In 1988 Aklaim presented the first ever wrestling video game that featured real superstars, not phony ones like all previous wrestling games had featured. This 8-bit WWF game features six of the top stars of the time: Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Andre The Giant, Million Dollar Man, Honky Tonk Man and Bam Bam Bigalow. The ring is a front view with no front ropes to make it seem as if you're appearing in the ring. The moves are nothing more than punches, kicks, drop kicks, head butts, body slams and a off the top move (which Andre can't do). One neat thing is that Hogan is the only character who is able to slam the Giant. There are only one-on-one matches and a tournament mode that allows for all six wrestlers to be in an elimination one-on-one match. There is not much more that can be said about this classic WWF game.
The game play is simple and easy to learn with the directional pad moving you around the ring and the A & B button doing your kicking and punching. Start pauses your game. The bad thing is that sometimes when you're kicking or punching, your hit will go through your opponent and that can drive you crazy. The only other complaint is the fact that it's hard to pin from time to time which can be frustrating when your opponent is on the mat like a dead fish and you can't get the win! Over all, it does handle well.
What can be said about the graphics? They are what you would expect from a classic NES game. The wrestlers sort of look like who they are supposed to be. One puzzling factor is why Hulk Hogan is in red tights and boots and not his trademark yellow. And how come the Million Dollar Man looks like a mullet rocker from a Boston cover band? Then again, it is 8-Bit. I would say on the NES report card, this one is a good old C and that's not a bad thing for this good classic wrestling game.
The sound is pretty normal for 8-bit NES with loud thuds and splats for the punches and kicks. The music is midi versions of the wrestlers' themes. Nothing can hype you up more than hearing "Real American" in 8-Bit glory as you body-slam Andre Wrestlemania III style.
While it is nowhere near the league of THQ's WWE games, this game is a nice throwback to a time where games were not all about button combos but about simple punches and kicks. I can remember playing this game for hours against my brother or sitting in my cousin's room for what seemed like forever playing this classic game. I can't really recommend this game to anyone, because after over 20 years have past, time was not kind to this game. What use to be a fun game now turns into a bore minutes into game play. I would say if you love the WWF or classic games that cost little to nothing, this game is for you.