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Toukon Retsuden 4
  opened by paleface at 02:42:43 09/01/03  
  paleface [sys=DC; cat=Wrestling; loc=JPN]
I know just about zero about Japanese wrestling but from the style of presentation and moves here, this seems to be simulating the more scripted WWE style wrestling rather than actual contested matches. The wrestlers posture a lot, and do the same moves, and a lot of these moves look more intended to impress than to injure (all the stupid "test of strength" button mashing contests, for instance). Then again, unlike Giant Gram (entry 97), the actual style of the graphics and production seem geared toward simulation rather than an over-the-top action experience. Kind of an odd combination.
There seem to be a ton of menus and modes stuff here (in Japanese of course) and I've by no means given them their fair shake, but I think I'll stick to Fire Pro for engaging wrestling gameplay, and maybe Giant Gram or better yet Kinniku Man (entry 145) when I want some goofy action with big guys in tight shorts. There doesn't really seem to be grappling here or even as much strategy as Kinniku Man: all I found (I really should try deciphering the manual again) was one strike button (weak, too), two buttons that caused my guy to dive for the other guy's knees, and the fourth face button that sent me running to rebound off the ropes. Doesn't seem a lot to work with.
Animation is pretty good and the models look okay, with pretty good textures anyway, but everything outside the ring itself is completely lacking in any interest, with no play-by-play from announcers other than a move name (I think that's what it was) printed at the bottom of the screen. Doesn't really get one's blood pumping.
Looking up a FAQ, it appears that encounters, rather than being based on timing (Fire Pro) or spacing (Kinniku) are based on a rock/paper/scissors type of thing, determined by which button each combatant presses, and that you really only have one move per button in each situation, being unable to modify them by D-pad direction (Fire Pro). Underwhelming to say the least.
I suppose if you're a bit fan of one of the wrestlers portrayed fairly realistically here then you'll get a charge out of that aspect of it, but neither the gameplay nor the presentation have impressed me enough to want to spend more time with it.

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