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Cutie Suzuki no Ringside Angel (Genesis) artwork

Cutie Suzuki no Ringside Angel (Genesis) review


"Let me say this now, so I can get it out of the way. I loathe the concept behind Cutie Suzuki no Ringside Angel. Sixteen-bit imagery or no, I see it as nothing more than a show to please men who have nothing better to do than watch scantily-clad women beat each other senseless in a series of wrestling matches. It just disgusts me. Everything. From the “professional” wrestlers often dressed in naught but a bikini to the dumb blonde disguised as a Playboy Bunny that hands out the tro..."



Let me say this now, so I can get it out of the way. I loathe the concept behind Cutie Suzuki no Ringside Angel. Sixteen-bit imagery or no, I see it as nothing more than a show to please men who have nothing better to do than watch scantily-clad women beat each other senseless in a series of wrestling matches. It just disgusts me. Everything. From the “professional” wrestlers often dressed in naught but a bikini to the dumb blonde disguised as a Playboy Bunny that hands out the trophy for winning the tournament; all of it just seems nothing more to me than another example of Man trying to express his dominance over the fairer sex.

But, well, what can you expect from me? I’m a strong-headed woman who stands up for her own beliefs. If I find certain aspects of modern society revolting, then I’ll convey my feelings on the subject the best way I know how: ranting.

Still, to be completely fair to the all-female wrestling game, I will admit that, all feminist views aside, Cutie Suzuki actually makes for a semi-decent experience, provided you can forget the ideology behind it and just treat it as any old action fighting title.

Tournament mode pits you against any of the nine playable characters in three individual matches. Always the third to fight, you’ll watch chibi animations of your future opponents duke it out in less than a second as they vie for placement on the next-highest rung of the ladder. Manage to win the whole thing, and you’ll receive a gold-plated trophy followed by ascension to the next round of matches, this time at a higher difficulty.

Become the grand champion, and, after a brief credit sequence, your former rivals will carry away your miniature avatar in celebratory cheer. You might even get to see the real life picture of the wrestler your character represented.

However, winning it all isn’t necessarily easy. Cutie Suzuki actually tries for a modicum of strategy, unlike many pre-SF2 fighters, but it still suffers from move spamming. Each character has a specialty that enables her to perform a particular technique much better than the rest, and each character has a skill set unique to her style (although there are only nine moves in total). However, these things prove meaningless once you figure out what works best for you and you learn to exploit it. Like many early fighters, you’re never specifically told how to perform each move, and even the self-selection at the beginning of each match isn’t always reliable. Often times I found myself performing moves other than the two I had chosen at the start, which only led to confusion, a shrug, and reliance on the timeless method of “let’s just press buttons!” This inevitably led to, “Hey, these two things work great!”, followed by countless victories.

About the only thing that increases with difficulty is the speed and aggressiveness of your opponent. This can easily be countered once you’ve spammed enough buttons to gain a rough sense of what serves as a useful block. Further, the fact that each attack requires a unique defense is easily overlooked when performing them is as easy as intermittently mashing some directional buttons and the three attack buttons.

To actually win a match, you need to pin your opponent for three seconds. This can only be done successfully once your enemy has reached the point of exhaustion and the annoying music picks up tempo. Attempt to pin your foe any sooner and she’ll just break free, giving her the opportunity to take the offensive. Wearing out your opponent enough to reach this level can take forever, especially at the higher difficulties when her sheer aggression constantly has you fighting for the advantage.

An easier, if riskier, way to win is to go for a ring out. If either of you are outside the ring for longer than twenty seconds, whoever remains outside loses. If you’re both out, then the match starts all over again. The risk lies not just in the time limit, but also your opponent. Somehow, perhaps through a convenient burst of artificial intelligence, your rival realizes that she’s in trouble and suddenly gains the upper hand. She’ll counter everything you throw at her, and you won’t be able to counter much she throws at you. Your best bet here is to just punch and kick her until she falls down, or hope she tries to bounce of the ropes, as she just winds up on her back if she tries it outside the ring.

Yet, it’s the subtler details that might go unnoticed if you’re not paying attention that make the game a little more interesting. The developers seemed to pack as much “realism” as is physically possible in an old Genesis title. Two announcers detail the events of the match via scrolling text as if narrating an actual match. The referee counts the seconds whenever one of the fighters pins the other to the mat. You can even hear his counting in the sort of muffled tone typically used in place of actual voice acting during the time. The portraits of the two wrestlers shift in expression whenever their enemy wears them down. Whether it’s triumphant victory when doing well, looking beat up as they’re nearing the end, or bawling their eyes out when they lose, their raw emotions give the characters some sense of life, as well as a useful gauge to help you determine how well you’re doing.

Cutie Suzuki, for what it’s worth, is just an average wrestling game. Once I got the hang of it, I beat it in just a manner of hours. Then I grew bored. Once beaten, there was really nothing else to do except beat it all over again with another character. Battle mode lets you fight one-on-one at any difficulty without stakes, but that’s not very interesting. Even the novelty of its unique aspects will wear thin after a while. And while I’ll still be amused at Colonel Sanders’ appearance as a guest announcer, that doesn’t change the fact that the game is, in my unbiased view, mediocre at best.

Rating: 5/10

wolfqueen001's avatar
Community review by wolfqueen001 (October 09, 2009)

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