Galactic Wrestling featuring Ultimate MUSCLE

The wacky GameCube puroresu game makes it's way to PS2 with some fun results!

The Game
Also known as Ultimate MUSCLE Generations, this game is based on an old Japanese toyline, manga and anime. I actually have one of the action figures somewhere at home and I remember when you could find alot of them in Labuan when I was a kid.
There's no story-mode in this version. You just pick from one of over a dozen available grapplers and rumble your way to unlocking the dozens more hidden characters in the game in a series of different game modes.
But this is NOT a normal wrestling game. You won't see some bald guy come out on an ATV drink a beer and beat up the helpless opponent with one move. No sir, the cast here range from the very bizzare to the insanely weird, like TechTV's all time favourite, DikDik Van Dyke, to a bizzare martial arts expert called RamenMan! The characters in this game are anything BUT normal.

The game plays simple enough, with easy attack, grapple, jump and guard commands. Once you figure out the controls, it can be pretty easy to beat CPU opponents. You can chain together strikes into a grapple move, as well as the standard wrestling attacks like Irish-whip attacks, running attacks and ground holds.
The action is very fast paced, so you'll need quick reflexes to know when to block and attack, as grappling can be slow if you try it by itself out of a combo.
The big difference in this game that sets it apart from other wrestling games are the incredible finishers! Deal out enough damage to your opponent and you charge up your power meter. When it reaches level 3, you can easilly bust out an awesome and sometimes bizarre finisher, like jumping 20ft up in the air for a modified piledriver!
But be warned that it does seem like a button basher at times.

Graphics & Sound
The game looks GREAT! Though not as cell shaded as the GC version, all the characters look cool and are well animated. Too bad the designers didn't take into account the size of the wrestlers when pulling off moves, so your gonna see alot of moves where the wrestlers "go through" each other, but it's no biggie.
It's also good that you can fit four HUGE characters on screen at once and not have any slow down.
The in game music is pretty good, with the wrestler's being VERY vocal throughout the match. The commentators are pretty good too, but they can get redundant with what they say.

Like I mentioned before, this game lacks a story or career mode. Closest thing you can get is the Survival mode where certain characters interact before the match, but it can be pointless since there is no story to follow up. Like when one character says to the other that he owes him for last time, I wonder WHAT last time? What happened? They really need to fill in those holes.
When you win matches, you get gold coins which you can use in the shop to buy pictures of the actual action figures (or statues) the game characters are based on. And there are about a hundred of them!
Plus there are TONS of hidden characters to unlock.

If you like fast past wrestling action, or 3D fighters in general, you seriously might want to check this one out. This is non-conventional pro-wrestling and does a much better job of it than the crappy Backyard Wrestling or Def Jam Vendetta games.

Game Ratings
Graphics - 8
Sound - 7
Gameplay - 7
Lifespan - 7
Overall - 7


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