Review by LCox

Reviewed: 06/28/01 | Updated: 06/28/01

Punch Out meets Saturday Night at the Bar

It's no secret that arm wrestling games are rare. And with Arm Wrestling, Nintendo has established a precedent that not many others have followed. Released in the mid 1980s, Arm Wrestling is a perfect blend of simulation and arcade fun, that will keep even the hardcore gamer coming back again and again.

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Gameplay: The game itself is mainly a mixture of Punch-Out and real arm wrestling. Like Punch Out, a large element of gameplay relies on learning your opponent's style and working it to your advantage. For example, fighters will give visual cues when they are about to try a big move, and the player must learn to exploit this. In contrast, the game behaves much like actual arm wrestling. A few plays feels like a workout on the arms, much like the true sport. This element of realism is stunning, and makes the game that much more believable, while retaining the wacky atmosphere. 8/10

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Graphics: The game in itself derives strongly from Punch Out in this respect. The animations, 2 screen system, and overall look and feel of the game is akin to Punch Out. I personally think, however, that the comical look is even more exaggerated and downright hillarious in this game. The characters and animations are extremely goofy, and had me playing over and over again just to see the animations of the next opponent. 9/10

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Sound: Again, the sound of the game is very much like the Punch-Out series. The digitized voices and sound effects are entertaining, if repetitive. The game lacks good music, which would have made it much more fun. 6/10

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Controls: Arm Wrestling is a true exercise for the biceps. The main controls consist of pressing left as fast as you can, while watching your opponent. When he tries something, you can press right to throw him off and collect bonuses. The feel and dynamics of the control system is almost analogous to the real sport of Arm Wrestling, and after a few games, one's arms will feel like a real workout has taken place. 8/10

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Replay Value: Stunning. This game will keep you coming back again and again. The feeling of finally uncovering the next opponent is great. There are also some very entertaining twists in the story, which is rare for this type of game. The actual feeling of Arm Wrestling is more than enough to attract vast amounts of time to it. A 2 player option would have made the game simply amazing. Alas, it was not included. Despite this, Arm Wrestling is a true game to play over and over. Well worth the quarters you put into the machine. 9/10

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So, in conclusion, Arm Wrestling is worth your time. Although it seems to have been overlooked in the eyes of time, in favor of its very similar brothers Punch Out and Super Punch Out, I feel this game to be superior. Check it out at your favorite arcade, and bring money. Lots of it.

Rating: 8

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