Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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When a corrupt wrestler starts taking more than his share, it's up to a band of four rag-tag luchadors to bring him to justice. It's easy to see why come players might think Street Wrestler is just a wrestling game, but while wrestling is a big part of the game, it shares more in common with the classic arcade beat 'em up games of decades past. This meshing of the flare and spectacle of wrestling with the humble side scrolling action game is both fun and satisfying; and while players will still have to deal with a virtual joystick, this title does some intelligent things to make its controls work harder than players might expect.
Street Wrestler is certainly an apt name for this game. Players take control of one of four masked wrestlers and take to the streets handing out smack-downs in the form of punches, kicks, and body slams. Each wrestler has his or her own unique moves, though they are all activated by the same button combinations. The wrestlers also handle in different ways. Some are large, strong, and slow while others are more lithe and quick on their feet. Players can take each wrestler through all the game's levels, beating up everything in their path.
This game controls like many of its kind. On the left-hand side of the screen there is a virtual joystick used to move the character around the environment. On the right-hand side there are three buttons, for jumping, punching, and contextual actions. The contextual button is where this game really sets itself apart from other side scrolling beat 'em ups. The actions that this button executes change depending on where the player is or what is next to them. Sometimes it might grab and throw an enemy, other times it will grab and throw a barrel, and other times it might send the wrestler arcing in a aerial attack. This clever little button allowed the developers to include lots of unique actions in the game without cluttering the screen with tons of buttons.
The environments in Street Wrestler are simply gorgeous. The cell shaded art style, the detailed design, and the dynamically animated backgrounds all make this game one serious piece of stylish eye candy. The controls aren't flawless, but they work well enough that the player can focus on fighting bad guys instead the controls. Street Wrestler does a great job at capturing the essence of what makes a side scrolling beat 'em up game so fun, and it delivers it in a bright, insanely decked out, and easy to enjoy package.