Wrestling Empire Switch Review
Recently I did a review of Action Arcade Wrestling and labeled it a Must Play. To compare, I downloaded another indie wrestling game I was aware that existed called Wrestling Empire, an entire wrestling game that was created by one man, known as MDickie. This game has been around in various forms for years, I remember playing it on a tablet eight years ago. It has come a long way in that time, and Wrestling Empire is pretty good, but not a Must Play, for reasons I’ll explain. Buckle up, because this will be on of my longest review to date, as I have a lot to explain.
Let’s start with the wrestling itself in Wrestling Empire. Unlike, Action Arcade Wrestling, Wrestling Empire is a pure pro-wrestling sim. The move list is expanded and there are a lot more things you can do. In AAW, for example, there was no whipping your opponent into a turnbuckle and suplex them off the top rope. You can do that here. There are entrances and exits you entirely control, meaning you walk to the ring and off to back. There are also neat little things pro-wrestling fans will appreciate, like fighting in the crowd.
For the most part it works, and works well, I’ve gotten into twenty minute wars with the AI with edge of your seat action. Where the AI falters is with specialty matches. In over-the-top-rope battle royals, the AI will instantly bounce you out by throwing you clean over. Or if you have large team battles in a cage, the AI will climb and up down the cage for absolutely no reason.
Then there is the camera, which can lose focus on you entirely, no matter the setting you put it on. Or if you’re playing a manager during a match, it never focuses on you at all, so you have no idea where you are.
There are two main modes in Wrestling Empire, wrestling career and booker career. I will focus on the wrestling career mode because that’s what I played the most. The booker career is simply booking matches to take your promotion to the top. It’s ok, I guess, but I never got into it.
Now, the wrestling career I’ve put about ten hours into. I really consider it the meat of Wrestling Empire since it is what’s advertised the most in the E-shop description. You can pick any guy, or gal, and play them through a series of matches and outside events. You get into feuds, have press conferences, sustain and/or give injuries, management challenges to improve, and other random events. Depending on your wrestling contract, you can modify your character at will, but if no creative control, the management has full creative control over your character.
You can either proceed directly to the match, or roam around backstage and even outside the arena. I suggest the latter as you can train your skills in the gym:
Pump a barbell to train strength. Run a track for stamina. Climb a ladder for agility. Hit the bag for skill. These actually do make a difference, especially stamina. Training drains your stamina, which you will need for matches, and training become a balancing act between training and saving your stamina for matches. You can go into a match with low stamina and win, it is just not suggested.
After the match, you can either go to your dingy hotel room(no, you can’t upgrade even if you’ve got the money) or sleep in the hospital to get your stamina back. You might not always get it all back, but simply a portion of it. However, you can eat or drink stuff lying around to gain it back, for a small fee.
Now, between weeks events will happen, usually involving other wrestling entering and leaving promotions and such. It goes a long way to make it a living world.
Now the complaints. The main complaint is you can’t skip events both outside or pre-match. It gets annoying when you have to sit through the same promos over and over again. You can skip the matches if you want for a simulated result, but not promos, it makes no sense. Also, the randomness of events can be unfair. One time I got fired from a promotion for not getting my strength up, but I was injured the entire time and couldn’t train.
Despite being rough around the edges in a lot of places, considering the amount of time I’ve put into Wrestling Empire, I’ll recommend it for pro-wrestling fans. Sure you can’t do Shang Tsung vs. John Cena like in Action Arcade Wrestling, there’s a lot to like in Wrestling Empire, if you put up with some of the annoyances.
Overall: Wrestling Empire can be rough in spots, but one can still find much to enjoy.