International Championship Wrestling
I've said before that I grew up playing console video games. I never owned any sort of computer until after I became an adult. That being said, I always like to try out and show some love to some of the old computer games I missed out on. From what I hear, it's perhaps going to be hard showing this game any sort of love but we'll see.
If you glance at the manual for this game, you can see some of its touted features. "Over 300 frames of animation per character. Attractive 32-color display. Realistic digitized sound", etc. The developers, Avatar Consulting, are really trying to hype this game up. Even if I didn't already know better, all of this sounds like stuff that an Amiga game from 1990 is not going to live up to.
After a long load time (I'm talking like a "might as well make yourself a cup of coffee and perhaps even take the time to drink it and then come back to see if the game is ready" kind of load time) we get to the title screen and hold up... the title music is super-catchy. It's so professionally done and so amazing that I'd even call it the greatest title music for a pro wrestling game, ever! The problem is - it's a f*cking Prince song! They literally stole one of my favorite Prince songs (Delirious), removed Prince's vocals, and used it for their title music in this game. I can only assume they stole it because even if they had the money, I'm pretty sure Prince wouldn't have wanted his song used in this shit little wrestling game anyway. Plus, he's not credited anywhere. I can't believe they actually got away with this.
There are only four wrestlers in this game and only three of them are playable so let's take a look at them. I've seen the wrestlers listed as different names in various different places so let's just go with the names used in the manual. First, we have Eagle who's "the high-flying American". Then there's Ivan the "huge Russian bear". No relation, I'm sure. Our final choice is Khan "the Mongolian killer". The manual says when you wrestle Khan, you have to beware of his dreaded "green foam". Everyone's heard of green mist but green foam? How does he utilize it? Does he have to have your body prone on the mat, face up, and just stand above you and drool it down onto your face in a disgusting way? The dreaded green foam begs many questions. Finally, the unplayable champ/boss character is Bruiser, who is "the greatest wrestler of all time whose only rule is to win". Now, let's try to actually play this game.
The concept of the control scheme is that your wrestler starts in a "boxing stance" to do strikes and you have to change to a "wrestling stance" to do grappling moves. I use the word "concept" there because conceptually, this game is supposed to be playable but it doesn't really work out that way. I usually don't have much luck in boxing stance to wear my opponent down enough to even begin to try to get into a wrestling stance. All the while, my opponent is beating the shit out of me and throwing me around, and sometimes teleporting from one side of the ring to the other.
This is the only wrestling game I've ever played besides Title Match Pro Wrestling in which I can't win a single match. To be fair, even if I could win, I probably still wouldn't want to keep playing. Oh, as for the "realistic, digitized sound" that the manual spoke about - every once in a while you'll hear a nameless, faceless, commentator say a single word like "powerslam" and the crowd noise may be real crowd noise but it's honestly hard to tell because it's on a literal one second loop and it drives you insane in less than a minute.
I would suggest that any respectable gamer steer far away from ever playing this atrocity of a game. Go even one step further and make sure it doesn't come in contact with any of your children or loved ones or pets for fear of whatever harm it may cause to them. Literally, the only thing it has going in its favor is the Prince song that was stolen for the title music and you can just go to Youtube and listen to the actual, full version of Delirious (again, such a great song) and have a much better time.
Until next time... keep mashing those buttons!