In media it seems things always release in pairs, we had Armageddon and Deep Impact, Dante’s Peak and Volcano and now Wrestle Quest and Wrestle Story. Much like the films, these two games may be about wrestling, but they are completely different experiences.
While at PAX East I was lucky enough to try both games and talk to the developers as they get closer to releasing their visions. One is bombastic and over the top adventure RPG with tons of licensed wrestlers, the other is a unique fantasy world RPG take on the genre that as was refreshing and fun in a different way.
This has been a game I checked out at PAX East 2020 as well and spoke to some of the team, who are all mega wrestling fans. Early on they developed relationships with iconic wrestlers and their estates to add them to the game which is something that will excite many wrestling fans around the world.
In fact at the show this year, they had a full sized ring setup and even had a wrestling lineup for the weekend of the show. It was crazy, surreal and amazing beyond belief. The principle wrestling partner/consultant is the iconic Jeff Jarrett and we was at PAX East this year greeting fans and even getting into some trouble in the ring.
The game itself is frankly amazing with a truly unique spin on the genre. All the characters you control or fight are actual living action figures living in this world dominated by professional wrestling across the ages and even franchises.
The main character is a mega fan of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and patterns his look and initial moves off of him as he learns the literal ropes in wrestling. Once he is ready he embarks on an adventure to become the greatest wrestler ever.
Because this is an RPG that requires solving quests, helping townsfolk and defeating enemy factions. What I loved most about the game was how the team at Mega Cat Studios have leveraged the relationships and licenses to create such amazing moments.
One in particular involves Sting, another iconic wrestler, and him debating his style going forward, punk, goth or something else. The character suggests a theme and he keeps on that path, it was hilarious and interesting as well to see these choices as they occur.
The gameplay is quite interesting with some 16bit JRPG style overland and quest tropes as well as context based action sequences and a large roster of skills, attacks and finishing moves when fighting. This is not a real time wrestling game, instead and old school RPG take on the genre.
Everything I have seen of WrestleQuest, from the licenses, graphics, action, setting and action figure style makes this a game I greatly enjoyed checking out. The team obviously loves wrestling and poured that passion into the game and it is one that I can’t wait to play once it releases this May on PC via Steam as well as PlayStation4/5, Xbox One/Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.
The other game featuring wrestling I checked out is also an RPG, but is a completely different experience focusing on a fantasy world dominated by wrestling culture. The main premise has a group of new ‘heels’ taking over the five territories and a new wrestler and his growing team is all that stands against them.
In true RPG fashion the main character is fully customizable and gains teammates, specialty gear, perks, abilities, entrance music, and more as they try to restore order. As the territories are explored different wrestling styles from king’s road to lucha libre are discovered and added to the arsenal.
The game itself caught my attention as soon as I saw their booth. The artstyle is incredibly unique and vibrant, the overland map charming and there was surprising depth to the mechanics I was not expecting.
Th team was excited to be able to show the game and let me know that the full game will have tag team events, a growing roster of allies and enemies, tons of special moves and customizable entrance scenarios to add flair to the game. All of this was represented on screen with panache and style that drew plenty of crowds.
gameplay wise Wrestle Story uses a turn based system with button combos to execute moves represented on screen. There are varied techniques to execute the chosen actions, but all are designed to keep the game moving at a good pace.
What I loved most was how over the top the moves, special attacks and finishes looked when executed. The RPG mechanics also impressed me with level ups, hype skills and gear constantly evolving.
I only had a quick look at the game, but looking forward to getting more hands on time when Wrestle Story releases soon on PC via Steam.
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