Despite a sordid past decade, Hulk Hogan still has a cult-like influence over the wrestling business and has for a long time. He’s one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, and there isn’t much to argue about in that case.
Hogan has had multiple television shows based on his likeness over the years, including a kid’s animated series, a reality series based on his life, and a celebrity wrestling training show. But, for some reason, the video game developer Panic Button decided to team with Hogan for a wrestling video game called Hulk Hogan’s Main Event.
I originally bought this game from a local game store $0.99 back in 2015. It was a part of a larger purchase I had made from the store, so it sat on my shelf for about a year before I gave it a shot. I don’t remember much from that time, so after another six years, I decided to give it one more chance.
A warning to those who may ever play this game: This picture has been in my nightmares for weeks and may haunt you, as well.
This entire game has to be played with the motion-based Kinect style, which had the worst motion bar in the gaming industry at the time. It was such a headache to navigate the menu, let alone trying to execute any moves. I’m pretty sure that I have the very first edition of the Kinect bar, which makes it even worse. Over half of my movement isn’t picked up, which resulted in me losing exactly seven-of-seven of the “exhibition” matches I tried out. When I tried throwing a punch, as the Hulkster instructed me too, my on-screen character did a lariat instead. The grappling motion made me look like I was trying to hug my television. The “gameplay” is just so bad that I can’t see how somebody could play this for days on end without getting immensely frustrated.
It looks like a game that was designed for the Wii, but was scrapped at the last second and thrown in Microsoft’s front lawn.
There isn’t a “roster” for the game per-say, as the game isn’t specifically branded with a wrestling company (despite the Impact Wrestling logo being plastered on the back cover). The create-a-wrestler suite is ok at best and features a fine amount of ways to customize your own personal wrestler. It’s not even close to some of the other creation suites that I’ve seen in sports games, but its passable for a 2011 low-budget studio game.
Given some of the graphical advancements that video games were making in the early 2010’s, the game’s visuals are very bad and were straining on my eyes at times. It looks like a game that was designed for the Wii, but was scrapped at the last second and thrown in Microsoft’s front lawn.
Game modes: 2/10
The game features a practice arena plus three game modes: “Campaign,” “Head-to-Head,” “Hardcore” and “Quick Stunt.”
The Campaign is your standard rags-to-riches story and doesn’t offer a much different experience than any other wrestling game storyline. Yet again, I couldn’t even get through the full mode because the gameplay is just that horrendous. But from poking around online, and what I did get to play, it’s not good.
Hardcore mode is probably the best mode that the game offers, but that’s only because the weapons are fun to use and feature cool animations. Aside from that, the game modes are not good.
I’ll admit that I haven’t played every wrestling game in existence, but this one is pretty awful. There isn’t a single redeeming quality here, aside from that the idea of the game was somewhat unique. But as we see even in wrestling, not every good idea pans out and Hulk Hogan: Main Event is a prime example of that.