I felt at this point that I needed to try something sports related and I vaguely remember the wrestling craze from the 80’s so after a quick visit to Rllmukforum I asked what people would recommend. That’s when someone recommended a US release called M.U.S.C.L.E. or Kinnikuman in Japan. Seeing as I was eager to try my modified NES on different regions games I thought what the hell and went to track a copy down from a US seller. The cartridge is dirt cheap over there, working out at about £2 after the currency exchange and the postage didn’t cost much extra on top either.
After almost a week of waiting it dropped through the letterbox I’m not sure what the seller had actually done to the cart label but it looked like it had been stained with coffee either that or it came from a really cheap print run. I had my fingers crossed when I slotted this into the NES as I had no idea if the region mod would even work but lo and behold it fired up perfectly. US games were a go.
Now at this point I had pretty much no idea what this game was about besides the suggestion that it was a fantastic wrestling game....
“Oh dear” is what came to mind when I began to play. You begin by choosing one of several fighters but from my time playing they didn’t seem any different. The main game screen consists of a large, poorly drawn white wrestling ring with a very blocky background audience that don’t seem to react to anything. Each wrestler is capable of hop, punch, clothesline and slam with a special move that can be performed when a referee throws a glittery power pill into the ring. The main problem is that the standard moves don’t do much damage so what tends to happen is both players start hopping around the ring trying to make contact with a clothesline, even the AI does the same.
From what I saw the whole thing consisted of avoiding your opponent until the power pill appears. The game does have one good part and that’s its 2 player mode. The next door neighbour John came round to borrow some milk and I made him a cuppa followed by a few minutes of pestering to play. What followed were 5 minutes of grumbling and “if I must” then 15 minutes of “well it ain’t half bad”.
Taken as a 2 player game for wasting time away it turns out to be a fairly decent title. I wouldn’t recommend it for the single player mode as there just isn’t anything worth playing for, however if you have a neighbour to pester then it might be worth a purchase.