ECW Hardcore Revolution
Game Boy Color
"Often imitated, never duplicated, ECW Hardcore Revolution takes you to Hell and back with the most intense hardcore wrestling action the human body can endure. Remember, scars never heal."
For those of you who are longtime readers here - you already know that I enjoy portable wrestling games that you can play on-the-go, throughout your day. Well, I at least like the "idea" of portable wrestling games. Sadly though, when you get down to it, very few are actually fun to play. For every WWF: Betrayal or Fire Pro Wrestling handheld game there's a terrible WWF Superstars game lurking around the corner just waiting to ruin your day. Is this game one of the good, the bad, or just the ugly? We shall soon find out.
All of the different versions of this game were both developed in-house by and published by Acclaim, the Game Boy Color version being released on February 28, 2000. We all know that we can expect quality from Acclaim, who went on to become one of the most popular publishers out there. Wait... they went out of business years ago because a lot of their games were garbage. Nevermind. Seriously, towards the end, Acclaim was sued by the stars of its games for unpaid royalties, and even by their investors. It got pretty ugly. It's kind of like ECW itself in that aspect. That, alongside the fact that the PlayStation version of Hardcore Revolution is one of the worst wrestling games on the original Playstation probably isn't a good sign. Oh, well. This won't be the first mind-numbingly bad game I've had to play through and it probably won't be the last.
As soon as I fire this old thing up - I can tell the in-game music is gonna be annoying just going by the title screen. You better get used to it, though. The same music plays on a loop throughout the entire game! Literally, just that one song (if you can call it that) over and over. The only time it changes up at all is when you get a "game over" screen. (Upon another, closer inspection, the music may change between the title screen and the actual matches but both "songs" are so horrible and so similar, it's hard to actually tell).
The digitized pictures of the ECW alumni on the wrestler select screen all look pretty good. Especially, considering this is a Game Boy Color game which adds a lot of limitations as to what you're able to do. It's also not a bad selection to chose from. Included are, Tommy Dreamer, Mike Awesome, RVD, Sabu, and Lance Storm, just to name a few. New Jack is noticeably missing, though. At least to me, he is. I'm always a mark for the controversial, "Original Gangsta".
There's not a whole lot of different match options but that's to be expected, I guess. They do include a barbed wire match option but, given the graphical limitations and lack of any blood, they're not really exciting to play. Sabu vs Terry Funk - Born To Be Wired, this is not. The other match type besides this is a regular ECW style match that starts off with a weapon or two in the ring for you to pummel your opponent with. One of these weapons is literally a sword that you throw at your adversary! Outside of the original Sheik clenching one between his teeth and waving one around before his matches; when the hell did swords become a part of pro wrestling? I'm not into disembowelment. I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable at the level of extreme this fairly lame-ass game apparently wants me to go to.
There's also a "career mode" available but it's basically just you picking a wrestler and then wrestling everyone else on the roster. There'a no real depth to it.
The controls aren't the greatest but that's somewhat to do with the button layout of the Game Boy Color. The graphics for the wrestlers and the few arenas that are included look pretty nice, actually. The move animations are also pretty smooth. This game doesn't look bad, I'll give it that much, at least.
The move-set is mostly shared between the wrestlers and it's also somewhat limited, though. Everyone does at least get their "signature move" included. While playing, I noticed that if someone jumps off of the top turnbuckle, they can literally hit you from across the entire ring. That makes sense if you're RVD. If you're Balls Mahoney, not so much.
All things considered, this game isn't all bad. It has its moments of fun. It's about mid-card as far as handheld wrestling games go. It's a solid "Tom Zenk" if you will. Still, like every other ECW game, it doesn't do its real-life counterpart any justice.
Until next time... keep mashing those buttons!