Day Of Reckoning (DOR) is an evolution of the Wrestlemania games that were released on the Gamecube. However after listening to fans cry's for a decent brawler the developers have taken huge strides to prove that they were listening and that they can create a great wrestling game on Nintendo's console; hence the drop of Wrestlemania in the title.
DOR differs from the smackdown series, in that it is more akin to the N64 games which favoured realism to the arcadey feel of the Smackdown series. So dont expect wrestlers popping up right away after a big move much like they do in the Smackdown titles.
There are some similarities to the Smackdown titles such as a character damage bar and a stamina gauge, to indicate damage for body parts and the overal spirit of the wrestler.
New to wrestling games is a concept called the 'momentum shift' - which an innovative manoeuvre, just as in real wrestling matches in that it gives the 'losing' player one last chance to come back into the match. To expand a little bit more, it will steal your opponents momentum and boost yours up dramatically to give you the upper hand. So the days of endless beating up of opponents may not be so easy - and this adds to the suspense of the game! just like the real show!
Some downers would be the limited rooster of WWE Superstars - 35 in total (covering the big names), but each character is immaculately detailed and moves realistically. There is also a comprehensive create a character option, where you can create anyone under the sun! This create a wrestler mode is so comprehensive that it includes a plethora of textures to apply to shirts, bikinis, face-paint designs, jeans etc!. If that was not enough you will even find parts and move animations for a lot of the missing wrestlers.
For those that long for a single player option, the developers have moulded a good attempt at this. The story is fairly linear as one would expect.
However most people buy these games for the multiplayer, and this does not disappoint. 4 people wrestling has reached new levels and be assured plenty of laughs and excitement! - with the standard standard tag team, one-on-one, triple threat, and fatal four way matches as well as Cage, Hell in a Cell, Hardcore, Ladder, Tables, TLC, & Royal Rumble matches to choose from.
As eluded earlier the graphics are amazing, and still hold their own by todays standards. Wrestlers look nearly identical to their real life counterparts e.g. wrinkles of Ric Flair. Characters move fluidly and their entrances are also spot on, exactly as they make their way to the ring on TV, inclusive of pyrotechnics and titantron movies.
There is no commentary in the game, and I feel that it does not add any value to such games. The audio has been much improved and now includeslicensed music used during gameplay. This is a much welcomed change of atmosphere from the generic rock riffs that populated wrestling games of the past. The music itself adds to the feel of the game and doesnt detrack from it.
In summary this is one of the best wrestlers on the Gamecube bar DOR 2. In my opinion no one wants to play such games for the single player, as the multiplayer is a blast. It is far superior to the Smackdown games on the PS2 and Xbox and carries the feel of classic N64 games. you will not be disappointed!
Highly recommended 8.5/10
Last year, you rose from the minor leagues of the WWE to become not only one of its top Superstars, but the World Heavyweight Champion. Maybe it was too much success too quickly. Maybe you were just not ready to carry the target on your back that comes with being a champion. Or maybe you were simply betrayed. Whatever the reason, you lost the title and now must find your way back to the elusive path of vindication. This time around, the path will be even more difficult as the line between friend and foe is not always clear.