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2D Sumo Wrestling Games

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Page 1:
The Grand Sumo
Shusse Ōzumō
Tsuppari Ōzumō
Terao no Dosukoi Ōzumō

Page 2:
SD Battle Ōzumō
Chiyonofuji no Ōichō
Ōzumō Spirit
Super Ōzumō

Page 3:
Tsuppari: Heiseiban
Tsuppari: Risshinshusse Hen
Wakataka Ōzumō
Aa Harimanada

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Tsuppari Ōzumō: Heiseiban (つっぱり大相撲 平成版) - PC Engine (1993)

Cover

The second game in the Tsuppari series was actually developed by Naxat Soft rather Tecmo. Because of this, the game's mechanics are slightly different from the other two. The moves are executed the same way, but here there are two meters. The top meter is health. The second meter complicates things. It constantly moves higher and lower, and it seems to affect when moves can be executed, but it's hard to tell how to judge it. At its lowest, there is a frowning face beside it that most likely means that is a bad time to execute a move. At its highest, there is a smiling face beside it which most likely means that is a good time to execute a move. However, the opponent's meter does not move at the exact same pace. It seems that how the two wrestler's meters stand relative to each other has an effect on when moves can be executed. But without knowledge of the Japanese manual it's impossible to figure out how it works exactly and to use moves with 100% reliability. However, the game is still playable, because if you attack relentlessly you should achieve moderately successful results and moves should work often enough.

Tsuppari Ōzumō: Heiseiban (PC Engine)

The aesthetics hold up to the series' high quality standard. The rabbit ref has been removed, but there is a "normal" ref on screen constantly during matches. The animations for a wrestler being defeated are probably even more over the top than the two other installments. There are also tournament intro screens, which look fine. The audio is not as good as the others, but it is still pleasant to listen to. There is a two-player mode in this game as well. Despite the aforementioned quirks, it's all pretty enjoyable.

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Tsuppari Ōzumō: Heiseiban (PC Engine)

Tsuppari Ōzumō: Heiseiban (PC Engine)

Tsuppari Ōzumō: Heiseiban (PC Engine)


Tsuppari Ōzumō: Risshinshusse Hen (つっぱり大相撲 立身出世篇) - Super Famicom (1993)

Cover

Tecmo perfected their sumo wrestling series on the Super Famicom with the 1993 release of the sequel to Tsuppari Ōzumō. At the start screen the first option begins a tournament. The game features a tournament mode, as well as a elimination match against the computer. When the health meter is depleted in the latter, you get to select a wrestler from your pre-chosen stock of five and then start where you left off against whoever defeated your prior wrestler. This mode has three levels to compete in. The beach level looks best, but the level on top of the Statue of Liberty, which brings Super Dodgeball to mind, allows you to throw the other wrestler off!

After choosing to begin a tournament, you select a character from the four available and name him. The gameplay from the original is more or less retained. However, the health meter no longer regenerates. After a wrestler's health meter is depleted, they might be eliminated if they are hit again. Very simple, very easy to learn, very approachable. Like in the original, growth of character statistics is automated, and a skill can be chosen to improve after each tournament. The only difference is that movement is restricted to one plane. This is no big deal, as movement up or down on the screen in the original did not really add much.

Audio and graphics are fantastic, and appropriate for both the theme and humor of the game. The novelty of seeing your opponent, or more likely your own character, sent flying into the air to fall back to the ring and be pancaked against the ground might not last long, but it's still fun to watch. The rabbit referee from the first game makes his return as well. The craziest part, however, is when a wrestler yanks off the other's belt, leaving him bare-ass naked!

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Tsuppari Ōzumō: Risshinshusse Hen (Famicom)

Tsuppari Ōzumō: Risshinshusse Hen (Famicom)

Tsuppari Ōzumō: Risshinshusse Hen (Famicom)



Aa Harimanada (ああ播磨灘) - Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Gear (1993)

Mega Drive Cover

Game Gear Cover

Game Boy Cover

Aa Harimanada is based off of a famous manga/anime, with three different versions on three different platforms. The Mega Drive game is, frankly, horrible. While retaining some mechanics from other sumo wrestling games, it plays very much like a fighting game. You have a health bar, moves are executed by simply pushing attack, and tapping Up makes the wrestler jump. The grapple system is pretty much identical to most other sumo games, and wins are still achieved by forcing the opponent out of the ring or knocking him down. This combination of sumo wrestling and fighting game is certainly a great idea, but just not very well executed here. It's far too difficult to get anything to happen during a grapple, and opponents get major league SNK Boss Syndrome (pro tip: that means it's really, really hard) as early as the second match, making any real progress nigh impossible. Boring music and ugly graphics are not making this game any better.

Aa Harimanada (Mega Drive)

What is most surprising is that the Game Boy version plays completely differently from its 16-bit counterpart. Whereas the Genesis game is fighter flavored, on Nintendo's handheld it's a standard sumo wrestling game. Gameplay is conventional for the genre. However, the responsiveness of he controls is a disaster and its boring gameplay system make its resemblance to its more successful contemporaries superficial at best. Combined with horrible presentation, this is a forgettable game, and should be avoided.

Just like the versions for Genesis and Game Boy are actually different games, so is the installment for Game Gear. It's actually better than the other two, but that's strictly relative. It controls pretty much like the Mega Drive game, with Up executing jumps and the two buttons executing attacks. There is still no meter system and the health bar is still there, but more time is spent in grapples and it seems less like a fighter, except matches really consist of little other than button mashing. The controls are a bit more responsive and the game physics are not quite as horrible, but they still suck on every level. Aa Harimanada is just as ugly as the Game Boy and Genesis games, but the presentation has been upped ever so slightly by displaying winning moves via anime style sequences. This is hardly a reason to play any game, so you are probably best off avoiding this thing just like the other two.

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  • Megasoft (Mega Drive)
    Atelier Double (Game Boy)

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  • Sega
    ASK (Game Boy)

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Aa Harimanada (Mega Drive)

Aa Harimanada (Mega Drive)

Aa Harimanada (Mega Drive)


Comparison Screenshots


Waka Taka Ōzumō: Yume no Kyōdai Taiketsu (若貴大相撲 夢の兄弟対決) - Super Famicom (1993)

Cover

Waka Taka Ōzumō: Yume no Kyōdai Taiketsu is very different from all the other games. Try to imagine a tile based sumo wrestling game. Weird idea, right? That's pretty much what this game is like; success is completely based on accuracy of timing.

At the beginning of a match you may notice three tiles above the wrestler. The one on the left performs moves that knock down the opponent. The one on the top executes a slap or a throw. The one on the left is for moves that drive the opponent back - these are especially good if you have him near the edge. There is a Japanese symbol on the top of each tile that tells the name of the move, and a number on the bottom, in Japanese symbols, that tells the strength of the move. The available moves become more powerful after winning records are posted in tournaments.

The game is played by choosing one of the three tiles within about a second. After choosing a tile a paddle will rise up out of nowhere in front of the wrestlers. When it gets to roughly where it would be over lapping the guy in the background, as is seen below...

...you tap any of the face buttons on the controller. Whoever is closer to the exact timing without being too early gets to perform the selected move. Real simple, and quite a novel system. The paddle will change after a certain rank is reached and again after Ozeki is reached. These are slightly different looking so it takes a few tries to be able to eye the timing as well, but it doesn't take too much to get into.

The game does have a meter at the bottom of the screen for each wrestler, which is just a health meter this time around; very stark for a sumo game. Lastly, like in Super Ōzumō: Nessen Ōichiban, characters always stay on the same side of the ring. Both 1 and 2 player mode play exactly the same, except that the matches in 2 player mode are standalone and the matches in 1 player mode are part of tournaments against the computer. There is also a tutorial that explains the timing and whatever else.

The music here is yet more traditional Japanese fare but sets a good pace and mood for the game. Sound effects couldn't be better; there are crowd noises resembling those that would be heard in a real tournament and generic smacking noises when the fighters slap each other or fall to the ground, and an over the top machine gunning noise when one guy is slapping the hell out of the other.

Effort was definitely put into making this game visually appealing. The fighters have a stylized look that really gives the game something relatively few games in this genre have: a visual identity. It's nice to see that different character portraits are drawn for each opponent and how each is given an animation when they win or lose. Particularly impressive are the tournament intro screens, which are simply beautiful pieces of sprite art. Animations are minimal, but well applied, like how individual spectators will hoot and holler after a match ends. Benefiting the aesthetic of the game and the general visual appeal, there are digitized photos of parts of an arena set up for a tournament and of traditional Japanese paintings depicting sumo wrestling.

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  • Tomcat System

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Waka Taka Ōzumō (Super Famicom)

Waka Taka Ōzumō (Super Famicom)

Waka Taka Ōzumō (Super Famicom)

Waka Taka Ōzumō (Super Famicom)



Related Articles


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
The Grand Sumo
Shusse Ōzumō
Tsuppari Ōzumō
Terao no Dosukoi Ōzumō

Page 2:
SD Battle Ōzumō
Chiyonofuji no Ōichō
Ōzumō Spirit
Super Ōzumō

Page 3:
Tsuppari: Heiseiban
Tsuppari: Risshinshusse Hen
Wakataka Ōzumō
Aa Harimanada

Back to the Index