Loosely based on the arcade game of the same name, WWF
Superstars was one of those early "wow' titles for the Game Boy, sporting huge
detailed sprites that surpassed even NES wrestling titles. It doesn't particularly offer
much in the realm of gameplay, there's very little to do, and that shuts the game out
early. There's some mild fun to be had, probably more in multi-player, but there's little
reason to stick around.
The meager roster pulls
five of the hottest superstars from the WWF in 1991 for one-on-one bouts. Each win pulls
players closer to the title. They'll do that by using basic wrestling moves, though
punches will win almost everything.
There are no special moves, their inclusion still a few years off for WWF games. There's
obviously been quite a bit borrowed from the Double Dragon games, including beat-em-up
mechanics that finish with, what the instruction book considers, special moves. These
basic combos offer nothing resembling pro wrestling.
Grappling requires nothing but a press of the B button. Depending on the position of your
opponent, a small array of moves can be performed. There's no skill involved (and even
less than that in single player), just timing. The only other move available is to toss
your opponent outside the ring, and you can only do that once per match.
These accurately done sprites feature nice animation, and
obviously taxed the hardware enough to eliminate any AI. It's glitchy, so much so that you
may have to reset the console when the other pugilist refuses to pin. They'll drop an
elbow right at the moment you'll have a chance to recover, keeping you down. There's no
way out but to restart.
The stirring little action theme that runs under the action is surprisingly good, perfect
for the action, but maybe not for a pro wrestling game. It accompanies a lot of the game,
including the fun trash talk segments before each match. All the wrestlers musical themes
have been included too, so you can always get your fix of Hulk Hogan's Real American
before getting in the ring.
Probably the most surprising thing about this title is that Rare developed it. Yes, the
same company Microsoft shelled out millions for. They would develop a string of primitive
wrestling titles for LJN, starting with the first Wrestlemania on the NES. If you
want some WWF action on the go though, pick up the much better sequel to this, which would
mimic the tolerable engine created for the SNES series.