At a special cafe experience hosted by Skybound Entertainment, we got a chance to sample the JRPG inspired struggle quest a little later in the day. If you’re a fan of the almost archaic (by modern graphics standards of course) approach of the NES Final Fantasy or the SNES Final Fantasy 2 (in the United States), you will feel right at home in this title. Doubly, if you’re a fan of the golden age of WWF pro wrestling led by Hulk Hogan in the 80s, you’ll probably jump out of your seat at this one. This game features at least the likeness (and maybe some playability) of some of the WWF’s greatest wrestlers. In our demo, we saw references to Macho Man Randy Savage, the Junk Yard Dog, The Road Warriors, and Diamond Dallas Page. The art of the game also escapes the presence of Double J Jeff Jarrett, Sergeant Slaughter and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Our guide Tim Hall, producer of Skybound Games, couldn’t tell us if there were more real-life personalities that were scheduled to appear, but he did indicate that any that did, were negotiated with either the personality themselves- same, or in the case of deceased persons. artists such as Macho Man or JYD, with their respective families.
The game is a cute take on JRPGs featuring a character Randy Santos – who fairly quickly comes to the conclusion that he should play as Muchacho Man – exploring a world where the aspiration to become a famous champion professional wrestler is a lifelong effort for many. He works at a gym that teaches green wrestlers the basics of making their gadgets, taunts their opponent, and performs basic maneuvers. There’s a feeling in the story that various aspiring wrestlers are well aware that pro wrestling isn’t exactly “real” (“predetermined” is what a brand or “smart brand” would call it) , but that big sunglasses make Santos happy doesn’t really seem to get it, it does. In our brief overview of this world, we see the basics of combat scenarios in games (which BTW, still equates to a match in the ring even if you’re just walking around in everyday life). There are taunts to disrupt your opponent, methods to bring the crowd to your side, and the standard power moves to devastate the opponent before trying to take them down for the three-beat pin. We were told that as the game progresses, your “party” will grow to include many characters and some will embody some of the common RPG archetypes (like healing). There are even mechanics for jacks that can be their own mechanic for bonus effects or distractions, much like real-world pro wrestling would.
Our only “quest” was to help a local wrestler collect some face paint as he fleshes out his character for a dark match at a local live event. This particular character explained himself as being stuck, unable to decide whether to go for the surfer face paint or the moody gothic face paint (a not-too-subtle swipe at legendary WCW wrestler Sting). All the while in the game, there’s a giant statue of the late Macho Man Randy Savage looming over Santos and the wrestling-obsessed world he occupies. We are told struggle quest will have more than thirty hours of play and will see a release in early 2023.