It may be hard to believe, but your new favourite wrestling game might just be an RPG. Launching this August, WrestleQuest allows you to partake on a journey to achieve wrestling stardom, but forget about getting in the ring and battering your opponents with a complex action-based fighting system. Instead, the gameplay is much more in the style of classic Final Fantasy.
Enter the world of WrestleQuest, and you’ll find that it’s one inhabited by living toys. Even weirder, they all seem to worship the legendary Macho Man Randy Savage as some kind of god. Needless to say, this is a world utterly consumed by wrestling and everything that it is. And while some inhabitants are fully aware that it’s all a dramatic act, there are others, like Randy Santos, that believe it is real.
You’ll begin WrestleQuest in control of Randy Santos, learning the ropes, so to speak. But once you have all the knowledge you need to make it out in the big bad world under your belt, you’ll discover that he’s not the only character you’ll be in control of during this adventure. There’s also Brink Logan, another skilled wrestler who dreams big. Are their destinies entwined? That’s something to discover. And we’re keen to know if we’ll get any more perspectives on this unique world.
In any case, what’s clear about WrestleQuest after spending 90 minutes or so with a preview build is that it’s a game with a lot of character and heart. It’s genuinely humorous at times, and it has a lovely pixel art style that makes it an absolute pleasure to look at. What’s more, classic wrestling fans will get even more of a kick out of it thanks to it featuring some legendary icons from yesteryear. You can tell that the folks behind it at Mega Cat Games love wrestling, and have tried to create something that displays their passion.
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Like any old school RPG, you’ll explore locations and travel between them via a world map. What differentiates this from other games in the genre, however, is the combat. It’s turn based, as you’d expect, but it’s not merely about defeating your enemies. Instead, you need to wear them down. And once they’re fatigued you can attempt a pin, prompting a minigame where you need to stop of a marker in the green area of a meter three times within 10 seconds.
And there’s more. While your standard attack is the bread and butter of your arsenal, which can be made even more punishing if you bounce your enemy off the ropes and score an additional hit, you need to mix up your moves if you want to hype up the audience and reap better rewards. And so, you’ll want to work in Gimmicks, which are special moves that can’t be performed straight off the bat, and also taunts, that work up the audience but lower your defence for a short period.
It’s not only in the ring that you need to consider your audience, either. In true wrestling fashion, promo opportunities rear their heads from time to time, forcing you to chose your words carefully if you want to win over some fans. And you even need to put together your own wrestling intros. There’s a lot to consider throughout your adventure, including the usual such as the gear your wrestlers have equipped that affect their stats and skills.
When it launches next month, WrestleQuest is likely to enrapture those who have any love for what is dubbed as “sports entertainment”. Even RPG fans with a passing interesting in wrestling might find themselves enamoured with it too, thanks to its unique systems that make it a breath of fresh air in the genre. One thing’s for sure: there’s nothing else quite like it, and that alone should be enough to put in on radars.
WrestleQuest launches 8th August on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.