Chikara: Action Arcade Wrestling – Review (PC)
Ok, so full disclosure, Ryan and I were beyond hyped for this game. So damn hyped we created wrestling promos. Yeah, this is no joke. Check them out before continuing onto the review (be sure to watch Ryan’s first, his is on the bottom):
— Jason G. (@Klutzleo) October 11, 2019
So needless to say, we went a bit overboard with it. But let’s get to the actual game.
I am writing this on behalf of Ryan, as we both live-streamed on our Twitch channel (http://www.twitch.tv/GameOctane), we were meaning to get another steam date but with all the holidays and our families getting sick, it just never came around. We played an earlier version of the game, in fact, it was a day one playthrough, so many updates and improvements have been made since then.
Before we started playing we created our own wrestlers. This is done through a separate program called Chikara: Action Arcade Wrestling Wrestle Factory, you can find it here https://store.steampowered.com/app/1137700/CHIKARA_AAW_Wrestle_Factory. That program is free and you don’t even need the core game to create wrestlers. I was comparing the customer wrestlers to the Mii shop, there were a ton of fun characters and celebrities already made by other gamers. It was great and wrestlers were easily moved to the core game to be able to play.
This game is crazy. I truly mean crazy in a good way though. If some of you old school gamers remember WWF: The Arcade Game. It is definitely a wrestling game, but it has some Street Fighter-ish moves and Mortal Kombat magic attacks. In short, it’s entertaining chaos. Matches are fun and quick and playing co-op is a blast. The moves and gameplay are over the top and we had a great time beating each other’s ass. We weren’t keeping score or anything, but I won every match. 🙂 I mean if you could choose between a piledriver or a fireball to the face, that’s Chikara: Action Arcade Wrestling.
Of course, the game plays like most wrestling games where you have a health bar and you want to beat the hell out of your opponent enough so you can pin them for the three count. You have to take a second to think that there are over 700 hand-crafted animations in Chikara, that’s DAMN impressive. The game also uses a classic two-button control scheme so anyone could really pick it up and start playing. I would though definitely check out the tutorial and learn some more in-depth strategies besides punch the hell out of the guy in front of you. You want to be flashy when you’re giving the beat down don’t you?
There was one major issue we ran into multiple times. Which I believe has since been fixed in updates, but I wanted to state what we ran into. Sometimes when you attacked the other player or attempted a move the move would just go through the other wrestler and the one wrestler on the receiving end would freeze and no other moves would be done and you’d have to quit the game. This would happen on both multiplayer and single player. Again, I believe this has since been fixed.
Since we’ve played they have added some great updates and are really listening to the feedback of their fans. Bugs have been squashed and tag team matches were added!
The game has a decent art style as well. It’s an interesting blend of cel-shading, is the best way I can describe it. There aren’t a ton of details but it feels great. The audience is in the dark but you can see them there, so it doesn’t feel like an empty building. But I feel there’s a decent balance with the depth of the wrestler creator to offset extreme detailing.
Chikara: Action Arcade Wrestling is a lot of fun, especially playing with friends. New modes are being added all the time, but playing along may grow stale after a little bit. Kudos to VICO Game Studio for keeping on the updates and keeping the game moving forward. With a starting price point of $15, wrestling fans would enjoy hours of gameplay.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
+ Action-packed, arcade wrestling
+ Full-blown character creation (separate program)
+ Tons of fun with friends and online play
+ Developers constantly pushing updates
+ $15 price tag is worth it
- Single-player may get stale after a few hours of gameplay.
- Minor bugs floating around (but getting patched)