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Title: Tag Team Wrestling
Author:Data East
Rom Player: NESten
Reviewer: Joey Mustaine

Synopsis: My NES days began Saturnalia 1987. We were lucky enough to score the NES even though my parents thought it was "too expensive". Not only that, we nabbed four games. Two of the four are Zelda and SMB which, let's face it, need no review. The other two, however, deserve full-blown reviews if not fucking shrines. They are Tag Team Wrestling and Top Gun.

Let me preface this by saying when I got this game I was a huge wrestling fan. My favorites being George "The Animal" Steele and Jake "The Sprake" (not "The Snake" - don't ask) Roberts. So getting an actual wrestling game was an indescribable clashing of the two biggest things in my life.

My recollections of the game's story is hazy, but rest assured what I'm presenting is far more interesting than the original. You are the Ricky Fighters, an elite wrestling team made up of our hero Ricky and his masked partner Ultramachine. Your rivals (the heels) are known as the Strong Bads, comprised of the fiendish Whirly and the fresh-from-the-indies evil upstart Mascross.

What's unique about the wrestling fed that you're in is that there's only two tag teams. At the time I wasn't even bothered by this as I'd seen the British Bulldogs go against the Hart Foundation every week on Saturday Morning Superstars.

Anyways, the basic gameplay involves mashing the A button to punch your opponent. Once you've smacked them a little box will appear above your heads indicated what move you'll do next. You press B to cycle through the moves and then A to execute your choice. You have a choice of up to seven moves, unless you're up against your rival. Your rival if you're Ricky is Mascross; if you're Ultramachine it's Whirly. When you attack your rival you also get a special eighth move. Be aware that the computer will also get these special moves against it's rival. The move starts out with a flurry of noggin spanks followed by the actual move:

Ricky - Sasori Gatame or Figure Four - 5 extra punches
Ultramachine - Brain Buster - 2 extra punches
Mascross - Enzui Giri or Head Scissors - 3 extra punches
Whirly - Western Lariat (an Irish whip followed by a running clothesline) - 4 extra punches

The games greatest strength lies in the moves themselves. If you execute a F HBAT (Flying Headbutt) from the right spot, you'll actually dive headfirst all the way across the ring. Same with a D KICK (Drop Kick). Plus, if you hit the opponent close enough to the ropes you'll both fly out of the ring which will set you up for the greatest part of the game.

TECCHU! Yes, the dreaded TECCHU! The TECCHU (inexplicably pronounced Teck-che-chu in my house) is simply ramming your opponent's head into the turnbuckle outside the ring. This is the ultimate humiliation/piss-your-little-brother-the-fuck-off move. Imagine being thrown outside the ring and then having your head spanked into the turnbuckle five times in a row, all the while being wholly unable to stop it because the punches can be timed to land before you can retalliate. TECCHU MOTHERFUCKER!

No NES sports game would be complete without some measure of cheating for the computer. If you take too long to punch the computer, he'll turn red and will be impossible for you to hit. The redness is more or less random but you can cut down the frequency by trying to pin the computer every time he's down.

This is one of those wonderful games that has no ending. You will continue to fight the Strong Bads forever and ever. As you progess through the game, your trophy gets larger and your outfits change colors but beyond that it's the same match over and over.

I don't think I can recommend this unless you love to repeat the same cheap moves over and over to win (and I know some of you assholes are probably SF2 cheaters). It ought to take under two hours to "finish" the one player game (achieve a #1 world ranking). Two player playing time all depends how many time your little brother will let you TECCHU him before he starts crying.

Best Cheats: If you repeatedly tag your partner at the start of the match before anyone has been hit, sometimes you will gain invincibility. I believe this only happens in rounds immediately after you win a new title.

Game Play: 4
Graphics: 2
Music/Sound: 5
Originality: 8
Overall Rating: 7

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