Real Talk By: KJ
Saturday Night Slam Masters was published by Capcom, and remains one of my favorite wrestling games. For starters, while he isn’t billed as the top star, Mike Haggar from Final Fight, is a playable character. The Ex-Mayor’s spinning lariat remains fully intact, along with his other signature slams. Another title set in the Street Fighter Universe right here! Other characters include: Jumbo Flapjack, a super-sized grappler who runs hilariously, and is equipped with ferocious power moves. The Scorpion was Cmack’s favorite, as this character has a stance similar to Bruce Lee, and throws similar strikes. These radical dudes look and fight like a mixture between 90’s WWF and SF2. This makes for a weird hybrid, both from a presentational, and game player’s standpoint.
Fight until the vitality meter is depleted. Once this happens fighters are vulnerable to a pinfall at any time. Crowns are displayed by the player HUD to signify victories. Attack , Jump, and Pin are the three buttons available. While many moves are simple to do, the grappling carries more depth than you would expect. This takes a cue from street fighter with its command inputs. For example a fighter known as King Rasta Mon will cling to his opponent, biting him several times. Ring a bell?
One thing you’ll notice is the detail in the sprites and animations across the board. This is one hot crowd. Everyone is moving and excited for the match going on in the ring. Fast gameplay and surprising tech to accommodate it all. It’s clear this was intended to be a direct arcade port, because the mode selections all take place within the same character select screen. The game could have made navigation a lot easier in my opinion. You could see this as a plus or negative. In two player coop, if one person gets pinned, but your team advances, that person has to press start again before time runs out. You would figure that your team securing a match victory would mean everyone is good to go. This isn’t the case.
A Deathmatch mode was exclusive to the SEGA Genesis. This has the ropes covered in barbed wire. Getting tossed into the razor-sharp ropes will cause them to explode. Fire Pro Wrestling fans well appreciate this mode a lot. Oddly enough you can only play this in Two Player mode, no CPU. There are landmines outside of the ring as well. It’s just a lot of fun. Team Battle Mode is tornado style, meaning all four characters are in the ring at the same time, both men are legal. A pin-fall can happen just-like-that. Impressive that the Slam Masters can keep up with all this speedy action. If you have a multitap, four players can throw down. This is exclusive to the Super Nintendo Version.
It’s too bad there is no other mode for console owners to delve into. A traditional career mode would have been cool. We all know how awesome Haggar is, it would have been cool to get him or others in a story mode. Another gripe, The stages may have a modified ring mat here or there, but areas generally look the same.
With characters having their own theme music, walkout attire/entrances, and such Saturday Night Slam Masters was built for prime time. It’s a shame there was little promotion for this back in the day. Maybe they were overshadowed by the polarizing WWF releases from the same time frame. In my opinion, this is a better grappler than any of those titles. Whether you’re a Fighting game fan, or Wrestling, both groups are taken care of here. If you’re a casual fan of either in-fact, the gameplay should accommodate your particular style. This gem is easy to find on Amazon and other places at reasonable prices. How about a sequel or a re-release Capcom? Throw in Zangief and El Fuerte while we’re at it.
Saturday Night Slam Masters Gets
4 Out of 5
+4 Player fun
-A Big lack of modes
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