Big Bang Pro Wrestling (Switch)

Regular readers of my reviews and podcast may know that I’m a big fan of SNK and their handheld NEO GEO Pocket Color.  It came out in the late 90s to compete with the Game Boy Color and had some awesome games on it.  Including one I even liked more than Pokémon (SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash).  A lot of NGPC games have been re-released on the Switch in the past couple of years, and the newest one to enter the ring is Big Bang Pro Wrestling.  I had never heard of this one, which surprised me, but then, I’ve never been into wrestling games.  I figured it was one that had never been released in the US, but the game is in English so maybe it was!

The game plays like a typical wrestling game.  You can choose from one of eight muscle bound dudes (plus a couple of secret characters) as you hit, slam, grapple, and pin other wrestlers until they’re down.  You can play a single match with the computer, do a multi-tiered tournament, or play the Story Mode.  Two local players can go at the same time, too.  On the old handheld, you had to use a Link Cable, but here you just use an imaginary one and the screen splits into two NGPCs.

The graphics and animations are pretty amazing and make the game look almost 16-bit.  For a game that has only two buttons, you can do a lot of moves and things with them.  But I still had trouble figuring out the controls.  I know I’m not really into wrestling games, but I have played others I’ve been able to figure out.  So because of that, this is one of my least favorite of the NGPC re-releases.  But if you like wrestling games of this era, you may want to check it out.

Since this game came out 20 years ago, it doesn’t have all the quality of life features that a lot of today’s games have.  But luckily, there is an option screen that takes care of a lot of that.  You view the action on a mock up NEO GEO Pocket Color handheld (which is weird when you are playing the handheld on the Switch handheld mode), but you can choose to zoom in on the screen to make it much easier to see.  You can also toggle various screen filters, and rewind, too.  You can pause the action on the Switch and come back to it later at any time, so that’s nice.

Kid Factor:

Big Bang Pro Wrestling is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptor of Alcohol Reference and Fantasy Violence. I didn’t see the alcohol reference, but the wrestling moves are no more violent than what you see on TV.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may have trouble with the controls.

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