I kind of miss the good old days of my childhood.
I really mean it! I mean back when I was a mark and I could really enjoy wrestling, and envy the kids who had the Nintendo gaming system and the WrestleMania arcade game. In retrospect, the game wasn’t that good, but to Commodore 64 users as myself, all we had to play with was the non-action Microleague Wrestling game (which may or may not be considered as crap to RD).
(Note from RD: I had that game, on my Atari ST computer, no less. It was definitely crap.)
So because my dad felt a console system was too much money when computer games were superior, I was always looking for a cheap way to find a good wrestling game. One day while at the local Best Products Toy Store, I begged my mom to buy me the hand-held game for under $20.00 called WrestleMania Challenge, the WrestleMania V sequel to the previous handheld WrestleMania game. The first one was a simple game where you battled Andre the Giant, as Hulk Hogan. You’d think that in a wrestling game, you’d want to pin your opponent. Maybe make him submit. Oh no. In that game, you just kept beating on the poor guy and scoring points until he beat you. And to be honest, for a 12 year old kid, it was actually a lot of fun.
And now…now I was going to have the new WrestleMania game.
Some fifteen years later, I was listening to Wrestlecrap Radio and heard Blade tell RD about this game and that it should be in the halls of Wrestlecrap, if he hadn’t lost his years ago. Fear not, Mr. Braxton, because I happened to find mine, and I discovered how easily amused I really was back then.
Much like the first WrestleMania handheld game, you are once again Hulk Hogan. This time, however, you’re not just pummelling Andre the Giant for hours on end. You are battling your former ally, and now enemy the Macho Man, who has captured Miss Elizabeth and has ball and chained.
Well they were married. No wait, she was actually in physical bondage by the Macho Man.
Not only did Macho have Elizabeth, but he had her trapped in a three tier wrestling ring. (So this is where Hogan got the Doomsday Cage match idea). So it’s up to you (as Hulk Hogan) to battle Macho’s goons and to retrieve the keys on the first and second levels. You would have to jump several times in order to retrieve the keys.
As an aside, I should note the starting game music sounded unlike an ambulance.
But that grating sound was orchestral bliss compared to the noises the game made when Hogan did battle with his foes. Well anyways, as Hogan, you do battle with Hogan’s three major feuds of 1988-89. On level one, you get to battle the Big Bossman. Your wrestling moves of choice include a ladder to the head (which you used to climb to the next level).
On the next level, you get to battle Hogan’s WrestleMania 3 and 4 foe, Andre the Giant.
Since the bodyslam heard around the world had been overplayed by that point, Hogan instead chose a much more blunt attack, namely a flying punch to the head. Sadly, Hogan fails to shout “SHORYUKEN!” upon delivering the blow. Somewhere Ryu is hanging his head in shame. And Ken is probably laughing, because Ken was a prick.
Of course, attacking Boss Man and Andre only sent them back to their starting marks and you would continue to attack them like rolling barrels.
Finally you get to battle Macho Man, who looks not unlike Bad News Brown, using his dreaded finisher: a kick to the stomach.
Or maybe Macho was using the big boot as a finisher in protest or something.
Of course, if you fail in your mission, sad music will play, and Elizabeth remains in bondage to Randy forever.
Should you win, however, Elizabeth will grab you, flash hearts of love for you (Macho might have been right all along about the ‘lust in Hogan’s eyes’) and Real American will play.
And thus you go to level 2, where Liz is chained once again.
Sometimes you have to wonder if a 12-year old Stephanie McMahon twiddled her thumbs with this one, and decided to turn this game into real life for the WWE.
At least nowadays, the wrestling games actually have the wrestlers, wrestle.
– Blade Braxton (as Miss Elizabeth) You’re hurtin’ me Randy!
– Spy thriller like music, if played by Dr. Kevorkian.
– Wrestling sound effects made possible by the Wrestlecrap Radio crickets.
– More Dr. Kevorkian music.
– Off key “Real American.”