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Pro Wrestling
  opened by paleface at 23:48:58 03/23/23  
  last modified by paleface at 00:00:46 03/24/23  
  paleface [sys=NES; cat=Wrestling; loc=NA]

Playing Nintendo's "Pro Wrestling" for NES in Mesen, dumped with a Sanni Cart Reader V5.
I knew the legacy of this game and somehow it still took me a while to realize I could do other grapple moves by pressing the other button + directions. ; )
Pro Wrestling was made for Nintendo by T.R.Y. Co., Ltd., with game designer & programmer Masato Masuda & a graphic designer ( ). "Masuda mainly watched All Japan Pro Wrestling at the time, and was impressed by the match between Giant Baba and Abdullah the Butcher."
T.R.Y. "later merged with Sonata to become Human" [Entertainment] ( ), where Masuda would create the first games--through Fire Pro 3, as far as I can tell--in the Fire Pro Wrestling series. Pro Wrestling pretty much plays just like a Fire Pro game, with the wrestlers coming together simultaneously for a grapple--the difference being that instead a single, precisely timed button press deciding grapples, as they are in Fire Pro, in Pro Wrestling it's pretty much whoever mashes faster (although heavier grapple moves are harder to win with than lighter moves, at least until the opponent is worn down).
Masuda regarded the mashing--or specifically, being able to use auto-fire to win--as a problem, thus the change to precision timing in Fire Pro; but it seems unlikely to me that any Fire Pro game--maybe not even all of them combined?--got near to Pro Wrestling's popularity: "Published in 1986, Pro Wrestling is celebrated as the biggest and best-selling wrestling video game release of the 1980s, shifting 1.4 million copies globally." The Google Translate-ed Japanese Wikipedia page says "it was particularly popular in North America"..."1st place in sales for 2 consecutive months."
Mashing is fun! ; D I'm bad at it, but I'm bad at timing, too. Anyway, Pro Wrestling doesn't have any options, ie no difficulty setting, so you'd better just mash good. I'd be fine with this but there aren't that many moves--the six or so characters all have pretty much the same moves except one or two unique moves each--and so few characters that apparently you have to loop through them three times to get to the final boss, of whom English Wikipedia says "It is worth noting that some Nintendo aficionados consider the Great Puma to be one of the most difficult boss characters to ever appear on the NES."
After the first loop (you may have to do an extra match after if you're playing King Slender, as I was, 'cause he's the usual champ you fight and uh I guess there's a bug) you win the 1st of 2 belts, then you're "defending" it for the next two loops; lose in the first loop and the game is over; lose (ie, don't win, ie, get a draw--or probably also get pinned) in the later loops and you have to start those loops again!
So, I didn't make it to the final boss because it got hard and monotonous and I quit. The gameplay is quite solid, it's just you're trying to do the same thing over and over as it gradually takes longer and longer to wear the opponent down.
Okay a couple gameplay things could use work: the CPU picked up from the mat is somehow able to strike first at me but I can't seem to strike first at them when they pick ME up--is my timing that bad? eh probably--also when they pick me up, I can USUALLY not get hit by their strike by holding the d-pad up or down, even though their usual spin kick seems to hit right on me. And running attacks have to run a real long way before they can be triggered. And the only way to hit someone on the canvas is to jump from the turnbuckle, which is weird.
And the color strobe after win is obnoxious. : P
Pro Wrestling's not a bad game. Maybe Fire Pro would've gone huge if it had stuck to mashing? Or not, with auto-fire abuse, I dunno. Anyway, current Fire Pro is pretty fun, and this is where things started for it (yeah Fire Pro Wrestling started with Pro Wrestling, hey). And it was the 1st wrestling game to have an isometric viewpoint!
· Fire Pro Wrestling 2 (GBA)
· Fire Prowrestling G (PS1)
· Fire ProWrestling IRON SLAM '96 (PS1)
· Fire Pro Wrestling World (PC)
· Fire Prowrestling Z (PS2)
· Wrestling Universe: Fire Pro Joshi - Doumu Chou Taisen (PCCD)

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