Pax West 2022 – WrestleQuest Impressions
WrestleQuest has been on our radar for a while now since its announcement back in March, and we luckily got a chance to try out a demo of the game during our time at PAX West 2022 thanks to Skybound Games.
While there were other fun games in their lineup like The Big Con and The Walking Dead: All-Stars, for me, it was WrestleQuest or broke.
Are you ready to rumble?
WrestleQuest follows the story of Randy Santos as he traverses the world seeking guidance from legends like Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Diamond Dallas Page, all while challenging other wrestlers for glory and fame.
WrestleQuest is a straightforward RPG inspired by 16-bit classics like Earthbound, so if this is not your first rodeo (or more aptly, Wrestlemania), you’ll be able to pick it up from the get-go.
After the prolonged tutorial, you’ll be able to explore the world, and it works the same way as it usually does elsewhere – proceed to the next main mission, complete side quests, and even gain bonuses such as extra XP and cash. Many of the encounters are events that will trigger the combat phase.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, all combat is wrestling-inspired and turn-based. You get to attack, taunt, and pull off techniques, where the key to combat is to match your moves with the correct button prompt. Taunting allows for increasing the hype gauge, which in turn increases your cash winnings after a successful match.
It’s something that shouldn’t take too long to figure out and is straightforward enough for anyone to pick up and immediately enjoy.
What makes WrestleQuest matches exciting are the techniques. This is probably the most entertaining part of the game, as longtime wrestling aficionados can be rewarded with some well-deserved nostalgia that goes along with the overall look and feel of the game.
Pinning prompts a little minigame where you have to match the arrows in order to complete a successful pin. This minigame is timed, so if you don’t pin your opponent in 10 seconds, you lose some hype, and the opponent gains back some strength. It’s a nice little addition to the game that strays away from conventional wrestling mechanics and adds to the overall involvement.
While the novelty of WrestleQuest is welcome, it suffers from some pacing issues similar to many other RPGs. The world and backstory are front-loaded, and it takes a good 5–10 minutes of reading and slow narration.
I’m not sure if it was just me, but the input lag was pretty noticeable, which resulted in a slight delay of actions from the controllers to the screen. Whether this is due to the setup or in the actual game, we’re hoping it gets cleaned up before the final build.
While there’s no final release date for WrestleQuest at the moment, one can really tell that there was a lot of care put into this project by its developers. From the art style to the moves that are immediately recognizable to wrestling fans, this is certainly an upcoming game to look out for.
WrestleQuest is coming soon for the PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.