Game: Tecmo World WrestlingDeveloper:
NESAverage Member Rating: 70%
Recently, I had a run in with one of my favorite NES games as a kid, and thought that it might be worth a closer look. Tecmo World Wrestling
or Gekitou Pro Wrestling!! Toukno Densetsu
(that is a mouthful) is the premiere choice of wrestling games on the NES, which is surprisingly a pretty crowded category. Not to spoil things, but of them all, TWC
stands far above as the clear winner here.Tecmo World Wrestling
is exactly what you expect from a wrestling game. The roster is pretty large for an NES title. Each character has a beautifully detailed sprite, and rather large ones at that. Each wrestler looks just enough like who they are based on for Tecmo not to get sued for using their likeness (although I'm still not 100% sure how they got away with "El Tigre"). Even more impressive is how fluidly the animation is. Powerbombs and piledrivers look like their real world counterparts, and every hit has weight behind it.
Things get even more intense when you hit your super move with the opponent at low health. The game zooms in and shows a cinematic cutscene of you pasting some poor guys head to the mat, or tossing him clear out of the ring! Some wrestlers even have certain moves that can only be performed outside, like bashing your opponent's face into the pole!
The rest of the graphics are pretty sub par. The ring looks like a ring, which I guess is important, but the audience makes the Punchout
crowd look detailed...they are also hideously colored, which makes things a bit distracting at the top of the screen. The bottom of the screen is much less distracting: a black background with some white text, two health bars, and a sprite of an announcer. While the announcer is REALLY a cool touch to such a primitive game (despite some horrid Japanese translation), an entire third of the screen is taken up with status. It is a cool novelty the first few times you play it, but I wish it had an option to be turned off.
The sound effects are a bit above average for an NES game. Punches and slams all sound good, as does diving to the outside. It really helps with the feeling of "weight" to your hits. The music is pretty good, but really repetitive...even worse, you only get a new track every two levels!
Gameplay shines as one of Tecmo World Wrestling's
strongest features. The game simply feels good. Moves are simple to pull off in the ring, and are very responsive. The grapple system could use a bit of help, as it is hard to see who initiated a grapple (even harder to tell, since the command is to just sorta walk into your opponent). The AI isn't too shabby either, and will keep you on your toes for most of the game, generally rubber banding back to make things close even when you begin by stomping them into the ground. A wide variety of moves per character provides you with a large set of tools to decimate your foes, including all of the high-risk maneuvers that make wrestling such a spectacle.
In between matches, you are treated to a mini game to increase your overall power. Even though you can choose from sit ups, pushups, or squats, they are all just a simple button mash and nothing of real substance.
Overall, the game is a blast, and highly recommended for anyone interested in wrestling, or even how good sprite animation should look. It has all the flash of real professional wrestling, without all the sweat. The only real downfall is the lack of notable wrestlers in the roster (yes, most are based off of world class wrestlers, but what kid wouldn't want some Hulkamaina on their NES?) Given that the price is relatively low, I can't say enough to suggest you add this one to your collection.
Till next time!