Another week, another installment of OH GOD WHY?!, in which I play the worst games I can find, and then share my rage with you. This week, get your flourescent light bulbs ready, its Backyard Wrestling 2 for the PS2 and XBox.
I am a wrestling fan. Yup, I said it, and it’s out there now. Come at me. I dare you. In the mid-90s, when WCW was the leading wrestling promotion, they were featured in what was probably my favorite game for my favorite system: WCW vs. nWo Revenge for the Nintendo 64. That game and its now famous AKI-produced engine captured the feel of the WCW product, from the momentum shifts of the matches, to the high flying of the Mexican luchadores. It is not a lie to say that WCW Revenge made me the man I am today. A lonely, lonely man who writes sarcastic freelance articles for a video game blog.
Several other wrestling games were released in the wake of Revenge’s success, including WWF Attitude, Smackdown, and WCW Thunder. None were able to come close to the experience a wrestling fan got out of Revenge and its sequels; WWF WrestleMania 2000, and WWF No Mercy. As the millennium approached however, AKI moved on to make the Def Jam games for EA, and the WWF/ WCW games all came to be enveloped into the Smackdown vs Raw line. That lead to the creation of several lower-tier wrestling games being released in the early and mid 2000s. Such as the travesty that is Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood.
|Both of these people have Daddy issues.|
Backyard Wrestling 2 features members from every color of this shit colored rainbow, including former pros such as New Jack and Sandman, along with such wonderful backyard characters as Masked Horn Dog and El Drunko. No you’re not wrong, this DOES sound like the worst thing ever. The roster is surprisingly large, clocking in at 26 playable characters, all of whom look like the kind of person who’d violate and kill you, and probably not in that order. Among the luminaries you can play as include the likes of quasi celebrities like Andrew W.K., Tera Patrick, and...wait...hold on, I can do this...
Motherfuckin ICP, ninja! YEAH BOY!
The graphical presentation is almost as bad as the soundtrack. Menus are ugly, and needlessly complicated. They also feature some of the most grating sound effects I’ve ever heard in a game. Everytime you accept an option, you hear a 2 second guitar riff that sounds like its being played on Satan’s pubic hair. Player models are undetailed and boring, and the animations are stiffer than that washcloth in the corner of my shower. You know which one. For the love of God, don’t ever touch it. You can easily tell which characters are the guys from ICP though, which is all I bet most people who bought this game cared about anyways.
To say the controls in this game are a mess is an understatement. You could probably just put the controller on the ground, seizure on top of it, and have as good of luck as if you were actually trying. The wrestlers rarely aim in the correct direction, the punches and kicks frequently clip though one another, and attacks from ledges often result in one guy leaping 30 feet across the screen to connect with the opponent. There’s 4 different kinds of attacks, but you’re really only here to hit fat rappers with weapons and the game seems to know this. Almost everything in the environment can be broken into, resulting in more and more weapons. TVs, doghouses, beer bottles, and golf clubs are all at your disposal and it’d probably be a lot of fun to hit people with them in a game better than this.
A career mode is included for people who would want to play this for longer than an hour. Rest assured, you don’t. There’s promo videos of the real life wrestlers you can watch in the game, if you’re into the kind of thing. I feel like watching the videos is almost like encouraging these jerks, though so I’d suggest just watching this YouTube video over and over again. When it comes down to it, backyard wrestling is a dumb thing for dumb people. That means that a videogame of backyard wrestling is a dumb thing for lazy dumb people. And here I am, paying $6 for it at GameStop this past weekend. Fuck me.
Christopher Linendoll is expensing that $6.99. He can be reached via Twitter, or carrier pigeon.