Despite being a wrestling game at heart, DJV deviates from the standard path in a few ways by providing a story steeped in rap culture, established rap personalities, and even the ability to choose girlfriends for your fighter of choice. Unfortunately, these deviations are done poorly, and are probably the most disappointing aspect of the game. The storyline is laughable at best, and a textbook case of stereotyping at worst. When you encounter famous rappers like DMX or Method Man, they don't display any personality or affect the story in any significant way. They threaten you in one or two sentences, you fight them, and that's about it. The girlfriend routine is amusing exactly twice: The first time two girls get in a catfight over your player, and again when your girlfriend leaves you for another woman. Even the highly touted rap soundtrack is lame; they play stripped down muzak versions of rap during the game, and you only hear the full songs during menus.
The wrestling itself is stupendously mediocre. Your controls include the very standard attack, grapple, run, and block buttons. When your fighter gains enough "momentum" (read: fills up the blue meter), he can perform a devastating "Blazin' move" (read: special attack). It's precisely like every wrestling game made since Pro-Wrestling for the NES, except DJV is slower, unusually difficult, and the wrestlers are wearing FUBU.
The bottom line is that unless you've desperately got to settle a schoolyard debate over whether DMX or Ludacris would win in a fight, there are better wrestling titles out there to play that offer a whole lot more entertainment value, most notably the WWE Smackdown series. Fear not, Rock. Sleep soundly, Stone Cold. Your legacy lives on. --Jon "Safety Monkey" Grover
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