This weekend the world was witnessed to the grandest professional wrestling event in sports entertainment history: WrestleMania 35. This event saw several stories come to their conclusion.
Kofi Kingston reached the highest peak in his 11-year career by winning the company’s most prestige belt, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The Man came around as Becky Lynch became the first woman ever to main event WrestleMania in its 35 years and walked out with both women’s championship belts.
I got caught up in all the spectacle and emotion of the whole thing and I thought it would be a good idea to think about what was the best wrestling game for the NES. Now, I originally wanted to be based on this wrestling organization, WWE (WWF at the time), but one game instantly jumped out to me as the best wrestling experience on Nintendo’s debut console.
Tecmo World Wrestling was a revolutionary experience for those who enjoyed professional wrestling. From the moment the game starts up, the melody that plays instantly grabs you. The 8-bit tones and beats sound so good that while writing this WedNESday, I could immediately remember the first time I heard it. The first time I booted up the game it was Saturday before WrestleMania 13. Now, I had been a fan of wrestling my whole life but it never dawned on me that there could be a game based off of it. I had gone through other wrestling games with the WWF licensed but there was something special about Tecmo World Wrestling. As soon as that opening music hit, subconsciously, I knew I was hooked. Several weekends would be overtaken by this game.
Going back to play the game has me realizing how tremendous it was with the technology it was built on and with what you could do. You had 11 wrestlers from around the world and each of them had like 30 moves to them. That seems insane to me for a NES game, especially since nearly most of them were side-scrolling beat ’em ups. The game even had instant replays whenever something decisive happened, like a finisher. On the bottom of the screen, the game has text that is from the commentary table, adding another level of comedy and drama to the match. He also tends to bounce his shoulders up and down, smiling with his fists pumped, because he’s really into the match. As a child, I use to put more into the matches and try to make them as memorable as possible so that what was happening accurately deserved what the commentator was displaying. Essentially he was Dave Meltzer and I was trying to get all the stars baby!
The matches themselves looked more like anime fights than actual wrestling matches. It’s hilarious and pretty awesome. Uppercuts look like Shoryukens, you can throw wrestlers out of the ring, and they run like a mighty mouse. Why don’t we have a game like this in 2019? It is so much fun to play! I really liked how the character select screen is like a journal and you get background information on the wrestlers. You get their height, weight, country, and the name of their two signature moves. It’s like something a fan would make to keep track of their favorite wrestlers. By the way, those wrestlers were JACKED. I’m talking all of them were 6 feet tall and nearly 300 pounds.
A normal match saw you wrestling one on one with another, CPU or 2nd player, and the best way to win was to weaken the player’s health bar and that would eventually lead into a pinfall. Easier said than done. On single player mode, you could actually have your wrestler work out with weights and regardless of who you chose, you could change the name if you didn’t like it. The game’s graphics were also great for its time but wrestlers lacked the same flair and identity that the WWF ones had.
I use to get in trouble a lot for practicing these wrestling moves on my brother, so this was a nice alternative.
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In a way, this game is still revolutionary. WWE’s wrestling games fail to have a good single player campaign. Some of the elements this game has, the working out, could be cool to see in a modern game. The more arcade-y gameplay would also be a breath of fresh air. There is nothing wrong with simulation wrestling games but it would be nice to have an alternative with over the top craziness. WWE has done this, to my recollection, only once with All-Stars but that wasn’t anything like Tecmo World Wrestling.
Did you ever play Tecmo World Wrestling? Love it? Hate it? Maybe I’m wrong and there are other games like it, if so, can you recommend some? Comment down below, God Bless, and have a great rest of the week.