Have you ever wanted to go back in time? You know, to the simple times when games weren’t all about graphics and 1080p/120FPS. When you used to wake up in the middle of night and turn on the PC (or probably SNES for most people) and hope your parents didn’t wake up. Retromania Wrestling took me back to that time. In my biggest and best Vince McMahon voice…. WELCOME… TO RETROMANIA!!!
Developed and Published by Retrosoft Studios, this title was so much fun to play from the get-go! It is a classic throwback arcade wrestling title; very simple to pick up and play, and easy to learn the controls.
It’s all about pulling out some sick moves and having fun whilst doing it. You have the chance to pick up 16 different characters to play with, all old-school but not very common wrestlers like the Blue Meanie from BWO, hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer, or indie darling Zach Sabre Jnr.
The aim of the game is simple enough; you must work your energy bar enough by doing wrestling moves. At first you can only do light moves, but after doing a few you can move to medium moves, followed by heavy moves. You can, however, change the settings to automatically start with a full energy meter so you can dish out the heavy moves from the get-go – but do bear in mind your opponent can do the same. Once your opponent is damaged enough you should be able to pin them for the 3 count and get the win. The story mode also has a built-in tutorial mode, so I recommend starting with that if you want to learn how to play
Speaking about the story mode, this is where you play as a character called Johnny Retro (The John Morrison that’s currently in WWE) who is fresh off an injury and trying to make his comeback, but you decide how you want to do it. I loved this mode, as the storytelling is fantastic. You can play as either a face or heel (good or bad) through choices offered in the cut scenes that play out. For me, I loved playing it heel and I’m very curious to see how it plays out if you go face instead. It just a shame it not longer.
Another mode is 10 Pounds of Gold where you can pick any of the 16 characters and work your way to the top, winning and defending the title through 10 various types of matches. Once you have won the title that character is shown as holding the title in versus mode. In versus mode, you can pick any game mode that is available, from falls count anywhere to cage matches, and even a variety of tag team matches.
Finally, Retro Rumble mode is the classic Royal Rumble where you can have up to 8 opponents in the ring at the same time, coming in one by one until there’s only one winner. Rather than throwing them over the top rope you pin them to eliminate them.
Graphically Retromania is beautiful. It does bring you back to the classic 90’s wrestling games and you know what? I love it! I have been fed up with some of the recent wrestling titles with all their glitches and boring storylines. It was a joy to play something fleshed out and creative.
There are also loads of different arenas to wrestle in. One of my personal favourites seems to be set in hell and all the fans are skeletons.
Talking about audio, let’s face it, it fits the game wonderfully. It’s not only got that great 16-bit vibe but also has commentary throughout the matches – only bits here and there but it works and makes it way more fun to play. My favourite part is when the ring announcer announces what kind of match it is and who is in it. Retrosoft Studios have thought of all the great little added touches and executed it perfectly. Also, let’s not forget, that each wrestler has their own theme music when coming to the ring. I really hope they add more characters to this title as 16 is a little bit on the small side and could be easily added with DLC. I know 3 more have already been announced so that’s amazing. I would even enjoy it if you could make your own character, but regardless of these suggested improvements, I am very pleased with what I have played so far.
Unfortunately, it is another title that doesn’t have online play so if you did want to duke it out with friends it will have to be from your own home. However, with COVID-19 restrictions hopefully coming to an end we can start doing that as I think this would be a tremendous amount of fun!
Retromania Wrestling is a brilliant throwback to the 90’s when wrestling games were simple and fun, and it ticks all the right boxes. The art style is fantastic and I had so much fun playing it. If you are a wrestling fan you must grab this – you will not be disappointed!… Woah, Woooaahhh – RETROMANIA!!Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox One console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.