Saturday Night Slam Masters
Sega Mega Drive
FM Towns Marty
Saturday Night Slam Masters was originally an arcade game made by Capcom in 1993. There was also an updated version to the arcade released as well, as a full on sequel. In Japan the series is know as “Muscle Bomber”. My theory on the name change is that the WWF during the games development had a TV special that they would air a couple of times a year called “Saturday Nights Main Event”, so maybe they were trying to capitalize on that.
As it was made by the guys at Capcom it is more of a fighting game than a wrestling one. However Capcom’s take on pro wrestling was one that many wrestling fans and even non wresting fans thought was cool.
OK, I am going to be mainly basing this on the Super Nintendo version so please keep that in mind as you read on. This like the majority of Capcom’s games that they ported from the arcades to the 16-bit machines looks amazing. This really does put the WWF 16-bit video games to shame. The game features amazing arenas that are just full of little details. In addition the character models look great. It has that Capcom look to it, and all of the characters have there own unique personality that really does shine through.
The overall presentation actually is miles ahead of anything Acclaim did with the WWF license. To start with the wrestlers actually make entrances to the ring. And while they may not be anything spectacular, it is far more than what Acclaim did in their WWF games. The characters all fit that “wrestler” stereotypes, and one of them is even Mike Haggar from Final Fight.
As great as the game looks it is the game play that I think still keeps people playing this to this day. The control is very simple. You have an attack button, jump button and pin button and that’s it. The attack button takes care of everything from kicks, punches and of course grapples. Each wrestler has there own special moves similar to Street Fighter II. This is a great control scheme as its east to pick up and play, but if you stick with it and learn a character, you can really master the game.
I spent a ton of time with this game as a kid. I beat the game not only with all the characters, but also with pretty much every combination of wrestlers in the tag team mode as well. One thing that I just learned recently was that the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive both had an exclusive mode. The Super Nintendo has “Team Battle Royal” mode and the Sega Mega Drive has “Death Match Mode”.
This is a great classic arcade game. It manages to be both a great wrestling and fighting game. I would have loved to have seen this game made with the WWF license back in the day, and I loved the 16-bit WWF games. However this game in terms of presentation really does make Acclaim’s efforts look quite half ass.
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