WWE 2K23 review: A return to muscular form




Every so often, a wrestler slinks back to the gym and reinvents themselves as an entirely new character. Everyone know it’s the same person, but the suspension of disbelief brings wrestling fans into a new world inhabited by the new persona. For example, when John Cena first arrived onto the scene, he debuted as The Prototype before coming up with the more popular Doctor of Thuganomics in WWE. Another example of successful reinvention, Batista first debuted as the vampiric Leviathan before becoming the Animal.

It’s apropos that reinvention is at the heart of WWE 2K23. For those that disliked the pre-2020 era of the WWE 2K series, this year’s entry is a culmination of the reinvention started by last year’s WWE 2K22. Make no mistake, though; it’s the same wrestling simulator, but a fresh coat of paint keeps the series fresh for another year.

And his name is…

John Cena! Anyone who lived through WWE’s Ruthless Aggression era knows his name. In WWE 2K23, Cena’s career in the squared circle takes center stage. Much like Rey Mysterio’s spotlight in the previous game, Cena’s showcase takes players on the defining moment of the champ’s illustrious career including his debut against Kurt Angle and his stand against ECW’s Rob Van Dam.

If you’ve followed Cena’s career, you might’ve noticed something from these two examples: They’re both losses for Cena. This is one thing that breathes new life to the series. It’s not afraid to showcase the losses of WWE’s biggest star. You play as Cena’s opponents and unlock them as playable characters, instead of just a seemingly limitless number of Cena skins.

Also, Cena’s commentary seems more willing to skirt the limits of kayfabe. (In wrestling parlance, “kayfabe” refers to the illusion of wrestling. For example, in kayfabe, Mark Calaway is The Undertaker, an actual dead man.) Throughout his commentary, Cena references the various fan dialogue around his career including the Five Moves of Doom (or the belief that Cena knows and does only five wrestling moves). It’s an openness that refreshingly pervades the entire game.

It’s a lock

Another area where kayfabe seesaws in and out is the new MyRise story. Instead of the comically overused rise-to-the-top story, 2K23’s The Lock storyline starts players off as an already established star from the indies in Japan. They debut in WWE and instantly grab the Intercontinental Title from a pre-Bloodline Sami Zayn. However, instead of carrying over success from the indies, you are burdened with a toothless gimmick by management called The Lock. It’s a truly terrible gimmick, but it echoes the real-life tension that WWE repackages strong indie wrestlers into generic, brand-safe gimmicks. It’s even hilariously ironic that Shawn Michaels, a major proponent for indie wrestlers in modern-day WWE, is the one forcing The Lock on your character.

Now, if you prefer the more standard story, The Legacy, a storyline exclusive for female characters, offers the standard story you’ll find in these game modes. Though a retread of the rags-to-riches story, the storyline is a good one, nonetheless. Players debut as the niece of a prominent (but fictitious) Hall of Famer. The struggle is breaking out from the shadow of their more popular relative.

Both are fun to play through. Even better, 2K listened to feedback from last year and de-emphasized social media squabbles. While the characters still use Twitter, there’s more effort to actually play the game than just tweet through missions.

The manager returns

Both the Universe and the MyGM mode return for WWE 2K23. If you want to take a more managerial approach to a wrestling sim, these modes are for you. As always, Universe mode lets you book your own show or, alternatively, play as a Superstar from week to week. Players also have the option to deal interactions before, during, or after a match including beatdown and interference.

On the other hand, MyGM is a more strategic version of the same mechanics. Players are tasked with going up against a rival manager in an effort to be the better show raking in the most money and viewers from the other. There are a lot more options this time around, including the addition of Austin Creed (or more popularly known as Xavier Woods) and Tyler Breeze as characters, recreating their rivalry from UpUpDownDown, an actual wrestler-run gaming channel led by Creed.

As a managerial sim, the MyGM mode is a more streamlined approach that doesn’t require rote memorization of arcane mechanics. It’s simple enough to play through between MyRise and MyFaction sessions.

A microtransactional nightmare

Speaking of MyFaction, this year’s mode has an unfortunate change: a seeming dependence on buying more cards. Now, don’t get me wrong; plus NBA 2K’s MyTEAM, 2K is notorious for riddling their games with microtransactions. This year is no different.

However, in last year’s MyFaction mode, I scraped by with the mode’s in-game rewards. This year is different. WWE 2K23 is seemingly less willing to award players with meaningful cards for just playing through the mode. In the Proving Grounds section, for example, you’ll have to win every match on Legendary difficulty to get a single booster pack. All other sections sprinkle booster pack rewards sparingly.

Overall, in both looks and gameplay, MyFaction remains a lower tier reskin of the NBA franchise’s MyTEAM mode. It’s hardly rewarding enough to play through to the end, especially when it demands more money from you.


Besides Cena, the spotlight is also on the new WarGames match type. As in the real match, two rings are set up beside each other while covered by a single cage. Two factions with three to four wrestlers each go against each other, and one from each faction start the match. At set intervals, another wrestler from one faction enters, giving that faction an edge until the next interval. It’s brutally chaotic but somehow more systematic than other multi-person match types in the game.

Besides the new match type, WWE 2K23 easily offers one of the most expansive options for a wrestling simulator including a plethora of Superstars, rings, match types, and championships. Despite the WWE banner, the title shines when it lets players be themselves and customize everything about the in-ring experience.

Is this your Match?

If you loved WWE 2K22, there’s a lot more to love in WWE 2K23. 2K finally listened to its fans with sweeping changes, while keeping most of the features that made last year’s title so memorable. WWE 2K23 is the wrestling simulator to beat this year.


Fans created an amazing remake of Final Fantasy IX

It’s the best game you won’t be able to play



Remakes are popular in the world of gaming these days. Three Japanese studios — Square Enix, Capcom, and Konami — all have released or upcoming remakes of their popular titles. However, the most impressive remake right now comes from somewhere other than these three giants. A group of fans have successfully recreated Final Fantasy IX with modern graphics.

Initially released way back in 2000, Final Fantasy IX remains one of the most endearing entries in the decades-long franchise. It was released for the original PlayStation. Of course, because of the hardware limitations back then, the original game looks dated.

Now, more than two decades after the original game’s release, a team of over fifty fans worked hard since 2021 to create a short demo of Final Fantasy IX using modern technology. The team does have a storied resume, though. It included individuals with experience from big companies like Sony, Blizzard, Riot Games, and Sucker Punch.

Unfortunately, if you want to play the remade game, you’re out of luck. The Memoria Project, as the collective is known, has no intentions of releasing a finished game — unless Square Enix gives them explicit permission to do so. Given how accurate the project is to the original game, copyright infringement is a legitimate concern.

As such, all fans have right now is a 25-minute gameplay video showcasing the opening Alexandria section of the game. It’s an impressive showcase, though. If you were a fan of the original, check out the video.

SEE ALSO: Final Fantasy XVI PS5 Bundle announced

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Diablo IV will get two expansions

Hell is expanding



In today’s gaming landscape, live-service games often come with a veneer of controversy. While the format ensures content continuously pouring through the gate, a lot of players equate it to the plagued world of microtransactions. Eager to break out of the stereotype, the newly released Diablo IV, itself a live-service game, is already promising a wealth of content coming in the future — including two expansion packs.

In an interview with Kinda Funny Games on YouTube, the franchise’s general manager Rod Fergusson has confirmed that the newly released entry in the popular series is getting at least two expansions down the line. With the live-service format, the studio can focus on polishing the content, rather than rushing them through the gate, according to Fergusson.

Though the expansions are already confirmed, neither Fergusson nor Blizzard have confirmed where the expansions will take players next. Both expansions will include unnamed narrative storylines, rather than focusing on introducing new mechanics.

Also, it will likely take a while before either expansion is announced. After all, Diablo IV just released a few days ago. Plus, the developers are working on putting out the first season of the title’s battle pass.

Two expansions are quite impressive for the new title. Both Diablo II and Diablo III only had one expansion.

SEE ALSO: Diablo IV is Blizzard’s fastest selling game ever

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Ragnarok Origin: Sigil Tablet update now available for PH players

Tablet System update



Sigil Tablet

Filipino players will now have access to the Sigil Tablet update for Ragnarok Origin, allowing them to enjoy more power-ups and boosts during battle.

This latest feature on the beloved mobile MMORPG lets players to acquire exciting bonus effects. This is done by embedding powerful sigils onto their stone tablets, pushing character customization and enhancement to a whole new level.

Here are a few things to know about the Tablet System update:

Unlocking the Tablet System

To access the Tablet System, players must reach base level 75; once a guide quest is completed, players will unlock the system and be able to acquire free sigils.

Customizing Sigils

With the Tablet System, players can embed one active sigil, one specific class sigil, and up to four passive sigils simultaneously; some sigils take effect upon embedding, while others can be manually activated during combat.

Sigil types

Sigils are categorized into three: active, job-exclusive, and passive.

  • Active sigils can be actively used in combat, granting players a diverse range of additional skills (Primal, Power, Descent of Holy Light, and Excalibur);
  • Job sigils are exclusive to specific jobs, and enhance particular skills. For instance, Lord Knights can benefit from the Aura Enchantment sigil;
  • Passive sigils can be activated during battles, regardless of a player’s class, to enjoy their effects during combat.

Sigil activation and upgrade

Each sigil unlocked for the first time will activate corresponding collection stats that have a permanent effect.

Unlocking and upgrading sigils will earn players collection XP, which in turn unlocks bonus stats and item rewards.

Sigil upgrade process

To increase the level of a sigil, players may utilize sigil charts. Each upgrade will grant additional stats for a stronger character.

Once the maximum level has been reached, sigil shards can be used to repair the stone tablet. Increasing the repair level unlocks stat bonuses too for further power boosts.

Acquiring sigils

Where does one acquire sigils? Sigils and sigil shards can be obtained in the Juperos Ruins, Dungeon Leaderboard rewards, and by purchasing random sigil boxes in the Nyan Berry Shop and Diamond Shop.

Juperos Ruins

In the Juperos Ruins, players will assemble a five-member team to gear for an intense 10-minute battles where they will face off against three powerful boss monsters.

Each of the bosses’ revival will lead to increased difficulty, allowing players to win better rewards and scores.

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