Let me tell you a story about a little game called Lucha Fury. This miserable XBLA app was so apocalyptically terrible that it only survived a few weeks before being de-listed; so bad that it was stricken from our records, the marketplace and our memories.
But there's a happy ending to this story. Candybox Studios have revamped and refined the concept and characters into a new iOS app... and it's not bad at all.
After a diabolical wrestling promoter threatens to steal the world's supply of a chicken flavoured drink - yes, that really is the premise - four brave Luchas decide to take action. Throughout Street Wrestler's 31 levels, you'll punch, slide and kick through legions of goons in good old fashioned brawling form.
Imagine Final Fight... set in Mexico. El Haggar, anyone?
Street Wrestler looks fantastic. So good, in fact, that I need to hammer the fact home before we get down to business. Your brutal beat'em up journey is presented in crisp cell-shading, which looks equally impressing on an iPhone or iPad. A colourful art style and imaginative character design - Mexican Wrestling is a flamboyant theme to say the least - creates a vibrant and exciting visual experience that stands proud from the App Store crowd.
Combat is functional if a little on the basic side. Each wrestler can chain punches into combos, slide and grab - it's simple without ever threatening to become particularly tactical. It works, and it's fun in short doses, but loose collision detection leaves much to be desired and results in plenty of unnecessary annoyance. Note that iPhone owners will discover that the three context-sensitive attack buttons take up a huge amount of screen space.
StreetWrestler screams for multiplayer. Any Final Fight or Streets Of Rage will have fond memories of teaming up and throwing down with a mate or two, and it's a serious missed opportunity. Still, the 31 levels provide plenty of raw value and the visuals are arguably worth the price of admission by themselves.
- Outstanding cell-shaded graphics
- Plenty of levels
- Meaty combat...
- ... that features weak collision detection and major repetition
- Multiplayer would have been nice
- iPhone players, beware the massive icons of doom
Summary: Street Wrestling makes up for Lucha Fury's sins with a gorgeous if simple brawler.
Developer: Candybox Studio
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
Price: £1.99 - App Store