Originally only released in Japan in the year 2000, Big Bang Pro Wrestling has finally made its way to America on the Nintendo Switch. SNK has released a plethora of its back catalog games on the switch, such as Metal Slug 3, The King of Fighters ’98, and many others. To some it may not be a surprise, but considering the game was never released in the west, lot’s of classic wrestling game fans on the switch will be thrilled to finally experience it.
Growing up I was a massive fan of pro wrestling, so unsurprising to nobody; I played my fair share of wrestling games with friends, playing as all of my favorites as I did their signature moves, allowing my imagination to go beyond a controller and screen.
I never played a wrestling game like Big Bang Pro Wrestling, though. Retro, 8-bit styled, was a thing of the past as most developers were making the switch over to 3-d in my early years of gaming. Nevertheless, games like Big Bang Pro Wrestling were there for kids like me in the late 80’s and early 90’s, as they got together with friends to battle.
But is a game like this worth it in the year 2022, when far more advanced wrestling games are being released? Ultimately, it comes down to what you view as a worthy purchase, and Big Bang Pro Wrestling has a very cheap price at only $7 on the Nintendo eshop, with a nice amount of content and fun to be had. Let’s dive into some of the games features.
The gameplay in Big Bang Pro Wrestling is rather straight forward, which is to be expected considering it was a NeoGeo Pocket release. Your A and B buttons are the most important as they do things such as attacks, taunts, exiting the ring, picking up objects, and grappling. However, as with most classic releases on the Switch, there is a rewind option, allowing you to go back and change the outcome of a match you may have lost.
Some other cool menu features include changing the display, allowing you to zoom in and get the full screen view of the action. You can also change the look of the NeoGeo, the filter of the game, and view the original manual included in the 2000 release of Big Bang Pro Wrestling.
There are 10 wrestlers to choose from, all with their own unique look, personality, and move-sets, but some are more unique than others, like Macey, who can spit a venom like liquid at his foe; or Eagle, who wears an eagle mask.
You can pick your favorite of the 10 wrestlers and play the story mode, which offers a fun challenge of fighting each of the other 9 characters to become the IEW champion. If you have a friend over you can battle it out in 2 player CO-OP to see which of you is the best.
Big Bang Pro Wrestling packs a punch!
Art-style and Soundtrack
The art style and soundtrack are nice, although lacking in variety. If you’re a fan of retro 8-bit style graphics, you’ll be pleased with Big Bang Pro Wrestling’s look. The arena itself looks great, and the character designs work well.
As I played this game, I wondered who this game would resonate with. What kind of audience is SNK targeting with the relaunch of this retro wrestling game. Well, naturally, SNK fans will be happy to play, but I believe this game will resonate mostly with gamers who grew up with these kinds of wrestling games. If you’re one of those gamers, I think you’ll be very happy with your $7 purchase, as you’ll get an instant rush of Nostalgia. Maybe you and your buddies grew up playing games like this, and you want to relive old memories, and this would be perfect for that.
There’s a couple ways to change things up, like altering the match to a coffin match, where you must put your opponent in a coffin to win, or the money prize match, where you must escape the ring, and climb up a pole to retrieve the cash to win. There’s plenty of fun to be had, and memories to relive, in Big Bang Pro Wrestling!