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WCW Backstage Assault
Developer(s)Kodiak Interactive
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Platform(s)PlayStation, Nintendo 64
ReleasePlayStation
  • NA: November 8, 2000[1]
  • EU: November 24, 2000
Nintendo 64
  • NA: December 12, 2000
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

WCW Backstage Assault is a professional wrestling video game by Electronic Arts (EA). It was the final World Championship Wrestling (WCW) game released before the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) purchased the company's assets three months later. Backstage Assault features commentary by Tony Schiavone and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. The game is distinguished by the fact that all gameplay takes place outside of a standard wrestling ring. This approach was poorly received, and the game sold only 200,000 copies.

Gameplay

Backstage Assault is vastly different from other games of its genre. Previous wrestling games such as WWF SmackDown! and WCW Mayhem featured backstage areas as auxiliary fighting locations. In Backstage Assault, all of the gameplay takes place in backstage locations. There is no ring, and it is not possible to go into the main arena in front of the crowd.

All of the matches are conducted under "Hardcore Rules". As in traditional wrestling, one person can win by pinfall (holding the back of the opponent's shoulders to the ground while the referee counts to three), submission, or knock out. But these win conditions may be met anywhere, and the use of objects as weapons is encouraged. It is not possible to end a match by disqualification or count out. As gameplay is limited to only two characters, all matches are one-vs-one with no possibility of outside interference or teamwork.

The game takes place in an arena with seven connecting levels, having sixteen rooms in total. While a match may begin in one room, it can end anywhere the players can gain access to. When beginning 'Hardcore Challenge' or 'Hardcore Gauntlet' mode, they are confined to the Truck Arena for the first match. The player may return to rooms they had already visited as they progress through the modes. They do this by walking through open doors. Winning matches in these levels makes them permanently available in Exhibition mode.

Players inflict damage on each other to facilitate meeting one of the three win conditions. They do this by executing strikes, grapple moves, holds, hitting them with weapons, or causing the opponent to run or fall against a hazard. Some moves can be reversed, inflicting damage upon the person who initiated it. Successfully performing moves and taunts without interruption will increase momentum. When a player achieves "Max Momentum", they may perform their finishing move before the momentum drops again. The color of a player's name will change from white to yellow to red to flashing red as they take on damage. The more damage they take, the harder it will be for them to resist losing. Players can bleed if they take on took much damage.

The primary gameplay mode is called 'Hardcore Challenge'. The player will choose one character to pursue a specific championship with. They will then play a series of matches against random opponents. The first match will always be in the Truck Arena. After this initial victory, players may choose which connecting room (and therefore which opponent) they shall face next. The difficulty level and number of matches the player must play is determined by which title they choose. The final match will also be in the Truck Arena, and will be for the selected title. Players earn points based on their victories, moves performed and general skill shown. If they lose a match, they are only offered one further chance to win it. Losing the same match twice ends the campaign. Players can save their progress in between matches. If the player successfully wins the title, they will be added to the High Score chart if they are in the Top 10. Levels, moves and most hidden characters are unlocked through this mode. While players cannot defend the title, the character they used will be the designated champion next time they play the same mode.

'Hardcore Gauntlet' offers the player one chance to win seven matches on normal difficulty. They may not save their progress between rounds. Beating the mode earns a high score, and may unlock hidden characters.

'Exhibition' mode allows the player to play a single match against the computer or a second player. It has only three match types, two of which are exclusive to this mode. Normal matches are standard. 'First Blood' matches are won by causing your opponent to bleed, but can only be played on one-player mode. 'Human Torch' matches can only be played with two players. This match type is limited to the Truck Arena, and requires the winner to set their opponent on fire using the flaming barrel near the exit.

Reception

WCW Backstage Assault received "generally unfavorable reviews" on both platforms according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[2][3] Daniel Erickson of NextGen was negative to the PlayStation version.[16] Lamchop of GamePro's reviewed Nintendo 64[20][b] and Playstation versions.[21][c] While generally positive to the game, Lamchop also commented that the fans of wrestler games would pick up the title in their collection, while others would avoid or pick them up as rental titles.

Cancelled Playstation 2 Version

The May 2000 edition of PSM featured a cover story on an upcoming game called WCW 2000. Within the magazine, there was an interview with the WCW 2000 game's producers Sr. Producer Chuck Osieja and Producers Gary Lam and Ian Vechere of EA Canada. In the interview, the producers describe a game to be game focused on Hardcore Rules in a "Hardcore Challenge" that would progressively unlock more stars of WCW and more fighting environments, much like what would become Backstage Assault.[22] Later in the magazine, Stephen Frost writes that WCW's newest game will feature "an extremely high polygon count", take place without a ring, and will be released in Q4 2000.[23]

The November 2000 issue of PSM indicated that a Playstation 2 version of Backstage Assault was pushed back to Spring 2001[24] while a reader asked PSM in their March 2001 issue if the WCW 2000 game that was the featured cover story from the May 2000 issue was simply a port of Backstage Assault for the Playstation 2 and if it was still happening in the magazine's Q&A section. PSM confirmed that WCW 2000 had become WCW Backstage Assault and a Playstation 2 release was still on target for Spring 2001.[25] The Playstation 2 version of WCW Backstage Assault was likely never released due to WWF's acquisition of WCW in March 2001.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In Electronic Gaming Monthly's review of the Nintendo 64 version, one critic gave it 4/10, and the rest gave it each a score of 5/10.
  2. ^ GamePro gave the Nintendo 64 version two 3.5/5 scores for graphics and fun factor, 4.5/5 for sound, and 4/5 for control.
  3. ^ GamePro gave the PlayStation version three 3.5/5 scores for graphics, control, and fun factor, and 4.5/5 for sound.

References

  1. ^ IGN staff (November 8, 2000). "Assault and Battery". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "WCW Backstage Assault for Nintendo 64 Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "WCW Backstage Assault for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  4. ^ "PlayStation Reviews (W)". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on January 27, 2001. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  5. ^ Price, Mike; Lockhart, Ryan; Mielke, James "Milkman" (January 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault (N64)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 138. Ziff Davis. p. 200. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  6. ^ Price, Mike (January 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault (PS)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 138. Ziff Davis. p. 207. Archived from the original on January 26, 2001. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  7. ^ Fitzloff, Jay (December 2000). "WCW Backstage Assault (N64)". Game Informer. No. 92. FuncoLand. p. 137.
  8. ^ Fitzloff, Jay (December 2000). "WCW Backstage Assault (PS)". Game Informer. No. 92. FuncoLand. p. 110. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (December 19, 2000). "WCW Backstage Assault Review (N64)". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (November 10, 2000). "WCW Backstage Assault Review (PS)". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  11. ^ Courtney, Rita (January 15, 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault Review - Nintendo 64". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  12. ^ Lafferty, Michael (January 15, 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault Review - PlayStation". GameZone. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  13. ^ Lewis, Cory D. (December 12, 2000). "WCW Backstage Assault (N64)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Smith, David (November 9, 2000). "WCW Backstage Assault (PS)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  15. ^ Maddrell, Alex (May 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault". N64 Magazine. No. 54. Future Publishing. p. 51. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  16. ^ a b Erickson, Daniel (January 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault (PS)". NextGen. No. 73. Imagine Media. p. 108. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  17. ^ "WCW Backstage Assault". Nintendo Power. Vol. 139. Nintendo of America. December 2000. p. 152. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  18. ^ Rose, Paul (January 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. No. 67. Future Publishing. p. 121.
  19. ^ "WCW Backstage Assault". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. No. 40. Ziff Davis. January 2001.
  20. ^ Lamchop (December 2000). "WCW Backstage Assault (N64) [author mislabeled as "Cheat Monkey"; platform mislabeled as "PlayStation"]" (PDF). GamePro. No. 147. IDG. p. 140. Archived from the original on January 18, 2005. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  21. ^ Lamchop (January 2001). "WCW Backstage Assault (PS)" (PDF). GamePro. No. 148. IDG. p. 84. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  22. ^ ""Q&A"". PSM. Imagine Media. May 2000. p. 20-21. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  23. ^ Frost, Stephen (May 2000). ""WCW 2000"". PSM. Imagine Media. p. 48. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  24. ^ Frost, Stephen (May 2000). ""WCW Backstage Assault"". PSM. Imagine Media. p. 96. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  25. ^ ""Q&A"". PSM. Imagine Media. March 2001. p. 100. Retrieved May 30, 2023.