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Big Bang Pro Wrestling
  NGPCWrestlingJPN  
  opened by paleface at 05:10:20 02/26/04  
  last modified by paleface at 06:01:40 02/26/04  
  paleface [sys=NGPC; cat=Wrestling; loc=JPN]
           
I stink at this game, and I don't like it.
 
It's odd because in the Fire Pro series of 2D-ish wrestling games, the timing of the move input to win a grapple comes very intuitively to me. But in BBPW, which supposedly operates on pretty much the same principle, I can hardly ever win a toss. I can hear the little sound when their hands meet but I just can't seem to time the input like the game wants it. Highly frustrating.
 
And really the rest of the game doesn't make me want to care that much. The wrestlers don't have all that many moves. This would be okay if they were interesting characters, but they aren't--instead of SNK's usual trademark super-deformed pocket style, they're big weedy wanna-be-realistic sprites of large men, with no particular personalities to differentiate the different looks; each has a little generic entrance animation, and they don't say anything between fights... well, not in exhibition mode. I'm just not interested enough to try one of the lengthier modes (okay I tried one, they do say things, pretty good English too).
 
The AI can be fooled pretty easily. For instance if you don't want them messing with you, you can just run back and forth across the ring, bouncing off the ropes. You can slip out of the ring, then slip back in when they follow you, and drop them with a punch as they climb back in--pretty much every time.
 
It's a sad and puzzling failure, something hardly unique on the doughty NGPC. The setup was fine: SNK doing an entirely new action game, not based on any previous franchises, with sprites of impressive size and neat production values like the ring entrance animations. So much potential to amaze! But it turned out lame.
 
Ugh, having read another review, I figured I'd try this again: seems you have to use strikes to soften up the AI before you can have any kind of chance to throw them. Well, I tried that, and hit him some (even basic strikes are really hard to land in this game), and he still threw me all over the ring at will.
 
Clucking bell. This game is not for me. Back to Fire Pro.
 
  paleface 05:45:44 02/26/04
           
Okay! I figured something out. It wasn't spelled out by anyone anywhere, but the tip was in GDAkuma's FAQ: the grapples are numbered 1 through 4, 1 being just pressing A, 2 and three being A plus up or down, and 4 being A plus left or right. Well, I had been trying A plus left or right most of the time, ie grapple 4. Now, in Fire Pro, you can't land the bigger grapples until you wear down your opponent, so guess what? That's right, you have to start off with grapple 1 for a while, ie just A.
 
Yay! Now I can win fights. And the game gets a lot more enjoyable. Not yet super enjoyable yet, but more.
 
  paleface 06:01:40 02/26/04
           
Okay wait again. A is "body slam" in the manual, and up, left/right, and down are the three others (grapple, I suppose--it's in kanji). The three grapples seem to be about equal in terms of how tough they are to pull off, but the body slam is much easier. So you have to body slam for a while to wear the opponent down before you can do grapples reliably.
 
You can also mix it up with Irish whips, strikes, "finishing" moves (A+B to do the strike that initiates the powerful move), running tackles on downed opponents, and so forth. It keeps things interesting enough. Moves can be whored quite a bit--for instance sometimes you'll be charged up sufficiently that you can just do the finishing move over and over, and some characters have striking moves that can pretty effectively knock the opponent back down every time they try to stand up.
    
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