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Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes The Neighborhood

No matter how hard you hit someone over the head with a plank of wood, you can never hammer much sense into them. It seems the developer of BW2 suffers the same predicament. The first game (Issue 23, 3.3) was a lacklustre wrestling title (of sorts) that failed to deliver any impact. Sadly, the sequel walks straight into the same clothesline and is knocked un-ceremoniously to the floor. And stamped on. Hard.

Grappling the Career mode, players must create a wrestler to take through the suburban settings. The crude creation options pale in comparison to the detail of THUG 2 (see page 112). This terrible visual quality and awful collision detection is carried over into the main game, with jagged characters clashing into scenery and each other. Custom moves can be allocated to your fighter, but it's little compensation.


The actual combat, although satisfyingly brutal, is shoddily executed, with a winning combo seemingly dependent on continually kicking an opponent in the head when they're down. Weapons are obviously fair game, though again, grab a barbed club, and a tasty bit of wielding will see you progress to the next round without losing an ounce of health. Blocking has been introduced; it's just a pity the AI enemies don't use it more frequently.

This limited combat means the career mode gets very repetitive, very quickly. Grapple moves break up the punch/kick/punch combos, though chances are your opponent will reverse their way straight out of the opening headlock. With only two way multiplayer returning, this really was a missed opportunity to improve upon a disappointing franchise. As it stands, BW2 gets the smack put down on it by virtually every other fighter out there.

The verdict

A wannabe wrestler in an unsophisticated, sloppy scrapper's latex mask. And a crap one at that.

PlayStation 2
Paradox Entertainment
Eidos Interactive