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 Def Jam Vendetta

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NightStarX
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PostSubject: Def Jam Vendetta   Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:55 am

Def Jam Vendetta is a very odd game, no doubt. Most wrestling game fans have probably never even heard of it, and for good reason.

It's a wrestling game with rappers in it.


Now hold on, wrestling game fans... before you go screaming for the hills and judge the game as complete crap, just because of it's admittedly idiotic premise, consider the following, first....

This game is produced by the same team and based on the same game engine that most wrestling game fans consider probably one of the top best wrestling games ever.

Even if I disagree with that assessment to a certain degree, and always have, it goes a way towards the legitimacy of Def Jam Vendetta, when it's wrestling engine is based on a vetern of wrestling games. Most specifically, AKI, the team behind wrestling gamer favorites, Wrestlemania 2000, and No Mercy.

However, the most interesting thing is that while i've always criticized No Mercy as not being nearly as good as it's overrated reputation precedes it, Def Jam Vendetta is BETTER than No Mercy. A LOT better.

All the issues I used to have with the N64 title have been fixed, improved and perfected with this game.

I always used to say No Mercy was sluggish, matches could drag out forever and a day, the controls aren't that responsive, and the control setup is not that simple or intuitive as Smackdown vs Raw series would become, while buttons and match functions in No Mercy having been spread out everywhere on the unfortunately, terribly designed N64 controller.

However, Def Jam Vendetta plays VERY similarly to the No Mercy match mechanics, with the exception of the following:

Moves and animations are much more fluid and move at a very nice and natural pace, the game is much more well balanced, matches play out somewhat quickly, compared to the "oh my god why the fuck is this not over yet" matches of No Mercy and the game is a hell of a lot more fun, and much nicer to look at as well. The No Mercy engine has almost been perfected here.

This is probably the overall best game engine AKI has ever produced. I love it.

In fact, this game can be considered a sort of predecessor to the equally great gameplay found int WWE Day Of Reckoning. A game that plays just as well as this in many respects (Although I honestly think this game does it just a little better, even), but DoR at least had the added bonus of having a WWE licence, obviously.

Even so, putting this game up on that level may be enough of a recommendation to say that as a wrestling game fan, you should very much play this game.

Because the most important thing of any game is how it plays, and Def Jam Vendetta succeeds greatly, here. This is a great WRESTLING game and is very enjoyable. TO PLAY.

However, Def Jam Vendetta also seems to put this rule of "gameplay is everything" to the ultimate test.... Because for as great as this game is to play, everything else, through and through is stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, and stupid.

So, I play this game with very mixed feelings. The matches are among the most fun, and enjoyable wrestling game mechanics i've ever played, but I am constantly lamenting that this game has the single worst license that is humanly possible for it, and every second of it, I am wishing that this game was something... ANYTHING else other than what it is:

A wrestling game with the same 6 obnoxious rap songs playing constantly, a truly dumb storyline featuring bland arenas consisting of warehouses and hand-made rings in the middle nowhere, and a bunch of rappers and moronic looking generic thugs that I couldn't even begin to give half a shit about.

The gameplay itself is carrying this game for me, and i'm playing through the stupid story, going through the motions in this ludicrous storyline about an underground wrestling federation consisting of Method Man, DMX, Capone, Redman, and all sorts of made-up cartoonish jobber dumbasses filling out the spots in the roster where these rappers I don't care about leave off.

But the matches? Well, at least i'm very much enjoying that.

Does it make up for not giving a damn about the ill-fitting, stupid, and nonsensical licence that's half-assedly tossed on this game that I really wish was based on a real, or hell... even a fictional wrestling company?

...eh....... kiiiinda. :/

I mean, at the end of the day, a good game is good, even if it's a stupid game with a terrible concept.

At the very least, this is a game that is WORTH PLAYING. At least for a little while.

If you like wrestling games, and you're like me, and you've barely ever even heard of this before, and just saw this at the store used for PS2, and are thinking about giving it a spin just for the heck of it... do so.

As a curiosity, it's worth it, because the gameplay is solid, if you can ignore the idiotic premise. I mean, I don't have anything against rap. But just because I don't hate rap, doesn't mean that it belongs in this.

I mean, even if Simpsons Wrestling was half the game this was, that wouldn't change the fact that Simpsons Wrestling is a stupid idea for a game either, even if it was as good as this is.


So in the end... is this game a lost classic wrestling game gem, or a game worth taking a pass on? That's entirely up to whether or not you're able to look past a stupid licence and a dumb premise, to play a game that's better than most other games of it's type that you might have seen. What's more important to you? Gameplay or what it's based on?

Although another major problem of this game as well, that exists, aside from just the stupid license, is the complete lack of a Create-A-Wrestler mode. Again, based on your preferences of what you look for in a wrestling game, this might be unforgivable to you, since even the worst wrestling games out there, at least have some sort of a customization aspect, and this game has none. Take that how you will.

However.... When I think of this as the perfect evolution of AKI's engine from No Mercy, playing this game does beg one question.

What would happen if AKI kept the WWE licence? Would their games have ended up like this? If so, a part of me wants to see the alternate reality in which this happened...

...because I like Def Jam Vendetta.

It's the stupidest and worst fucking idea for a game i've ever seen in my life. But I can look past that enough to enjoy it as a worthy wrestling game, anyway.

Score: 6.5 out of 10. Mostly because i'm torn by my feelings of this being a wrestling game that NEEDED a wrestling LICENSE and just doesn't have one. And points off for a lack of a creation feature as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Def Jam Vendetta   Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:24 am

I agree with all you said about this game. It is a very good wrestling game in terms of the matches, but the story and characters suck. I'd give it 6.5-7/10.

According to Wikipedia, Def Jam Vendetta was originally planned to be a sequel to WCW Mayhem, but when WWE purchased WCW, EA lost their WCW license. So EA made it what it ended up being instead. It's such a shame, because this could have been a great WCW game.

I don't know if any of you played the sequel, called Fight For NY. If you haven't, don't bother because it's nothing like this gameplay wise. It has real rappers in and a good character creation mode, but that's the best things about it.
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PostSubject: Re: Def Jam Vendetta   Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:27 am

Yeah, it's too bad that the game isn't easily hackable. Because it would have been GREAT to re-engineer the game into being a fan-made WCW or ECW style game or something.

Given the gritty nature of it, I can even see the game being converted into an ECW game. If only Paul Heyman wasn't a complete fuckup when it came to finance and running a business, that could have even been reality.


Last edited by NightStarX on Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Def Jam Vendetta   Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:29 am

That would be pretty awesome. I doubt it'll ever happen though... Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Def Jam Vendetta   Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:55 pm

The game is available on websites as a downloadable ISO. Would that be easier to hack?
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PostSubject: Re: Def Jam Vendetta   Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:04 pm

Probably not, unless there are some people that can sift through, build original programs from the ground up specifically made to read this games data, and replace textures like a pro.

PS2 games are remarkably difficult to hack apparently, let alone even translate.
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PostSubject: Re: Def Jam Vendetta   Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:15 pm

How about Gamecube games? Def Jam is available on Gamecube as well.
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