PAX East - First Look: WrestleQuest
WrestleQuest is a game that intrigued me, both as a fan of wrestling and RPGs. I was curious to see how they would marry both genres together. So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to preview the game at PAX East. I only got to check out one match in the tutorial, but I’ll say, I’m impressed and looking forward to playing more.
Much like other games in the genre, WrestleQuest has exploration and characters you can interact with. In the bit that I played, I took on a jobber with a big mouth, and this operated as a tutorial. Similar to other RPGs, there was a yellow exclamation mark that led me to the match. Also, similar to many RPGs, there was plenty of text to read. There was some voice acting, but it was more “oooh yeah’s” than actual dialogue. Granted, it was the tutorial, so I assume there’ll be less text and more action as you progress in the game.
The battle mechanics in the game stay true to RPG roots but have enough wrestling elements to make them feel unique. The attack system plays out in a turn-based style. Much like other RPGs like this, your opponent is on one side of the ring, and you are on the other. When it’s your turn, you have a few options: attack, make a special move, or taunt. The tutorial does a nice job of walking you through each of these.
When you attempt an attack, you can do more damage if you time the attack button, as a follow-up, at just the right time. Timing a follow-up attack can also cause your opponent to bounce off the ropes, where you can do additional moves.
The pinning mechanic feels most like other wrestling games I’ve played. When your opponent is down, a bar appears on the bottom of the screen, with an arrow sliding back and forth. You score a one count if you can time the arrow to stop within a green zone. Land three counts, and you’ll earn the pinfall. If not, your opponent will get back up.
One of the things that caught my attention is the artwork; I adore what they did with the characters. Each character has a cartoony look, almost toy-like. It’s also impressive the number of wrestlers they have on the roster, from Macho Man Randy Savage to Sargent Slaughter.
There’s still no official release date, but wrestling and RPG fans alike will want to keep an eye out for this game.