AEW Fight Forever combines Mario Party and professional wrestling

NJPW, Kenny Omega (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)
NJPW, Kenny Omega (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images) /

AEW Fight Forever is the little train that could, chugging up the big hill that WWE created. With a new publisher and a few more reveals for the Summer update, is this game ready to topple the 2K series?

A new update trailer for AEW Fight Forever came out revealing some new gameplay, modes, and …mini-games. That’s right. AEW is taking a page right out of Mario Party with some mini-games. I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s break down the new trailer.

Tony Schiavone is introduced to the game by Britt Baker. She then begins to tell him how easy it is to play. In the gameplay footage, Adam Cole is getting whupped by Britt Baker. She knocks him to his knees, curb stomps him, and applies her dental submission move. Britt tells Tony that the game is so easy to play and the player won’t have to figure out so many buttons.

Tony then asks a question  that no one was thinking, “will there be weapons in the game?” We cut to footage of a fire extinguisher, a chair shot, and a garbage can be used on Adam Cole.

Britt says that the game will have a career mode, but then skips right over that to announce mini-games. In the mini-games, we see baseball, a quick-time dance party, a football game, and a casino chip collecting mode.

Wow! Kenny Omega is taking the “Let’s go back to the N64” model quite literally. The inclusion of mini-games as the big reveal seems a bit tone deaf to what gamers are looking for. Mind you, this is just a palette cleanser before the big reveal on August 12. Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely try the mini-games, but most of my time will go into career and online. You definitely won’t see an IGN review that says “Career mode is meh, but mini-games totally make up for it.”

Let’s not forget that AEW is aimed at young adults who are over the age of 18. Kids usually play mini-games (and Nintendo dads). How will AEW’s blood and guts branding fit with a cutesy chip-collecting game?

Other revelations have popped up over the internet like a publisher reveal, THQ Nordic, and possible cover art. Tony Khan promises that a lot of the recent talent might not show up in the main game, but will be released as DLC. Other updates include being able to have an online friend be your tag team partner, which will lead to some excellent stable names.

Let’s talk about Kenny’s insistence that AEW Fight Forever feels like an N64 title. It comes with positives and negatives. On the positive, it will be so refreshing that the game will be picked up and played. There shouldn’t be upselling, monetized card decks, constant updates, and in-game currency shenanigans. It should be instant action. The other positive is that we should be getting the old Yuke’s grapple system back that made us fall in love with No Mercy. The downside is that simplicity doesn’t always mean quality. Look at the game Arcade Action Wrestling. It has only two buttons, but the moves and wrestling capabilities are lacking.

The latest WWE games have no shortage of moves and actions for your wrestler so let’s hope that simplicity does not equal limited actions. Also, the late nineties were not known for graphical realism, good hit detection, and clipping. A lot of the talk around the Twitter water cooler is that AEW Fight Forever will have graphics that belong in an N64 game.

Right now AEW fans are shuffling in the dark with this game. How will it play? How smooth will it run? How deep is the career mode? What is online like? What we do know is that Adam Cole swings a large bat to hit a giant baseball and that Kenny Omega runs like Wario when he needs to collect chips. I will bet you a million dollars Orange Cassidy will get his own mini-game and it will involve a blender and oranges.