Thursday, October 18, 2012

NESquest #31 - M.U.S.C.L.E.

(M.U.S.C.L.E., October 1986, Bandai)

So far, as it pertains to the first wave of third party offerings, Bandai has shocked me twice. Once with the average, which is of course better than shitty Chubby Cherub and the next being the hidden gem of Ninja Kid. Today's venture into the quest takes us into the second wrestling game to be released that fateful day that the third party doors were blown open, Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere or as it's commonly called, M.U.S.C.L.E!

Easily in my top 5 toys from my youth. I would've done some cuh-razzzzy shit for a pack of these I tell ya.

As a younger lad, I can safely say I fucking loved M.U.S.C.L.E. As a hardcore wrestling nutball even then, anything featuring anyone who's goal in life was pinning everyone he saw was gold to me. They presented a nice alternative to the WWF figures at the time, which were so goddamned cumbersome and heavy that you could probably kill an irate bear with them. These were tiny pink (later colored) intergalactic wrestlers who came many to a pack and even had it's own bitchin' belt container to hold your finds in. What I didn't know at the time was that they were based off of a Japanese series named Kinnikuman. Why they didn't dub the cartoon like they did everything else and port it here is beyond me, as it just might have been a hit. I'd bet the farm that wacky wrestlers that look like either a pissed off pyramid or a happy peanut would've gone over huge with the 80's kiddos. Be that as it may, Kinnikuman is still alive and well overseas and the story is still ongoing with an unbelievable sense of continuity for the amount of episodes I'm told.

Can you feel the realism? CAN YOU???

Describing how worthless this game is seems like such a daunting task that the only way I can properly do it justice is to lose my fucking marbles and give my opinion in rhyme:

Translation: Time to bust a freestyle bee-yotch!

The gameplay of M.U.S.C.L.E. blitzes me with cold shivers
There isn't this much useless plastic in the face of Joan Rivers
Tag Team Wrestling may blow hippos, but this is about on par
I could bang my ballbag against the controller and get just as far
Pushing B throws a punch that refuses to hit even once
A causes your wrestlers to leap right past each other like moronic cunts
Is there some strategy somewhere in this disaster I missed?
Or just wait for a random power-up so I can miss it and get pissed?
Oh, if only there was something worthwhile here to shill
But once the power is turned on, it's straight the fuck downhill
Programmers had the sack to give three different rings
Changing the color of the mat won't stop this debacle from happening
So all in all where does M.U.S.C.L.E. truly rank?
I'd rather stick my dick in fresh blood and hop in a shark tank

....yes....a shark tank

2/10 Don't even try it. Don't "game chase" it. Don't buy it. Don't download it. Don't waste the finger energy it would require to hit start. Seriously, if you want to try something new and feel the need to torture yourself, then eat a few tacos laced with shaved glass and wait a few hours. Even that sounds more appealing than another minute of my life spent trying to find words to describe this fucking thing. God knows, I've spent long enough already. It had sequels, making this a rare occasion where I'm going to forego the history and future titles and try and forget any memory of having played this in the first place. You're on your own kids!

I don't really care if the game tarnished your legacy, just PLEASE COME BACK!!!


  1. Haha!!! Great flow. I don't think I ever knew what the fuck M.U.S.C.L.E stood for! Captivating read despite the poor source material to work with. Sometimes I think crapiness inspires better ranting.

  2. Hahah. I never did play this game, but I DO recall those goofy little pink eraser-looking dudes that my younger cousin used to collect. :)

  3. Yes, this is a horrible game. So much wasted potential...

    And it's kind of funny you decided to review this one. Because one of my friends and I traded some action figures and I got 3 of these guys as part of the trade(which now brings me to 8 or 9 total). I just wrote a post about them last night, if you want to check it out.

  4. Man, I got this for Christmas in 1988, along with Tecmo Bowl and Predator. 33% rate of not sucking.

  5. Never knew what M.U.S.C.L.E. stood for... Even the good NES wrestling are kinda crappy though, there's just some genres where 8 bits and 2 buttons aren't enough, and wrestling games are one of them.

  6. You rhymed "once" and "cunts"..
    I heart your poetry.
    You're my Keats.

  7. Hence Mario, Toad, and Luigi,
    Away with old Atari and E.T.,
    Too aged ye are for my sport;
    There's a system brighter and clearer.
    Instead of a console that's dumber,
    My NES overbrims a whole summer;
    My head is the sky,
    And I get a gleam at my eye,
    Till I feel in the brain
    An 8-bit pain...

    ...Keats, Remixed just for you! =D

  8. I loved this game. I was awesome at it. Every wrestler fought the same, but sometimes had one different move. BUT they had _finishers_ and they were pulled off with special-move-like button and d-pad combinations.

    Also, a soecial glowing orb would grant mother blasting special powers, speed and durability.

  9. Great review, Mike. By the way, I need to point out one things you forgot to mention about the game - the roster of characters and their finishers:

    Finisher: Kinniku Driver

    Finisher: Bulldog Headlock

    Finisher: Leg Lariat

    Robin Mask
    Finisher: Tower Bridge

    Finisher: Hurricane Mixer

    Finisher: Bear Claw

    Finisher: Ashura Buster

    Brocken Jr. (Japanese version only)
    Finisher: Nazi Gas Attack

    Geronimo (American version only)
    Finisher: Apache War Cry

    On a side note, while this game and the toys were brought to America, I would like to guess that at the time, there were probably plans to bring the anime and manga over as well.

    However, the Kinnikuman anime had so much content (massive amounts of violence and blood, Kinnikuman being a perverted slob armed with so much bathroom humour, and Brockenman and his son Brocken Jr. both dressed as Nazi's, thus Brocken Jr. was replaced by Geronimo in the U.S. release of the M.U.S.C.L.E. game) that was too explicit for 1980's American children's TV (in which G.I. Joe was forced to use laser guns), and would've had to have been heavily censored.

    Besides, anime wasn't as popular in America in the 80's as it is today, due to Harmony Gold and World Events Productions being the only anime distributors at the time. Yeah, you had Voltron, Battle of the Planets, Robotech (which is just three unrelated shows with similar art styles combined into one show), and Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, but those were all heavily censored for English-speaking audiences, which would've been the same fate for the Kinnikuman anime if it was brought over to the USA.

    As for the manga, its market was non-existant too. Sure there was Barefoot Gen, Golgo 13, and Lone Wolf & Cub, but if the Kinnikuman manga was going to be released in the USA, then it too would require heavy censorship like all those other manga's I mentioned above, since what's intended for kids in Japan is MUCH different than what's intended for kids in other countries.

    Fist of the North Star? Meant for kids.

    Jojo's Bizarre Adventure? Meant for kids.

    Do you understand what I'm getting at? Anyways Mike, keep up the good work.