The American company MicroLeague, who gave us sports
fans the superb 'MicroLeague Baseball' have entered the sports
market again. This time they have released 'MicroLeague Wrestling'.
The Americans have a tendency to assume that if someone is a
champion in their country they are a world champion. ML Wrestling is
endorsed by the World Wrestling Federation and it features 'World
Champion' Hulk Hogan. Believe me, this is very much an American
Initially you are given a choice of opponents. Hulk Hogan can
wrestle either Randy 'Macho Man' Savage or Paul 'Mr. Wonderful'
Orndorff. You are then treated to a ringside interview with both the
wrestlers. This is conducted by a TV anchorman and each interview is
supposed to come out differently, trouble is all three wrestlers
make Frank Bruno look like John Geilgud!
Onto the match. The top of the screen is given over to an area which
contains digitized pictures of the action. On either side of the
picture are eleven possible holds or moves for each wrestler. The
game play consists basically of selecting a move for your wrestler
with the computer or a friend selecting the move for your opponent.
The computer then decides whose move actually took place and you are
then treated to a picture of the action. This gives a semi-animated
appearance to the play, rather like the old fashioned flick cards or
the 'What the Butler saw' machines at the sea side. Each successful
move increases your power and inflicts damage on your opponent. Both
the power and damage levels are shown on the screen.
While all this is going on a ring side commentary is
being kept up by two TV announcers. This, like the interview at the
beginning is just text on screen stuff. Neither of them are Kent
Walton and if you haven't been to the States it will not mean a lot.
Back to the bout. There are eleven moves to choose from. Five of
them are considered basic, four are major and there is also a super
move and a defensive block. Your wrestler obviously has a better
percentage chance of making a basic move than a major move. The
problem is that basic moves do not inflict much damage on your
opponent. Once you have racked up a bit of damage and power then you
can try your super move. Each wrestler has one of these favourite
successful, and the percentages are heavily against it, you will
inflict serious damage or even get a pin or knockout. Your chances
of being successful in a hold can be gauged by the relative
dominance meter on the screen. You can also try a bit of nastiness.
If you are lagging behind and the end of the bout
is in sight then cheating can be your only way to get a win. For
instance, Orndorffs' manager will try to hit the Hulk over the head
with his stool. Beware, because actions like this can get you
An unusual program then. It is more of a strategy game than a
joystick waggling contest. The screen display is unique. Seeing your
moves enacted by the actual wrestlers is fun. The problem is that
the game relies heavily on personalities and unless you know the
American wrestling scene the game looses that little something. The
sound does not come up to par. Applause from the crowd is just the
usual static like noise. Not a sign of digital speech anywhere.
MicroLeague Wrestling would appear to have limited appeal unless you
are an avid wrestling fan.