It is no secret that WWE 2K18 did not go as planned for the Switch. Performance issues plagued what should have been a great opportunity for WWE to wrangle thirsty Switch owners at a time when the console’s sports offerings were very light. Over a year into the Switch’s existence and there is one recurring theme around every last corner: classic games. They exist in many forms via the eShop, but, at least until E3, Nintendo’s entire back catalog is missing for the Switch.
Our constant conversations at OS about the best sports games of all-time lended us to a formidable hypothetical situation: what if WWE teamed up with Nintendo to release WWF No Mercy on the Nintendo Switch?
Porting a Powerbomb
WWF No Mercy, released in 2000, is considered by many to be the best wrestling game of all-time. Perfect gameplay, responsive controls, and an abundance of single player and multiplayer content made it a must-have even for non-wrestling fans. A loyal modding community has updated the game left and right, though anyone with the original copy and a classic Nintendo 64 can take an afternoon to modernize the roster via the Edit-A-Superstar feature.
From a technical standpoint, releasing No Mercy on the Switch should be easy. The game was built for the Nintendo 64, and the Switch is more than capable of emulating a console that was released in 1996. The graphics can get a little blurry on an HDTV, but the game is still exceptionally engaging and has held up over the years. But if a mod community can put together a collection of updated visuals, why couldn’t the geniuses at Nintendo? Even the worst case scenario, it finding its way onto the Switch with zero graphic or technical improvements, is by no means a bad situation.
Modernizing a Masterpiece
A portable No Mercy would be a blast if it was released as is, but what if Nintendo took it a step further and modernized it with a few other features? Online play would be a significant pull, especially if it expands to a full 30-man Royal Rumble. Other ’90s wrestling titles included Create-A-PPV, Create-An-Arena, and Create-A-Belt, so why not give fans of any era the options to customize the game? What about a Create-A-Wrestler vault like the 2K series? Would the Switch’s significant hardware upgrade allow for more custom wrestlers? Imagine a sea of 80 savable created wrestlers on top of the already staggering roster. Or maybe the Edit-A-Wrestler feature could include not only parts from No Mercy, but from WCW/nWo Revenge and WWF WrestleMania 2000 as well? Expanding No Mercy’s Shop to feature pages upon pages of unlockable content would drive the replay value up even further. Scores of relatively easy updates to an already robust offering would make No Mercy even more enticing.
Never Underestimate Nostalgia
Keep in mind that once upon a time, WWE programming was must-see television and dominated the rankings. Anyone who lived through the 1990s has some vague recollection of the WWE/F. Many of the wrestlers that were featured in the original No Mercy are either still employed in some way by WWE or signed to Legends contracts that allow them to appear from time to time. WWE also owns many of the characters portrayed by the various wrestlers, and barring some minor legal hoops, could technically do whatever they want with them.
Mixing classic wrestlers (perhaps by the expanded Shop) in with modern wrestlers makes for seemingly limitless dream-match opportunities. And if they aren’t in the game, No Mercy did an exceptional job of hiding WCW lookalike outfits, taunts, and moves in the game, so the updated one should do the same.
Re-releasing and/or updating No Mercy for the Nintendo Switch appears like an easy slam-dunk for both Nintendo and the WWE (if it weren’t for all the potential legal issues), especially if it premiered on the eShop for less than $59.99.
What do you think? Would you pick up WWF No Mercy if it was updated for the Switch?