Review: Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes The Neighborhood (XB)

Backyard Wrestling 2
Platform: Xbox (also available on PS2)
Genre: Wrestling
Rating: Mature
Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: 11/16/04

Eidos returns to the world of Backyard wrestling again with the recent release of Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes The Neighborhood. Is the game able to capture the chaos of…you know what, screw this. In fact skip the rest of the review unless you want to share in the pain that was my experience in playing this game. It sucks.

(Editor’s Note: Hey, hey, hey!! We can’t tell the readers that. We gotta keep em’ in suspense. Ignore what he just said people. You never know. After reading this review, you may just find Backyard Wrestling 2 to be one of the best games you’ll ever… oh, I can’t fake it either. It really does suck.)

Let’s get this over with.


Story/Modes:

There is a story mode in this game. Someone has the idea of having one grand champion of backyard wrestling. Anyhow in order to be the number one backyard wrestler you will have to create a new wrestler then win all of the other backyard fed titles to unify them. To win the titles you will have to participate in tournaments, in order to get into a tournament you will have to have a couple of matches in which you perform certain goals, like reverse a certain amount of moves, pull of this many moves, etc.

The biggest problem is that the goals are pretty easy and very repetitive. You do not even have to win the match once you’ve cleared the goals in order to participate in the tournament. There’s no real story here except that some wrestlers like New Jack or the Insane Clown Posse will have a small cutscene which I guess is meant to be funny. Maybe I wasn’t drunk enough by that point. Hey, you try to play this game long enough to do a review without drinking.

The idea behind the mode isn’t that bad, just poorly developed, with no real story or much logic behind it.

There are also multiplayer and single player exhibition modes with only really one match type and a couple of different locations.

Create a Wrestler is in the game. It is also nowhere near the standards set by other wrestling games. You’ve only got a handful of face and hair options to choose from and most of the clothes are geared towards making a goofy looking character.

3/10


Graphics:

The character models of each ‘wrestler’ can be considered a step up in graphics, if the last game you played was WWF Attitude. Worse than that is the blood in the game; it shows up as a random red blotch on the character models. Considering that the audience for the game are blood thirsty wrestling fans you’d think an attempt would be made to make this the best part. I used a weed wacker on a guy and it looked like I gave him a rash instead of cutting him up. With games like Legends of Wrestling that has had dripping blood and the dramatic closeups in WWE games when you bust someone open, these red smears just look pathetic.

Collision damage is just horrible. Sometimes you or the opponent will be standing far away from each other and you’ll still get hit, or you can be in the pool with them standing above the pool and they can still still hit you and vice versa.

The environments are the best part of the graphics (which isn’t saying much). They look pretty good and have tons of items to destroy or use as weapons. The moves are surprisingly well animated as well, with slo-motion added onto the over the top finishing moves. If there is another one (please god no) I hope they add in more lock up animations.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay below what the Xbox is capable of.

3/10


Sound:

S-s-s-say what? The soundtrack which has a decent selection of rock tracks skips. At least once every other match one of the songs starts to skip for some reason.

Even worse than the soundtrack skipping is the sound effects for the moves done in the game, or rather the lack of it. At one point I did a Death Valley Driver on an opponent into a pool and it made no noise whatsoever. Takes some of the fun out of it when a high impact move like that lacks the satisfying crunch of someones spine snapping in half. All of the moves, including weapon sound effects, do not have enough impact. A hiptoss from the recent WWE game sounds like it does more damage than a spinning vertebreaker from Backyard Wrestling 2.

2/10


Control:

You can grapple, block, strike and interact with the enviroment with the A, X, B, and Y buttons and run, reverse and switch grapple positions with the triggers. When in a grapple you can choose between a submission, strike, or throw type of grapple.

The controls are not that back, sometimes the game doesn’t respond as fast as you would want it too but overall if you’ve played a wrestling game before it shouldn’t be too hard to pick up the game and play it.

6/10


Balance:

No balance to see here, just move along.

The lower difficulty levels it is too easy to reverse moves and pund the snot out of the computer. On the harder modes, the computer AI is just cheap, reversing everything you throw at it. Also some moves do not seem to do enough damage, probably because you’d kill someone with them in real life. The meter for pulling off finishing manuevers fills quickly making the match a waiting game till you can pull off your finishing move again. The bad collision detection shows it’s face here as well because the AI will take advantage of it whenever possible. The AI is also very predictable and most of the opponent you face will follow the same pattern. Once you learn how to beat one, you’ve beat them all.

2/10


Originality:

None really. There’s nothing in this game that you will not have seen done better in another wrestling game at some time. Over the top finishers, been there with Def Jam, interactive enviroments, hell you could throw snowball in the Smackdown series.

1/10


Replayability:

You can earn points to spend on more goofy pieces of attire in the Create a wrestler mode, some video clips of the backyard retards bleeding, and some other unlockables. However the game also lacks the amount of modes wrestling game fans are used to in a game and a branching storymode to make keep a person interesting in coming back to the game over and over.

3/10


Appeal:

Other than the loyal fans of the Insane Clown Posse, bloodbath wrestling freaks, and the guys who will have to come of their basements to ask for money to buy this game the game might also appeal to those just looking for a new wrestling title to play since there isn’t that much major competition anymore. I rented the game because I was looking for a different wrestling game to play since I was kind of disappointed by Smackdown! vs Raw and though that the game might not be that bad. I was wrong. Still it might appeal to those looking for options, but there are also people who will not touch anything with the words Backyard Wrestling in it. We call those ‘smart people’.

4/10


Addictiveness:

Not fun, AI is cheap, and there isn’t a whole lot of different options for matches.

1/10


Misc:

The game loads up with one of the most ironic screens in gaming:

Don’t Try This At Home.

WTF? Why not, if you do they might make a video game character or movie out of you! This whole game is a spin off of a video series with a bunch of kids trying this shit at home. Just wanted to mention that.

If you are a fan of Backyard Wrestling, don’t buy this game. Buy $50 of tapes of people jumping off of roofs, you’ll enjoy it more.

If you are a fan of wrestling games, don’t buy this game. Get anything else, even that Rumble Roses game if you need another wrestling game.

1/10


Final Scores:

Story/Modes: 3/10
Graphics: 3/10
Sound: 2/10
Control: 6/10
Balance: 2/10
Originality: 1/10
Replayability: 3/10
Appeal: 4/10
Addictiveness: 1/10
Misc: 1/10

Overall: 26/100
Final: 2.5/10.0 – Do not try this at home or anywhere else.