PRO WRESTLING / Nintendo / NES (1986)

Pro Wrestling is really not a good wrestling game, but by virtue of being the *only* halfway playable wrestling game available on home consoles for a long period of time it garnered a significant following. You pick one of six fictional wrestlers - Fighter Hayabusa, Starman, The Amazon, um ... Big Panther .... King Oily .... and that other guy, Corn Can Kong or something. Fight it out with each of the others in a series of one-on-one battles, and after you've defeated each you take on The Great Puma for the VWA belt. Beat him and you defend your belt against all the other guys. Again, and again, and again, into eternity.

Each character has the same two basic moves, a spinning kick which knocks foes down instantly and a punch that doesn't do a goddamned thing. When you grapple, which happens when two guys get close to one another without a hit landing, you can mash on one button to do a throw move, or the other to chuck the guy into the ropes. About the only difference between the characters is that they each have a different throw move, like Starman does some somersault kick to the chest, the Amazon bites on the guy's head, et cetera. You can run and do a clothesline or jumping knee, you can climb up on the turnbuckle and body press a downed foe, and you can even chuck dudes out of the ring and then launch a flying press onto them, but all these moves are so flaky to pull off that they're almost useless for practical purposes. To win consistently, most matches degenerate into grab-slam-grab-slam-grab-slam-grab-slam-maybe a kick to the face here and there-grab-slam-pin when the energy gets low enough. Oh, and there's no visible energy meter, so you just have to sort of guess at a foe's health by how long it takes them to get up from being downed.

As mentioned, once you win the belt the game basically just goes into endless loop of defending it against all the other guys in the game. On each pass they get stronger and more resistant to damage, after awhile they resist damage so much that they're effectively invincible and it's basically impossible to win. The game suffers from basic pointlessness, the only other thing going for it is two player mode which might be a small laugh for you and a drunk friend, but otherwise I can't see any conceivable reason to play this game again in this day and age.

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