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WWF Betrayal

Score: 40%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: WayForward Pocket Team
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:

Visually, Betrayal really isn't much to look at. The characters are all done in a super-deformed style, making it easy to identify each superstar. The Rock has his trademark eyebrow, Stone Cold Steve Austin has his skull vest; you get the picture. Unfortunately, other than those few points, nothing really stands out about the graphics. Each of the boards is rather plain and shallow - lacking both color depth and variety, resulting in a very dark game. At times, it also gets hard to tell where characters and traps are located, making for a few cheap hits. One of the touted features of the game is destructible backgrounds, and considering this is a WWF game, I was at least expecting to put some people through tables. Unfortunately, except for a few car trunks and some power generators (both of which can only be destroyed by you hitting them), there's really not much to the feature.

Sound is decent, consisting mostly of the requisite grunts and punch noises. The background music is very well done and it's neat to hear each superstar's entrance music play during boss fights.


First of all, WWF Betrayal is NOT a wrestling game. So anyone who is hoping for a squared circle brawl - turn back now. Instead, we're given a side-scrolling beat'-em-up similar to Double Dragon or Final Fight. You wander the streets, beating up thugs and a few bosses. In addition to punches and kicks, various 'foreign objects' and your superstar's signature move, such as the Rock Bottom or Last Ride, aid you in reclaiming the belt.

The basic premise of the game is that someone has kidnapped Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and stolen the WWF Championship Belt. This is where things get interesting. Depending on who you chose as your character, the other three characters become the villains. For example, when playing as Triple H, the Rock becomes the main villain and the Undertaker and Stone Cold become his 'lackeys' (don't worry, I'm not ruining any surprises for you). I really liked this aspect because it added some replay and depth to what is otherwise a pretty shallow, repetitive game.


Betrayal seems to slip between being way to easy and being way too cheap. Each of the game's six levels is a breeze, and except for some cheap hits due to dizziness, there's no reason anyone can't run through the entire game in about thirty minutes. The boss fights, on the other hand, are where the cheapness really comes in. Whenever you fight another superstar, he seems to gain enough speed and power to just edge you out, basically turning them into button mashing, 'fastest finger' brawls. But all is not lost. Since the AI isn't really bright, every boss can be beaten simply by running jump kicks.

You are given a password after you die, but since you are allowed infinite continues and the game is just that easy, it's not likely you'll use them.

Game Mechanics:

My first instinct is to compare this to Double Dragon, since both games play pretty much the same way. Sadly, Betrayal's controls aren't as deep as those found in other brawlers. Most of the game is spent doing punches (normal kicks are a little too slow) and when your meter fills up (after every fifth punch), your superstar uses his finishing move. It would have been nice to see some button combinations, like the twister kick move, or at least the ability to throw enemies. The controls are generally responsive and fairly tight though.

Betrayal isn't a very bad game, but at the same time it isn't a very good one either. I give credit to THQ for doing something very original with the WWF license, but the entire time it just felt like it was the square peg being forced into the game's round hole.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

GameBoy Color/Pocket Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword GameBoy Color/Pocket X-Men: Wolverine's Rage

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated