Did you know that Saturday Night Slam Masters is part of a series of games? Thanks to the internet, you probably did, assuming you were interested enough to learn about the game. I didn’t know what it was until I started researching it.
This wasn’t a game that I played growing up, and it was a game that I don’t remember hearing anything about. It wasn’t until I saw an AVGN episode that I decided to track down a copy to play it for myself. The game also has an interesting story in the arcades, which I didn’t know about.
Saturday Night Slam Masters is a great hybrid of a beat’em up and a fighting game. It is an easy game to pick up, and it looks great.
TLDR: Great Graphics, Great Gameplay, Wonderful Game.
Saturday Night Slam Masters was released in the arcades in 1993. In Japan, the game was known as Muscle Bomber: The Body Explosion, which sounds amazing and like it could’ve been a sequel to Tetsuo II: Body Hammer.
There was an update to the game in 1993 and a sequel in 1994. The biggest difference is the changes to the rosters. There might have been some alterations to how the characters play, but I couldn’t find that.
In the updated version, Jumbo and The Scorpion were made playable characters in the single-player mode. Previously, they were only playable in the tag team mode. Four characters were added to the roster in the sequel, Ring of Destruction.
Reception of the game was mostly positive. The SNES and Genesis versions of the game were mixed. One review that I found comical was from Next Generation. The reviewer called the Genesis version generic and urged players to get WWF Raw. I’ll save my response for the Sega review.
There is a story for this game. It is in the manual and explains why this wrestling league was set up. It isn’t anything elaborate, and there isn’t a story mode in the game, but it is nice to have something like this.
The story is that CAPCOM thought the wrestling world was stagnant, and they issued a challenge to see who was the strongest. It is a story similar to most fighting games from the 90s.
Eight wrestlers respond, despite there being ten wrestlers on the roster, and they compete for the CAPCOM Wrestling Association Championship. Two of the ten wrestlers aren’t selectable in the game’s single-player mode. The tournament is similar to playing Street Fighter; you travel worldwide, fighting the other wrestlers on the roster.
While the story isn’t anything special, it is more than I expected from an SNES game. It still would’ve been nice if there was a story mode that doesn’t seem to have been a priority for the developers on the SNES.
Saturday Night Slam Masters has great gameplay. It has simple controls, each character feels unique, and it is a fun game to play. This a great example of an arcade wrestling game.
The roster is very interesting! Capcom decided to include Hagar from the Final Fight. Here is the rest of the roster:
- Mike Haggar
- Jumbo Jack (Battle Royal only)
- The Scorpion (Battle Royal only)
- El Stingray
- The Great Oni
- Biff Slamkovich
- King Rasta
- Alexander the Grater
- Titan Tim
There are only two game modes. Both of them are gauntlet matches where you wrestle in different locations around the world. It resembles fighting games like Street Fighter II and Fatal Fury. Capcom incorporated many things from the Final Fight and Street Fighter games into Saturday Night Slam Masters.
There is a one-on-one mode and a tag team mode. The tag team matches are my favorite. These are tornado rules tag matches, meaning all four wrestlers are in the ring. You have to pin or submit both opponents to advance. It is fast-paced and awesome!
The controls are very simple. Like several arcade games, you only need three buttons. Here is how the controller is mapped:
- Y – Attack
- B – Jump
- A – Pin
This is a refreshing control scheme! It is simple and feels like you’re playing a beat’em up arcade game. This is similar to how the game plays. It is like a hybrid of a fighting game and a beat’em up.
There are some finishing moves that you can do. It is awesome that these are in the game! It gives each character a unique feel beyond how they look. I wish more games did this.
Four people can play the game! This was huge, making this a fun party game, assuming you had a multi-tap and three friends. I keep finding more games that you could use the multi-tap with. It is pretty awesome when you come across one.
Overall, I like the gameplay in this game a lot. The controls are easy to learn, and the moves are easy to perform. Each wrestler plays a little differently, and they’re all fun to play.
This is the best-looking wrestling game on the SNES. The sprites are huge and very detailed, the entrances for the wrestlers are excellent, and the action in the ring is awesome. Everything about this game looks great!
The wrestlers have little entrance animations. You get a little laser light show, smoke, and your character walking to the ring in a costume. Some wear jackets, while others wear more elaborate get-ups similar to wrestlers of the 80s and early 90s.
Each wrestler has a unique look. In some ways, they remind me of characters from one of the many fighting games out there, but I think this roster stands out. It might be the addition of Mike Haggar, but I think it is a cool way for Capcom to tie this game into their more successful arcade games.
Overall, this is a beautiful game. The sprite work is awesome, and it looks like it could fit into the Street Fighter or Final Fight games. Each wrestler looks great, and I think the developers drew inspiration from the wrestlers from all over the world.
8.5/10. I like this game more than HammerLock Wrestling. The controls are better than that game, the graphics are much better, and it is more fun. Saturday Night Slam Masters is a wonderful port of an arcade game.
- Pick-up and Play
- Good Gameplay
- Great Graphics
- Only Two Game Modes
- No Tournament Mode
My only problem with this game is the lack of game modes. Everything else is very good! Saturday Night Slam Masters is a great hybrid of wrestling and fighting games.
This is another game that I didn’t know about until I got on the internet. I was introduced to it from an AVGN episode. It was only briefly in the episode, but I was interested to see what was happening with the game.
Playing this game has been a ton of fun. I love playing a good game that I didn’t know much about. I’m starting to see that the wrestling games that didn’t have a license are the better games on the SNES. As far as I know, there is only one more wrestling game on the SNES, and I’m looking forward to it.