For all the advancements in arcade wrestling games over the years, there’s something to be said for missing a certain quarter-dropping, joystick-flicking bodyslamming action. The thirst from that arcade-action drought is about to be quenched with this summer’s release of Retromania Wrestling!
The official sequel to the classic Wrestlefest arcade game, Retromania Wrestling brings that same classic action and tag-teams it with modern match sensibilities and a roster spanning your 80’s favorites to some of the most beloved stars of today! From Minnesota’s own Road Warriors and Nikita Koloff to late 90’s provocateurs Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie to current stars “The Friday Night Delight” Johnny Retro, AEW’s Colt Cabana and reigning NWA world champion Nick Aldis – as well as the just announced Matt Cardona and Brian Myers (formerly Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins) it’s all the familiar fun of yesteryear with a brand new 2020 shine!
Go 95.3 spoke to RetroMania Wrestling creator Michael Hermann on how this one-of-a-kind dream wrestling game together! Read the conversation below and check out more about the game, which will be available for all major platforms, here!
What makes now feel like a great time for a Retro-arcade-style wrestling video game?
I was sick of waiting! A little joke, but not really. As a big fan of the old school 2d arcade style wrestling games, I could only play the old ones. I wanted something new to play, but a game that captures the feeling those early great 2d fast action wrestling games had. No other company was stepping up, so I decided I would form a company and do it myself. And here we are.
How did RetroMania begin to come together and who were the first wrestlers to get on-board with the project?
RetroMania started as a hobby back around 2010 or 2011. I decided I was going to reverse engineer the original game (WWF Wrestlefest) in order to add some of my favorites that were not included. As time went on I did not make a lot of progress due to life, work, family, etc. But then, I decided to get serious and hire a team to help me. The first wrestlers we signed were The Road Warriors. We had to have the bosses back from the original game!
What do you think makes for a great wrestling game?
F-U-N . It has to be fun. People have different tastes, but I want something that is easy to pick up and play, the moves should be easy to do and look cool when they are done! I want a bunch of different match types, and a cool roster of wrestlers to play with and RetroMania fits the bill!
Do you recall the first wrestling game you ever played? How did it hold up the last time you played it?
Tag Team Wrestling. Played it in the Arcade and later got it for the NES. I loved it then because it was the only wrestling game I had. You had to use your imagination as there were only 4 wrestlers and not a lot of moves. But, at the time, I was happy with it and played it a ton. I have recently played it, and it did not hold up too well. Couldn’t play it for too long, haha. The key game mechanic was that the game kind of paused and you had to scroll through a list of moves to select one. At the time it didn’t bother me too much though. Still have fond memories.
What’s the response to Retromania been like from the wrestlers involved?
They have all been pretty awesome to deal with! We have legends like Animal and Tommy Dreamer all the way to up-and-coming guys like Warhorse and recently annouced DLC character Chris Bey… or should I say “#DLCB – Down Loadable Chris Bey.” But they really all have been grateful to be involved in the game and have done a tremendous job of spreading the word.
It’s really impressive how the roster spans so many eras! Was having that sort of diversity in the roster a plan from the beginning?
I can truthfully say it was. Give people a chance to play matches that they would have never seen, and set the bar in that you never know who might show up in RetroMania in the future. Could be indy like Warhorse, could be Impact like Chris Bey, could be hardcore legends like Dreamer and the bWo, could be Nikita Koloff form the old NWA. Could be anybody from the new NWA like the REAL Worlds Champ Nick Aldis. Hopefully the game does well and we have a long line of DLC and you never know who you may see.