IGN review US, August 26, 2005 – Publishing giant THQ readily admits that Nintendo fans have proven to be a dedicated bunch, snapping up its various wrestling games over the years. Back on Nintendo 64, the Aki-developed WCW and WrestleMania titles hooked a legion of followers and many of these same players continue to enjoy the company’s wrestling titles on GameCube today, despite a few notable missteps. Some fans, for instance, were shocked and disappointed several years ago when Aki left the Nintendo side to develop for other platforms and others felt cheated when the WrestleMania franchise eventually followed suit. But Japanese studio Yuke’s, whose GameCube-dedicated development team is comprised of former Aki members, has stepped up to fill the studio’s place and based on last year’s hit WWE Day of Reckoning, it’s done a pretty good job of it. DoR was a positive step in the right direction for THQ’s wrestling franchises. The title in many ways played catch-up to competing games, but it also brought a polished look and solid grapple-based play mechanics to the table, both complemented by a host of wrestlers and even a linear, but nevertheless entertaining storyline.
Day of Reckoning 2 is a direct sequel to its predecessor in that it actually continues the storyline laid down in the first game. It’s also the better of the two titles thanks to several noticeable enhancements, from improved graphics and presentation to a more involving and strategic fight system. This of course means that it’s the best wrestling game to grace GameCube yet. But that noted, it still lags behind some of its competitors in a couple of key areas, a truth that will once again put off a group of diehard fans. Read full IGN review.