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Rock n Wrestle (1985)            

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Details (Commodore 64) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Melbourne House
Nigel Spencer
Yes, optional
Audio cassette
UK (£9.95)

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Commodore 64
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Your Reviews

Issue 12, March 1986 (Zzap! 64)   18th Mar 2013 03:21
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 accessible 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 'speech' (shcha, shchoo, shchii) garbled and unintelligible. The potential for a really good game is here, but unfortunately it just hasn't been realised.

Despite consistently 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 whole thing just looks so cheap and unprofessional. Graphically it is primitive to say the least and is severely retarded in the animation department. The characters lurch about the ring unrealistically, with seemingly no knowledge of inertia 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 opponent 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.

Presentation 84%
Comprehensive instructions, adequate attract mode and many options.

Graphics 42%
Porky, blocky, poorly animated sprites and little else.

Sound 65%
Boppy background music isn't outstanding and spot effects are crude.

Hookability 60%
We all found ourselves quite excited for a few minutes despite the immediate impact of the graphics.

Lastability 51%
Just not gripping enough, despite the large variety of moves and opponents.

Value For Money 46%
It's quite a high price for a disappointing game.

Overall 53%
A hard idea to put on a computer, possibly a worthy try, but the potential hasn't quite been realised.

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This title was first added on 6th December 2012
This title was most recently updated on 16th October 2017

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