Tecmo World Wrestling
Tecmo World Wrestling was one of my favorite games on the NES as a kid. I didn’t actually own this game, but one of my buddies did, and we would spend hours playing this game. I remember he was so excited about this game because you could do the “Sharpshooter” which was Bret Hart’s finishing move that he started to use in 1991. Even though the game did not have the WWF or the WCW license, it was still a tremendous wrestling game.
I never even heard of this game until late in 1991, but from what I have gathered it was actually released in the USA in 1989. Here in the UK it would not hit stores until over a year later. What is weird is that I have zero memory seeing this game in the stores, which considering how big a wrestling fan I was is pretty odd. I have no clue how I missed this game.
The game looks great and there is a decent selection of characters for you to pick from. While they are not WWF or WCW wrestlers you can tell that a few of them are clearly modeled on actual wrestlers. The wrestling moves look much better than anything that the WWF or the WCW games did on the NES. In addition the wrestlers looking great and there is a great amount of detail in the arena as well.
One of the things that Tecmo World Wrestling is most fondly remembered for is that it was the very first pro wrestling game to have some form of play by play commentary. There would be this commentator who in text would call what was going on in the ring. The translation from Japanese to English made for some pretty amusing mistakes. One other cool feature was that when you hit one of your big moves you would get a cool little replay like you would get when you were watching wrestling on TV.
This is where the game really shines and I think that it holds up very well to this day. The thing that is amazing about this game is the amount of moves that each wrestler has. In the WWF games you were lucky if your wrestler could do three moves. In Tecmo World Wrestling the wrestlers have around 20 moves each. Coming to this from the NES WWF games was just staggering. The controls were great and the grapple mechanic would see you when you got close to your opponent automatically lock up. From here you could do a series of moves.
The single player mode in this game was really cool. You would pick your chosen wrestler and then have to beat the other wrestlers before facing the final guy. This may sound like your typical wrestling single player mode, but Tecmo World Wrestling has some really cool training mini games that let you level up your wrestler so that his moves can do more damage. If you lose a match the game punishes you by taking away some of your upgraded strength and you have to train again to get it back.
While I would always say that WWF Wrestlemania Challenge is my favorite WWF game on the NES. I would have to say that Tecmo World Wrestling is the best wrestling game on the console. It is just so much fun to play. They really did capture what made wrestling fun better than the other NES games. What is amazing is that it even has more moves than the 16-bit WWF games as well. It would have been so cool if Tecmo had gotten the WWF or the WCW licence.
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