I’m well-acquainted with 90% of the WWF/WWE games by this point, being able to seperate the Here Comes The Pains from the WrestleMania Steel Cage Challenges. That said, WWE Survivor Series
on the GBA wasn’t something I knew much about. With illusions of WWF Superstars on the original Game Boy though, I thought it could be decent.
Starting with the positives, it’s a nicely animated game that’s stuffed with high-quality sprite work. It’s a good-sounding game as well. I’m always entertained by 16-bit renditions of wrestler’s themes too, and it’s no different on GBA than it was with the Mega Drive and SNES games. Furthermore, the game’s Story Mode gives the player a focal point, with the emphasis being on having entertaining matches in order to make progression through your wrestler’s career. However, it’s really just window dressing. While the AI might tell you that it’s ‘entertained’, you definitely wouldn’t be.
Aye, WWE Survivor Series just isn’t very satisfying to play. The sluggish and unresponsive controls don’t help make it particularly accessible, and the shallow move pool and dumb AI contribute to the boredom in a big way. There’s very little to discern one wrestler from another either - it doesn’t matter if you’re 7 foot Undertaker or reknowned short-arse Rey Mysterio, they’ve all got the same speed, same height and same posture. It’s lazy stuff, and putting this all together makes me think that Natsume (!) didn’t spend too much time developing it.
Just skip it. WWE Survivor Series is one of the more missable WWE games there’s been. It's not Gobbledy Gooker bad, but this game were an actual Survivor Series moment it would have been the one where Vladimir Kozlov fought for the WWE Championship. Ugh. 4/10