Retro: VC Weekly #157

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

Wrestling fans rejoice! For there is now a title available that just might pique your interest. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Natsume Championship Wrestling

Points: 900
Publisher: Natsume
Developer: Natsume
Released: 1994
System: SNES

To some it may seem bizarre that there hasn't been a single Wrestling game in the entire history of the Virtual Console but as with many titles they fall victim to licensing issues as many of them feature likenesses of actual wrestlers. Fortunately there is one Wrestling title that doesn't tie itself down with such unnecessary � but sometimes welcome � detail and instead has fictional characters with more of a focus on the actual gameplay which is a most welcome and refreshing approach indeed.

However it didn't start life off that way in-fact the original Japanese release featured likenesses of many actual wrestlers but when it came to the American version the sprites were changed and this is what we are left with here as Europe finally gets to play this title many years on.

Featuring a selection of different tournaments including regular, round robin/tag-team and standard tag-team - most are self-explanatory - there's certainly a good deal of variation and a lot of fun to be had specifically in the round-robin mode where you'll end up fighting the entire roster of wrestlers. Of course you can also opt to just jump straight into an exhibition match if you prefer which can be equally as fun and useful if you just want a quick match or two.

The actual character roster is pretty decent with a selection of twelve fighters each who has a satisfyingly varied selection of moves, you also get a rather large amount of health to play with because as one bar gets depleted there is another underneath to a total of six not to mention the gradual health regeneration. Best of all there are no real rules as such so you just go all out in an attempt to either pin down your opponent for three seconds or get them out of the ring for ten.

On a visual level the game is reasonable with a decent amount of animation but it's never really spectacular, though the accompanying music is rather competently composed and only adds to the atmosphere in a positive way. Should you buy this? Well it depends on how desperate you are to play a Wrestling title, it is certainly decent and worth investigating if you've never played it before but equally you might get just as much fun out of a similar game that you already own and for that reason I'd only really recommend this for fans of the genre as they will get the most out of it.

Verdict : A unique Wrestling title that's well worth buying.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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