Review by Eddy_Hokkaido
"Hardcore Slam Masters Fans need only apply"
First off, let me say that I am a Hardcore Slam Masters fan. My friends and I played the first game in the arcade, picked up the SNES version and a multitap, and we were hooked. So hooked that we played that game continuously for about 3 years. The unofficial sequel Muscle Bomber Duo was great too. Now I've finally gotten play Super Muscle Bomber or Slam Masters II: Ring Of Destruction. Now, I had heard a lot of bad things about the game prior to this. Namely, it doesn't play like the other games, and its essentially Street Fighter with Slam Masters characters. Well, this is somewhat true, but I don't think that really makes this a bad game. In fact, in some ways its better than the original.
A lot of people say the graphics in this game suck. I beg to differ. This game came out about the same time as Super Street Fighter II, and graphically these 2 games are very similar. Bottom Line, back then in 94 these graphics were pretty damn good. The returning character sprites have been tweaked a bit, and some of the backgrounds are just plain awesome. A little culturally stereotypical, but good nonetheless.
Music and Sound: 8
The Music in this game is pretty damn awesome. I loved most of the tracks in the first games, and in this one all of them have been remixed. Granted IMO, some of the remixes aren't as good as the originals, but that doesn't mean their bad. Plus, their are new tracks for the new characters as well, and their all pretty good. Sound effects are pretty much you standard Capcom fighting game smacks and slams, which aren't particularly outstanding, but are good enough to get the point across.
First off, lets be honest. The Slam Masters games have never been the tightest controlling games in the world. The control in these games has always been really loose, and it takes some getting used too. Slam Masters 2 is no exception. The game does have a considerable learning curve, and it takes a while to learn the proper timing for Super Slams. That said, the game plays like a combination of Muscle Bomber Duo and Super Street Fighter 2. Gone are vertical movement, pins, 80% of each characters normal slams, top rope attacks, countouts, and give-ups. Carried over from MBD are the grapple button, dashing, dashing attacks, and the ability to throw your opponent into the ropes. From Street Fighter we get multiple attack buttons(2 punch and 2 kick), a combo system, and more fighting game-esque special moves(projectiles and air counters and such). All, this seems rather thrown together at first, but once you get the hang of it, its not that bad. Super Slams are tricky at first, but once you learn the timing, there pretty easy to whip out no problem. Trust me, learning your characters super slam is crucial to success. But then again, it was the same way in the other games.
Characters and Story: 7
I like these characters a lot, but too most people the majority of them are pretty standard fare. All the original Slam Masters are back, including Gunloc(aka Lucky Colt in Japan), Biff Slamkovich(aka Alexei Zalazof), The Great Oni(aka The Mysterious Budo), Titanic Tim(aka Titan the Great), El Stingray(aka Stinger), Alexander the Grater(aka Sheep the Royal), King Rasta(aka Missing IQ Gomes), Mike Haggar, Scorpian(aka The Astro), and Jumbo Flap Jack(aka Giant Kimala). The new characters are The Wraith, The Black Widow, Rip Saber, and Victor Ortega, and their all great additions to the series IMO. The story is pretty non-existent, your character is fighting his way through the ranks to become CWA/BWA World Heavyweight Champ. Yeah, its not exactly KOF in the storyline department, but then again what else is?
This game can get pretty tough, especially near the end. The computer can be pretty cheap at times, and there seems to be a minute amount of damage scaling as well. But really its nothing really different from Capcom's other fighting games from 94. I mean Super Street Fighter II Turbo had pretty cheap AI too.
Overall this is good followup to Capcom's most underrated series. Its a little hard at first, but once you get the controls down its a pretty enjoyable game. I just wish that some of these characters would pop up elsewhere in the Capcom universe.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/22/01, Updated 05/22/01
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.