Conclusion: With Xbox gamers having such high hopes for WrestleMania 21, it is truly a shame that it couldn’t live up to its potential. While many of the glaring issues could be considered growing pains for Studio Gigante, it’s of little consolation for gamers that have been waiting for a decent wrestling title on the Xbox.
Excerpt: Wrestling is a much misunderstood form of entertainment. While many people bemoan its complete fakeness and brand all fans as "idiots" for believing the whole thing to be real, most people who follow it don't do it because they think it's real, but because it's a lot of fun to watch. When watched as an over-the-top soap opera the true genius of WWE shines through.
Excerpt: It seems at least once or twice a year we get a new wrestling game, which is great for fans, but what does WWE Wrestlemania 21 have over the countless other wrestling games? Find out if it has what it takes to pin the competition, or if it gets hurled from the top turnbuckle.
Pros: ups: motion capture looks great, 45 characters to choose from, multiple match types
Conclusion: THE VERDICT: Broken, cumbersome and very hard to enjoy, WWE WrestleMania 21 cannot be saved by its slick appearance and host of celebrity voices. An amusingly badly-scripted, bling-bling series of storyline cutscenes will provide a few laughs, but the game itself is just too frustrating to provide much entertainment. WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, despite its age, would serve you much better.
Excerpt: Wrestling games have always been incredibly popular, thanks to the easy to grasp game action and the colorful, over the top characters that populate the rosters. For years, most wrestling fans had to rely on the PlayStation to get their fix, thanks to the number of games released for that console.
Excerpt: Out of the two wrestling games that I have sampled on the Xbox, Raw 1 & 2, neither have really shown anything extraordinary. Wrestling games in general havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really been that great ever since WWF Attitude on the N64 and PS1. Wrestlemania 21, though a tad better in some ways compared to the Raw games, still doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hack it when it comes to being a good simulation of the squared circle.
Conclusion: The visuals of WWE Wrestlemania 21 are actually the one thing in the game that makes it seem as though the game was headed in the right direction. From all of the videos we got to see of the game before we got to play it, the visuals shown were actually quite stunning, but ultimately let down by the sub par gameplay. The most impressive facet of the visuals is the character models, which are full of beautiful detail along side some great use of color.
Excerpt: Up until this point in time, it seemed like WWE games on the Xbox simply couldn't get any worse. After the aggressively unremarkable WWF Raw and WWE Raw 2 came and went, THQ eventually decided to ditch former developer Anchor and start anew. Enter Studio Gigante, and its first foray into the world of professional wrestling, Wrestlemania XXI. Unfortunately, change was not for the better in this case--not even close.
Pros: The best use of WWE superstar voice acting thus far, Excellent graphics engine
Cons: Online is broken, broken, broken!, Lousy hit detection and brain-dead AI pretty much wreck the gameplay, Shallow create-a-wrestler mode, A long laundry list of bugs and polish issues, Career mode tells an interesting story, but manages to make your character completely unlikable
Conclusion: If you're looking at the game from a licensed point of view, it's got everything in there, minus a couple of more recent wrestlers, and the addition of a few 'legends'. It also looks great – the wrestlers are modelled and animated very nicely for the most part, especially for the intros where they've really captured the characters of the wrestlers.
Pros: Looks pretty good., Good story mode., It's got everything WWE wrestling wise that you could possibly want.
Cons: Wrestling system is unrefined and works poorly., Annoying bugs., No influence on story mode or ability to play it as an existing WWE wrestler.