Game: "Arm Wrestling"
System: Arcade
Genre: Sports
Published by: Nintendo

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 5/13/2009

Review: Arm Wrestling is an old arcade game produced by Nintendo back in 1985. It's more or less a speedy button-mashing joystick-yanking game, but the real interesting thing about it is that it's the only spin-off of the Punch-Out!! games ever made.

From the second you start playing it, it's obvious that there are a lot of elements taken straight outta Punch-Out!!, particularly with how the characters are drawn and their ethnic stereotypes. You start off facing a cowboy named "Texas Mac", then you move on to a Japanese Sumo wrestler named "Kabuki". You'll also notice that your player is the same green-haired guy from the Punch-Out!! arcade games.

Most amusing of all, perhaps is the fact that your third opponent, the mysterious "Mask X" luchador is none other than Bald Bull (a famous Punch-Out!! character) in disguise. During your match with him you have to try yanking off his mask to reveal who it really is. And believe me, it's no easy task.

After that, you go on to fight some less traditional characters such as a girl controlling a monkey robot and then, for the final boss, an homage to Frankenstein's monster.

The arcade cabinet itself had a somewhat different layout as it had two monitors stacked on top of one another. Imagine a Nintendo DS converted into an arcade cabinet, and that's what Arm Wrestling was like in a nutshell. The top monitor showed your points / opponents and other information, while the bottom screen showed the actual match taking place. It also featured some amusing computer-generated voices and, of course, in classic Punch-Out!! style, your opponents would taunt the hell out of you if you lost to them.

It's not the greatest game ever (and there were arcade games that came along later in which you actually engaged in REAL arm wrestling matches as opposed to button mashing), but Arm Wrestling is definitely worth checking into if you want to learn about one of the more obscure historical elements of the Punch-Out!! series. That and seeing Bald Bull in a Mexican wrestling mask and making a "you're loco!" gesture as he laughs in your face whenever you lose. If seeing that isn't worth popping a few quarters into the machine, I really don't know what is.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
May 13th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Bald Bull in a luchador mask you say?
Also, didn't you mention those games a while back, one had a robot arm or something...
Is a thin donkey
May 13th, 2009, 08:12 PM
Mental Pooperscooper, I believe you were referring to Arm Champs 2, which was one of the cabinets referenced in The 50 Greatest Arcade Cabinets In Video Game History! It's pretty good, but this one tops it, if only for the aforementioned sight of Bald Bull in a lucha mask.
the axe and the smasher
May 13th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Yeah I remember playing this one at my local mall. I played this before I ever saw Bald Bull in Punch-Out, so when I saw him in Punch-Out... I thought he was a carryover from the arm wrestling game.
Forum Virgin
May 13th, 2009, 09:49 PM
Yeah that was probably it, heh, I just noticed that Bald Bull is a very busy man. He arm wrestles, boxes, and he cooks in his spare time, must have an impressive manager. Hell, I can barely handle waking up and getting to school on time.
May 13th, 2009, 11:28 PM
Mexican wrestlers always make a game far more cool.
Ba dum dum dum dum
May 14th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Yes but can I activate a special move where I turn my hat around?

It's like a switch.
May 14th, 2009, 10:16 AM

Pickled Patriarch
May 14th, 2009, 03:21 PM
Mental Pooperscooper, yeppers, just as Autrach said, I reviewed the Arm Champs & Arm Champs II machines in the top 50 arcade cabinets article. The 2nd one was amusing because you were arm wrestling against a robo-arm! Here's pics of each one:


, yes! Over The Top is one of the greatest movies to come out of the eighties. Arm Wrestling, Trucking, and Love. You can't go wrong with that combination.

May 20th, 2009, 10:57 PM
I guess being beaten by Little Mac was just too much for Bald Bull.
May 25th, 2009, 09:23 AM
See my hat? It's like a switch. I just turn it and I become a truck....