Shin Nippon Pro Wrestling: Chou Senshi in Tokyo Dome
A Puroresu Game Review by Kevin Wilson

Platform: Super Famicom
Release Date: September 14th, 1993

Shin Nippon Pro Wrestling: Chou Senshi in Tokyo Dome was released September 14th, 1993 only in Japan. This was the first of three games in the Shin Nippon Trilogy for the Super Famicom.

Graphics - You will just have to believe me that for 1993, these were some damn good graphics. Having graphics where you can really see who the wrestlers are from their appearance alone was actually meaningful and you could tell what moves the wrestlers were doing. The down side is that the game really pushed what the system was capable of doing at the time and it is a bit sluggish. Not nearly as bad as I read online, I think it is possible some ROMs were even more stuttery, but even on the Super Famicom it was a bit jerky and could have been a lot smoother. Score:  4.0

Controls - One button grapples and the other three buttons are strikes. You can also Irish whip once in a grapple, but there is no reversal button for moves. For grapples, no button mashing, it is just based on timing. Running doesn't work very well, sometimes I would hit the button to run and nothing would happen. Just the basic wrestling controls which respond well most of the time.  Score:  4.0

Single Player Mode - The only single player mode is the G1 Climax. There are no neat animations or tournament brackets, you just play nine straight matches. Every wrestler does have their own ending screen if you win, but besides that there is nothing different than if you just did nine straight matches on your own. Pretty disappointing.  Score:  3.0

Other Game Play Options - There aren't any, just the G1 Climax and Exhibition Mode. In Exhibition Mode you can do singles or tag team matches. That is it.  Score:  2.0

Wrestling Moves - I could find three standard grapple moves, one back grapple, four strikes (wrestlers have a special one that can be used when the opponent is groggy), three ground moves, one running move, and two special moves. I read online that there are more grapple moves available but I couldn't find any. Some wrestlers have a diving move, but wrestlers rarely stay down long enough to actually do them. It is a nice touch to have different moves when a wrestler is groggy, but it is still a pretty limited number and there are definitely some moves repeated. A little disappointing but each wrestler having their own special moves is a big plus.  Score:  4.0

Wrestler Options - The following wrestlers are available: Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Hiroshi Hase, Great Muta, Shinya Hashimoto, Super Vader, Riki Choshu, Scott Norton, Tony Halme, Tatsumi Fujinami, and Masahiro Chono. It isn't a bad roster but there are some notable absences including Antonio Inoki, the Road Warriors (tag team champions at the time), or any Jr. Heavyweights besides Liger. There are also no hidden wrestlers or 'bosses'. They got most of the big stars, I just would have swapped out Holme and Norton for wrestlers that were bigger in the promotion at the time.  Score:  4.0

Create-A-Wrestler - None. Score: N/A

Long Term Appeal - This is probably the game's biggest downfall. I enjoyed trying each wrestler to see their finishing moves but once I played a few matches with each wrestler, I was kinda done. The G1 Climax was just a series of matches with the same wrestler but the 'special ending' for each wrestler wasn't special enough to go through all the matches with each one. The action just wasn't varied enough to want to do that many matches, it was a chore by the end. With a few extra modes the enjoyment would have lasted a lot longer, even a tag team storyline would have helped.   Score:  3.0

Final Thoughts - Shin Nippon Pro Wrestling: Chou Senshi in Tokyo Dome was a good starting point for New Japan on the Super Famicom. Even though the graphic lag was not as bad as I was anticipating, it still was a bit distracting at times. The time it took strikes to happen made them almost useless since grappling was so much easier, and the roster was missing a few key wrestlers from New Japan at the time. Each wrestler having multiple finishing moves was nice and I like time-based instead of button mashing, but after playing the game for about an hour I felt I had done about everything I wanted to. The sequels to this game were better so unless you are a completist, you may as well just jump straight to them at this point.

Score:  D+

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game reviewed on 2/13/15