Even if my love for professional wrestling tends to ebb and flow a bit, my love for pro wrestling games will never subside. It all started back in the 90’s when I discovered emulators and was playing Super Fire Pro X Premium with a pretty sweet English patch applied to it. It showed what wrestling games could be, beyond the doldrums of what WWF games were at the time (granted, I still had all of them). Without a doubt, the Japanese were churning out the quality wrestling games, with creation modes included, which really helped to revolutionize wrestling games and make them last a lot longer. It didn’t hurt when AKI’s games showed up on the N64, which really just helped to take wrestling games to that next level.
I’m not gonna hate on the Smackdown/WWE ‘1X games, because they’ve really evolved into something pretty awesome, if not a little screwed up and still obnoxious at times. I’ve still owned just about all of them and played the crap out of them because that is just what you do when you like wrestling games. Especially after the Japanese market dried out after Fire Pro Returns, All Star Pro Wrestling III and King of Colosseum II were released. Seriously, the market died after that.
There has been an upswing of indie-developed wrestling games over the past few years, with guys like MD**kie and his weird touchscreen wrestling games leading the way, along with the Canadian engine-that-could that is Pro Wrestling X. I’m not gonna lie, I donated to the PWX project many moons ago and when I got access to Pro Wrestling X: Uprising I pretty much rage quit out of it after finding it unplayable, but you live and learn. There is another guy out there, Dave Horn, who released an indie wrestling game on Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) a while back, called Action Arcade Wrestling. It was one of the most fun wrestling games that you could get for a dollar and had some decent options, but was still a little threadbare.
The second iteration of Action Arcade Wrestling looks absolutely stunning, especially considering that Horn is once again going the XBLIG route, which will net him very little in the way of money or fame. It will have a full creation mode, including tools for the PC that will allow you to create stuff on your computer and transfer them to the game. Basically, the first game was a bit stiff, but still fun, while the second one looks way more polished and like it will be worth a lot more than 80 Microsoft Points. So go ahead and watch the trailer and be amazed at what a little indie game can do and what $3 will be able to get you.