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OC HIGH: STUDENT NEWS AND VIEWS : Saturday Night Slam Masters; For Super Nintendo by Capcom, $59.95

August 19, 1994|WILLIAM SCHIFFMANN | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Some folks consider pro wrestling to be the ultimate in athletic competition.

Others--make that almost everyone on the planet--know just about everything inside the ring is staged and rarely has any relation to real mayhem.

C'mon. How can you take a sport seriously when the competitors dress like circus clowns? How can you believe it's a fair fight when the rules are broken every second and nobody even gets yelled at? Try to picture the scene if football or basketball players could ignore the rules. You'd see some REAL mayhem then.

And that leads us to today's topic: Saturday Night Slam Masters.

There are other wrestling carts on the market, but if rasslin' is your cup of tea, 24-meg SNSM body-slams the competition and gets a pin in 10 seconds flat.

The game's got to be a winner with such stars as Biff Slamkovich, the Rockin' Russkie; Gunloc, nicknamed the Loose Cannon; Great Oni, a former Kabuki actor; and 432-pound Titanic Tim, known to his close friends as the Battle Axe.

There are actually eight of these bruisers, each with his own special melt-the-controller moves.

Take Biff, for instance. To put his Super Slam into action, you have to "grab" your opponent, then blend up, up-right and right on the controller while hitting the attack button.

Sense a bit of Street Fighter II here? Well, Capcom designed that incredibly successful fighting cart, and you'll see some of the same controller sequences to call up those moves that you first tried to master with SFII.

And all your favorite pro wrestling "holds" are right there on your TV: jumping on your opponent from the corner post, stomping him when he's down, crunching his spine like a pretzel, even the ever-popular punch in the nose. You can even take the fight outside the ring, where the rules really don't apply.

Slam Masters takes you on a trip around the world; at each stop, the wrestler you have chosen takes on one of the seven remaining brutes.

There are several ways to play. You can match your skills against the CPU, or you can battle with a friend. You can fight one-on-one or you can select Team Battle Royal, in which each team has two Slam Masters instead of one. If you can round up three friends and a multi-player adapter, all of you can pummel away to your heart's content.

And there are several ways to win. You can pin your opponent, you can force him to yell "uncle" with a give-up hold, or you can keep him out of the ring for 20 seconds.

Options include an eight-stage difficulty range, a three-minute time limit or unlimited time and the usual adjustable controller settings. Controls work well; the graphics are solid and colorful; the sound is minimal but fun, especially the roaring crowd noises, and there's enough going on to keep you entertained for a long time.

If you're a pro wrestling fan--and you know who you are--this is about as close as you'll get to climbing into the ring without being dumb enough to actually do it.

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