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classicgamer74

Wrestling Video Games - The 80's

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In this episode I discuss wreslting video games. I profile wrestling games from the arcade, home systems, and computers. Some of them are great and some not so great. I will have a followup episode where I discuss the games from the 90's.

 

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"Body Slam Super Pro Wrestling" is a fine game. Choose from nine different wrestling moves from a library of 26. Head-butts, suplex, pile drivers, elbow drops, climb the ropes, and more, all nicely animated. Play as one of 12 different characters, two if playing tag team, each with different stats including an "ego" stat. More ego, the more the wrestler shows off, admiring his own moves. You'll need an intellivision controller to play properly.

Edited by mr_me
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I love Body Slam for Intellivision! It's like a poor man's Nintendo game. My only knock against it is that it can only do exhibition matches--there's no championship circuit or belt to win or anything. Successfully executing a Rainbow Punch is its own reward, though. :-D

 

I only played Mat Mania on the Atari 7800. Suffice to say, I'm sure the arcade version was much, much better. :lol:

 

My favorite wrestling game of the '80s is Pro Wrestling for Nintendo. :)

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Other than WWF Superstars and Wrestlefest, which both RULE (especially Wrestlefest!), I used to love playing Konami's "The Main Event" in the arcades. It doesn't translate as well to MAME, but it was great as a cabinet. It had one big action button that lit up in some situations when special moves were available.

28516692_2.jpg?v=8D5360BA9C0FAD0

 

And as terrible as Tag Team Wrestling is on the NES/Famicom, I somehow like it. Once you figure out how to execute special moves, it makes a little more sense.

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Man this is driving me nuts now...I was going to say how much I enjoyed Tecmo World Wrestling on the NES. Great graphics and control, and I SWEAR I remember there being like cutscenes when you did certain moves (say an airplane spin), it would cut to a non-playable animated clip of said move. A clip I remember blowing my young mind graphics wise.

 

But when I look at videos of the game online...I don't see these scenes at all. Am I confusing it with something else?

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Other than WWF Superstars and Wrestlefest, which both RULE (especially Wrestlefest!), I used to love playing Konami's "The Main Event" in the arcades. It doesn't translate as well to MAME, but it was great as a cabinet. It had one big action button that lit up in some situations when special moves were available.

 

And as terrible as Tag Team Wrestling is on the NES/Famicom, I somehow like it. Once you figure out how to execute special moves, it makes a little more sense.

 

 

I was obsessed with wrestling games in the 80s and early 90s. WWF Superstars and Wrestlefest were both favorites, although I'm one of the rare fans of these games who has always preferred Superstars. The games are both by the same company and are actually quite similar in their mechanics, however I liked how Superstars would let you choose your moves from the grapple, and you had to live with the result. For example, if you went for a suplex while standing too close to the ropes, you'd duff it and lose your advantage. With Wrestlefest I think they tried to make it more accessible by adopting the idea of just mashing a generic "action" button and letting the game decide what move to do based on the situation, which always irked me.

 

As for Main Event, that game came out at the exact right time for me when I was riding high on my love of Mat Mania in arcades. I really really tried to like Main Event, but I just couldn't get into it. I played it on MAME a while back and it's even more dreadful than I remember. Man Mania, Mania Challenge, Superstars, and Wrestlefest have aged very well in comparison.

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I was obsessed with wrestling games in the 80s and early 90s. WWF Superstars and Wrestlefest were both favorites, although I'm one of the rare fans of these games who has always preferred Superstars. The games are both by the same company and are actually quite similar in their mechanics, however I liked how Superstars would let you choose your moves from the grapple, and you had to live with the result. For example, if you went for a suplex while standing too close to the ropes, you'd duff it and lose your advantage. With Wrestlefest I think they tried to make it more accessible by adopting the idea of just mashing a generic "action" button and letting the game decide what move to do based on the situation, which always irked me.

 

As for Main Event, that game came out at the exact right time for me when I was riding high on my love of Mat Mania in arcades. I really really tried to like Main Event, but I just couldn't get into it. I played it on MAME a while back and it's even more dreadful than I remember. Man Mania, Mania Challenge, Superstars, and Wrestlefest have aged very well in comparison.

Yeah, The Main Event just doesn't translate well to MAME. All of those others are fine, but the unique controls make The Main Event hard to play.

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Yeah, The Main Event just doesn't translate well to MAME. All of those others are fine, but the unique controls make The Main Event hard to play.

 

You said it! I loved playing the game in the arcade but it doesn't work at all on MAME. Even with the cheats. I think because you literally had to pound the crap out of the "action" button.

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Man this is driving me nuts now...I was going to say how much I enjoyed Tecmo World Wrestling on the NES. Great graphics and control, and I SWEAR I remember there being like cutscenes when you did certain moves (say an airplane spin), it would cut to a non-playable animated clip of said move. A clip I remember blowing my young mind graphics wise.

 

But when I look at videos of the game online...I don't see these scenes at all. Am I confusing it with something else?

 

No you're not confused. It's Tecmo that you're thinking of. I'm going to discuss it in the followup video. I really enjoyed that one too. I think Tecmo had to be one of the best NES sports games companies, PERIOD. I am playing a season on Tecmo Basketball right now, probably for the 1,000th time.

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Other than WWF Superstars and Wrestlefest, which both RULE (especially Wrestlefest!), I used to love playing Konami's "The Main Event" in the arcades. It doesn't translate as well to MAME, but it was great as a cabinet. It had one big action button that lit up in some situations when special moves were available.

 

28516692_2.jpg?v=8D5360BA9C0FAD0

 

And as terrible as Tag Team Wrestling is on the NES/Famicom, I somehow like it. Once you figure out how to execute special moves, it makes a little more sense.

 

Yes, I do agree with Tag Team. I mean it was the first wrestling game, so there was room for improvement. But compared to WWF WrestleMania, just about anything was great.

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Plus it has the worst box art ever.

 

220px-Sms_pro_wrestling_box.jpg

 

I'll give you that. Some games are just more fun when there are two players. I just got the Atari 8 Gold and I had an absolute blast playing those old games with my 12 year old.

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I love Body Slam for Intellivision! It's like a poor man's Nintendo game. My only knock against it is that it can only do exhibition matches--there's no championship circuit or belt to win or anything. Successfully executing a Rainbow Punch is its own reward, though. :-D

 

I only played Mat Mania on the Atari 7800. Suffice to say, I'm sure the arcade version was much, much better. :lol:

 

My favorite wrestling game of the '80s is Pro Wrestling for Nintendo. :)

 

I was just never a big Intellivision fan, except for Beauty and the Beast and AD&D. The other poster was right in that I really should have played it with an Intellivison controller (another thing I didn't like about the system).

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Yeah, The Main Event just doesn't translate well to MAME. All of those others are fine, but the unique controls make The Main Event hard to play.

 

Can you clarify what you mean? Maybe my memory is foggy on the real arcade cabinet, but I'm not sure I understand what is special about the controls. I mean yeah, I remember the big plastic button. But replacing that with a standard arcade button doesn't really change all that much...?

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Can you clarify what you mean? Maybe my memory is foggy on the real arcade cabinet, but I'm not sure I understand what is special about the controls. I mean yeah, I remember the big plastic button. But replacing that with a standard arcade button doesn't really change all that much...?

IIRC, the button physically lights up when certain moves are available to use. I don't know how you would emulate that through MAME.

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IIRC, the button physically lights up when certain moves are available to use. I don't know how you would emulate that through MAME.

 

Wouldn't using an overlay work for that? I seen some that do light up under certain conditions.

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Rock N Wrestle / Bop N Wrestle on the C64 will always stand out for me.

Playing this with my buddies was hilarious.

Characters that resembled (?) Ric Flair and Hillbilly Jim, etc. and the choppy animations of the moves (when they worked) added to the fun.

 

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Rock N Wrestle / Bop N Wrestle on the C64 will always stand out for me.

Playing this with my buddies was hilarious.

Characters that resembled (?) Ric Flair and Hillbilly Jim, etc. and the choppy animations of the moves (when they worked) added to the fun.

 

 

I had the DOS port. I don't know how similar it was to the C64 version, but I recall the game being very easy once I figured out that I could beat everyone with foot stomps.

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I haven't played a lot of wrestling video games in my life, but one I have fond memories of is WWF Superstars on the Game Boy.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNUk2u5FBSA

 

The gameplay was a little choppy, but the controls were pretty good and the sound effects really conveyed a sense of hitting your opponent hard, which is something sorely lacking from many wrestling games. I think the whole point of playing a wrestling game is to feel the power of your wrestler at your finger tips. It's hard to get that effect when all you hear are underwhelming blips and blops as you perform various moves. This Game Boy game, although limited, a bit repetitive and certainly not perfect, delivered what I wanted and expected at the time.

Edited by Pixelboy

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I only had Tag Team Wrestling back in the day and I could finish it. It was a bit weird having to stop, select in seconds, and then pound someone to dust but it worked well enough. In the mid 90s I did get Pro Wrestling which I never did like roll over or whatever but it was notably more fun. I had some friend who had one of those WWF games and it wasn't bad for what it is, strange but is played better than TTW but not Pro Wrestling.

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Here's one I used to put time into - Microleague Wrestling. I had it for the Atari ST, but it was available on c64, Amiga, and pc dos. Microleague Baseball is fondly remembered, but this one not so much.

 

It was not a button masher, rather a 'choose your move' and see who gets the result based on difficulty, strength, character, and time of match. Crude digitized depictions of Hulk, Macho Man, and Paul Orndorff would show up after both players selected their choices, and each wrestler had unique moves. It was fun for a bit, and a nice diversion if you were in the mood to just sit back and trash talk your friend (brother in my case).

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6guSGaFwZE

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I loved that game. I haven't been able to find a working rom for the Atari ST. I used to play it on a friend's c64. I was really disappointed when I couldn't get the rom to work on the Atari ST emulator because I had a lot of fond memories playing it. I've noticed that it's a crap shoot when it comes to games on the ST. I'm not sure why exactly. I was REALLY thankful that the McDonald's game worked (I discussed that WAY back in the first episode), as I had been waiting more than 30 years for that proto to surface.

 

Does anyone else use the Atari ST emulator? Any advice on how to get it to work better? Are there some settings I should work with?

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