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Street Wrestler Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on January 11, 2012


Street Wrestler
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Beautiful lucha libre inspired world; colorful, dynamic and energetic.
  • Stages broken up in to bite-sized chunks.

CONS

  • Consistently delayed controls.
  • Repetitive and uninspired combat.
  • Character progression not unified to artificially pad content/replay 'value'.
  • Multiplayer absent; though in fairness Lucha Fury did only support local co-op.

VERDICT

Street Wrestler for iOS is ultimately a repackage of Lucha Fury for the XBLA and despite an opportunity to fix-up its problems, the visually vibrant game fails to excite once again.


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Well this is awkward - after failing to excite on the XBLA, Lucha Fury by Punchers Impact promptly disappeared from the gaming consciousness and now, a little over six months later, Chillingo and Candybox Studios have snuck the game on to the App Store under the rather generic name of Street Wrestler. Unfortunately, despite taking the time to spruce up certain aspects of the game, much of what made the original so unpalatable as a side-scrolling beat'em-up has survived the trip, making it a hard game to enjoy.

Before we dive in to what doesn't work, lets highlight what does: the artistic style. The execution of Street Wrestler's fantastically colorful lucha libre inspired world is spot-on, with everything from simple henchman to machines sporting masks and exuding vibrant energy.

However, what's far less exciting is the combat and controls, two aspects that are paramount for the success of any beat'em-up. Everything from movement, to attacking, jumping and pulling off various basic maneuvers is offset by a frustrating delay that, while manageable, makes the game feel sluggish even when using the speediest of the available characters. This also affects the game's all-purpose button (used for grabbing items, people or performing slides and jumps off platforms), meaning it's all too easy to find yourself sliding instead of following up on a knock-down or worst of all, sliding in the wrong direction as your character is still considered to be 'turning around' mid-animation.

One extremely odd decision on the part of the developer was the separation of the characters and the progress made throughout the game - clearing a stage with one character doesn't do so for another, artificially 'bulking up' the content and preventing players from experimenting with alternate characters should they fail a particular level. On the bright-side the shortened stages have been re-designed for the iOS release, meaning you won't suffer too badly should you want to retry the level again later.

Lastly, by now it's bordering on a cardinal sin to allow action to occur underneath a player's thumb and sadly given the nature of most fights you do just that thanks to the sprawling button layout and sluggish movement controls.

Street Wrestler is ultimately a text-book case of style over substance - the world, its visual appeal and concept are top-notch, but when paired with its sluggish and monotonous gameplay you can't help but feel as though all that effort has been thrown out the window.

Screenshots

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