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Toukon Retsuden 4
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  1-4
Developer:  Tomy
Publisher:  Tomy
Ratings:  Rating Pending
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://
Well, first off let me say that New Japan is probably my favorite wrasslin' game of all time. I've played every version since the first one for the PSX. I am also a HUGE Japanese Wrestling fan. So for me it is a pure joy to be abe to play all my favorite Japanese wrestlers. This is probably why I love the game so much. BUT... NJPW4 suffers the same flaws that NJPW3 had. Most of the wrasslers are litte more than pallette swaps. There is a large variety of moves but, for instance, if you fight with The Great Sasuke (an AMAZING wrestler) vs. this guy who looks like the Ultimo Dragon, you basically get a mirror match move for move. You would figure that with a 128 bit system you could make each wrestler's moves distinct. It seems that Yuke's settled for the same old same old, and really focused on the graphics, which are

The controls are just the same as all the other NJPW games in the series. You have punch/kick moves, submission/quick moves, and powermoves. The moves follow a rock-paper-scissors type order. Submission moves beat Punches, Punches beat Power moves, and Power moves beat Submission moves. Simple and easy to remeber, unfortunately at times it seems too simple. For instance, in general each button has 2 moves, one with a press of the d-pad and one without. You also get different moves depending where you are in relation to your opponent. If your behind your foe, if he's on the ground or outside of the ring etc. So you get a wide variety, but after a few matches, you get tired of seeing the same ones over and over.

So why is this still my favorite wrestling game inspite of the lack of control options? Well lemme tell ya something little man! The graphics are out of control! With the exception of the wrestlers intros, where every body enters the ring looking like they're reCovering from broken legs, they actually look exactly like their real world counterparts. Nice extra touches, like the faces showing pain when they get the smackdown. Lots and lots of different matches. Singles, Tag, the Burning Spirits challenge (look for G1 in the menu options), which unlocks the secret characters,and 4 man Battle royale. Elimination tournaments (think: King of the Ring) ranging from 4 man to everyone in the whole dang league. And most of all, the wrestlers themselves. If your not a fan of Japanese Wrestling and don't care who the wrestlers are get Giant Gram, it's ALOT deeper. But if you are a fan lemme tell ya, they got EVERYONE. The Great Sasuke, Jyushin "Thunder" Liger, Chono, Don Fry, EVEN ATSYUSHI ONITA! No Barbwire Cage matches that I've seen, but that's never been New Japan's thing. There's an option to watch FMV's of the wrestlers doing their schtick that includes Lady Wrestlers (secret characters maybe?).

Over all New Japan is no Giant Gram. If you want deep gameplay pick up G.G. The graphics are better, the gameplay is faster, and the overall product is alot more polished. Giant Gram is THE best wrestling game for Dreamcast hands down.

But if you like New Japan Wrestling in real life, or you wanna see what all the hype is about with Japanese Wrestling games. Or if you just want a wrestling game that's easy to play, that doesn't involve Mortal Kombat like button combos, and has chairs and blood, Toukon Retsuden is the ticket!

John Cooper

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