Column: Internet Water Cooler #6 – grading WWE 13
Dec 11, 2012 - by AJ Starr
Internet Water Cooler #6
By AJ Starr
I apologize again. I cannot seem to catch any kind of a break in my personal life. I have, once again, been getting my butt kicked my medical problems, and have been sleeping for the better part of the last 4 weeks when I have not been working. I said I would grade WWE 13… and here it is. Next time, I will be discussing why THQ is destined to go under this upcoming year, and why they seemingly seem to be working towards unemployment in a positive way. Seriously… the things they say to their consumers are downright scary, and I will go into all the detail! Anyways… here we go;
GRADING WWE 13
I said last time, I would go more in depth, and give a grade on WWE 13. I went back and got a listing of 10 items to review that I did for Smackdown 2011, swapping out Story Mode for AE Mode, which gives us 10 separate chunks of the game to grade upon on a scale from 1 to 10. Most game reviews, whether they are done on websites or in magazines, are often usually so biased that you don’t even know if you should buy a game after reading them. Game Informer is one that springs to my mind right off, as they almost NEVER give a game below an 8, but will spend the entire review trashing the game from start to finish. I get their magazine every month thanks to a Gamestop membership, and I am always shaking my head wondering just how much money they get paid to put in high scores, knowing a lot of people will never read the actual review. My personal favorite was for Smackdown 2011, where they trash the entire game as repetitive, broken and nothing new… but still give the game over an 8. They did something similar with WWE 12, and I can’t even imagine what reading WWE 13′s will be like!
Over the years, I have actually taken my columns reviewing WWE games, and used the actual review section for my Amazon.com reviews, which for 2010, 2011, and 2012, were showing up FIRST on the game on the site. So… maybe it’s because I’m objective… maybe I’m just wording things properly… or maybe it’s just those that agree with me push the “Helpful Review” button. Either way, I’m hoping this review will actually shed light on the game, where so far, no review on the WWE 13 game has seemed even remotely unbiased to me.
At the end, all the scores will be compiled to give a final grade out of 100. Here we go!
Absolutely NOTHING new this year. If you played WWE 12… 2011… 2010… and so on, you have the same thing here. There is nothing actually improved upon at all. The reason for the low score? As usual with Yukes; Messing things up. Weapons now act as though they are on a trampoline. I have had weapons launch from ringside into the crowd JUST from dropping a wrestler with a suplex near them. I’ve had a chair go from the middle of the ring to the announce table from clotheslining my opponent down. I refuse… REFUSE to believe no one noticed this while they worked on the game. Absolutely terrible, horrid, and inexcusable! There is also times where the ring ropes will warp in absurd ways and stick for no reason, with no one ever touching them. Why? How did they manage to break this?
CHARACTER MODELS – 5
There are some that are absolutely astounding. Seeing Goldust’s face in his entrance gave me the creeps because he looked so life-like. Others like Austin and DDP are passable, but aren’t so detail oriented to give you the willies when you see them. Then… there are a few that make you shake your head in bewilderment over how bad they are. Shawn Michaels looks like a cross between Heath Slater and a younger Jeff Jarrett. Without the tights, you would look at him and wonder just who in the world it was until you spent time to eye the character model just from the face. There is also a very “cartoonish” feel when it comes from the neck down on a lot of the character models. They have a shine to them that just looks absurd and reminds me of video games that are made to reflect comic books.
MOVES & MOVEMENT – 6
There is a vast array of moves and taunts in this game that will always keep your interest. That in itself gives this section a 5. The one extra point comes from the fact that indeed, the characters can and will move around. Problem? The running is still broken, because Yukes won’t take the time to fix something that is so instrumental to a wrestling game. Aiming is virtually impossible unless you are already set up for the move you want to do. Targeting in a multiple man match? They broke that even more. Most of the time, I just hit and run because even if I’m touching someone, I will not look at them. My guess, is that Yukes did this intentionally to never have to work at having more than 6 characters on the screen at a time. When the 360 and PS3 came out, they claimed it could not be done… even though games like Dead Rising can have HUNDREDS of smaller sized people moving around at one time. I refuse to believe this cannot happen with 8 or 10 in a WWE game. There’s just no logic in it.
AUDIO & VIDEO – 4
Sweet merciful crap… I had to spend a lot of time fixing the audio just to be able to play the game off of mute! The only points this section gets, is for actually having working music, and for none of the trons messing up. The new “innovative” audio system is a pile of garbage. All they did was increase the crowd volume and chop it up to happen when you do signatures and finishers. It’s more annoying than anything, and I turned everything but the music halfway down, in order for the game to sound halfway decent. Think of it this way; You’re playing your favorite song on your stereo… and when your favorite part comes up, you just mash your ear against the speaker. That’s all this new audio feature is… volume increase. There are no audible chants in matches aside from Daniel Bryan’s, and the rarely heard ECW chant. I did how ever, manage to hear chants in an EMPTY ARENA MATCH. The real kicker? Sounds like 2 people are saying them… which means they COULD be happening in matches, but there’s no way to hear them over the crappy audio system they implemented.
NEW FEATURES – 5
I don’t even know how to grade this one to be honest, because it DOES deserve a 0. Special Ref and I Quit Matches were in several past WWF/E games, and were removed for no real reason other than the excuse of “Well we were doing voice work and it made no sense to have a match where no one talks in it,” given to us by the wonderful people at Yukes. I guess the only real reason I’m giving it a 5, is because these matches aren’t broken piles of sewage. They work properly! Now, if the other parts of the engine and game worked, the matches would be great! Other than that… what’s new? The audio? Pfft… nah. Hmmm… ok, so what else is there? NOTHING!
UNIVERSE MODE – 3
Seriously… they could NOT have done more to break this without actually making it done on purpose. Nothing works correctly in Universe Mode AT ALL. You will always see the same matches every week, which THQ calls “feuds.” The new Tag Option so you can stop the game from disbaning teams and creating new ones… you know… the one everyone wanted? Yeah… it doesn’t actually work. Teams still break up and form even with the option turned off. You can only have 2 brands participate in a PPV, so if you want to recreate WWE’s ECW… well… the hell with you, they can’t be on WWE PPV’s! If you want a 3rd brand, you need to make 12 new PPVs JUST for them. Really realistic huh? It gets even better; Most players are reporting on THQ’s site that created arenas won’t work in their Universe Mode!
The real kicker… the one that made wonder just who is in charge over at Yukes and THQ; the
200 cutscenes and animations?
They don’t even exist. There are a handful SPECIFICALLY made for Attitude Era wrestlers. You will not see your CAW pull an Eddie Guerrero with a steel chair, and no one but DX can do a run-in and do a SCM/Pedigree Combo. I’ve done 3 years in Universe Mode, and have seen a total of EIGHT different cut-scenes. Pretty exciting if you bought the game for that, huh? Unless you play EVERY MATCH, and alter NOTHING… you won’t see 99% of these scenes, and THAT comes straight from the people at THQ. The reason I gave this Mode a 3? Well… it DOES form cards and sim shows. That’s about all it does properly.
ATTITUDE ERA MODE – 7
I will give this credit… this Mode IS awesome most of the time. Re-creating a lot of great matches from my teenage years was a great trip down memory lane. They even go so far as to alternate themes where applicable. The funny part is where Mankind’s changes to the techno theme. Yukes ripped that theme off a Youtube video! I guess the WWE weren’t willing to give them the real version, or it no longer exists. How ever, the techno theme for Mankind in this game was ripped off Youtube from a user who made it for kicks.
What shocked me about this Mode, is that at times, they actually use the real audio from the shows on the cut-scenes. This conflicts a lot at times though, because you will hear Cole and King commentate on the cut-scene, and then have JR announce with King on the match you play. One part that really bothered me was Badd Blood ’97. Once Kane debuted, that was it… match was over, HBK won. The game though, allows you to continue the match, with HBK standing up after the attack, but then they show the real finish in the cut-scene. Smoke a little green herb much over there, guys?
Historical issues plague the mode as well, because Edge did not debut and defeat Vader on Heat… he beat Jose Estrada on RAW and hurt him pretty badly which is well-documented. How can someone eff this u…. oh yeah…. “Yukes.” Sorry!
All in all, it is a great trip down memory lane, and the meat and bones of the game. If you’re not old enough to remember a lot about the Attitude Era, you won’t mind the issues, but for someone who remembers most of it like it was yesterday, it does get annoying seeing the mistakes happen.
CREATE THIS & THAT – 8
While most aspects remain the same, these “Create” modes do, for the most part, what they are programmed to do. The downfalls include some created arenas freezing up in Universe Mode… as well as giving you the “Edit a Belt” feature, that really does nothing to improve the game. You can edit a belt… but it’s a preset of a few dozen belts plastered with official logos, so you will definitely NOT be making replicas of the Impact Title or or anything else, even though you can get the announcers to call out the proper names, sounding like they’re having an asthma attack.
REPLAY VALUE – 6
While Online resets your rankings every couple days…. while the AI almost never uses finishers… the ref almost never gets a 2 count out of a pinned opponent… there can be a replay value in this game. While single players can randomly enjoy the odd match here and there, you can definitely enjoy this game playing with a human player in the same room. I love playing this game with my best friend at his place, as we just enjoy beating the snot out of each other. How ever, I, along with most gamers, cannot stand trying to play offline against the AI, as even on Legend, they tend to play like “noobs,” and seemingly have no idea what to do.
FINAL SCORE – 48/100
Thoughts: Save your money if you have not purchased this already. The game is beyond broken to anyone playing it over the age of 6. THQ reps and Yukes reps flat out refuse to address the issues with this game, and considering their $400 million losses in 2010 and 2011, along with several other gaming companies like Ubisoft pondering over which franchises they will buy when the company goes under this coming year… it would do you better to either wait for a price drop, or wait for the company to actually fix some of the incredibly elementary school errors they allowed this game to be released with.