I haven’t actually watched wrestling in quite a while. In fact I remember when it was I stopped caring about it. It was right around the time Vince McMahon bought all the other wrestling companies and started fighting with the World Wildlife Foundation over the rights to the WWF website. Because everyone knows people care more about grown men fake fighting each other than saving endangered animals. Thankfully the World Wildlife Foundation didn’t back down and the WWF eventually became the WWE.
Anyway, back on topic. I’m not too excited about this game going in. I’ve never had good experiences with wrestling videogames. The mechanics are always just so weird compared to more traditional fighting games. On the plus side, this game does have some of the classic big names of wrestling that even a non-fan like me can appreciate. You’ll get to play as wrestlers like Macho Man Randy Savage, André the Giant, and of course the cover character, Hulk Hogan. At the very least there might be some good nostalgia with those big names.
To start out and get used to the controls I thought I’d do a simple exhibition match with Hulk Hogan and Macho Man. As expected, the controls are a bit odd. Or more specifically, the limited NES controller simply can’t do everything you want it to do with only the 2 buttons. I figured out the basic punch and kick, but macho man was pulling off things like flying kicks that I have no idea how to do.
Even if I could figure out the controls, something else caught my attention and was really distracting me, that something being the music. The soundtrack would cycle through its small selection of songs, some of which I vaguely recognized but can’t think of their names off the top of my head. Then out of nowhere “Pomp and Circumstance” starts playing and I have no idea how to take it. For those of you who might not recognize the name, “Pomp and Circumstance” is the song that plays at nearly every graduation ceremony as the students are walking up to get their certificates. Why they thought that would be good wrestling music is beyond me.
Either way, I don’t fare too well during these couple practice rounds, but whatever, I’ll try out the full tournament. While I’m at it, I figure I’ll pick the strongest of the fighters since I need all the help I can get. Of course that means I’ll be playing as André the Giant. No one beats him unless he lets them as part of the show. True to his name, his sprite towers over the other wrestlers, and he does feel really strong in comparison to Hulk Hogan.
As strong as he is, that doesn’t help the bad controls. I might be able to knock the other guy out, but that doesn’t mean anything if I can’t manage to pin him. I pressed every button combination I could think of to try and pin him, but nothing worked. There are only 2 buttons and the D-pad, so there aren’t really a whole lot of options to be cycling through. Eventually, despite my beating the Million Dollar Man senseless, the match ended in a draw. The second time around I did manage a pin. Unfortunately I have no idea what button combination I pressed to do it, so I’m still stuck.
The only other oddity I want to point out before wrapping things up are the weird objects that randomly fly across the ring. I saw crosses, hams, fireballs, and I think a few other things just all of a sudden go zipping across the top edge of the ring. I don’t know what they do or how to pick them up, but I certainly didn’t expect to see them.
Price – $4.75
I can’t say I’m really surprised at the cheap price of this game.
Play Again? – Probably not
There are some big names in this game that make me want to play out of nostalgia, but I’ve just never understood the mechanics of wrestling games.
Total Deaths – 4 Loses
The matches are pretty short. And there are only 6 wrestlers to choose from, so even a full tournament shouldn’t last more than maybe 20 minutes. Not that I’d ever make it to the end of a full tournament.
Fun Rating – 3 / 10
Maybe if I knew the controls better I would like it better. As it is however, the game boarders on being unplayable. But then even if I DID know the controls the game is very simplistic and still wouldn’t be all that great. Maybe if you’re a huge wrestling fan it would be better, but for the more casual fan like me there isn’t much of a game here to enjoy.
You just don’t see pixel art like this anymore. Thank god!
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