Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WWE 2K15: First Hands-On Impressions for PS3

If you follow me on Twitter (@S_ATL_Wrestling) you got a lot of this already as I Tweeted a good bit about WWE 2K15 for the PS3.  Before you read this let's get a few things out of the way.  Game reviewing is not really a skill of mine, I'm not a terribly difficult to please, and I look forward to and buy this game every year including all the DLC pretty much no matter what.  All that being said, here's some thoughts on the game.

Overall the game is basically a minor revision of WWE 2K14.  For me personally, that isn't really a huge issue.  Maybe I should ask for more from my wrestling games, but to me the engine is just about perfect as is so the idea of some revolutionary new control system concerns me.  The movement in the ring feels slightly different.  It's kind of like the difference between playing NCAA Football (RIP) and Madden or maybe the difference between Madden from year to year.  It just "feels" different, but I got used to that with very little playtime at all so that wasn't a big deal. 

The roster feels a touch light although some good DLC is coming that will help fill it out.  The biggest aggravation, and I feel 2K wasn't really clear about this, is that without the Hulkamania Edition you do not get any version of Hulk Hogan.  I was surprised by that because I was under the impression as were others that you'd get a version of Hogan and with the special edition you got two more Hogans.  Not the case at all as I purchased the Accelerator and unlocked everything and no Hulk Hogan to be found.  The other thing that plagues the roster is the amount of duplicate characters.  It's cool that you get classic Alberto Del Rio and modern Alberto Del Rio for example, but I think most of us would want a wider variety of characters instead of two Ortons, two ADRs, two Jerichos, etc.

Roster additions that I really like are Sting (both versions are cool) and the Wyatt Family.  I've already had a really fun Hell In A Cell with Bray Wyatt vs Sting.  The Stinger Splash was kind of disappointing, but it's still a neat move.  The ability to change Surfer Sting's outfit colors with Superstars Threads is nice as I created his red and white look that looks so sharp.

The biggest gripe is that for some unknown reason 2K has ripped out the ability to do custom theme songs.  This is inexcusable and apparently that functionality is included in the PS4/Xbox One versions of the game.  If it was some sort of current gen limitation then that would be one thing, but this was a functionality that we've had for years and it's been removed for no reason that I am aware.

I did not try Who Got NXT or WWE Universe yet.  I did play a match in 2K Showcase Rivalries and it was similar to the Attitude Era or 30 Years of WrestleMania mode.  Pretty cool to relive some great feuds.  Again, DLC will round some more of these out as well.  

Basically, it's still a fun game, but you can tell this version is being neglected for the next gen ones.  Unfortunately, I can't make the move to PS4 right now so that's disappointing.  There are some aggravating things about the new game (removing custom themes being high on that list), but it's still a lot of fun.  It's always nice to get the new roster and all at least and like I said I'm not hard to please.  I'm willing to bet that the experience for the next gen (PS4/Xbox One) users is a lot better.  Here's IGN's review if you'd like a more critical review.  They gave it a 5.9 and called it a "Lightweight Pretender," but I think it's more like a 7 - 7.5.  It's solid, not spectacular.  If you have WWE 2K14 and are perfectly happy using Community Creations and the creation mode to round out and update your roster then this certainly isn't a must buy unless you're like me and always want the new version. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WWE 2K15: Confirmed Roster

I picked up my PS3 version of WWE 2K15 today and here's the roster in the game.  Of note, there is no Hulk Hogan in it at all if you didn't get the Hulkamania Edition which is a bit of a rip off considering they "confirmed" him early in the process.  The amount of duplicates is a bit of a disappointment too.  The DLC will help as I'm looking forward to Lex Luger from the WCW pack to pair with Sting for example.

  1. Adrian Neville
  2. Alberto Del Rio
  3. Alberto Del Rio '11
  4. Bad News Barrett
  5. Batista
  6. Batista '03
  7. Big E
  8. Big Show
  9. Bo Dallas
  10. Booker T
  11. Bray Wyatt
  12. Brock Lesnar
  13. Cesaro
  14. Chris Jericho
  15. Chris Jericho '02
  16. CM Punk '11-'12
  17. CM Punk '12-'13
  18. Cody Rhodes
  19. Corey Graves
  20. Curtis Axel
  21. Damien Sandow
  22. Daniel Bryan
  23. Daniel Bryan '12
  24. Darren Young
  25. Dean Ambrose
  26. Dolph Ziggler
  27. Erick Rowan
  28. Fandango
  29. Goldust
  30. Jack Swagger
  31. Jey Uso
  32. Jimmy Uso
  33. John Cena
  34. Justin Gabriel
  35. Kane
  36. Kane '02
  37. Kevin Nash
  38. Kofi Kingston
  39. Luke Harper
  40. Mark Henry
  41. The Miz
  42. Randy Orton
  43. Randy Orton '04
  44. Rey Mysterio
  45. Ric Flair
  46. Rob Van Dam
  47. The Rock
  48. Roman Reigns
  49. R-Truth
  50. Rusev
  51. Ryback
  52. Sami Zayn
  53. Santino Marella
  54. Seth Rollins
  55. Shawn Michaels
  56. Sheamus
  57. Stone Cold
  58. Titus O'Neil
  59. Triple H
  60. Tyson Kidd
  61. Ultimate Warrior
  62. Undertaker
  63. Xavier Woods
  64. Sting '91
  65. Sting '99
DIVAS:
  1. AJ Lee
  2. Brie Bella
  3. Cameron
  4. Naomi
  5. Natalya
  6. Nikki Bella
  7. Summer Rae
  8. Tamina Snuka

Monday, October 27, 2014

WWE Hell In A Cell: Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins

In the interest of full disclosure I was far more interested in what was going to happen with Rick Grimes and the gang on The Walking Dead than WWE Hell In A Cell last night.  The Walking Dead was excellent last night and delivered on a promise from earlier this season.  Could Hell In A Cell do the same?  Not really, but as of right now today I don't mind how the show ended.

I don't what the plan is in the long term, but Rollins/Ambrose still feels plenty unresolved.  Honestly, I would have absolutely hated the finish last night had it involved The Authority.  The one reason I'm OK with it at this moment is because of Bray Wyatt's involvement.  The lights out deal with the lantern and hologram was a pretty cool visual.  What it might signal is even better if it means that WWE is going to get serious about focusing on Bray Wyatt.  The dude and gimmick is absolute money and WWE has really done less with more.  The Cena feud was the absolute worst thing that could have happened to Bray and his family.  It's also the reason that I don't necessarily trust that this development really means anything.  Hopefully by the end of RAW tonight we'll have a better feel about it.

Overall, I felt fine with the end of the show because of Bray's involvement.  I showed it to my wife who is an ultra-casual fan and her response was pretty much, "Meh."  The usual suspects online seemed to despise it.  One constant refrain was to gripe about the outside interference in the HIAC match.  That I really don't get since there's been that since the inception of the match.  I don't recall that being the stated purpose of this particular style of cage match either.  It's about punishment in the Devil's Playground, not just about keeping others out.

My take right now is to say, "Let's wait and see." 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

WWE 2K15: Who Got NXT in PS3/Xbox 360

MyCareer mode is only going to be available in the "Next Gen" (XBONE/PS4) versions of WWE 2K15. Since that's the case the team at 2K developed Who Got NXT for PS3/Xbox One.

Here's some more on the mode in general from the link above:
Who Got NXT focuses on five NXT Superstars – Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Rusev, Corey Graves and Bo Dallas. I know Rusev and Bo Dallas are no longer on NXT, but they were during development of the mode. Each of the five NXT Superstars is assigned his own chapter consisting of four matches that players will need to complete in sequential order. The gameplay experience within each chapter is similar to 2K Showcase in that players are tasked with completing a number of optional objectives – three at the most – and a required match stipulation. The only way to advance to the next match is to complete the match stipulation. In most cases, the match stipulation states you must defeat your opponent via pinfall or submission, but on occasion, you’ll be asked to do something that deviates from the norm. While objectives are optional and won’t impede your advancement to the next match, it really is in your best interest to complete them unless you have no interest in receiving a plethora of NXT-related unlockables. I’ll delve more into those in a bit. Once you’ve successfully completed all four matches within a chapter you’ll unlock the featured NXT Superstar. All five chapters can be played concurrently, but as previously stated, the matches therein must be played in sequential order. You can also replay any match you’ve previously completed in the off chance you failed to complete an objective or if you’d simply like to play it again.  
 The concern there would be that the mode doesn't offer much once you've unlocked the five wrestlers.  2K has that covered as well by implementing the Proving Ground match.  That is essentially WWE 2K14's Beat the Streak mode, but instead of Undertaker it's John Cena that you challenge.  That takes care of how you unlock the five NXT wrestlers and the Proving Ground match.  In order to unlock the following items you have to complete all of the objectives in all five chapters.
  • NXT Arena
  • NXT ArRIVAL Arena (only available on PS3 and Xbox 360!)
  • NXT Championship
  • NXT Tag Team Championship
  • NXT Women’s Championship
 Honestly, I'm just glad us PS3 users get something for us since MyCareer mode is not in that version of the game.  This sounds pretty cool so I'll take it.

I will have more on this game Tuesday or Wednesday once I've gotten hands-on with it. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WWE 2K15 Follows the Buzzards



That right there looks pretty sharp. I'm still not happy with how they mix the sound on the entrances. I totally get that they want to try to present a true arena sound, but they still have the entrance theme itself entirely too low. Worst part is that you can't just tinker with the sound settings to fix it.

The other thing that strikes me is that no matter how good the graphics get it's hard to make things look exactly right. Hats, for whatever reason, have always looked a bit "off" in these things. Minor quibbles of course because I am really looking forward to this game.

Upload Credit: WWE 2K

Monday, October 20, 2014

RIP Ox Baker

Ox Baker has passed away at age 80.  It is an uncontroversial opinion that Ox had one of the most distinctive looks of any wrestler.  Couple that with the legend of his Heart Punch "IT KILLED TOO PEOPLE!" and you have an iconic wrestling legend.

To that end, his passing made TMZ Sports in part due to him tangling with Kurt Russell in "Escape from New York."

Even better than all of that, I have heard from multiple people that Ox was a legitimately nice guy.  Basically, the opposite of his wrestling persona.

If you're not following the WWE Archivist on Twitter, you should.  Check out this awesome pre-facial hair look at the legendary Ox Baker may he rest in peace.


Friday, October 17, 2014

It's Friday! swings by the Hall of Pain!

Still one of my favorite WWE themes.  It's perfect for Mark Henry and it's a great theme for when they use him as the mystery opponent.  I always love that gimmick.  Smarmy heel wants to take on anyone, you hear this song hit and here comes The World's Strongest Man ready to induct someone into The Hall of Pain.

It's great!  Speaking of great, I hope everyone has a great weekend.



Upload Credit: WWE's Official YouTube page

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WWE 2K15 DLC and Season Pass Details Announced

Finally, we've gotten word on the Season Pass and DLC for WWE 2K15.  It was kind of odd that it has taken until two weeks before the game to drop on PS3 and Xbox 360 for us to find all of this out, but it looks like the wait may have been worth it.  In a follow-up post I'll give more thoughts about specific aspects of this once I get a chance to really look at it.

At first glance it appears to be a solid mix of talent being added to the game though.

Here's the information from IGN.

Accelerator

Players will gain instant access to all unlockable content available in the game (excluding downloadable content);
The Accelerator will be available for a suggested price of $1.99.

2K Showcase: One More Match

Story focused on the rivalry between WWE Superstars Randy Orton and Christian in 2011;
Playable WWE Superstars: Christian, Randy Orton, Edge, Mark Henry and Sheamus;
Playable arenas from 2011: SmackDown®, Extreme Rules®, Over the Limit® and Capitol Punishment®;
2K Showcase: One More Match will be available for a suggested price of $9.99.

2K Showcase: Hall of Pain

Story focused on top matches for WWE Superstar Mark Henry;
Playable WWE Superstars: Mark Henry, Big Show, Kane, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Sheamus, The Great Khali, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan and Ryback;
Playable arenas: SmackDown (2011), Vengeance® (2011) and WrestleMania® 29;
2K Showcase: Hall of Pain will be available for a suggested price of $9.99.

2K Showcase: Path of the Warrior

Story focused on the career of WWE Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior;
Playable WWE Hall of Famers: Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and Sgt. Slaughter;
Playable WWE Legends: Honky Tonk Man, Rick Rude, Macho King and Colonel Mustafa;
Playable WWE Superstars: Undertaker and Hunter Hearst Helmsley;
Access to WWE Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel and WWE managers Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan, Paul Bearer, Sherri, Sid Justice and General Adnan;
Playable arenas: WrestleMania VI, VII and XII; SummerSlam® (1988, 1990 and 1991); Saturday Night’s Main Event XXIV and Madison Square Garden®;
2K Showcase: Path of the Warrior will be available for a suggested price of $9.99.

WCW Pack

Playable WCW Superstars: Fit Finlay, Lord Steven Regal, Bam Bam Bigelow, Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger;
The WCW Pack will be available for a suggested price of $7.99.

NXT Arrival

Playable NXT Superstars: JBL, Adam Rose and The Ascension (Konnor and Victor);
Playable NXT Diva: Emma;
NXT Arrival will be available for a suggested price of $6.99.

New Moves Pack

Moves Pack: More than 30 new moves, including an alternate version of Sister Abigail (performed from the ring corner and made popular by Bray Wyatt) and Multiple Gut Wrenches (made popular by Cesaro);
The New Moves Pack will be available for a suggested price of $3.99. 

Also of note.



Monday, October 13, 2014

WWE Network Advertising


As a WWE Network subscriber, I just received the following in my Inbox.

Dear WWE Network Subscriber,

Today WWE Network will begin to run limited video advertisements.

Here's what you can expect:

• No commercial breaks during scheduled programming
• Limited advertising between shows
• Occasional advertising before our video-on-demand content

If you have any questions regarding your subscription, please visit wwe.com/help. Thank you for being a WWE Network subscriber.

WWE Network Support
I've often said that if ads on the Network would help it a) be more successful or b) keep my monthly cost down, I have zero issue with it.  It sounds like at the very least they will be fairly unobtrusive.  It might take some getting used to like when IFC began adding commercials during their movies.  It's certainly not a deal-breaker for me as I don't think it will hamper my enjoyment of the product one bit.    

Dolph Ziggler and Harry The Hawk

Who did the Atlanta Hawks have promoting tonight's RAW from Philip's Arena in ATL?

None other than Dolph Ziggler along with Harry The Hawk.




When I saw this come across my Facebook newsfeed, I knew I had to share it right here on South Atlanta Wrestling. As always, it's good to see that the Pac is Back. The new, modified version of the Hawks' iconic "Pac-Man" logo is pretty sweet if you ask me.