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THQ's acclaimed wrestling series returns for an encore performance on GameCube with the release of WWE WrestleMania XIX. New to this game is a story mode that finds players trying to earn the respect of peers and fans by embarking on a series of 30 missions. Apparently Vince McMahon has banned the player's character from wrestling, so he must prove his worth by making a name for himself outside the ring on the road back to WrestleMania.
A new graphic engine promises more realistic looking wrestlers with revamped character models and the addition of pain-sensitive animations. Injure a wrestler's arm or shoulder, for example, and he will clutch at it or favor it for the remainder of the match. More individual moves and traits have been incorporated for each of the more than 40 wrestlers in the game, and for the first time in the series, a First Blood match is available for players who like to bruise and batter their opponents beyond recognition.
Other enhancements include the ability to reposition wrestlers anywhere in the ring by dragging their bodies around by their arms or legs. Finishing moves have been simplified to the point of pressing two buttons together, allowing players to focus more on timing and grappling rather than the intricate combos needed to perform a wrestler's most famous moves. A retooled audio presentation has crowds reacting to situation-specific events, and a new tutorial option will help players learn the different moves available to each wrestler. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide