Lucha Libre promises to bring something new to what they have called a stalemate in the wrestling genre. While the wrestling community is a tough nut to crack when all they have been fed was WWE since the early ages of the NES to even handheld games that is a lot to say and even challenge. Saying that is like Michael Cole Challenging The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin to a Hell in a Cell Match. With this being their first entry into the wrestling market Slang aims to take fans from the WWE and convert them to the AAA which is no easy defeat.
When you first boot up Lucha Libre you are greeted with a dancing skeleton or wrestling person called La Parka which is very comical as the intro video starts playing. There are several modes in Lucha Libre as well as a story mode for your created characters which is what Slang wants to drive most but we'll talk about that later.
In terms of modes there is really noting new that isn't already on the WWE and that is 1vs1, 1vs2, 1vs3, Tag Team, Fatal Four Way and a Hair VS Mask online mode and of course Story mode where you can chose to play as Rudos or Technicos. The other matches are self explanatory as you can challenge other wrestlers in any other mode but the story mode is where all the action is. You can choose to play either or and while the story may be similar the outcome is very different giving a sense of belonging to said alliance. There are a total of 20 matches each and in order to unlock all wrestlers you must play through both of them.
Remember when I said we will talk about Create A Wrestler later. I lied. I guess that makes me part of the Rudos team. CAW is what slang wanted to focus on the most. The story revolves around your created wrestler which means if you wanted to play story mode with your favorite luchador you are out of luck.
Creating a character gives you all the control. You can control what he wears and the color of it and what moves you want to give him. When compared to the WWE there really aren't as many moves as the create a wrestler mode on WWE but less selections means it's faster to create your own character without having to fumble between moves. This of course is a double edge sword because I would have loved to see more moves then the ones already programmed.
At first you start out by Wrestling in small arenas and as you win fights and progress you will wrestle as well as unlock other arenas facing off against other wrestlers. Throughout story mode there will be small clips of wrestlers explaining what you need to do in order to achieve success. While the Technicos are the good guys offering you friendly advice and team work Los Rudos are all about winning at all costs. The videos are in Spanish with English subtitles and were recorded by the real life luchadores of the AAA.
Controlling your luchador is simple. RT or R2 + Any button and your wrestler will perform a weak grapple with LT or L2 + Any button will perform a strong grapple. This is by far the easiest controller setting I have seen since the days of the N64. Most WWE games will not tell you what does what and reading the instruction booklet doesn't help either. You have to do a lot of trial and error before you figure anything out which doesn't help newcomers. The commands for the moves can be found at the pause menu in Lucha Libre which is a big help.
Lucha Libre has easy to learn controls but it doesn't have performance on its side. While wrestling you will find yourself facing the wrong direction often because there is no auto-lock feature in the game. 3-way and Fatal 4 ways are extremely difficult as random times other wrestlers will attack you while you're still facing your opponent. This system takes some getting used to but most gamers will give up on it if it becomes too frustrating.
Pinning and submissions require button mashing the button displayed on the screen. The button will change randomly which means you will have to focus on the screen as well as your controller as pressing the wrong button means your luchador will receive more damage and perhaps tap out. When your luchador gets knocked out you have to press the button on the screen to get him back up on his feet. Different moves will have different impacts on this feature though as a weak move will allow your luchador to get up quickly to a stronger move which will have you tapping the button longer to get him back up.
Attacking any body part will guarantee a higher success rate if you keep attacking that body part. Every time a move is performed it will show which part was damaged and the more you damage that body part the easier it is to make your opponent tap out. Of course this also applies to your luchador which will make button mashing out of submissions even more harder than normal.
Graphically the Lucha Libre isn't revolutionary. The loading screen features 3 females waving but they're animation is only 3 seconds while they turn before they have to loop. During loading screens, entrances and winning will add a fuzzy screen effect. This is added to almost everything in the game except actual game matches. Luchadores' Entrances are also kind of cheesy. I'm not going to describe all of them but a dancing reaper isn't intimidating at all. There will also be some other graphical issues in game such as wrestlers clipping against objects or other wrestlers.
Sound is not Lucha Libres' strong point. Announcers will have basic announcements and is often repetitive. The voice over sounds as if there was no director in the sound studio while they were recording but if you were to follow AAA that is how luchadores actually sound.
Lucha Libre is WWE's only competition but like stated before it's like Michael Cole going up against a WWE Legend in a Hell in a Cell match. For a first attempt at a wrestling game it isn't bad but the game definitely needs a lot of improvement before it can take on WWE. Lucha Libre is a very fun game with very easy to use controls which allows new comers as well as veterans to easily adapt to the game. Graphical, AI and Sound have issues that Slang should address in the next game or risk fading away like the WCW.
LifeSpan: 6/10Total Score: 70/100