Tag Team Pro Wrestling
Data East/Namco

Since we took a look at the first wrestling game during my last column, it seems appropriate to look at the first tag-team game this time around. Well, I guess it’s better to take a quick glance because looking for too long could do serious eye damage.

Are there actual characters here? It’s pretty much impossible to tell. Two tag-teams compete though you don’t know who you are fighting as or against until after the bout. The team names are also pretty unoriginal, as you control the “Ricky Fighters”, while the computer players are the “Strong Bads”. After going through two or three matches you’ll still be fighting the same guys.

The moves here are somewhat limited. While the grappling is fairly ranged (including DVD, torture rack and enzeguri), that’s about all you can do. The only striking move you can perform is a punch and you cannot do running moves or top-rope manuevers. Also, most moves will result in one or both wrestlers ending up outside the ring, which gets extremely annoying. You also cannot reverse any moves which is more of a frustration than a challenging aspect.

Of course, with tag team wrestling you would expect there to be a moveset for both wrestlers. Well, there isn’t. The only thing that the outside wrestler can do is break up a submission manuever. They can’t break up a pin, they can’t double team and they can’t add interference on the outside.

This is where my biggest complaint comes into play. In order to perform a grapple you have to first grab hold of your opponent (and keep it), then scroll through a menu list of possible moves. You should never have to go through so much effort to perform as simple a manuever as a dropkick.

Graphics and sound
Let’s just say there are higher quality graphics on Atari. The wrestlers look downright terrible, appearing more like “Lego Men” than grapplers. The animation is also exceedingly bad. How bad you ask? When fighting outside the ring, if you execute a DVD, you appear to jump higher than the ENTIRE ring. Come on! Is it that hard to produce graphics that look even a BIT realistic? Let alone that there is litle flow to the animation making it look incredibly poor. I’ve seen better game animation coming out of mid-90s high-school computer classes.

Simply put, this game is not worth the electricity to turn your NES on. The characters are limited, the moves are complicated and look awful and any expected bonuses of a tag-team game are non-existent. Do yourself a favour and avoid this one at all costs.

0 out of 5