Melbourne House
1985
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

24
Chris Bourne

Following on from previous beat em up successes, Melbourne House bring the excitement of the wrestling ring to the Spectrum screen in a game which can be played against computerised opponents or head-to-head with a friend.

In the one player game, you control Gorgeous Greg who is going for the World Championship. Four opponents stand between Greg and the champion's belt, and he must defeat them all twice on the route to the top. The fighters Greg faces in the ring each have a unique personality and temperament and their fighting styles vary accordingly. Lord Toff, for instance, takes the scientific approach to wrestling and knows all of the twenty three moves available in the game. Vicious Vivian is a mohicanned yob who learnt to fight on the streets, while the Missouri Breaker fights mean and dirty. Redneck McCoy is apparently an affable yokel, but when he's in the ring he becomes one mean opponent, yessiree.

Each bout on the way to the championship lasts three minutes and to win, Greg has to pin his opponent to the canvas for a count of three seconds. In the two player mode the winner is the first to get two pintails. The two wrestlers each have a status bar displayed at the edge of the screen, and as they take falls or weakeners - forearm smashes, knee jerks and kicks - their stamina levels fall. Before going for the pintail, it's wise to soften your opponent up.

The final bout, which can leave Greg Champion of the World, has no time limit it's a fight to the death almost. The only thing that's missing from the game is the overexcited granny who rushes up the ringside and prods the bad guy with her umbrella!

CRITICISM

'Rock and Wrestle is definitely not a worthy follow up to the other Melbourne House hits. The graphics are very poor and the sound could have been pinched from the great Fist. Even if you're a bit of a grappling fan, you are unlikely to be impressed by the way your opponent can bash you to the floor and then jump on you after a pause - NOT all part of the same move. Where's the ref, eh? I'm glad Melbourne House have finally put in a decent background in the Spectrum game, but the crowd do seem very bored with the whole affair. The graphics are very podgy and a bit like Axil from Heavy On The Magic which poses a few problems in a combat game. Seeing your man when he's in a crucial clinch can get difficult. I warn you, the graphics may look nice but the game's very low on playability. There's no 'Rock', either.'

'OK Melbourne, where's the Rock, eh? Come to that, where's the game? Fist is definitely one of the all time lighting classics, so why couldn't Melbourne come up with a wrestling game that is just as good? The sound is taken from Fist, but where's the 'complete rock sound track' mentioned in the adverts? Colour is lavishly used, but the graphics are chunky, badly defined, and generally messily done. The controls are quite slow to respond, which makes the game even more difficult, to the point of making it frustratingly unaddictive. No, though I don't like to slag off a company which has produced such classics in the past, I think Rock 'N Wrestle is a complete foul up.'

'I can say without fear of being beaten up by my fellow reviewers that this game is appalling: there isn't a single thing about it that stands out or is interesting. The graphics are poor, so poor in fact that at times it is very difficult to follow the action on screen; the characters are undetailed and move around the screen very badly. The sound is about the best thing going for this one - there isn't a tune but there are some nice meaty spot effects when you mince your opponent. It looks like there were some problems with this game that weren't discovered until it was too late...'

COMMENTS
Control keys: redefinable
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: a bit tricky, slow response
Use of colour: 'transparent' wrestlers, pretty ring
Graphics: rather confusing at times
Sound: no Rock! Spot effects only
Skill levels: one
Screens: four wrestlers to beat
General Rating: A disappointing development from the Masters of the Beat Em Up.

60%
54%
43%
55%
46%
46%
48%

Screenshot Text

Whee! Gorgeous Greg flies through the air at the hands of Redneck. Cameron reckons that wrestling is a mug's game, but then he prefers wrestling with mugs. Tea Mugs.