It’s a surprise to find that the first DS wrestling game isn’t based on the WWE knuckleheads, but instead a tardy Jack Black movie tie-in. It’s somewhat less of a surprise to find out that it isn’t very good.
It’s more than satisfactory if you look at it as a piece of merchandise though, including FMV clips, still photos and stylish presentation. Developers Budcat have gone for a unique visual approach, with the sprites resembling paper cut-outs, while during the cut-scenes heads bobble around in an amusing manner. Structurally it’s more than passable as well: you’re able to â€˜free roam’ around a map, choosing whether to play optional mini-games, watch cut-scenes or get stuck in with the grappling.
The actual core of the game is the wrestling, and it isn’t all that bad either – the controls are responsive, there are plenty of moves (because everybody is made of paper you can pull their limbs off, in a non-violent manner) and the camera constantly changes to give you the best view. Once wild man Steve is befriended he becomes a tag-team buddy, and later four-men rumbles appear.
The problem is that it’s all over in minutes. Literally – it took us 21 minutes to play through according to our save file, and that included playing the eight mini-games at least twice each. You might find yourself returning to try to beat the high scores on the mini-games – the one where you have to jump over bulls before they gorge you is quite addictive – but how long are they going to keep you quiet for? Even big Nacho Libre fans – if there are such people – would be better off watching the movie again.