Big Bang Pro Wrestling
Developer: SNK, S-Neo
Genre(s): Fighting, Action, Wrestling
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 30/03/2022
A code was provided for review purposes.
Big Bang Pro Wrestling for the Nintendo Switch is a port from the original game first released for the Neo Geo Pocket Color way back on November 23rd, 2000 in Japan.
It was viewed as a revival of sort of sprite-based wrestling games; similar to those that were released during the NES and Super NES era. Big Bang Pro Wrestling was also one of the few Japanese Neo Geo Pocket Color games to offer an English text option. So how does this almost 22-year-old game hold up today? Let’s find out.
Big Bang Pro Wrestling is a simplistic two-button wrestling game where you and an opponent of your choosing fight it out in the quest for a championship oppoerunity.
One button is a taunt, while the other is a generic ‘action’ button that gives you all of your attacking options. So for example, if you’re standing next to your opponent, pressing the action button will attack him; but use it by pressing left or right, you’ll run into the ropes. If you’re next to the ropes, pressing the attack button in the direction of the ropes will allow you to leave the ring.
It’s a pretty simplistic and easy title to pick up and play. As with any wrestling game, each grappler has a finishing move. Once your character’s name at the top flashes red, you can execute it while pressing both buttons at the same time.
Let’s get ready to….fumble!
As with any wrestling game, you expect a bit of variety in terms of match styles; let’s face it, constantly doing one on one matches can get boring and monotonous fast as you can simply button mash your way through to the final bell.
Well despite its small package, Big Bang Pro Wrestling is no different. Alongside straightforward one-on-one matches, you can do a tournament where you can play as multiple grapplers, an IEW championship match which acts as the game’s “story” mode, no holds barred matches, a ‘Reward’ match where your goal is to incapacitate your opponent long enough to climb a pole and grab a bag of what I assume is money. And a coffin match where you have to put your opponent in a coffin.
Unfortunately, Big Bang Pro Wrestling has a few nagging issues as far as I’m concerned.
Instead of taking advantage and trying to spruce up the presentation, we’re stuck with a little screen surrounded by a design of the game’s original control; while it’s playable when in handheld mode, things do look small when playing on a screen.
The other issue is obviously the limited replay value. Once you’ve tried all 8 grapplers and 4 match modes, there’s nothing else. Additionally, not having a traditional health bar can take a while to get used to. The A.I. can also feel cheap at times because mere milliseconds after a collar-and-elbow hold, the A.I. is smashing you down before you’re able to try and defend yourself.
Classic 90s experience… Today!
Given that this game is almost 22 years old, don’t expect any mind-blowing visual and audio effects, although those who grew up during the era of the 8/16-bits games will have a wave of nostalgia waashing over them.
The game looks great and character movement/details are surprisingly detailed. But as mentioned, having the Neo Geo console design is annoying. While you can change the color of it, it can make things difficult while playing on a TV. You can zoom in as well, but it still feels off. You can also change the ring style before a match, but given the console’s limitations, options are very limited.
The soundtrack is a solid and addictive chiptune effort. While the crowd noise sounds odd, the tracks are pretty fun and each wrestler has their own entrance theme.
Keeping aside the fact that we were spoiled with all the wrestling games over the years, Big Bang Pro Wrestling is a nice throwback to classic 8-bit and 16-bit wrestling games. The game’s mechanics are surprisingly deep given the original console’s limited controls which makes it easy to pick up and hard to master.
Overall, I had fun with this classic wrestling game; if you can get used to the annoying display of the NeoGeo Pocket console, this is definitely a nice change of pace for fans of the genre. Big Bang Pro Wrestling is a fun bite-sized grappling game for casual wrestling fans or those who don’t have the patience to learn complex mechanics although the fun and novelty wears off pretty quick.
Rapid Reviews Rating
2.5 out of 5
Big Bang Pro Wrestling can be purchased on the Nintendo eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.