Released on July 16th, 1993, Zen-Nippon Pro Wrestling was one of a number of All Japan releases on the Super Nintendo. The game has an impressive roster, solid graphics, and unique movesets for each wrestler.

Graphics - All things considered, the graphics are great. They are crisp enough that I could easily recognize the wrestlers just by their appearance, and the moves are hit without any glitches. There is a fixed angle and is of course in 2-D, but compared to some of the other games from the time period the graphics are more then acceptable. Score:  7.0

Controls - The Y, B, and A buttons do strikes (of different powers) while X runs, and to grapple you simply walk into your opponent. Once in the grapple hitting a combination of A, B, or Y with a direction will do a grapple move while X does an Irish whip. When an opponent is down you are able to do a strike, a submission, pick them up, or pin them. With L and R, one does a pin and the other a taunt. Nothing too complicated but nothing special either. Score:  6.0

Single Player Mode - The main mode is a series of singles matches that lead to a title match against the champion. During a match, you have a stamina bar that changes color as you get more hurt. You are able to recover stamina within a color, but once you are hurt enough to go to the next level you can't go back to a previous level. It should be noted that this game is quite hard, as it is timing based and once you are off of Easy the timing is difficult. It isn't impossible though and it makes every victory very satisfying, as it seems like you earned it. Score:  6.5

Other Game Play Options - Beyond the Single Championship mode there is also a Tag Championship, Singles Tournament, Tag Tournament, Team Battle, and Training mode. More then enough options to keep you entertained for a long time.  Score:  8.0

Wrestling Moves - Each wrestler has six grapple moves and three strikes. Some of the grapple moves are the same (lots of DDTs and piledrivers) but each wrestler has a finisher. My complaint here is that you can do your finisher any time... it is just a regular move (usually Down and A). Unique finishers is always a plus, I just wish they meant more. Some wrestlers have top rope moves, but not all of them.   Score:  5.0

Wrestler Options - This is who the game includes: Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Giant Baba, Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, Dan Spivey, Akira Taue, Toshiaki Kawada, Jumbo Tsuruta, The Patriot, Johnny Ace, Kikuchi, Masa Fuchi, Yoshinori Ogawa, and Rusher Kimura. 16 wrestlers is pretty good and none of the big stars of All Japan were left out, and as an added bonus the roster is a little different then the sequel from the same year. Score:  7.5

Edits - No CAW, that really wasn't happening back in the mid-90s outside of the Fire Pro Wrestling games. Score: N/A

Long Term Appeal - A good deal. First, you have sixteen different wrestlers to use that are slightly different enough (even some of the powerbombs are done differently) that they are fun to go through. Then you have the singles wrestling, tag team wrestling, and a captain-style tag tournament that offers a different type of game play as your stamina carries over from one match to another. The Hard setting is pretty damn hard so there isn't an issue of being able to breeze through it. Overall it will keep you entertained for several weeks at least.   Score:  8.0

Final Thoughts - This is a really fun game that is only brought down, oddly enough, by the lack of special finishers. Being able to make the Ace Crusher or Tiger Driver the first move of the match but then end the match with a kick to the stomach just makes the matches seem anti-climatic. Other then that the modes are entertaining and the difficulty is hard enough that it is challenging to beat the opponent. The graphics are more then acceptable and overall I'd give this game a passing grade.

Score:  C

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game reviewed in 2007