Copyright/Publisher: Melbourne House/Beam Software, Music By: Neil Brennan,
Release Year: 1986, Genre: Wrestling, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
From the authors of the best selling martial arts simulation, Way of the Exploding Fist, comes
an alternative computer sport - wrestling, in the form of Rock 'n' Wrestle. As grapple
supremo Gorgeous Greg (is this an ego trip for the main programmer Gregg Barnett or the
graphics designer Greg Holland, one wonders?), you must battle your way past nine hardened
opponents, each with their own distinctive style, to become champion of the world.
Or, if the mood takes you, there is a two player option so you can grapple with a friend.
There are 24 different wrestling manoeuvres at your disposal and all are accessable from
a single joystick (or set of keys if you're so inclined), although only four moves are
available at any time, depending upon the situation. For example, at the beginning of a
bout you can't do anything other than 'soften up' your opponent by either grabbing, kneeing,
kicking or 'punching' him.
You start with a limited amount of energy (represented by a bar at the bottom of the
screen), as does your opponent, and this decreases with every assault. Once you've
got your man firmly within your grasp he can be headbutted, lifted (energy permitting) and
eventually picked up and thrown about the ring.
Then, when he is sufficiently stunned, you can jump on him and attempt to pin
him to floor for 3 seconds, success resulting in a win and a confrontation with the
next, tougher opponent. However, when you find yourself in a similar, uncompromising
position then a quick spurt of furious joystick jiggling is required to break the hold.
What a disappointment! After the excellent Exploding Fist I expected great things of this,
but no! The graphics are awful and the gameplay incongruous and confused. When playing
it's possible to kick your opponent in the nether regions until he has no energy at all,
but when you go to grapple some sort of divine intervention gives him enough strength to
pick you up and hurl you across the ring making the energy bars pointless.
Still, this could be considered authentic, since it seems to happen just like that in the
so-called real thing! The graphics are very blocky indeed and the 'speecg' (shcha, shchoo, shchii)
garbled and unitelligible. The potential for a really good game is here, but unfortunelately
it just hasn't been realised.
I wouldn't have thought that wrestling is a sport which could possibly be reproduced
effectively or even sufficiently on a home computer. Rock 'n' Wrestle illustrates the
point perfectly - it can't be done. While the idea is certainly a novel one, it hasn't
quite come off and the end result leaves a lot to be desired.
Graphically Rock 'n' Wrestle is poor - the sprites are crude in both their definition
and animation. The tune played throughout the game is the sonic equivalent of the graphics,
ie awful and the sound effects are even worse. Rock 'n' Wrestle quite simply a poor excuse
for a sports simulation and little else.
Despite consistantly being told otherwise by numerous months of Melbourne House hype,
Rock and Wrestle is not particularly good. Certainly not what you'd expect from the
programmer of Exploding Fist. The whoel thing just looks so cheap and unprofessional.
Graphically it is primitive to say the least and is severely retarded in the animation
The characters lurch about the ring unrealistically with seemingly no knowledge of inartia of
momentum. Though not flickery, progression between different frames of animation is anything but
fluid. Different wrestlers merely have different heads and different shades of leotard,
Neither do they act differently when fighting and one opponents seems very like any other.
The graphics are bad but the sound is worse. When out for the count the referee's digitised
voice sounds unlike anything human. Admittedly there is some initial appeal once you start
to play, but this soon fades. I would say don't buy it, but it's only fair to let you find
out for yourselves.