The second installment in the Virtual Pro Wrestling series, Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 was released in 2000.  Since the game was only released in Japan, the game is in Japanese and can only be imported to the States.  Made by All Japan, it has wrestlers from all the Japanese promotions but they are under a different name and look slightly different in order to avoid copyright issues with New Japan and the other Japanese promotions.  (note:  There is also a shoot wrestling mode in the game, but I have yet to fully play it so I didn't take that into account for the ratings, except to note that it is there as an option and as another mode to play in.)

Graphics - Obviously, since the game is on an older system the graphics are no match for the newer systems.  That being said, since it was one of the last wrestling games made for the N64 (only No Mercy was made after it), they had greatly improved many of the collision issues that can be found in WCW/NWO World Tour and WCW Revenge. Even though it is rather polygamitious (I made up that word) and the faces are non-descriptive, the moves still look pretty good and it doesn't take away from the game play as long as you know what you are getting. Score:  5.5

Controls - Back in the N64 days, I was in love with the control system for wrestling games.  You hold the grapple button for strong grapples, tap it for weak.  Once in the grapple, you hit a direction and a move is performed.  Simple.  Also, diving over the top rope (simply holding the grapple button) is actually easier here then it is in many of the wrestling games made since this one.  Not too much button mashing, which is appreciated, and if you hold R you get up in a crotch, which helps from simply getting destroyed non-stop throughout the match.  No real complaints.   Score:  9.0

Single Player Mode - Very in-depth in terms of statistics given and amount of time it will take you to finish.  The main single player mode is called Royal Road Succession - you play a full year in All Japan and try to win three different titles:  the Triple Crown, the All Japan Tag Team Championship, and the All Asian Tag Team Championship.  When you pick a wrestler, you also pick who your tag team partner will be.  You slowly work your way up the card (it keeps track of your win percentage and title defenses) until you reach the top and get title matches.  There are also tournaments spread out throughout the year.  Once the year is up, you can keep the same wrestler or use a new one.  One large negative, however, is that it does not have much of a storyline, but concentrates on in-ring success rather then a storyline-driven concept.  Which to me isn't too big of a deal, since I don't understand Japanese anyway and wouldn't have understood the promos, but it is still worth noting.  Score:  5.5

Other Game Play Options - This game actually has a tournament setting including a tag team tournament (!!!) which automatically makes it a great game.  The reason I always like the tournament mode is because a lot of times I want to test out a wrestler, and tournaments allow me to do enough matches with them without having to do a full season.  You can also do a League, which has a set number of wrestlers that face off in a round-robin style.  Score:  7.0

Wrestling Moves - After unlocking all the moves available, Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 has one of the largest move databases of any wrestling game I have played.  The last move set you unlock is the set from WrestleMania 2000, so almost all WWF finishers are included.  Since the game has so many different wrestlers (see the next topic) with their finishers, the move database is almost endless. Plus, this game has special over the top rope moves (such as the Space Flying Tiger Drop) that many newer wrestling games do not have.  From the Gansobomb to the Shooting Star Press, they are all here. Below I captured a few screen shots, the first of which shows the Space Flying Tiger Drop.  Score:  9.5

Wrestler Options - After unlocking all the legends, Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 has 98 wrestlers.  That is right.  Not 6, not 30, not 50.  98.  Wrestlers from All Japan, New Japan, FMW, Rings, Michinoku Pro, and BattleARTS are all included.  What more could you ask for? Score:  10.0

Create-A-Wrestler - While not as top notch as wrestling games made since this one, the CAW is still solid in that it allows you to make about any wrestler you can think of.  Faces tend to be off though, since faces in general look pretty shabby in the game.  But at least it has the feature. Score:  5.5

Long Term Appeal - Between the number of wrestlers and the three different modes that I personally played quite a bit (Royal Road Succession, Tournament, and League), I still play this game regularly even though I got it around three months ago.  There is also a lot to unlock, such as 22 wrestlers and numerous different wardrobe modifications.  Throw in the fact that there is also a shoot-fighting mode and Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 is a very complete wrestling experience.   Score:  8.5

Final Thoughts - Overall, as of the date that this review was written, I'd have to rank Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 as one of my top three favorite wrestling games (Bring the Pain! and No Mercy being the other two) when taking into consideration when the game was made.  Naturally a game made in 2000 won't look as pretty as one made today, but it makes up for that with different single-player modes and more wrestlers then you could ever use.  While the lack of story-line driven single player might annoy some people (and it is an important thing to remember), my personal lack of understanding for the Japanese language makes it a virtual non-factor.  A classic wrestling game.

Score:  A-

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game reviewed in 2007