Kenny Omega is hoping to deliver on his promise of a video game in the style of WWF No Mercy from 2000 on the Nintendo 64 but knows that the industry is a lot different than it was two decades ago and that means that gameplay will have to be updated to reflect that.
Earlier this month, AEW finally announced AEW Games and the forthcoming console video game that will be produced by Yuke’s, the former developers of the WWE games series, due to be released at some time next year. Kenny Omega, an avid gamer, is heavily involved in the creation of the console video game and is so dedicated to creating a game like No Mercy that he hired Hideyuki Iwashita, the director of WWF No Mercy and Def Jam Vendetta, to make sure that the project carried the same spirit.
Speaking to Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, Kenny explained how he is but one of the many who wants to see a No Mercy-style game return to the marketplace after 20 years.
“I am but one of the masses that have cried for a No Mercy style of game for quite some time, about 20 years, believe it or not. There hasn't been any sort of wrestling game that has captured that magic. I know of a lot of wrestlers, wrestling fans, even guys that are just video game fans that don't even watch wrestling anymore but they play those games still,” Kenny began. “Generally speaking, we have the epitome of what a wrestling simulator can be, which is sort of the 2K style, and that's what WWE is featuring and I always felt that No Mercy was sort of a larger than life version of what wrestling is But still when you would perform the movements, you know, the wrestling moves and the way that guys would run the ropes, the way the guys would bump, the way that guys would sell, that actually always felt more real to me than what a wrestling simulator looked like. That was always sort of my favorite engine and style. Do I think it works One hundred percent in the year 2020? No. Nowadays, people probably want something that's a little faster, but they want something that feels kind of similar to that experience, and they want something that's easy to pick up and play.”
Singling out his AAA Lucha Libre rival, Rey Fenix, Kenny explained why he feels like a total relaunch of that engine will not work in 2020, saying that too many wrestlers now have move sets that are so complex, there will be difficulty mapping the move sets with the current button configurations of controllers.
“As you know, nothing is like the N64 controller, there's nothing that's even close. But it's close enough where you can create a control schematic that will feel a lot like the No Mercy style and now sort of the struggle is that the difference between today's wrestling and the wrestling of our yesteryear is that things are more complex and some guys have a move set that you can't even -- you don't have enough buttons to map to. So that's the biggest concern.”
He continued, "The biggest challenge is for the guys, like, for example, like Rey Fenix, he comes up with something new every week, you know what I mean? What's this guy's move set going to be? Because we can have 1,000 buttons on a controller and we wouldn't have enough. So how do you map a move set and buttons to layout on a controller? That's easy to pick up, easy to execute, and when you're playing, you still feel like Rey Fenix. That's sort of the biggest challenge because, in the year 2020, wrestling's a lot different than what it was like 20 years ago. So I want it to feel like No Mercy. I want it to move like No Mercy, control like No Mercy. But the reality of the situation is a lot of the moves that guys performing in today's world weren't even included in the game back in the day. So having to animate these new maneuvers, having to go over new physics and the way that guys go about performing moves, that's sort of the new challenge. Making that old reliable engine that people still love to this day, make it work and make it seem fluid and non-glitchy, which is the rough part because a lot of the stuff is very good. There's a lot of complex stuff that happens in today's pro-wrestling.”
In addition to spreading his wings in the video game development World, Kenny Omega is also launching a supplement line. Kenny spoke to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp about the new project and much more. Check out that interview at this link.
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