AEW: Fight Forever is the Gaming Nostalgia You Need

“ Do you remember the feeling when you could just pick up and play a video game?”

-Jon Moxley (AEW: Fight Forever Trailer)

Well yes, Jon Moxley. I remember those days. Why, just yesterday I picked up my Nintendo Switch and played The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (hashtag advertisement). I remember video games. 

Do you remember video games? Remember turning to channel three once you plugged in the AV cables and blew desperately into your poor WCW/NWO Revenge or WWF No Mercy before you slammed that Nintendo 64 cartridge with unnecessary force before the polygons of yesteryear took you on a journey of wrestling? 

Well, as “Hangman” Adam Page later states in the same Fight Forever trailer that now “that feeling is back”. Instead, the cartridge is either small if you’re playing on Switch, a disc if you’re playing on other platforms, or it’s just a bit of digital space if bought online.

Now you can have Jeff Jarrett dog walk Kenny Omega as is the most realistic scenario, while you can finally have a dream match between Owen Hart vs Dax Harwood. Or if you want to take advantage of the newly implemented intergender matches, you can have Wardlow job out to Riho. Also you can play as Cody Rhodes – so you can feel free to win a championship and let loose those jokes of “finishing the story” like you invented them.

Here’s why you should buy this game, even if you are not financially stable.

The game doesn’t have the graphical quality of modern titles by huge mainstream developers, but with its classic art style, it doesnt need to. It emulates the style of classic games like No Mercy and Virtual Pro Wrestling alongside the overall feel of arcade games. It’s a party-fighting game. It doesn’t seek to become anything more than what it is. It’s not a simulation by any means, but just a silly wrestling game that you can sink your teeth into. Simple, as man intended. Dog bless.

I already mentioned the games in the days of yore that the game is modeled after, but did you know it was done by former WWE games developer, Yuke’s and THQ Nordic, both of which were responsible for the wrestling games you liked and/or didn’t like? I don’t know your life. But yes, it was made in mind that wrestling fans longed for the way that wrestling games used to feel. Hideyuki “Geta” Iwashita, the director of WWF No Mercy also directed Fight Forever, taking pages from his own book to use for fans to take a trip down memory lane while enjoying what they have now. In this, the development team gave Fight Forever its own new and original game engine to give something unique.

There are so many modes ready for you; I already mentioned the intergender matches. In addition to that, there are the typical singles, tag team, and trios matches, as well as the standard ladder and falls-count-anywhere matches. But what about the matches made popular by AEW? Where’s the Unsanctioned Lights Out Match? The Exploding Barb-Wire Death Match? Hello, the Casino Battle Royale? Can I play them online?

Well, if you’d stop asking me so many questions and let me answer you, I’d tell you. According to the official site, you can get those feelings and more. The lucha libre style, the over-the-top American style, and the Japanese strong style can coalesce with the technical, the brawling, the flippy-doo-da styles and take from the history books of wrestling and wrestling games to give fans the authentic AEW experience from your couch or online. 

And if you want to veer off in a different direction? You can customize the wrestlers from their attire to their moveset. You can even create your own wrestler! Could it create someone who actually loves you? God, I hope so.

While the game aims for realism with holds and counters and strikes aplenty, players will find it is faster-paced than the typical wrestling game and can get pretty darn wacky. The perfect blend of what we know and what we wish could happen. It’s realistic and unrealistic. You can even bleed, unlike in real life!

The game will also feature the venues that fans will know and love, such as the past Dynamite and likely the current Dynamite. Though I don’t know for sure, I could guess that the Arthur Ashe Stadium and Daily’s Place, and maybe even the new AEW Collision set. I’d be surprised if the game doesn’t give fans an opportunity to create their own venue at this rate. Not disappointed, because we gamers are already being given so much, just surprised.

Now, let’s talk modes, shall we?

There’s your typical exhibition matches that you can hop in for a quick match or two. Sounds fun, right? Well, that’s not all, bucko! That’s right, you, yes you can even play through a campaign as you go from show to show and climb up the Elite ranks, battling favorites and non-favorites alike. Sadly, you can’t play through a General Manager mode, but worry not – there’s an entirely different game for that. You’re welcome, AEW advertising team.

Is that not enough for you? Are you not sports entertained? Well, there’s one more addition that will keep the gamer moments coming. The mini-games. If you loved the Mario Party games or the mini-game section in Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2 on the N64 or if you like mini-games in general, this section of the game will hit the spot when you tire of in-ring action.

That’s what excites me, is that there is so much variety in such a small package from a company that is around half a decade year old. That you can turn this game on and just go. Just like the old days. 

So, when the game releases (finally), take a moment and give yourself that feeling again. Get a bottle of Surge, Mountain Dew, or Doctor Pepper. Order Pizza Hut’s Big New Yorker or whatever you remember your parents ordering for you. Insert the game and play some matches.

It’s game time.