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Kinniku Man II: New generation vs Legend
  opened by paleface at 03:35:48 08/24/03  
  last modified by paleface at 23:45:10 02/21/04  
  paleface [sys=GC; cat=Wrestling; loc=JPN]
Ah, M.U.S.C.L.E. Things. I nurse a fond hope that my parents still have my bucketfull of the little pink guys somewhere down in the basement. In the meantime, I can play this game, which is quite a bit more fun than that cheap plastic wrestling ring I had with the Things. Fighting doesn't take the sometimes anal precision timing of Fire Pro, nor does it have anywhere near the depth of things to do, but it makes up for this with beefy and colorful cel-shaded wrestlers, nutty rings, peppy Japanese announcers and power-ups and super moves galore.
Each wrestler has a power meter that goes up during the match, especially when you connect with an attack. Hold the left trigger while executing an attack and you burn some power meter to turn it in to a much more impressive, super-size attack. There's no concept of fatigue and health meters are visible, so you just smash away until the other guy's knocked out. None of that dull submission and pinning stuff here, by golly! Not to say that there's no skill involved in the fighting, it just focuses more on quick dashes and move combos than some of the more "realistic" wrestling games, which is just fine by me, and nothing I've seen in a wrestling game quite beats the goofy testosterone excitement of a 4-player KMII battle royale.
In single-player you can take a bunch of the characters from the manga/anime through story modes where they beat down their various arch-nemeses (is that a word? =P). You thereby earn coins to spend in little vending machines, winning pictures of the little rubber toys, except they're painted and look much cooler than your dirty old ones ever did.
No modern wrestling game would be complete without a "Create-A-Wrestler" mode but the CAW here is more of an exercise in creating the goofiest looking guy you can than in creating your real fantasy wrestler, as the limited set of body pieces you can stick together clash with each other in rather amusing ways and there's barely any configuration of moves (I'm not even sure there is any at all, but there are several selection lists of kanji that I hold in suspicion).
Single-player likely won't really hold your attention for even the time it takes to clear story mode with all the characters (might be more interesting in this mode in the eventual North American release, where in theory you'll actually be able to read what people are saying, but they really don't say all that much between bouts); multi-player, on the other hand, has that bragging-rights quality that makes grown men stand up and strike a bodybuilder pose as they score the winning grapple. As "serious" wrestling it's an utter travesty but as a silly steroid-pumped anime spectacle it's hard to beat.
  paleface 02:34:53 09/07/03
Doesn't support progressive scan output.
· Kinnikuman Muscle Generations (PSP)

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