|Composer(s)||Shinobu Ogawa |
Beast Wrestler (ビースト・ウォリアーズ, "Beast Warriors") is a 1991 fighting video game that was released exclusively for the Mega Drive in Japan and North America. The game's cover art was created by Yasushi Nirasawa, in his position as a model-builder for Hobby Japan magazine.
This game is a one-on-one fighting game that allows beasts and dragons to battle each other using an isometric view. Despite the fantastical appearance of the beasts, the video game takes place in a science fiction futuristic environment. The Japanese version of the instruction manual sets it in the year 2020.
The two basic attacks are a punch and a tail attack. Throws and choking moves can also be made at appropriate spots in the match. Once all three icons are red, the player automatically loses the fight. The arena is surrounded by an electric fence that can either be used for an attack or as a way to initiate a jump attack. It very difficult to pull off a close attack from behind. However, these attacks have the distinct advantage of being irreversible by the opponent. Regular matches are like exhibitions while tournaments are more like role-playing games where the player's chosen beast/dragon is weak and has to power up by defeating stronger foes. A store can be visited which provided strength-increasing food between fights in the arena. Diskettes containing the vital statistics of the different monsters, dragons, and miscellaneous beasts can also be found. They provide vital knowledge needed to defeat future opponents.
During certain parts of the game, the DNA of the beast can be spliced with defeated monsters to learn new abilities for future fights.
Gaming website Sega-16 gave the game a 30% rating, saying it has "bad hit detection", but praising the sound and music. Another gaming website, Allgame, gave Beast Wrestler a score of 2 stars out of a possible 5.
Entertainment Weekly gave the game a C+ and wrote that "An electrified, three-dimensional playing field, appropriately gruesome creatures (which look like something out of a David Cronenberg movie), and a thumb-busting array of holds and throws don't quite make up for Beast Wrestler's tedious game play. When the monsters tangle it up in the ring, you're reminded of those intricate mating rituals Marlin Perkins used to narrate on Wild Kingdom."