WrestleQuest is a pro wrestling RPG developed by Mega Cat Studios and published by Skybound Games. You play as Muchacho Man Savage – not to be confused with Randy. In typical fashion of wrestling narratives, your objective is to ascend to the pinnacle of the wrestling world by showcasing your skills within the independent circuit. As you progress, you’ll also step into the shoes of Brink Logan, who shares similar ambitions albeit stemming from a contrasting privileged upbringing. As the plot shifts between Savage and Logan, you’ll forge alliances with managerial figures and tag team companions, all while striving to ascend the ranks and secure your place on the upper echelons of the wrestling realm.
To begin with, this game is brimming with an abundance of charm. The employment of a JRPG approach, where you navigate an expansive overworld map connecting different towns, is a remarkable homage to the SNES era. Noteworthy names such as Jake the Snake Roberts, André the Giant, and Macho Man Randy Savage are prominently featured. The wrestlers are basically toys, each encompassing distinct gimmicks reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s, just before the attitude era emerged. Regrettably, despite these commendable aspects, WrestleQuest sandbagged its pure potential.
Both main stories are extremely dense and lack a proper hook. While there are instances where your choices hold the potential to influence the course of the plot, these decisions fail to rescue rather lackluster storylines that struggle to captivate. I never felt like a heel or a babyface; instead, I often felt more akin to a figurine reciting repetitive and vexing voice lines. In fact, the characters’ tendency to annoyingly repeat phrases become tiresome almost immediately, to the extent that I found myself yearning for a version of the game without any voice acting at all.
I have mixed feelings on the battle system. It offers players the option to execute regular strikes, utilize abilities for impactful maneuvers, orchestrate tag team tactics, and employ specialized moves requiring AP. Managers also add buffs to the party to assist in bigger brawls. However, I didn’t struggle due to the lack of challenge. Throughout my gameplay, I seldom encountered situations where victory seemed uncertain. Even the application of items aimed at bolstering base statistics failed to significantly impact the gameplay, likely due to the prevailing ease of battles.
As a result, matches feel dull and uninspired. Despite the incorporation of bothersome QTEs to potentially amplify damage or ensure a pinfall triumph, the combat mechanics quickly lose their luster. Traversal mechanics are equally bad, with a subpar radar system that merely provides a rough direction of your goal. Whether walking or sprinting, the movement pace is regrettably sluggish, leading to a sense of discomfort. During quests, the experience often mimics maneuvering through a dungeon, engaging adversaries at every turn. These seemingly inconsequential battles appear to serve the sole purpose of padding the gameplay duration, a decision that, in my opinion, detracted from an already dragging experience.
As a die-hard wrestling fan, I wanted to love all 30 hours of WrestleQuest. Unfortunately, the dull plot, frustrating traversal mechanics, and lackluster gameplay failed to get over with me and needs to be buried to the absolute bottom of your wishlist.
WrestleQuest launches on August 22nd on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and PS5 for $29.99.
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