Review by: Michael Tham
I’m not a wrestling fan. I didn’t even know that Japan had its own wrestling organization. I bought the game just to play Jeffrey and Wolf. Because this is my first and only wrestling game, I can’t make any comparisons to other wrestling games out there. This game has 12 wrestlers, 10 from the Japan Wrestling Organization and two from VF. One starting the game, you are treated to an fmv of the wrestlers doing their stuff. Boring music and quite grainy. After that is a demo that shows the basic moves.

The next intro is the making of the game. It shows how they programmed the game through digitizing real wrestlers. Sega even hired one of the wrestlers ( Giant Baba) to do the moves.

The game uses 5 buttons : Attack, Hold, Throw, Stand and Taunt

Hold will counter any attack, throw will counter hold and attack will counter throws. The only problem is that u have to be real close to throw while hold and attacks are long ranged so most of the time you will be using holds. Its a bit like paper, scissors and rock.

Graphics 7.5/10

This game uses the Fighters Megamix/Fighting Vipers engine, which is not really a bad thing. The characters are bigger and much more detailed than in FMM. Unfortunately, there are many ‘seams’ and the polygons tend to ‘blend together’, especially during throws. The frame rate is good, though I have no idea how fast. The movements are very real and look really painful. The crowd however is 2D and those not even move. The graphics give an impression that the game was rushed. I know that Sega could have done better, especially in adding details to the characters and background.

Sound 7/10

Every wrestler has his own music when he enters the ring. Jeffrey’s and Wolf’s are their VF3 bmg. Every wrestlers have their own grunts, moans and taunts. Very realistic. The crowds chant the wrestlers name depending on whose losing. But overall, there’s nothing special.

There’s also and announcer but its in Japanese. Occasionally, you’ll hear some English like ‘piledriver’, etc. etc.

Gameplay 8.5/10

This is where the game shines. Though its not as deep as VF, its quite complex, for a wrestling game. A lot of times, it doesn’t matter how fast you jam on the buttons but what buttons you press and when you do it. Any throw that begins with a hold and be countered. Only immediate throws cannot be countered. This game also has injuries such as broken spine, knee etc. Some dangerous moves can only be done when your opponent is real weak.

E.g. : one of the Japanese wrestlers has a move where he does a hold and twists his opponent, attempting to break his spine.

You can also fight outside the ring. There are also moves where you can attack your opponent from inside the ring. Sega has been kind enough to include a training mode. There are some moves which are not found in training mode. The characters are quite diverse, ranging from fast throwers to slow grapplers.

Some people complain that the gameplay is quite slow but I find that it makes the game more realistic.

Replay 7/10

This game doesn’t last long in 1p mode. The endings suck. It takes so long to win the game and you are treated to a short FMV. However for two players, this game will probably last for a few months.

Overall 8/10

This game has been a pleasant surprise for me. Its very fun and very realistic. Do try this game before you buy but I think this game appeals to even non wrestling fans, especially VF fans.