Big Bang Pro Wrestling Review
SNK continues to add more ports to the Nintendo Switch from its NeoGeo Pocket Color line-up. Various games have made it over to the Switch for a new home, and now Big Bang Pro Wrestling is the latest addition.
Released in Japan for the NeoGeo Pocket Color in 2000. This fun yet straightforward wrestling game is a gem with the price tag to follow suit. While the Big Pro Wrestling suffers from a tiny screen on the Switch, and an outdated grappling system, this game is an awesome purchase for wrestling enthusiasts.
SWITCH-ing Up The Style
One of the many benefits of porting older games over to newer consoles is developers add new features. Like with many other NeoGeo ports on Switch, you can change the color of the NeoGeo you are playing. If you don’t like the tiny screen provided to you, you can zoom in on the action without any screen tearing or stretched textures.
In addition, you can pull up the original manual within the games menu. This is helpful because Big Bang Pro Wrestling lacks a tutorial and settles for a ‘learn as you go’ approach.
Another neat addition is the portable co-op mode. The Switch will display two screens that can be played vertically, and players can use a Joy-con on each side for a neat couch co-op experience.
A 16-bit Chokeslam
Controls in Big Bang Pro Wrestling are straightforward but do require precise timing. This led to super success or heartfelt frustration; in my experience, I felt a bit of both. A wrestling match usually starts with both wrestlers grappling to get the first move off. This particular animation needs perfect timing because it’s only a few frames long and the objective here is to press A or B right when your hands meet your opponent’s shoulders.
If successful, you will perform a modest bodyslam by pressing A, and pressing B will perform an Irish whip. Sometimes, this part of the match feels more like a game of chance than a perfectly timed button press.
However, grappling is the only tricky part of matches as Big Bang Pro Wrestling follows a simple two-button system that anyone can learn.
Meet The Roster
Big Bang Pro Wrestling features ten wrestlers with a few of their own unique styles. In contrast, every fighter has the same type of base attacks but has unique heavy and finishing moves. I enjoyed playing with all ten fighters, and while some actions were the same, each one felt slightly different from the other.
For example, Mike Martin is a slow wrestler with a similar moveset to Kurt Angle. Alex Fall is a strong grappler with a cocky attitude identical to The Rock. And Sho Hayama is a striker that is all about his submissions.
While mastering each wrestler doesn’t take a massive amount of skill, it’s good that each fighter is different in contrast.
- Brian McDougall
- Mashii the Oriental
- Mike Martin
- Sho Hayama
- David Bogner
- Alex Fall
- The Great Eagle
- Josef Steele
- Kei Nakano
Defeat the IEW Champion
Big Bang Pro Wrestling offers fun modes to get wrestling in; In the One Match and Tournament Modes, players can change the rules and settings before starting. Coffin and Reward mode both give a different element to winning matches because of their unique conditions. In Coffin mode, you need to beat your opponent to a pulp and lay them to rest in a coffin Undertaker style. Reward mode is the IEW’s version of Money In The Bank.
However, what I got the most enjoyment of was the game’s story mode; The IEW Championship. In this mode, you fight against every wrestler on the roster leading up to the champion, Josef Steele. This story is pretty cool because it gives you a bit of dialogue before each match, giving you a sense of each wrestler’s personality.
Big Bang Pro Wrestling is a simple retro 16-bit game that will frustrate you. However, a very tiny screen and a grappling system that can leave you wondering how you can win matches are only minor complaints. And with a price tag of 7.99 USD, there is hardly any risk of buying this piece of video game history.
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