Title Match Pro Wrestling
Despite its popularity in the 1980’s pro wrestling would not make much of an impact on the Atari 2600. When it comes to wrestling games for the Atari 2600, Title Match Pro Wrestling is pretty much all you have to play. It is such a pity that there was never a WWF or NWA game released for the Atari 2600. Actually a game based on the Von Erich’s and the WCW would be cool. Maybe you guys who are skilled at making home brews should get on making a WWF Atari 2600 game? The Atari 2600 version of the game was released in 1987, but there was also an enhanced port on the 7800 a couple of years later.
An interesting rumor about this game is that the guy who programmed the game was inspired to do so because of the Wrestlemania III main event between Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant. I have never actually heard this confirmed, but it would be pretty cool if it was true.
Atari 2600: To be fair when you consider the limitations of the Atari 2600 this game has quite a bit of detail going on. To start with the game has four different wrestlers for you to chose from. This is pretty huge as many other fighting games that were released on the Atari 2600 just had one character for you to play with, and a decent job has been done in making them look different from each other as well. The actual wrestling arena looks fairly decent as well, even having a crowd watching the match. One good thing is that in tag team matches your partner is actually on screen and outside of the ring. So the little Atari 2600 does handle having four characters on the screen at once. Sure the other two are not really doing anything, but it’s still pretty cool that they are there. One other thing I have to mention is the animation. The game surprisingly moves at a pretty quick pace, and the few moves that there are do look pretty good.
Atari 7800: The 7800 version of Title Match Pro Wrestling I think is a very impressive looking game. The leap from the Atari 2600 version is pretty big. The wrestlers are the same four characters, but they are designed much better here and they are animated better as well. There is some pretty bad sprite flicker every now and again, but many games of this era suffered from that. The arena in the game looks amazing. I think I will go as far to say that it looks better than what the NES WWF games offered. Even now after all these years later the arena is still pretty impressive. It makes me wonder how a games based on the WWF or another wrestling promotion would have looked on the Atari 7800 had one existed.
Atari 2600: The game has four wrestlers for you to chose from; these are Mad Dog, Mr Mean, Big Chief and Skin Head. The game play while simplistic is actually pretty fun. You walk around the ring throwing punches and kicks at your opponent. When you get in close you can grab him and by holding down the fire button and moving the joystick you can do a body slam. One of the things I think that makes the game fun is the speed that it plays at. Each match is a two out of three falls contest and they do not really last that long. Tag team matches are pretty much the same except that when the CPU tags in their partner it’s like they are super powered and will put a real beating on you at first. In all its a pretty fun game to play even though there is not a great deal to it. Two player matches are an absolute blast the bouts are over fairly quickly ,but they are still fun.
Atari 7800: Now the Atari 2600 version was really simple to play, but this one tries to get a bit more complex. You have your one on one matches and tag team matches just like on the 2600. The 2600 version had a lack of moves, but that did not take away from the short bursts of fun you could have with the game. The 7800 version on the other hand tries to expand the moves a bit by adding a couple more grapple moves, but they are very awkward to pull off. To do a grapple move you need to get close then press an action button. You then need to let go of the button, press a direction on the dpad (for us UK 7800 owners our 7800 had a dpad) then press a button again. Its unnecessary complex and more often than not your better just mashing the buttons as you will pull off some kind of move. This despite looking better and having more moves is not quite as much fun to play as its 2600 younger brother. The AI can either flat out cheat or be just really stupid. But if you play this with a friend it can be a really fun game thanks to the impressive way that it looks.
Title Match Pro Wrestling is not a bad game at all and either version can be picked up really cheap. I have a slight preference to the Atari 2600 version if I am hones, but you have to admit that the 7800 port does look very impressive. But if you simply must have a 7800 wrestling game I think I would go for Mat Mania.
For additional reviews by Jason Delacey: Click Here
Join the Gamester81 forums: http://dev2017.gamester81.com/forum