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   Tue, June 10, 2003



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'Legends' game honours the past
By JOHN POWELL -- Co-producer, SLAM! Wrestling


Motoring into an uncertain future, the wrestling industry as a whole is notorious for forgetting about the people whose contributions in the past made the business what it is now. The icons who year by year and brick by bloodstained brick built the formidable foundation upon which everything rests today. This is what makes Filsinger Games' newest venture so unique. They do remember the sacrifices that were made and they want you to as well.

In their new 'Legends Of Wrestling' game, fans have the opportunity to become some of the most memorable athletes and personalities wrestling has ever known. Men like The Destroyer, Harley Race, Johnny Valentine, Gorgeous George, Nick Bockwinkel and Killer Kowalski. Thrown in for good measure are some modern era stars who, as they weren't under contract to any organization at the time, could lend their names and personas to the game. Fan favourites like The Sandman, The Road Warriors, Jimmy Snuka, Ted Dibiase and King Kong Bundy.

Ox Baker's card in the 'Legends' game.

Following the exact same rules used in Filsinger's fun-filled 'Champions Of The Galaxy', players can act as the booker of their own wrestling federation and create whatever fantasy cards or feuds they wish. There are the options of putting together Texas Death, Steel Cage, Brass Knuckles and Battle Royal specialty matches too.

The 'Legends' game system is fairly simple. Each character has their own game card. By rolling dice and referring to these cards and various charts, each match can be played out to its conclusion. That is the beauty of the 'Legends' system. There aren't tomes and tomes of manuals to memorize or ever-changing stats to keep track of. After you've run through a handful of matches, the gameplay becomes second nature.

The only drawback for those (like me) who were hardcore 'Dungeons and Dragons' or 'Marvel Superhero' roleplaying gamers in the past is the game's lack of freedom. In standard RPGs, the players (in the role of characters) decide what course of action they wish to take. Whether to pry a gemstone out of a fabled statue or whether to leave it be. Whether to rest in a darkened cave or in the forbidding forest. Whether to shoot laser eye beams or use telekinetic powers. You don't have those choices in 'Legends'. Whether you throw your opponent outside the ring or not. Whether you go for a pinfall or not. Whether you give your foe a piledriver or a suplex. For good or for bad, the dice and the charts make those decisions for you. For gamers who are used to system that provides a true role-playing experience, 'Legends' can be a bit frustrating and monotonous.

With 'Legends', Filsinger Games has taken a monumental risk. Unable to hook up with the short-sighted WWE to use their recognizable personalities, Filsinger did the next best thing by immortalizing some of pro wrestling's peerless talents. Whether younger fans who are used to the razzle and dazzle of video gaming will appreciate the historic value of 'Legends' is unknown but Filsinger deserves high praise for keeping the names and their places in wrestling history alive.

Game includes: The retail price is $19.00 U.S. In the introductory set is a player's handbook, wrestling action charts, advanced rules book, two six-sided dice and 24 playing cards.

The playing cards included are: Killer Kowalski, Johnny Valiant, Greg Valentine, Nikolai Volkoff, Jimmy Valiant, Red Bastien, Bobo Brazil, Nick Bockwinkel, Gorgeous George, Ted Dibiase, King Kong Bundy, Road Warrior Hawk, Road Warrior Animal, Harley Race, Ox Baker, The Destroyer, Frank Gotch, Johnny Valentine, Playboy Buddy Rose, Jimmy Snuka, Buddy Rogers, Giant Baba, Iron Sheik, The Sandman and Wolf (bonus 'Champions Of The Galaxy' card).

For more info, check out the Filsinger Games site at http://www.gwfwrestling.com/home.htm

Related stories:

March 2000: Managers invade the GWF

Feb. 2000: Hell comes to the GWF

July 1999: Galaxy game offers plenty of thrills

John Powell, along with Greg Oliver, created SLAM! Wrestling a bazillion years ago. He still longs for the days when he slew orcs and beholders in his spare time and suffers from the effects of a truly harsh 'Feeble Mind' spell cast on him in the eighties. According to him, Monks, Paladins, Drow Elves and the old D+D gaming system rock hard. While Shambling Mounds, Gelantious Cubes, Kobolds and the new D+D system are utter trash. Whatever that means. He will probably be reviewing The Hulk flick next week in Jam!...and no...you wouldn't like him when he's angry.