Are you a fan of arcade-style wrasslin’ games and have become disenchanted with the simulation gameplay of WWE 2K? Look towards the aisle because here comes Action Arcade Wrestling. This non-licensed title emulates classics such as WWF Superstars and Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game by going back to basics. The drama unfolds on a 2D playing field with grappling mechanics that are easy for anyone to pick up while also having a fair amount of depth to sink your teeth into. Created by only a couple of designers, AAW isn’t chasing the title of the biggest and best grappler around. Rather, it offers a small but tightly-made throwback to the wrestling games of yesteryear.
AAW features a roster of original wrestlers from a robot-like sentry sporting Wolverine claws to a lizard man covered in glowing scales. That wackiness extends to the moveset; performers can shoot face-melting laser beams and throw flaming jabs as easily as executing a wristlock or dropkick. There are even power-ups that grant special bonuses. If you’re thinking to yourself, “That sounds fun, but I want to play with wrestlers I recognize,” then fear not! A creation app gives players the freedom to design and/or import familiar superstars into the game. These can range from real-life stars such as Roman Reigns and Kenny Omega to fictional main-eventers like Captain America and Kratos.
To see what AAW has to offer, two of Game Informer’s biggest wrestling nerds, Marcus Stewart and John Carson, dissect an over-the-top singles match, download some fan-made superstars, and then pit those creations against one another in an all-star battle royal. If Action Arcade Wrestling looks up your alley, you can buy it right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Switch version is scheduled to arrive later this year as well.
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