COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: WWE 13 Review

Updated: 12/12/2012 1:06 PM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

I have been watching the WWE since the early 80s and I am still a fan. My grandpa Chalich actually got me interested in professional wrestling because he watched it every Saturday morning and I would watch it with him when I could.

I have seen many wrestlers come and go. Then return years later with a new name and gimmick. I think the reason that I like professional wrestling so much is all of the different and unique gimmicks each wrestler has.

I think that one of the best eras of the WWE was the “Attitude” era. This was in the late 90’s when there were two different wrestling companies fighting for the top spot in the ratings.

You had Vince McMahon’s WWE on Monday Nights and Ted Turner’s WCW on Monday’s at the same time. Both companies tried to outdo each other each week and the WWE usually came out on top.

The WWE had the biggest wrestlers like, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Mankind, The Undertaker and many more. They did some of the most outrageous things like have over the top matches that had everyone glued to the TV. 

One thing that I have always liked about the WWE was that just about every year a video game would be released featuring all of their superstars. I bought everyone and played them until the next one came out. 

Last month THQ released “Wrestlemania 13” and I just received a review copy on the PS3.  This is by far the best wrestling game I have played and I have played them all.

“Wrestlemania 13” features the WWE’s current roster of wrestlers and it has the largest roster of wrestlers in the franchise’s history. There are so many wrestlers it’s amazing. You have all of the current ones and then you can unlock hidden wrestlers as you play game that was in the WWE at one time.

The game looks amazing.  The graphics are very detailed and the wrestlers look life-like.   “Wrestlemania 13” uses “Predator Technology 2.0” which makes the game play smoother and more fluid. I really liked this lot.

The moves didn’t seem choppy and everything was very fast paced. There was absolutely no lagging or game freezes at all.

I thought the controls were very easy to learn and I liked them a lot. When you are playing the game, you can pause it and go into a very detailed and descriptive tutorial that explains and shows you what button you need to push. 

You can search for what you want to do. For instance if you need to know what button to push to get you to climb out of a cage in a cage match, you just scroll over to cage match and it tells you. This was very helpful.

I am a huge fan of the commentary in wrestling games, but it gets old after a while, because you hear the same thing over and over again. I have played “Wrestlemania 13” for many hours and I have not heard the same thing twice. The commentary is very entertaining and is fresh. This impressed me a lot.

There are so many different types of matches it is hard to choose which one you want to play. There is the basic one on one, tables match, TLC match, “I Quit” match, inferno match, cage match, plus many more. I really liked the selection and it made the game really fun and not boring.

You can create a character and this was a lot of fun. You start from scratch and you create what your character looks like, the clothes they wear, their moves, their entrance, if they are a good guy or a bad guy. You create everything. You can then save the character and play as him in the game and online.

You can also create story lines, entrance videos, logos, finishing moves, and so many other things. I really liked this a lot because you have so much control over everything in the game.

Speaking of control, I want to talk about the “WWE Universe” mode. This is really great.  You pretty much play the role of a booker. You have the whole WWE schedule in front of you and you can change anything about it that you want. Each month you have weekly shows, like RAW and Smackdown and then at the end of the month you have a big pay per view. 

At any time you can change the matches, which wrestlers are wrestling, which wrestlers are wrestling for which show, who is the champion plus many other things.

Another mode is the “Attitude Era” and I really enjoyed this lot. You get to relive some of the greatest storylines in WWE history. There are different chapters and the story lines feature wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin,  The Undertaker, Mankind and The Rock. 

You first get to see a video that led up to the match and then you play the match. There are different objectives you need to do in the matches and if you do them, then you will unlock a hidden item in the game. The unlockable could be a certain wrestler or outfit for a current wrestler. There are a ton of things to unlock, so I know I will be playing this game a long time.

You can also go online and play all of the many different types of matches against people from all over the world. You are ranked by how many matches you win. You start out as a trainee and then you can work your way up by winning matches.

I thought the online was great and I didn’t have any problems with the game disconnecting or lagging. There were a few times where I had problems finding people to play against, but that was not a big deal.

I really liked THQ’s “Wrestlemania 13” a lot and think it’s one of the best wrestling games ever. The roster is amazing and features all of your current and past favorite WWE characters. The graphics and commentary are really good.  The controls are really easy to learn and there are so many different gameplay options that the game will stay fresh and fun for a long time.

I would highly recommend that you check out “Wrestlemania 13” if you are a WWE fan or are looking for a fun and action packed game.

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about the latest entertainment news.