I watched the Chart Show this morning and it was pretty crap, but the adverts in between were quite good. There was one for an early '80s dance soul compilation that looked really smart. Then there was an ad for a Gladiators album which was full of the kind of rockin' stuff that accompanies a wrestler into the ring. This, in a somewhat roundabout manner, brings me to my point which is that wrestling and spin-offs, like the Gladiators, are big busineess at the moment. There was even a big hairy chap on Good Morning With Anne and Nick. Makes you think.
No trend goes unnoticed by the software houses, as soon as any character/trend becomes worthy of the kids' notice the software houses are in there like a shot, hence the recent spate of wrestling games. We've had WWF Wrestlemania, Tag Team Wrestling, Popeye 3 and now the Codies have thrown in their twopenny's worth with Wrestling Superstars. The Codies are a bit of a disadvantage here in that their game is the most recent release and so it's obviously going to be judged with the previous releases in mind.
A BIT OF SLAP AND TICKLE
Wrestling Superstars is a straightforward wrestling game, no two-player option, no tag teams, just straightforward jumping, punching and kicking. Oh and lots and lots of waggling. Hang on a bit, make that lots and lots and lots of waggling. You play the Darling Dude and your four opponents are true pantomime-style villains. You no out into the ring and duff them up, sometimes they duff you up, and that's it.
Wrestling Superstars is a waggler, a fact guaranteed to put off some people. If you don't like waggling, or your Speccy, you can always use the keys. Unless you're a fan of waggling, and I for one am not, then taking on the computer opponents isn't much fun. What this game really needs is a two-player option, without it the game degenerates into a lonely wagglefest.
There's nothing wrong with Wrestling Superstars, it's just that it gets a bit dull after a while. My only other reservation is the fact that it looks a bit cheap. There isn't a menu to follow, just a horizontally scrolling line which tells you to press fire. There's no high score table either, instead the stroller displays the single highest score. Cheapskates!
On the plus side (it's always nice to end on a cheery note!) the game plays well. The controls are easy to use, the wrestlers are clear enough to see at all times and they're as well drawn as any others we've seen lately.
I suppose you can't really complain for four squids ... (But you already have. Jonathan)... but I already have. (Ahem.) in summation, Wrestling Superstars is steering well clear of brilliance, but it's all right.
Uppers: Nice sprites and manageable controls.
Downers: Lacks variety and a two-player option.
'S all right, innit?
AN EXPERT SPEAKS (PART TWO)
Pete 'Stinky' Skiggins on the smell of the wrestling ring.Stinky, as he's known to his fans and friends, used to be a professional wrestler. he once once knocked out by The British Bushwhacker. Stinky retired some years ago but he still has his finger on the pulse - he's a cleaner at The Pavillion, Bath. When asked why he still frequented the ring after all these years, Stinky said, "Eee, it's the smell my lovely. Pulls you it do, like a bull. Ah, Oi love tha' smell."
AN EXPERT SPEAKS
Stuart Campbell on the joys of wrestling.Ah. I remember it well - the smell of old ladies' blue rinses, whole families in matching knitwear. The first wrestling match I ever saw was at the Floral Hall in Southport. I must have been about ten, and it was Big Daddy vs Mark Rollerball Rocco. A whole bunch of us were sitting right at the front throwing Fruit Pastilles at Mark Rollerball Rocco. I haven't looked back since, and my career has bloomed.
Monsieur Trouver-del-le-Champignon was a hard taskmaster. Poor Monsieur Chapeauless was put through his paces every day.
"Why, Darling! How lovely to see you again. And how are you dahlias?" "Hello Bob, long time no sausage. What? Dahlias, eh? Hmmm, wonderful. Simply top hole, what?"
"Ere, did you spill my girlfriend?" "No. Did you look at my pint?" "No." "Oh. Well, d'you want to come out for a pint sometime?" "Okay." "You could bring your girlfriend."