When you think about RPG games, you think about the fantasy side of things like Final Fantasy or Apocalyptic games like Fallout where you’re walking around shooting mutants in the face. What you do not think about when you think about RPG games is Professional Wrestling. WrestleQuest looks to change all that by making an RPG in two very different worlds: The world of Pro Wrestling and a Toy Box. Does WrestleQuest actually do enough to stand out in the cluttered RPG market or will it do the job like someone going up against Powerhouse Hobbs on an episode of AEW Dynamite? Let’s get into the ring and see if the numbers add up… Unlike Steiner math…
Name: WrestleQuesthttps://www.theouterhaven.net/2023/08/wrestlequest-review/ Platform(s): Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, & Netflix Games Developer: Mega Cat Studios Publisher: Skybound Games Game Type: Role-playing Mode(s): Single-Player Release Date: August 22, 2023
WrestleQuest follows two protagonists, Muchacho Man and Brink Logan, as they aim to win championship titles in pro wrestling. Muchacho Man is a new wrestler who believes everything in wrestling is real, while Brink Logan is a lower-ranking wrestler in his father’s wrestling company. Brink wants to become a champion but also worries about disappointing his family’s business. Both of these characters catch the attention of Mr. L. F. Font, who owns PAW, the biggest wrestling organization. Mr. Font is not satisfied with just being at the top; he wants to control all of wrestling and uses aggressive business tactics and illegal methods to do so. The paths of these characters cross as they fight to save not only the world but also the world of pro wrestling and reality itself.
Story Review – Some Vague Spoilers
I’m going to get this right out of the way from the beginning… WrestleQuest is a LONG game and SLOW game. I put quite a few hours into WrestleQuest for review during the limited time I had before the release date and I’m barely out of the beginning of Muchacho Man and Brink Logan‘s stories. WrestleQuest does a good job at splitting two storylines into smaller chunks of story and gameplay so that you are not stuck with one character at a time, making you mix things up as the game progresses.
However, if I have to put one story over the other, then I’m going to say that Muchacho Man‘s story is the better of the two. His idea that Pro Wrestling is completely real and the way he follows the “code” of the ring reminds me a lot of the Cartoon Network show Mucha Lucha. All of Muchacho Man‘s actions are based around what he believes Pro Wrestling should be: A noble sport where the one who has the best talent, both in the ring and on the mic, would be the one who would rule the lands as the champion of champions. Yet, he is in a world where Pro Wrestling is still nothing more than toys that battle each other because of the whims of a magical sky-being who is OBSESSED with Macho Man Randy Savage and a bunch of 1980/1990 era wrestlers.
Yes, there is a part of the world that is nothing but toys beating each other up. This is why you have characters who are plush toys, Tamagotchi-type toys, and other weird characters that you will battle with along the way. Even the main story itself seems to be playing out while a wrestling podcast, used as narration, is playing in the background of the world.
As for Brink Logan‘s story… It’s more along the lines of the business behind Pro Wrestling. You have a family promotion run by the Logan family who is trying to gain favor with the owner of the PAW, the biggest wrestling promotion in the toy land. The owner/booker for PAW is a toy Elephant who is obsessed with control of the wrestling world at any cost. He wants to create a scripted world where he chooses who wins and loses, much like Pro Wrestling in real life. The comparison to Vince McMahon is very on the nose here. However, Brink and his brother Yak Logan (Who looks like a Moose version of Bret Hart) are just wanting to do what is best for their family promotion and eventually become known as the best in the business.
Brink’s story plays out a lot slower than Muchacho Man’s story, and this is something that drags WrestleQuest down as a whole. Brink’s story is way too serious compared to Muchacho’s, which is more outrageous and out there, much like Randy Savage used to be. Wrestling fans are going to get something out of each story here, but what they get from it depends on what type of wrestling fan is playing WrestleQuest.
Old School Graphics for an Old School Game
One of the big compliments I’ll give WrestleQuest is for the graphics. In a land where everyone is either a wrestling/action figure or plush animal toy, WrestleQuest does a really good depiction of these types of toys that makes sense with the world. The wrestling/action figures actually have articulation that you would see on any wrestling figure that you can get off the shelf, complete with the way the joints move is just as restrictive as the real-life versions would.
The world of WrestleQuest is something taken from a combination of Final Fantasy overworld combined with locations made out of things that you would find in a toy box. The overworld is littered with random objects like bins, wrestling boots, a mountain of cream containers, and other stuff that would find its way into a kid’s bedroom as they play. When you get into a town or battle location, you get to see things made with building bricks, LEGO, and random junk that was just laying around. You really get the imagination-based building of WrestleQuest‘s world every time you go into a new location.
Basic Rookie Gameplay
WrestleQuest does its best to be a very newcomer-friendly RPG, which is not a bad thing at all. Yet, the more I played WrestleQuest, the less I wanted to keep playing.
WrestleQuest uses a basic gameplay engine. You have 4 initial selections to use in battle: Strike, Gimmick, Taunt, and Item. A strike is the basic attack of the game where you select to do a single attack which can gain a boost if you hit the right direction button in time with a prompt, and if you manage to hit enough to send your opponent into the ropes, you’ll get an additional strike. This rope strike mechanic also works when you are hit too. Gimmicks are a bunch of moves that can be used as special attacks, set-ups for tag team moves, heal characters, remove and add buffs/debuffs, and other fun things that will be used a lot… Till you expend all your AP and can’t do anything at all. Item is just that, you can use an item.
Taunt is the final thing you can do under your basic moves, but it adds to the main mechanic of WrestleQuest, called Hype. The more hype you have, the more Gimmick moves you have access to, as well as a bunch of bonuses and buffs that can turn the tide of battle. As you use Gimmick moves alongside the Taunt mechanic, you can gain hype and do bigger and flashier moves. However, should you be hit and lose too much Hype, then your opponents get those bonuses and buffs to use against you. Having to manage Hype alongside doing damage makes WrestleQuest an easy game to begin, but takes time to work out how to get everything working in your favor… Though you can’t cheese the mechanics all the time, leading to some interesting fights.
Outside of fights, you have all the usual RPG mechanics like stat management, using gear to increase those stats, and doing quests to unlock some items (Though a lot can be found easily through each location). You do get some interesting side-quests in WrestleQuest too, one of the first being a Dance-Dance Revolution-style dance game where you will be working in a… less than family-friendly dance establishment. While distractions like these are amusing, they really feel out of place with something that comes across as a child-friendly RPG game.
WrestleQuest for one Fall
The biggest problem with WrestleQuest is the same one that hurts a lot of RPG games. Once you finish WrestleQuest, it’s done. You have nothing more to do… And that’s it.
WrestleQuest is Complete 80s/90s Wrestling Cheese
While I have been very positive with WrestleQuest throughout this review, I’ll be honest and say that this game was a real slog to get through. As a wrestling fan, I enjoyed the references to not only the 1980s/1990s era of wrestling that I grew up with, complete with a lot of my favorite wrestlers appearing and voicing moments in the game, but over time as that nostalgia wore away, I really just felt like this was a very basic and boring RPG. In a world where Final Fantasy XVI and other RPG games now have more of a faster action setting, going back to the old wait style of RPG really felt like I was on autopilot once I understood what was going on gameplay-wise.
WrestleQuest is going to be one of those games that shows that the RPG genre can be more than Sword and Sorcery, or guns and ammo, but at the same time, it is a great example of why many of the bigger brands in the marketplace have moved on from the wait and play mechanics to something more fast-paced and exciting.
Review Disclosure Statement: WrestleQuest was provided to us by Skybound Games for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
WrestleQuest does a good job of taking something that you wouldn’t think would fit as an RPG game and makes it work. The world is amazing, the characters, and cameos are really going to invoke the golden era of Professional Wrestling. However, once you rip that nostalgia away you are left with a very bare-bones RPG experience that gets boring very quickly.
Great retro characters
Lots of 1980s/1990s wrestling cameos
An interesting subject matter for an RPG
Brink’s story is boring when compared to Muchacho’s story
Once the nostalgia wears off, the game is boring
Reminds you why other brands don’t do wait and play RPG anymore