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WWE Day of Reckoning 2 – Nintendo GameCube

WWE Day of Reckoning 2 – Nintendo GameCube

WWE_Day_of_Reckoning_2_CoverartPlatform: Nintendo GameCube

Developer: Yuke’s

Publisher: THQ

Release Date: August 29th, 2005

Genre: Sports, Fighting

Nerd Rating: 7.5/10

Reviewed By: Steroid Gamer

It’s time for another WWE wrestling game on the Nintendo GameCube and sadly for GameCube owners, it would be their last.  WWE Day of Reckoning 2 is a direct sequel to the original WWE Day of Reckoning and developer Yuke’s makes a return to develop this game as well.   As all the wrestling games on the GameCube were, Day of Reckoning 2 was a third party exclusive for the system, and luckily it is one of the best.  A few minor tweaks to the gameplay here and there, a brand new story mode, and improved graphics make Day of Reckoning 2 a great swan song for professional wrestling games on the GameCube.

Shots to the dome can be very effective.  As demonstrated here per HBK.

Shots to the dome can be very effective. As demonstrated here per HBK.

If you’ve read my review of WWE Wrestlemania XIX you’ll know that I feel like a wrestling game’s success lies heavily within the in-game roster.  After all, what good is a wrestling game without your favorite tight-colored underwear wearing superstars?  This time around the roster was filled out fairly nicely.  Superstars like John Cena, Kurt Angle, John Bradshaw Layfield, and more were present.  Newcomers like Eugene, Muhammed Hassan, Chris Masters, and WWE diva Christy Hemme also made the cut.  The newcomers were a special treat for GameCube owners because it was the first time the roster felt “up-to-date” when the game launched.  Past wrestling games on the GameCube suffered from stale, out-of-date, rosters by the time the game was released.  WWE Day of Reckoning 2’s improved roster was also bolstered by five unlockable wrestling legends, two of which were The Rock and Hulk Hogan.

The wrestling roster was only further complemented by the game’s graphics.  I mean holy cow!!  Some of the wrestler models in the game look absolutely phenomenal and by far make Day of Reckoning 2 the best looking wrestling game released on the GameCube.  Yuke’s definitely pushed the limits of the system’s power.  The Undertaker, Batista, and Triple H are detailed down to every last muscle and their in-game animations match up well to the real-life counterparts quite nicely, which is something you don’t always see in wrestling games.  There were occasionally hiccups with the animation, where a pro-grappler would get hit by a punch and go flying across the ring, but it was so infrequent that it’s nothing to gripe about.  Sadly, some of the lesser known stars didn’t get the A-list treatment with their character models.  Paul London and Shelton Benjamin were two superstars that looked a little “foggy” or less detailed in general compared to others on the roster.  In a way, this makes sense.  If you were publisher THQ wouldn’t you want the more popular wrestlers to look more lifelike and realistic than the below average schmuck on the bottom of the wrestling roster?  Probably.

That fan's poster suggest Christy Hemme sucks.  Does that have a double meaning?

That fan’s poster suggest Christy Hemme sucks. Does that have a double meaning?

The gameplay remains mostly unchanged from the previous game; however there were two new substantial additions, an all new stamina system and a new submission mini-game.  The stamina system has players micro managing their character’s stamina gauge throughout the match.  Use to many robust moves and overexert your wrester, draining his or her stamina, would leave your fighter sluggish and tired, causing them to not only move slower, but also leaving them more susceptible to incoming attacks.  The submission mini-game works similar to “rock, paper, scissors” but with a fourth option and a bit harder to win.  Any time a submission is used, players get to choose from four options, a taunt (drains enemy momentum), drain (depletes stamina), submit (normal submission), or rest hold (which would replenish your characters stamina).  The player using the submission get to pick one of the above four mentioned submissions by moving the C-stick in the corresponding direction, while the opposing player also picks one of the four submission types.  If the character being put in a submission hold guesses correctly, and picks the same option as the player applying the hold, the move will be countered.  If guessed incorrectly the move will be successful for the player applying it.  Honestly, both of these new additions were nice, but were never really used.  Most of the popular WWE superstars all had high stamina meters so it was never a real concern in matches.

submission system

The new submission mini-game is neat, but not used to great effect.

WWE Day of Reckoning 2 features a brand new story mode, and fans of the original Day of Reckoning will be thrilled to know that Day of Reckoning 2 picks up directly where the last game left off.  The previous game ended with you, or your create-a-superstar, winning the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania and just a little less than a year later you’ve lost your Championship title but can’t regain it back.  Why?  Well, its been stolen of course! So the story mode takes on a who-dunnit mystery plot that has plenty of betrayals and backstabbings that would find Vince McMahon himself amazed.  Unfortunately, the story mode doesn’t feature any real life voice acting so all the plot and character dialogue is done with in-game text.  Story mode has some really good moments and some really cheesy moments, and WWE Day of Reckoning 2 makes the assumption that you chose the RAW roster in the original game.  In Day of Reckoning you could choose either RAW or Smackdown rosters to be a part of, each with their own similar, but different storyline.   If you chose Smackdown you’re out of luck because the game references events that took place in the story from the RAW side of things and nothing from Smackdown, but hey WWE Diva Stacy Kiebler is your girlfriend this time around, Hot DAMN!   So not all is lost.

Old dudes can fight too.

Old dudes can fight too.

The create-a-superstar mode has more options with various clothing to wear and all sorts of facial features and body tattoos to mold your wrestler with.  It’s a good thing the create-a-superstar mode has improved because despite the story being a direct sequel to the previous game (both of which involve you making a superstar yourself) you can’t import your wrestler from the last game.  Most of the same creating tools and options are back so, in theory, you could just remake the same guy if you wanted to.

Use your own imagination for a caption here.

Use your own imagination for a caption here.

More arenas where added to the game but there weren’t a plethora of new game modes/matches to compete in.  Last Man Standing, Triple Threat, Hell in a Cell, and the rest of the typical, more frequent, wrestling match variations were present.  The biggest omission was the fairly new Elimination Chamber match.  At time of release this was a fairly new match type in the WWE, so it’s not entirely a surprise it wasn’t included in Day of Reckoning 2.  Don’t start crying just yet though, as this was the first time GameCube owners got to compete in a Bra and Panties match.  Yup, the famous Diva stripping match makes its debut in Day of Reckoning 2, so all those young, horny teenage boys could get exited in more ways than one by stripping off their opponents clothes and leaving them in….well…there bra and panties.  Have fun young kids!

WWE Day of Reckoning 2 is arguably the best wrestling game to hit the Nintendo GameCube.  The graphics, animations, and frame rate were all improved over its predecessor.  The roster is different with a variety of newcomers, but has an equal amount of key omissions as well.  The story mode wasn’t quite as good as the original, but it was slightly longer, and did I mention you get to date Stacy Kielber?  WWE Day of Reckoning 2 is a young man’s dream game, plenty of violence, blood, and sex.  Even though there were few new additions to the game besides the huge technical overhaul from Day or Reckoning, the sequel, for the most part is the same game, so don’t head in to the squared circle expecting something worlds apart.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Fight!

Ding! Ding! Ding! Fight!

It’s a visual improvement for sure and a hell of a fun wrestling game to play through, and let’s face it, the GameCube had some pretty cruddy WWE branded games made for it.  So if you’re looking for the great wrestling game or just “a” great wrestling game on the GameCube look no further than WWE Day of Reckoning 2.   It may have taken Yuke’s four years to figure out how to make a great wrestling game for the GameCube, but hey, at least they figured it out eventually.

 

 

Written by Sean Collins

Sean Collins


Sean Collins (aka Steroid Gamer) started playing video games when he was 8 years old. His first console was a Nintendo 64 and his first game was Mario Kart 64. He fell in love immediately and has been playing games ever since.

My current systems include; N64, Gameboy Color, Gamecube, Wii, 3DS, PS3, Vita, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

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