American Tag Team Wrestling
Copyright/Publisher: Zeppelin Games, Programmed By: Dave
Sowerby, Graphics By: David Taylor, Music By: Andrew Rodger,
Release Year: 1992, Genre: Wrestling, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Come on. Be serious. Tag Team Wrestling? What next? Women's International Soccer? Formula 3 Grand Prix. Wimbledon Mixed Pairs? Table Tennis? (Erm, well... Ed).

The idea behind Tag Team Wrestling is like something you'd expect to find as extra feature on a standard wrestling game; you control a pair of wrestlers, swapping between them as you feel like it (when the one in the ring is knackered seems a good time; you always get the best tips in CF).

And, er, that's it. Basically, it's just another wrestling game. Okay, the concept might not be in the Theory Of Relativity league, so how does it fare against the other wrestling games in the market? Let's see what it has to offer. Seconds out, round one.

Well, for a start none of the wrestlers are based on real characters but with names like Jurgen Meatball, Baby Face and Missing Link they're true to the spirit of the sport.

The mug shots of the wrestlers are suitably cartoony as well, if a bit small. There are options for one- or two-player matches, the two-player mode being a good place to practise moves, because your opponent won't fight back.

Matches can be set to two, three, four or five minutes per round, though all matches are slugged out on a best of three basis. However, you can choose whethet you want to get pummelled for a single bout or a whole tournament.

And if you want an on-screen explanation of what you have to do with the joystick to achieve the moves, you've got it. So you're faced with more options than an aardvark at an ant convention, but what about the bouts?

Ah, that's where the problems start. The zeps have made a brave attempt at introducing a less waggle-like-mad-and-hope-type control system but, frankly, it's clumsy.

Most moves involve holding down Fire, moving the stick then letting go of Fire. Okay, this isn't too much hassle, but it does make each move a three-parter which can be awkward.

Worse are the tussles. When two wrestlers get close enough they grab each other. After a couple of seconds an indicator appears on-screen; the first player to hit fire wins and slams their opponent to the floor.

Fair enough, but there are two problems. First, the computer cheats - it's impossible to beat unless you try to guess when the indicator is going to appear.

Second, if you hit fire before the indicator appears your controls are frozen which is downright annoying if you were in the middle of a move (in other words, you were holding down the fire button) when you go into a tussle.

And while the general presentation is good the graphics during the bouts are pretty grim. The sprites in particular are hopeless and don't look anything like their mug shots.

Played against the computer, Tag Team's pretty grim. But in two-player mode, when you and a mate both have to struggle with the control system, at least the odds are evened up a bit.


INTRO SCREEN

POWER RATING 57
UPPERS
Lots of options.
The presentation is generally pretty stylsih.
Two-player mode is a real laugh (thoguh not always intentionally)..
DOWNERS
The graphics during the bouts are dismal.
The control system is a contradiction in terms.
The computer cheats.

These are the teams you can choose from. Gruesome lot, aren't they?
"Oi, Crusher, I reckon it's about time for that new move we practised the other night.
This move's apparently known in the business as 'Drilling For Oil.'
The yellow indicator's appeared! Quick! Hit fire before your opponent to win the grapple.

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