Hustle Is Posting Right Now - Five Things WWE '14 Should Give Us
Nov 20, 2012 - 12:45:45 PM
"It's like a video game.."
With the great sales numbers and reviews that WWE '13 is seeing, it's never too early to look ahead at WWE '14. More specifically, it's never too early to look at the things we, as wrestling and/or video game fans, would enjoy seeing in the next installment of the series. This isn't about the common sense things that everyone knows will be taken care of. This column won't feature anything about improving the graphics or tightening up the commentary. That kind of stuff is changed every year. I'm talking about new modes and new options. Things we've never had before.
After a brief discussion with my roommate, some ideas were tossed around and are currently floating around in my head. I didn't want to lose those ideas, so why not turn them into a column? Everyone wins.
First and foremost, let me say that I love WWE '13. I didn't play WWE '12, so I don't have anything to compare this to, but the Attitude Era mode alone makes '13 worth checking out. So much depth to everything. So much fun in reliving some great moments in the history of the business (or living them for the first time for some of you younger/newer fans). I just wanted to clear that up. I'll be listing things I'd like to see in WWE '14, but I don't want people to get the wrong idea and think I dislike '13 at all. If you're on the fence about giving the game a shot, know that it has my full recommendation. The online issues that I understand plagued '12 all year long have been fixed, as well, so you really have no reason not to play '13 if you have the opportunity to do so.
Enough with the jibba jabba!
Shall I proceed? (Yes, indeed.) Less dew eet!!
Competition? I'll show you competition!
A lot of you big wrestling nerds will really appreciate this one. If you've ever played games in the Extreme Warfare and/or the Total Extreme Wrestling series, you'll already know where I'm going with this.
For those of you who are unaware of those games, or who have never played them, they're online wrestling simulator games where you run a wrestling promotion. Let me discuss the EW series, since that's the series I actually play and know things about. You become not only the head booker, but the owner of the company, responsible for everything from who faces who in every match to how much you'll charge fans for your t-shirts, and everything in between. You can either do this for WWE, or for your choice from various promotions throughout America, Mexico and Japan. Maybe you want to take TNA over the hump. Maybe you want to see if you can turn Ring Of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, CHIKARA or Dragon Gate USA into a national powerhouse. Maybe you want to see if you can turn a small, backyard-level promotion into a threat on the independent scene. You take the rosters of those promotions and go from there. Push who you want to push. Job who you want to job. Release who you want to release. When other promotions let their workers go, you can snatch them up to work for you, if you choose to. If you're the WWE, you can poach talent from the indy level and sign them to written contracts. It's a very simple idea, but it becomes incredibly addicting.
Why not introduce something like that in WWE '14?
People are always clamoring for WWE to get some real "competition", so why not have the chance to create it yourself in the video game world? Picture this..
- You start out by naming your promotion. Kind of a common sense thing. Go nuts. Massacre Wrestling Federation? Nu Era Pro Wrestling? Uncle Curly's House Of Spots? Whatever you think would be a good name for a wrestling promotion.
- From there, you set your roster. Obviously, WWE '14 isn't going to have the official TNA talents, names from the indy scene, Luchadors and Puroresu stars. That much is certain. However, you can build your roster in one of two ways. Either go the easy route and use a bunch of fake workers that would be preset.. men, women, tag teams, etc.. or create everything on your own, using your own Create-A-Wrestlers and/or people you've downloaded from the thousands of online uploads that people have put out there. Obviously, there would be some sort of "salary cap" involved. You can't have a roster of 200 workers and expect to survive, nor could you have 50 main eventers running around. Find the right mix that works for you and what you want to achieve as a promotion.
- Then it turns into a WWE Universe mode, of sorts. You get your promotion going. Book the matches. Then either simulate through them or actually play them. Set up feuds, create titles, put large events together. Get things going. With time, you'll build fans and get more exposure for your promotion and your workers. With those extra fans and more exposure comes the opportunity to be on television, and then even on pay-per-view, and that's when the real fun begins.
- Once you've become big enough, WWE would take notice of you. They might not be afraid of you, but they'd notice you. You could get secret correspondence from disgruntled WWE workers, or those who have contracts coming up, wanting to see about the possibility of coming to work for you.
- Once you've become even bigger, you can choose to take the high road or the low road with things. The high road would see you continuing to focus on your promotion and trying to make it the best you can possibly make it. The low road would see you taking random shots at WWE. Have so-and-so take a shot at a WWE wrestler or storyline in one of their promos. Have your announcers make fun of WWE somehow. While we're on the subject..
- WWE could take two new people to create brand new commentary for your promotion. Obviously, it isn't exactly realistic if your brand new wrestling promotion is trying to compete with WWE, all while Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are handling the announcing duties for your shows. It wouldn't take a lot of effort for WWE to bring in voice actors or something along those lines to do commentary for the game. The only problem here is that, unless WWE brought in numerous sets of voice actors to do commentary, you'd be stuck with the same people whenever you started a new file with this mode. Small price to pay, though, if you ask me.
- Eventually, you could have a show on Monday nights, right alongside Raw, and every Tuesday becomes a major event, as the ratings are released and you can see how well you did in the head-to-head.
- Once you're becoming legit competition to the WWE empire, you can see other Monday Night War-era events start to take place. Now you're looking at the possibility of big names "jumping ship", instead of just disgruntled lower-card workers. Imagine the boost your company could get if you were able to snag someone like John Cena or Randy Orton to head your way. Some of you are already saying "Yeah, but that would never happen", I'm sure, but think back to the original Monday Night War and the years prior. People said the same thing about Ric Flair going to the WWF, Hulk Hogan going to WCW, Bret Hart going to WCW, and so on and so forth, but they all happened. Besides, this is a video game, and with everything I've already mentioned, if your main concern is "John Cena wouldn't go to that company", you aren't really paying attention to anything that's going on.
- The mode would be "completed" if you were actually able to take your promotion and become bigger than WWE, beating it in the ratings and sending the company in a downward spiral. The mode would be "failed" if your promotion had to go out of business because of mismanaged money, or if you were unable to secure a television deal years into the promotion's history. There would be a set time that the mode would last if you're in the middle of "fail" and "complete". Obviously, you aren't going to be having the war 47 years from now, with John Cena as the 80-year-old WWE Champion, while your promotion remains relatively successful and on television, but not quite at WWE's level. Hell, if you really wanted to kick things up a notch, an "invasion" could be thrown into the mode if the two companies become remotely equal. It could either be Company A buys out Company B, and Company B's wrestlers show up on Company A's shows to fight in a "super storyline", or there could be some sort of working relationship like the WWF had with ECW in 1997, with your promotion getting to have various wrestlers appear on Raw and/or Smackdown, and maybe even a possibility for WWE to send a small handful of their workers to wrestle for your promotion to gain "seasoning".
I'm not sure about all of you, but that sounds like a lot of fun to play through, in my opinion. On top of that, WWE Universe mode seems to be everyone's choice as the worst part of WWE '13, so an upgrade is definitely in order. The game will need a new "hook" for people, like Attitude Era mode was for this year's game. It wouldn't take much effort at all to build a game around the concept of building your own wrestling promotion in order to compete with WWE.
Mashing isn't only for potatoes
This is a very minor thing, but can we go back to mashing buttons to kick out of pin attempts? Is that so much to ask for? Of course, the amount of button mashing you'd have to do directly correlates with how fatigued you are in the match. One or two presses of the button would help you kick out of a bodyslam 20 seconds into a match, but if you just got dropped with a third RKO in a match, 20 minutes in, you're going to need some seriously quick fingers if you want any chance of having the match continue.
That's a better option that the current timing meter we have now, where, to kick out, you have to press the button at a specific time, as the bar passes through the target. The target gets smaller with more fatigue, but damn, everyone I know (myself included), has lost a match in WWE '13 that they had no business losing because they messed up on their timing once. I lost a singles match to Zack Ryder in approximately four minutes, after being on the receiving end of a gutbuster. Not his finishing move. Not even his signature move. An everyday, run-of-the-mill gutbuster.
That's not asking for too much. A simple request, really.
If you're a long-time reader of my columns, you'll remember my "What if..?" columns, where I would take a whole bunch of events in wrestling history and looked at what would happen if something in the formula was different. What if this happened instead of that? What if so-and-so won this match instead of losing? Fun little columns to do. In recent times, Super Chrisss has done entire columns on a particular "What if..?" scenario, instead of handling multiple scenarios in every column like I used to do.
As I said, the "What if..?" scenarios are fun to look at, but what about putting them in a video game?
I'd like to see WWE '14 take specific events in wrestling history, and present them to you, with a video game controller in your hand, to play out in the opposite direction as what really happened. Needless to say, there's an insanely long list of events you could include..
- What if "Stone Cold" Steve Austin didn't win King Of The Ring? Or, alternatively, what if "Stone Cold" Steve Austin didn't win the WWF Title at WrestleMania 14?
- What if Scott Hall and Kevin Nash never jumped to WCW in 1996?
- What if Bret Hart willingly dropped the WWF Title at Survivor Series in 1997?
- What if The Rock never left for a career in Hollywood?
- What if Shawn Michaels never injured his back in 1998?
- What if John Cena turned heel? Of course, you could have this be at various times throughout history, including the Nexus storyline or after losing to The Rock at WrestleMania 28.
- What if Goldberg came to WWE immediately after WCW was purchased, and was a part of the Invasion storyline?
- What if Marty Jannetty turned heel on Shawn Michaels, instead of the other way around?
- What if Triple H didn't tear his quad in 2001?
- What if ECW was still around?
Again, there is just so many possibilities for this. Each event could get a Road To WrestleMania-type of story arc, with you taking control of a several-month stretch, perhaps covering the before, during and after of the particular events in question. If you want to add to things, it could turn into a Choose Your Own Adventure style of play, where different things happen, depending on what you do in the storyline. For example, if you're doing the Goldberg story, your "objective" would be to have Goldberg make his WWF debut in 2001, instead of 2003. You'd have him join the Invasion, but from there, it's up to you. If you have him take Booker T's place to feud with The Rock right away, you'll play the story out that way. If you have him as the leader of the Alliance, you'll play the story out that way. Wins and losses also determine where your story goes. It would add replay value to the mode, instead of forcing you to win matches when you're told, lose matches when you're told, and team with who you're told. In "my" way, you could see each story get a handful of different outcomes, meaning that you could go back and play each one again and again, making different decisions each time to see new things unfold. I don't like the current style of things, where you can often sit through an entire story in one sitting, and when it's over, it's just that.. over. That's it. No more. It's done. If you're giving people more to do in your $60 video games, they'd be a lot more willing to spend $60 on those games to begin with.
I've seen a lot of people request that the new "Attitude Era mode" in WWE '14 should surround WCW and the nWo. In theory, the idea is a fun extension of the Attitude Era mode that we're playing right now, but I don't know how possible it is to pull it off. I'm hoping that one of my readers will have a much better understanding of how this works, but with Hulk Hogan, Sting and Eric Bischoff all currently working for TNA, and with Ric Flair owning the rights to his name and likeness, what exactly is WWE going to do with having WCW in their game like that? If you can't show Hogan, Sting, Flair, Bischoff and others, how are you supposed to tell WCW's story and do it any sort of justice?
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Ric Flair signs a WWE contract between now and the time WWE '14 is really being put together, and he gets to be in the game. Let's then say, for the sake of argument, that WWE strikes a deal of some sort to have Hogan, Sting, Bischoff, etc in the game. That would make the WCW/nWo mode something that can be done, but I have a question for you fine folks out there in ReaderLand..
How many of you would be excited about WWE '14 using a mode where you get to relive WCW and/or the nWo in a manner like we're getting to relive the Attitude Era in WWE '13, and how many of you would feel the two modes are far too similar, and therefore, wouldn't feel the need to pony up more money to buy the game next year?
I'm legitimately curious as to see what your answers are.
Get your Game Face on!
If you're familiar with EA Sports and their series of video games, you'll already know what I'm talking about here.
In games like Madden, FIFA and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, you can go to the EA Sports website and upload a picture of yourself to put in the game for use as a Create-A-Character. That way, when you create yourself in the game, like damn near everyone does, you can actually be yourself, instead of just trying to make something that looks like you. Kind of. In a way. Sort of. It adds realism to things, and makes it more fun. It's a blast in Madden, and I'm not sure if you noticed it or not, but you don't often get to see close-up visuals of individual players and their faces in football.
Now imagine if you could use that kind of technology for WWE '14. Now, when you create yourself as a wrestler, with an elaborate entrance, on your way to becoming the WWE Champion, you can actually see yourself coming down to the ring, with close-ups on your face and all. Gone are the days of creating someone that is of a similar skin tone than you are, with facial features that are as close to your own as you can find amongst the preset features in the game. With the insertion of a Game Face-type feature, the time you spend creating yourself in the game.. from your attire to your entrance to your move set, etc.. would become infinitely more "worth it". I obviously can't speak for all of you, but I can spend hours creating myself in wrestling video games and perfecting everything about my character. Getting to see myself walking down the ramp at an event like WrestleMania, or in a backstage segment with some of my favorite Superstars and Divas, would be a surreal thing. It goes back to the replay value that I was talking about earlier. If you give your customers more reasons to spend their money on your product, you'll be amazed as you watch them.. spend their money on your product.
I'm turning the floor over to you again, ladies and gentlemen. What other new/improved features would you like to see in WWE '14? Try to do as I did, and avoid the "simple" things like asking for graphics to be improved, though. It should be interesting to see what some of you really want to see in next year's game. Who knows.. maybe we can get a groundswell going to actually get some of those features in the game. Answer my earlier question, and then hit me up to tell me what you'd like to see in the game.
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