Super WrestleMania for Genesis and SNES both came out in 1992, being the first WWF games to hit the 16 Bit Generation of Video Games. They boosted improved graphics and controls over the old LJN games from the NES era. Even gameplay was vastly improved. That said, it still lagged behind some other sports games of the time, especially some boxing titles like Greatest Heavyweights, which were masterfully designed. However, it became the shell which the next two games, WWF RAW, and WWF Royal Rumble, were built upon, both would further improve the basic engine and become entertaining games.
The biggest improvement over the NES period, is more moves. It still looks like a fight, but you’ve got some slams now, as well as the kicks, and even finishers for the Genesis Version. Also, pinning your opponent, no longer feels like trying to enter a damn cheat code. This alone, made this game far more playable, especially on the Genesis.
There was, however a few fundamental differences between the Genesis Version and the SNES version (and not just the aforementioned finishers). Some have argued that the gameplay is better on the Genesis Version, but I consider that more of a matter of opinion. The most fundamental difference however, is the Roster. The Genesis Version, had HBK, Papa Shango, Ultimate Warrior, British Bulldog, and IRS on it’s roster, while the SNES version featured The Undertaker, Sid Justice, Jake Roberts, The Legion of Doom, and the Natural Disasters. Both games of course, shared the characters, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Million Dollar Man. The Genesis Version however, also had a special additional mode where you compete for the WWF Championship.
WWF Super WrestleMania, holds an important place in wrestling history, for not only bringing Wrestling to the 16 Bit Generation, but also paving the way for several other games to come. Building on its success, WWF would have several more titles on the SNES, Genesis, and Sega CD, as well as later consoles to come. It remains a crucial step between the NES titles of old, and the 2K series of today. Well worth a play, if nothing else for the nostalgia you would feel using HBK, or Hogan, or anyone else to crush your opponents, and dominate the ring.
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