MTV Celebrity Deathmatch

Incredibly short, incredibly violent, incredibly dumb.

For a brief period of my teenage years my semi-tumultuous life calmed down when my mother moved my sister and I into her fiancé’s home. I had to go to a new school district which was no real issue anyways considering I had no friends and the new dude’s house had cable. Which is where I was introduced to turn of the century MTV. An MTV that was transitioning away from musical videos all of the time with fresh, edgy new comedians and programming.

The Tom Green Show, Total Request Live, Jackass, Celebrity Deathmatch and staying up late to sneakily watch, Undressed and Loveline– I was in love with MTV. So of course when I stumbled upon this nostalgia nugget I had to pick it up and just like most things impulse bought out of sheer nostalgia it was a disappointment.

For those that aren’t familiar with the show Celebrity Deathmatch it pretty much is pretty self explanatory. A claymation style animation – featuring B and C-list celebrities likenesses battling to the death in a wrestling ring. It was often incredibly vulgar, sexual and gory – all of which would be prohibited from being on television today in our country’s new found puritan like status between religious right and cancel culture left.

Moving on.

The humor was crude but the show worked well carried along by its topical and hilarious commentary. Unfortunately, thats where the developers stalled. The commentary repeats itself almost immediately and is just pretty dull. It hasn’t aged well and very few lines even land.

The game has about twenty celebrities to choose from – with nearly half of them being old Hollywood monsters. Most of these celebrities were no longer relevant when the game was actually released (2003) – and none (at the time) were necessarily reviled or disliked by the general public. So the choice of characters in odd if not, just plain boring. The character list is (from Fandom):

  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Carmen Electra
  • Carrot Top
  • Cindy Margolis
  • Cousin Grimm
  • Lance Bass
  • J.C. Chasez
  • Joey Fatone
  • Chris Kirkpatrick
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Dennis Rodman
  • Frankenstein (Monster)
  • Gladiator Nick
  • Jerry SpringerCelebrity Deathmatch video game PSX version
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Miss Cleo
  • Mr.T
  • Mummy
  • Ron Jeremy
  • Shannen Doherty
  • Tommy Lee
  • Wizard Johnny
  • Wolfman
  • Zatar the alien
*NSYNC tearing a hapless soul apart limb by limb.

Aside from The Episodes mode there really is nothing else more to the game aside from one v one death-matches. I beat all of the episodes from all six seasons available my first try in about an hour or less, despite (trying to) learn the buttons on the fly. The controls are unresponsive and seem to change every couple of matches. Making it nearly impossible to master any sort of fighting technique. But that is of no consequence at all as the A.I. is so poor and defenseless you hardly have to fight at all to win the match.

Ultimately, the game is more interesting sitting on my shelf than it is as a gaming experience and that’s where it will remain, unplayed for a very long time.

Genre: Wrestling/Fighting/Combat

Overall: 49%

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