Released in 1994, WWF RAW would be the last of the four LJN grapple style wrestling games. It started with Super WrestleMania, went to Royal Rumble, went to Rage in the Cage, and ended here. I have to start by saying that this is the best of this style of wrestling game. One thing that the folks at LJN did very well was improve each game (well not Rage in the Cage) as they went along.
The New Generation
I remember seeing a preview for WWF RAW in a Sega magazine here in the UK called Mean Machine. I was so excited as it looked to me like the roster would be as big as Rage in the Cage. Sadly, this was not the case and the game still had 12 wrestlers like Royal Rumble before it. However, they did have some hot new characters here such as Diesel, Owen Hart, 123 Kid, and Doink the Clown. So, the roster was pretty stacked, it also had Luna Vachon which was the first time a female was playable in a WWF game.
I just wish that LNJ had increased the roster to 14! The reason I say this is because the Sega Game Gear version of the game had Macho Man Randy Savage and Evil Crush! I would have loved to have had those two on the 16-bit versions. Also, every other game in this series featured different wrestlers on Nintendo and Sega, with this one they both had the same.
Darker, But Better and Louder
I do feel that Royal Rumble had a brighter color pallet, but this game trumps that in terms of the visuals. The wrestlers all look similar, but the arena and the intro and the little segment before matches all have a much more authentic WWF feel to them this time around. Each wrestler has their own theme music and both consoles sound great.
Let’s Get RAW!
The gameplay of WWF RAW is largely unchanged from Royal Rumble. You have to grapple, where you hit the button as fast as you can to do a move. What I loved about this game was that different wrestlers had different moves! In the previous games, apart from their finishing move, every wrestler did the same moves. Here Undertaker would do a big boot, but Bret Hart would do a clothesline. Razor Ramon would do a fallaway slam, Shawn Michaels would do a face slam, and so on. It added in a new way to pin, you could submit your opponent, you could jump off the bottom turnbuckles, and more! It was staggering just how much more content they packed into this game.
WWF RAW also gave each wrestler their special move, but they went a step further than this. Each wrestler also had a Mayhem Move which was an over the top move that was very amusing. It is worth noting that this was also the first four-player WWF game! Once again the game is designed for a 6-button controller so if you are playing on a 3-button controller it can be annoying.
More Game Modes, More Mayhem!!
This game is stacked with game modes. You have your WWF Championship mode where you pick your wrestler and try to beat the whole roster, you also have a tag team championship mode. These are great, but the ending is horrible, it is just plain white text. You also have Royal Rumble, Survivor Series, Bedlam, and much, much more.
I spent hours and hours with WWF RAW when I was a kid. I will say the fact that the SNES has a native 6-button controller makes that the better version in my opinion. However, if you have a 6-button Sega controller, there is no difference. The way wrestlers had different moves, the Mayhem Moves, and the higher level of polish make this the best 16-bit WWF game.
- It features many of the stars of the New Generation
- Tons of game modes
- Wrestlers have different move sets
- Wrestlers have different attributes
- It was the first four-player WWF game
- It is not as much fun if you use a 3-button controller
- I do wish the roster was a tad larger
Processor: PC compatible, P-200
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode