Pro Wrestling
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8  |  A Winner Is You--Nuff Said
Scoots , 2/28/2003 11:25:12 AM
Wrestling games have come a long way in the past decade and a half. The newest games feature entire rosters of the big federations, accurately reproduced entrance music, and a dizzying variety of maneuvers. Hell, you can throw your opponent out of the ring, smash him through the announcers table, and then beat him bloody with a chair pulled from the audience. The level of reality has never been better. Perhaps that’s why Nintendo’s Pro Wrestling has such a strong following to this day; here the action is cartoonish, not brutal. The moves are simple, not complex. Most importantly, the game is just plain fun.

Choose from a mind-boggling six characters, playing against a friend or the computer. Each has has own signature move: Fighter Hayabusa’s awkward “Back Brain Kick,” The Amazon’s “Piranha Bite,” and Starman’s “Somersault Kick” are perennial favorites. But wait, that’s not all--each wrestler has five or six other moves available as well! Think you can master them all? Well have you got ten minutes to spare? Pro Wrestling gets the dubious honor of belonging to that rare breed of games that your non-gaming girlfriend can pick up and whoop you at, first try. The small amount of offensive moves means that “cheap wins” will abound—nothing beats getting headbutted 12 times in a row.

Graphically the game is nothing special, though the digitized portraits of the individual fighters certainly elicited their share of oohs and aahs back in the day. The background never changes, nor does the camera angle. Personally, I love the music, though it does get repetitive in marathon situations. It’s a truly exciting and “athletic” score, perfectly heightening the drama of a match. That obnoxious alarm sound is every player’s nightmare, signaling that unless you pull your act together in a hurry, you’ll be on your back looking up at the lights while the ref counts the 1-2-3.

This is a great party game—the three-minute bouts keep the action fast and (relatively) furious, so it’s fun even if you’re just a spectator. Opportunities for humor abound, so you’re in for a good time even if you’re on the losing end of a vicious beating. And who fails to smile at the message you receive when you triumph over your opponent: “A winner is you!”? Pro Wrestling gets an 8 out of 10.

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