Preparing for WWE 2K14 – A look back at WWE 13 and a look forward

Posted: October 18, 2013 by Kick Out At 2! in Shane D
Tags: , , , ,

WWE_'13_box_artEvery year about this time I start getting excited.  Fall is in the air (unless you recently relocated to Miami, like I did, where fall is nowhere to be seen!), college football is well into it’s swing (Go Gators!) and I’ve got another WWE game to look forward to.  We here at Ko@2 are pretty big fans of the WWE game franchise.  I’ve been playing pretty hardcore since WWF Royal Rumble on my Genesis and have followed the current iteration since the original Smackdown in 1999.

Now, I know that these games get a lot of flack online.  For a game that sells so well, it does certainly seem that a lot of people have problems with the games.  I’m not going to pretend they’re perfect.  They’re not.  There are certainly issues with each version…some that have frustrated me to no end…but one thing always rings true:  I enjoy the time I put into them.  They’re always the one game I play all year up until the new one comes out.  This year will be no different.

Before I get into everything that I’m looking forward to from the upcoming WWE 2K14, I’m going to take a look back at WWE 13, the most recent release.

To me, WWE 13 took a lot of the things that I loved about WWE 12 and started expanding on them.  WWE Universe got more options.  I got a belt editor.  Create an Arena.  I had almost everything I needed to setup my own style of play in Universe mode, something I had learned to love from WWE 12.  Plus, it had CM Punk as it’s poster boy which is pretty much an instant buy from us here at Ko@Punk!

The main sales pitch of WWE 13 was the Attitude Era mode, which is really what won me over last year.  From the moment the roster was announced, the game couldn’t come fast enough for me.  Seeing all of the former stars from back in the heyday of when I was a super fan made me giddy. I instantly started plotting out my Universe on a note pad and the game wasn’t even coming out for two months at that time.  I knew that I was going to fill out the rest of that WWF Roster and also make sure I had a matching WCW and ECW roster to go with as well.  Along with create an arena and some downloaded logos, I was able to make the Universe I wanted…it was 1999 all over again!

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There were some things from WWE 12 that I wish had stayed, however.  Namely, the WCW Nitro arena.  I was sad that I didn’t have that almost perfect WCW arena to fill out my Nitro show on Universe, but I made due.  I knew, though, that the WCW stuff was the major selling point of WWE 12, so I can see why thy would choose to over look it,  but in all fairness, when things like that are added, I would rather them STAY from year to year instead of being used as features.  Even if it had been thrown in as DLC like it was in Smackdown vs Raw 2011 I would have been happy, but alas.

Which, honestly, leads me to some of the issues I had with the game.  I loved the create an arena setting but would have wished that they would allow the custom logos you put on the stages to remain during the entrances instead of just reverting to the standard entrance videos.  Why spend all the time fixing those perfect arenas for them not to show up anymore during the entrances…the only time that you see the stages unless you fight up the ramp to them?  That baffled me.  There were also some issues with Superstar Threads that always aggravated me.  In this one, you couldn’t change the side stripes on CM Punk’s outfits, basically  meaning that any custom outfit you made for him looked silly because the stripes were red, white and blue even on, say, a black and orange outfit.  That has been changed this year, however, so that makes me happy.  Another issue with it was not being able to change the color of the entrance outfits.  First thing I do with any Shawn Michaels in tights (not the chaps/pants outfit…I hate those) was make sure that he had 3 more outfits to choose from.  However, making a black and green outfit or a blue and white one didn’t quite look right with red and black entrance gear.  I believe this is something they’ve fixed as well…but I’m not exactly certain.

Thing is, when it comes to Superstar Threads, it’s NEVER what I’m looking for.  I hate it when people always hold up No Mercy as the be-all-end-all of wrestling games, honestly, because I do feel that the games nowadays are OVERALL better games,  but when I don’t have features on today’s games that I had two systems back over ten years ago, it bugs me.  One of my favorite things about that game was that all of the wrestlers were fully editable (except for moves…but at least we get that in games now) so if they debuted a new outfit, I could make it.  I would also occasionally completely repackage wrestlers to my own liking so I’m sad that I don’t have that ability now.  I’d love to turn Punk back into his old ROH look just to change things up, but alas.

cm_punk_superstar_headThey’re starting to get a bit better, though.  One of the main features that I’m excited about in 2K14 is the Superstar Heads section.  This allows you to take an existing wrestler and edit their looks in CAW and then save them as an alternate attire for that wrestler.  This is definitely a step in the right direction!  However, at the moment it’s limited to only 14 people!  Sure, some of them are people that I’ll definitely want to change (like Punk) but I would have liked it better if I had access to the full roster instead of just 14 hand picked people…one of which is Paul Heyman, a setting that will never get used on my system.  Also, from what I’ve heard, you can’t change the hair and facial hair in this section, which is another downfall.  Sure, I’m going to give Punk his ROH basketball shorts anyway, but I’d much rather him have them with the stringy long hair instead of his current short cropped look.

I also found some things frustratingly inconsistent with WWE 13.  Why do I have to have three different Triple H’s in the game when Mankind gets two distinct looks, two distinct entrances, but is just one slot?  Why not just give us the ability to assign different entrances to each attire slot instead of just making separate attires.  Same with call names.  I’ve heard rumors that Razor and Diesel will have alternate Hall and Nash looks in 2K14, but if they come out to their WWF entrance music and are announced as Razor Ramon instead of Scott Hall, that’ll aggravate me.

On the subject of call names…we’re going to get into something else that I want back from a previous game.  Why could I give tons of names to characters in a game like WWE Raw 2 but in the  new games I get a bunch of generic ones to choose from, all of which make me happy that the custom music for entrances plays loud enough so that I don’t hear them announced as those names.  I want a game to call the wrestler Kurt Angle instead of The Olympian.  It shouldn’t be that hard to do.  Sit down with a list of names…the most popular ones that people would want from the past and present, and have the ring announcers say them.  It’s going to add, what, a day to their voice over schedule?  Maybe this is a WWE mandated thing, but in my mind it’s so easy to just record random names like Scott or Kurt and then words like Hall and Angle and let me piece them together.  Allow the same word/name options for the commentary and I can just have Michael Cole say “Angle” instead of “The Olympian” and I’m super happy.  I could make them say Total Nonstop Action in belt editor for Pete’s sake!  Let them do the same for wrestlers!

On that same tip, I’d like it if they threw more current and past wrestler attires into the game as presets in Create a Wrestler.  I am terrible at CAW making, which  makes me so happy that they still allow us to download wrestlers, but it would be cool if I could just choose long tights, make them black, then one of the preset options is, say, Jericho’s save us code attire.  Makes it simple.

One of the best things in Create a Wrestler in WWE 13 came after the fact and wasn’t even something that Yukes did.  When CAW creators found a way to hack textures into the game, crap got real!  Suddenly I could download wrestlers that look exactly like they were coded into the game.  My RVD that I downloaded from someone over at Wrestling Legends Forum was the coolest thing in the game to me…especially coming down to the ring with the ECW TV Championship in an ECW arena.

For it’s issues, WWE 13 was a fun game and I really enjoyed it.  I loved the gameplay, the customization offered to me, and I really liked the Attitude Era mode.  WWE 2K14 looks like it takes a lot of the stuff that I have issues with in 13 and takes care of them while also offering me more options for things that I want.  Allowing me to choose which attire is the current attire in Universe Mode is a huge thing as now I don’t have to fully edit a match just to change the attire.  Also, allowing us to pick which slot/action a wrestler comes out in during multiple man entrances is huge!  No more having to worry about the issues we had last year with Too Cool and The Brood…although, with those two teams not being in the game, I’m wondering how much I’ll actually use it…aside from maybe an nWo.  Doubling the amount of CAW slots is a huge thing for me as I routinely had to create two different profiles and saves on my PS3 so that I could have more than the allotted 50.  I’ll still probably have 2 profiles and saves, but the idea of having a total of 200 create a wrestlers is pretty awesome.  If nothing else, it allows me to have a roster of almost 200 wrestlers on each individual save, which is amazing in my opinion.  I foresee a a full current WWE roster, an NXT roster, a Chikara roster and still a lot of slots left over just to fill with people that I want.  That being said, the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode offering a ton of classic 80s era stars means I’m probably going to have at least one profile that is old school WWF vs NWA…especially thanks to, FINALLY, a classic Ric Flair!

I’ll have more with my opinions on WWE 2K14 once I have it in my  hands in a few short days, but at this moment, I’m looking forward to it a lot.  I’m hoping some good DLC is announced sometime soon, though.  I’m holding out hope for RVD, Big E Langston and Bray Wyatt.  I’ve heard rumors of 4 packs, one of which is a secret.  I’m kinda hoping that secret is some NXT guys.  I’d love to have Kassius Ohno and Sami Zayn in the game without having to create them.  The NXT arena and belts are in the game, so it’s definitely a possibility.  I was hoping for Roddy Piper in the game as DLC, but I think that since he’s one of the Superstar Heads available, that’s how he’s going to be in the game instead of being fully programmed in.  Speaking of Superstar Heads…I hope unlocking the rest of the roster is ALSO part of DLC.  I’d love to put The Shield in some actual wrestling attire…but we’ll see.

Anyway, there’s my look back, look forward, and some hopes and wishes.  We’ll find out on the 29th how much comes true and how happy I am with this year’s version.  After that, I’ll be back with a look at that game and my own look forward as we get into a full game done by 2K and not just them picking up a 3/4 finished product from Yukes.  In my opinion, you can already see some of the 2K influences on the game, so I’m  hoping that with a full game by them, we’ll get even more.

See you on the 29th!

-Shane D.

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