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Def Jam Vendetta (PS2)

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Manufacturer: Electronic Arts / Gerne: Fighting Game

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    5 Reviews
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    • More +
      24.11.2011 18:52
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      A wrestling game that features rappers instead of wrestlers!

      == DEF JAM VENDETTA ==
      If you're looking for something very different then look no further than Def Jam Vendetta because it offers a whole new meaning to different. Def Jam Vendetta is a pro wrestling game combined with hip hop rappers instead of actual wrestlers. I think this works quite well to be fair and the game has a lot of decent features and game modes. Def Jam Vendetta was developed by AKI Corporation and published by EA Sports BIG. The game is also available on the GameCube as well as the PS2 and was released back in 2003. The game does feature a cinematic story mode with an okay storyline. I love the Def Jam Vendetta game and think its one of the best wrestling games that doesn't actually feature real life wrestlers. It based on a massive roster of rappers wrestling against each other and it works which surprised me at first.

      === STORY ===
      At the start of story mode you pick from four characters and the story revolves around who you pick. When you have chosen your character you are called upon for help by your friend called Manny. He was meant to compete in a street fight but cant so you must step in for him. Once you win and tackle a few more fights you then go up against Scarface. After beating him you are then given the chance to pick a girlfriend. The girls then fight but you actually control them and the winner becomes your new girlfriend. Now your character must gain respect by competing in more fights and you must get new clothes and so on. Your character will meet many people along the way that will give you a helping hand.

      === GAMEPLAY ===
      Def Jam Vendetta has a fair few game modes that you can play. Story mode is the main mode and the aim of this is to basically win every match up you have. Some of the match types available in this are one vs one and two on two. Both are good but I feel the single matches are much better. There are also girl matches which are also fairly good. When wrestling it obviously takes place in a wrestling ring which is surrounded by a decent sized crowd. You have to do wrestling moves, punches, kicks and combos to defeat your opponents. There are also special moves which you can do but you need to fill a meter by doing moves on your opponents. The finishing moves are absolutely fantastic and can sometimes knock your opponent straight out and automatically win you the match. Also when doing moves there are several ways you can do them. You can run and grapple, do normal standing moves or you can simply hold the grapple button and a direction longer to do powerful moves. You can also climb turnbuckles and do devastating moves from there. You can also go out the ring and wrestle near the crowds.

      There are over 40 different brawlers and almost all of them are real rappers and some of which include including DMX, Ghostface Killah, Redman, Ludacris, N.O.R.E., Capone, Scarface, Joe Budden, Method Man and many more. Christina Milian is also featured as one of the girls in the game but under a different name. There are several unique venues where you can wrestle as well and most of them are really good. The biggest surprise to the game is the fact there are well over 1500 different wrestling moves and no characters have the same. There are also a wide range of devastating finishes to kill off your opponents. You also earn cash which can be spent to upgrade the story mode characters stats to make them much stronger, more agile and a lot tougher to beat. Earning cash is simple and is done by winning matches, the more matches you win the more money you can earn. Also each of the girls in the game have a gallery which can be viewed from the main menu. The gallery is full with their real life photos.

      Game modes are an important part of some games nowadays and Def Jam Vendetta rarely disappoints because there are a total of 3 playable game modes which one is story mode. Battle mode is a great mode to play because it involves different match ups for you to try. You could go one vs one against anyone you like or you can even do tag team matches. Also you can do a free for all match which is four wrestlers against each other. Lastly there is also handicap matches but I don't see why you would want to go up against a maximum of 3 wrestlers at one time. You can also play this mode with up to four friends on the same console. Another game mode you can play is Survival mode. Survival mode is one of my favourites because it never ends. You take on the computer in a one on one match but straight after you will come up against another one but your health is refilled after every fight and you just need to win. Also this mode is the most challenging and can get extremely frustrating. Something else worth mentioning is that you don't need to win by just pinning your opponent on the mat because you can also make them submit or knock them out.

      === GRAPHICS ===
      Def Jam Vendetta is quite good for graphics but the game does look slightly dated in some places but that's not forgetting the game was released back in 2003. Most of the wrestlers look great but there are a few that don't look at all like they do in real life. Some of them though do and are detailed really well and most of them have facial expressions when they are hit and so on. I was a little disappointed that a select few of the wrestling venues look a little dated more so than the other graphics on display. The colouring and textures of the game are okay. Overall I think the graphics are fairly good but the game overall is starting to show its age.

      === SOUND EFFECTS ===
      The sound effects to Def Jam Vendetta are reasonably good in places. The music in the game gets on my wick a little because I cant stand rap music or most RnB music. There are a couple of songs that surprised me but it was obvious what type of music would be in the game anyway. There are songs from people such as Method Man, Public Enemy, DMX, Redman, Keith Murray, Comp, Onyx, Ghostface Killah, Scarface and many more. The actual in game sound effects and the menu sound effects are actually really good. You can hear the full effects when you slam your opponent to the mat and you can certainly hear the full effect when you're just about to finish your opponent off. So the overall sound effects are quite good and certainly make the game better.

      === DIFFICULTY ===
      Def Jam Vendetta can be a little sod of a game. Some of the wrestlers or rappers which ever you want to call them are hard as nails and seem to always do things like block or counter. The game is increasingly annoying when they block or counter and it certainly makes it more challenging. Also the controls are a little difficult because there are so many of them. The game starts off fairly simple but as you start defeating enemies and taking on more it starts getting harder and when you find yourself up in a handicap match then your in big trouble. I finally mastered the game so its quite easy now but after a while you will as well. Other game modes can be difficult it depend if you're up against friends or if you're playing survival mode because that can be a pain in the neck. Overall the game can be difficult until you get the hang of it.

      === LONGEVITY ===
      The length of the game is actually not too shabby. I was expecting story mode to be short and to be honest it sort of is but the fact you have to go through with four different characters is great. Each playthrough is about 8-10 hours per character which is respectable and overall quite good. Survival mode will literally last you a lifetime because its incredibly hard and I'm pretty sure it cant be finished and just involves no end of matches. Battle mode is also quite good because you can play this mode alone against the computer or you can play against friends or family members. Overall the length of the game in my opinion is good.

      === PROS ===
      *Over 40 rappers to fight with and most of them are unlockables.
      *A wrestling game full with both male and female rappers.
      *The sound effects are really good to the game.
      *The game can be picked up incredibly cheap online.
      *Story mode is good and you can play battle mode with or against friends.
      *Over 1500 different moves with each wrestler having different moves.

      === CONS ===
      *Survival mode is quite tricky and never ends.
      *Some of the graphics look a little dated for a 2003 game.
      *The story to the game is unnecessary and effects the gameplay a little.
      *Not really enough multiplayer options.
      *The game will at some point make you frustrated and annoyed.

      === FINAL THOUGHT ===
      Def Jam Vendetta is a great game and even wrestling fans will love this even though there are no actual real wrestlers in it. Also are so far two sequels to this game entitled Def Jam Fight For NY and Def Jam Icon and looks like there wont be anymore. I love the fact you can do actual proper wrestling moves on the game and that the finishers are even better than what proper finishing moves are like. Def Jam Vendetta is a superbly designed game that will suit many types of gamers.

      If you like wrestling and rap music this game will be perfect for you because both are merged together. If you dislike both with a passion then this is definitely not for you. I would recommend the game to be fair and the main reason for that is because its enjoyable. Even though the game is frustrating most of the time you can unleash your own anger in it. Also if you're a fan of proper wrestling games this isn't far short of what those games offer and the only real difference are the rappers and music. Okay there aren't an awful lot of match types but I feel there's enough to make you enjoy it like I have.

      I bought the game a while back from Amazon and it only set me back £2 which included postage. Amazon is the best place to find this game and probably the cheapest. The game is still on there for the same price and I believe its worth every penny. The game manual is good and I can guarantee you will use it for the controls like I did. The game also has an age rating of 15+ because of the strong violence and language used throughout.

      Overall Def Jam Vendetta is a fun and failry addictive game that I would give a reasonable 7/10!

      Review also posted on Ciao under username: MrBrightside1987!

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      • More +
        31.03.2010 02:24
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        Enjoyable wrestling game

        Def Jam is has established itself as the haloed label for hip hop music having been recognised as a pioneer during the 80's at which time their roster included the likes of Public Enemy and LL Cool J.

        This is EA's first attempt to mix the popularity of hip hop with wrestling by including the current stars of the music label. The current stars include the likes of Redman, DMX, Method Man, Joe Budden and many others.

        You can play 1 or 2 player and square off in the squared ring either against each other, or team up as a tag team. There are 2 main modes of play the first is the story mode in which you must battle to the very top taking on both unknown wrestlers, to then take on one of the main stars before finally taking on the guy that runs this wrestling circuit.

        Once you pick your wrestler you will start off quite weakened but fear not as each victory will provide you with money which you can then use to improve the attributes of the wrestler. Therefore you might like to focus on improving his strength or likewise speed might be an issue.

        EA boasts that there are some 1500 unique moves across all wrestlers and although I can't substantiate that, I can say with certainty that there is a huge range of moves. These include pile drivers, to power drivers, to suplexes to bone crunching finishing moves. As well as fighting fairly you can resort to skulduggery and use weapons from outside the ring to give you the upper hand.

        The action is fast paced and intense which helps to maintain the enjoyability of the game. There is of course a difficulty curve and the further you advance, the more this becomes apparent.

        The moves are quite easy to master and you will quickly be pulling off bone shattering moves without any trouble. The control system is response and intuitive allowing you to concentrate on the action without being distracted by niggles.

        Graphically all of the famous stars are instantly recognisable but the graphics are looking quite dated now which is nothing to be surprised about considering the age of the game. The graphics are fairly crisp, there does not appear to be any apparent bugs and they are nice and bright.

        The music played in the background can be slightly on the tedious side at times because of the repetition but the audio can be adjusted.

        Overall this is an immensely enjoyable game and the 4 stars represent how it rates against both other wrestling games and the lastability of the game. It is true that after a while some of the battles can be overcome quite quickly but I have found myself going back to this time and time again.

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      • More +
        28.04.2009 18:33

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        a must have game for any wrestling or rap fan.the game features some of the greatest rappers of today playing your enemies in the underground fighting world.the fights are brilliant with some brilliant moves at your disposal from flying moves, striking moves, too grappling.they all come together to give a must have game.

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      • More +
        10.09.2007 08:55
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        Let's hope EA didn't fail on Icon.

        If you’ve read my Top Ten games review, you’ll know that Def Jam: Fight for NY was one of my best. Don’t ask me why I played that before I played its predecessor, but I did. Now I saw this, Aliens versus Predator Extinction and Urban Reign in GAME, all in the 3 for 2 or £9.99 each offer. So, I spend my cash to buy these games, seeing as I was interested in all of these games. I first played this, seeing as I was really interested to play this. I was pretty shocked after my first match. Turns out Vendetta is a completely different game from Fight For NY, and not just because it wasn’t as mature as Fight for NY (that’s thanks to the 15+ rating). Rather than fighting in a crowd, where anything goes, Vendetta puts wrestlers in a ring where they duke it out without weapons. To be honest, the only thing it has in common with its sequel is that they both have rappers in it and that you can do blazin’ moves. So, is it as good? Well, not really. That is actually asking a bit much, seeing as Fight for NY got a mighty 9.6. But Vendetta does come close. It’s a great game and one that you will enjoy throughout.

        -(The Story)-
        At the beginning of the story mode you can choose one of four generic wrestlers. They’re different as their stats are different and they look different as well. Anyways, you are wrestling for your buddy Manny, who is too injured to fight in an underground street-fighting circuit owned by an evil man named D-Mobb. Anyways, you play the first match and you can only win in the story mode to progress, so once you win, Manny gets you fighting more. But there are some personal issues that arise as you progress, as D-Mobb is going out with your ex-girlfriend!

        -(The Controls)-
        The game controls well. You can move around the ring with the left analog stick. Here’s how you do moves, you can get into a grapple position with the X button, punch with the square button, and run with the Circle button. You can get in and out of the ring with the triangle button. You can dodge or do a pin with the R1 button, lift a guy off the floor and block with the R1 button and Taunt with the right analog stick. You need to taunt to set of a blazin’ move. To do a blazin’ move you have to get someone in a grapple position and move the right analog stick in any direction. Oh, and to do a grapple you press either Square or Circle when in a grapple position.

        -(The Gameplay)-
        Vendetta plays pretty much like Aki games before it, aside from a faster pace and some other minor changes. You can grapple, strike, run and grapple/strike as well as jump from turnbuckles, doing grapples on ring corners and when guys are on the ropes. You can also do moves when opponents are on the ground, as well as pin them. Grapples are done in this way; you first need to get them into a position by pressing the grapple button and a direction on the left analog stick. Then, you can either press either the grapple or strike buttons to do a move. If you press a button quickly, it will do a weak move. If you press harder it will do a stronger move. It’s the same for moves when you’re in the corner of the ring. As you do moves, a meter under your health fills up. This is your heat meter. You earn heat by doing moves. If you repeat moves, you won’t get as much. You get lots of heat if you can taunt or jump off the turnbuckle in succession. Once your meter is full, you move the right analog stick and go into heat mode. Then, you can get them into position and do a really strong move. If can KO people if you do it when opponents are really weak.

        One thing I disliked about the game was the difficulty. Whatever difficulty you’re on, expect a challenge. The difficulty can be cheap at times. Sometimes, you do a finisher, but because the opponent isn’t damaged enough you have to try and fill up your meter again and hope they don’t get some momentum and beat you. Also, there are some cheap things about the game, like when an opponent can continually beat you down, and when you get a chance they counter you and beat you down again. Another cheap thing is diving moves. It pretty much is down to luck, as most of the time your opponent rolls out of the way and you miss. It seems to happen just a little too much. One bad thing is the lack of a move where you can drag an enemy away from the ropes. Basically, you may nail a finisher and it’s your chance to pin them. But, the enemy is at the ropes, so as soon as you pin, they get a rope break as well as some momentum. It’s unfair in almost every way.

        The standard match types are here. You’ve got your one-on-one matches, you have your tag team matches where two people fight against two people, you have your battle royal where lots of people fight and you have your handicap match where it’s 3 on 1. One fun mode is survival. This mode lets you choose a wrestler and then fight against over 40 opponents, or at least try to. If you’re pinned, submit or KO’d then it’s over. That added some true value, as you’re trying to beat your score which was fun.

        But the main meat of the game is in the game’s story mode. Basically, you choose a generic character (1 of 4), each with different stats, and you take them through lots of matches as you try to be the best. Or should I say da best. Anyways, the story is interesting so that will entertain you, and it’s the best place to earn cash, which you can spend either upgrading your generic guy or buying pictures of women. Seriously, you can buy pictures of the ladies in the game, so long as they love you. Sometimes in the game, two ladies will fight over you, you can choose which one to fight as and if you win you can buy pictures of them. There’s also some tag team battles in the game, which earn the most money.

        There is a roster of over 40 fighters in Vendetta. Not all of them are rappers though, as some of them are generic guys. The rappers include DMX, Scarface, Method Man, Ludacris, WC, N.O.R.E., Redman and more. It seems the rappers are better than the generic characters, as they are better in terms of stats. The generic characters include a priest, a hillbilly, a Chinese fighter (his glasses somehow never smashed), a gangsata who wore hillbilly clothes, clowns and more. There is just a really crazy roster here, and that’s what I liked about the game. There’s something for everyone here, so don’t feel left out. Shame there’s no create-a-wrestler mode. Plus, the game is missing a couple of rappers. WHERE THE HELL IS PUBLIC ENEMY GODDAMNIT!

        So, how does it compare to Fight for NY. Well, it’s very close, but just missies it. Basically, this game will be loved by wrestling fans and rap fans, and that’s it. But the second game could appeal to many more people. Wrestling fans, rap fans, fighting fans, fans who liked to make wrestlers and it was just more fun as it didn’t have a cheap difficulty, and while it didn’t have online play, it had a create-a-wrestler mode. And no rappers were left out from the game that time. Plus, there weren’t as many generic characters as, while I didn’t mind the generic characters, there were more generic characters than rappers in the game. Plus, it looked better, or maybe that’s because I was playing Fight for NY on a more powerful system-the xbox.

        The game is rated 15+ for language (though no droppings of the F bomb) and violence. But, like most wrestling games, I believe people under this age could play this. Like I said, the language isn’t too strong, and there’s not blood as well. The only thing I will say is, like the TV show, kids may get an idea to copy moves off the game. And this is more apparent than the WWE games, because here a lot of the moves could break necks, but they don’t show that here. So, if you’re kids are easily influenced then it might be a good idea to keep them away from Vendetta. Otherwise, I would say anyone who is at least 11 years old could play this without too much trouble.

        -(The Graphics)-
        Graphically, Vendetta looks great. Granted, it’s a four year old game so it’s not going to look superb, but it has held up pretty well. The character models looked great, with some nice detail. The rappers in the game look like their real-life parts, and the generic characters look good too. It’s weird to see a priest wrestling. The arenas don’t look so good; they look a little generic. You have your huge event arena (Wrestlemania anyone?), you have your underground arena, you have your bars and so forth. I’ll admit though, Ludacris’ bar looked pretty great. The animation is excellent; the wrestling moves look smooth and never feel stiff. The game suffers from a couple of problems from the Smackdown games, so expect some clipping, lacking hair animation etc.

        -(The Sound)-
        The sound, like its sequel, is fantastic. Well unless you hate rap. But you still couldn’t deny that the voice acting is excellent. All the rappers featured in the game do their voiceovers, and boy, they do it well. Well, maybe DMX sounded a little screechy. And the generic characters sounded pretty damn good (sadly, your character in the story mode is a mute), particularly D-Mobb, who maybe did the evil thing a little too much as you hate this guy by the end of the game. Anyways, the game also has an excellent soundtrack. All the rappers in the game are featured in the game’s soundtrack. You’ll hear DMX’s Party Up (my favourite song ever!!!), N.O.R.E.’s Nothin’, Ludacris’ Saturday and more. The effects are good too, with slams of the mat, scratches of DJ tables and more.

        -(The Replay Value)-
        Sadly, this is where Vendetta slips up most. The story mode will take a few hours to complete, and you may play around with the survival and exhibition modes as well. Plus, you’ll need to replay the story a few times to unlock everything. Yet, the game lacks some things. While the game does have offline multiplayer, the game could have done with online play. This is a weakness of its sequel too. Also, the lack of a create-a-wrestler means that there isn’t anything to let you make some wacky creations. Finally, the game is missing some rappers. Most noticeably, there’s no Public Enemy. NO PUBLIC ENEMY!!!

        -(The Score)-
        Controls=10
        Gameplay=8
        Graphics=8
        Sound=10
        Replay Value=7
        Overall Score=8.6

        -(The Ending Comments)-
        Vendetta is an outstanding game, no doubt about it. It’s got a lot going for it; it’s unique, great to look at, lovely to hear and great to play as well. Sadly, it’s let down by a cheap difficulty, lack of online play or a create-a-wrestler mode and some Rappers are missing from the game. Still, there are lots of people I can recommend this to. Wrestling fans will love this, as well as wrestling fans that thought that Fight for NY was too revolved around fighting, rather than wrestling. Hip Hop fans are going to love this, unless of course you can’t get over Public Enemy not being in this. Yet, fans of Fight for NY may think this is too different from that game, and may just ignore it. Still, if you’re a fan of wrestling or hip hop, you can’t go wrong with Def Jam Vendetta.

        -(The Extra Info)-
        This was published by EA Sports BIG and developed by Aki Corp.
        This was released on May 23rd, 2003 and is also on the Gamecube.
        You can buy this in the used and new section from Amazon from £2.15

        Thanks for reading. Stunt 101

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        • More +
          09.09.2007 10:49
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          Fight as rappers form the Def Jam record label

          This is the first edition to what is now a series which has gone on to see 3 sequals, the latest to be released next year. As Def Jam Vendetta (DJV) was a new series it had to come into the gaming world with a bang; and it did. This game gave you the answer to "Who would win a fight out of Methan Man and Redman?" or "Could anyone beat DMX in a fight?". In DJV some of the most well known artists on the Def Jam record label featured, including: Ludacris, Joe Budden and Ghostface Killah, as well as a selection of made-up characters with unique personalities and fighting styles. This is a wrestling game but some styles can effect how if you rely on grapples mainly, or strikes.

          The story mode has an underground boss, D-Mob, who "runs" the streets, in which people compete for "Money, Power and Respect." He is a very convincing leader with a laid-back attitude to life, which when ultimately you fight him you find to be a serious challenge. Your main objective is to get up in the undergound.

          It is dissappointing as for the story mode you must choose one of a very limited, 4 characters. They should have included a create-a-fighter mode, however this wasn't brought in until the next title. The plot is very straightforward as you fight to gain respect then get girlfriends. You gradually meet more as you beat people like N.O.R.E. in his specially-themed "Grimeyville" and Ludacris in "Club Luda", from these examples you can see that all the real rappers have individual places where you fight them to suit their characters. Also the MCs themselves choses these locations and their special moves, this gives an extra level of authentitcity to the Def Jam title.

          The gameplay is very simple for the game, far less complex than WWE SmackDown! games, however, if you are used to wrestling games then you will have only played that sereis and therefore it does take some time to get used to. I felt it took me a while to complete when a first got it. Once I did finish the story mode, I gave it to my sister and she managed to complete it over a weekend. This shows you that it is simple to pick up and play but I don't know how she beat D-Mob because he is like bosses from retro games in that he is stronger, and recovers faster than you or any other fighter.

          You cannot complain about the roster because eventhough it doesn't compare to the newer games, however now it's not just Def Jam members. Also the people used were the biggest stars of Def Jam in 2003. The fights are all fought within a ring (and outside of it) which is fully interactive, being able to use the ropes as weapons by rubbing the head of the opponent along it. The turnbuckle is also an option to perform an aerial attack on the opposing fighter.

          After the story is done there is't much else to do, apart from fight in 1-on-1 or tag team exhibition bouts. So I just started again, it isn't really if you do this either because you can choose to go through it with a different character to fight a new story.

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