard Wrestling. Graphically the wrestling titles have been improving over the years, but as for Backyard Wrestling it is just taking a few too many steps in the wrong direction.

When you look at the character models of Backyard Wrestling and the character models of other wrestling titles on the market there is just no comparison, and unfortunately Backyard Wrestling doesn’t even come close to matching up. The lack of detail and a sharp looking character really hurts the overall look of Backyard Wrestling. The environments are a bit better than the character models but still fail to have any real detail or anything that really stands out. For the most part the environments are pretty spacious and don’t have a whole lot going on in them.

Probably the biggest issue though for Backyard Wrestling is the sporadic camera that never seems to want to stay still. The camera seems to become quite a large annoyance as you play throughout the game and can just really start getting unstable throughout matches.

Overall there are just some glitches that should have been fixed up before the release of Backyard Wrestling that weren’t and in the end that really hurt the graphics portion of the game.

Fun Factor

Backyard Wrestling is one of those games that was made to be a fun game to play but ends up having too many problems that forces the game away from being a fun one to play. The story mode had its potential but with the repetitive nature the mode has it just isn’t one you’re going to want to play through. The gameplay lack any originality and unnecessary complexity also hurts the game from being one that you can get better at but instead a button masher of a game.

Overall

Backyard Wrestling is one of those games that really ended up disappointing me. When Eidos first started talking about this one I had some high hopes, but unfortunately the execution for the game was just not all there. I praise Eidos for taking a chance with the idea, but unfortunately I really just can’t see myself recommending this one to anyone because there are just better alternatives out there.

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.