Tag Team Wrestling (NES) review
"You don’t have complex button combos to press in order to do moves in Tag Team Wrestling — instead, you have a menu. Yes, a menu. All you do is get close to an opponent and push a button to “lock up” with him. Then, you have a couple seconds to tap the other button to scroll through a list of moves and select one. Then, you get to sit back and watch your dude execute that move before preparing to do the whole thing again and again and again."
When I was watching pro wrestling back in the 80s, the WWF made a new pretty-boy tag team out of two jobbers. Humorously dubbed “The Young Stallions”, the duo of Jim Powers and Paul Roma never really had a chance, as they didn’t bring much to the table other than being muscular, tanned guys that smiled a lot.
The problem was that these kids had no credibility. They were being booked to work their way up the ladder until they got a championship match with the almighty Hart Foundation (who’d wind up using nefarious tactics to secure their belts). Apparently the upper-tier duos weren’t willing to drop matches to the Stallions, though, as most of their wins were over masked jobbers with names like “The Shadows” and “The Conquistadors” (who boasted the world’s most awesome shiny gold costumes).
Tag Team Wrestling reminds me of the many EPIC (ie: long and dull) matches the Stallions had with their various masked adversaries. On one side of the ring, you control the bizarrely named “Ricky Warriors”, a duo of generic guys. Opposing them is a pair of generic masked men known as the “Strong Bads”.
And that is all. Initially, this was a simplistic arcade game, but in 1986, Data East ported it to the NES, where it became a simplistic console wrestling game. To win all the championships, you have to win a total of 25 matches. And with only two teams in the game, that means the Ricky Warriors and Strong Bads will be engaged in a seemingly never-ending battle of repetition.
Making things worse is the way in which matches are wrestled. You don’t have complex button combos to press in order to do moves in Tag Team Wrestling -- instead, you have a menu. Yes, a menu. All you do is get close to an opponent and push a button to “lock up” with him. Then, you have a couple seconds to tap the other button to scroll through a list of moves and select one. Then, you get to sit back and watch your dude execute that move before preparing to do the whole thing again and again and again.
Sure, there are some neat things here like the ability to toss an opponent out of the ring and waffle him with a chair AND being able to call your partner in to illegally interfere if it looks like you’re on the verge of defeat, but this game just isn’t fun. All you’re doing is moving around and tapping buttons while watching the computer do all the work. And you’ll be doing this up to 25 times in one sitting if you want all the titles. Thanks, but no thanks.
At least one character went on to bigger and better things, as I have to believe the Strong Bad character from www.homestarrunner.com was inspired by this game. Which proves it’s possible to get something cool out of something horrible if you try!
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (April 04, 2008)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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