Ultimate Muscle - GameCube Review

August 28, 2003

This is not going to be all that in depth of a review. Which is fitting because Ultimate Muscle is not that deep of a game. The Shallowest game made by AKI that I have ever played. Here's a f'rinstance. In Def Jam (not that it's the deepest of AKI games, but it is the most recent) you can whip out at least 30 grappling moves from a standing position. In this game you have around 4. Normal grapple, dash n' grapple, knock up to grapple and hit to ropes. That about it. Some characters have moves that incorporate the turnbuckles or the ropes. And that about it. Some would say AKI has pared down the fighting to its base elements. Not me. I'd say they dumbed it down. Oh yeah, they also added a jump button. Which adds surprisingly little.

The graphics are passable. Nothing great. Nothing all that crap. Everything is toon shaded, to make it look like the cartoon, don'ch'know. The moves look good. The special moves look really good. they're the whole reason to play this game. Very outlandish and painful looking. The regular moves are recycled from every other AKI game out there. Which is a pretty cheap cop out in my opinion. The cinemas in the story mode are laughable. Your character stands and breathes as the voice actor reads his lines. Occasionally your character will make either a "surprised" or "shaking fist in anger" animation and then crappily cut back to the normal breathing animation. Riveting stuff. But, just because they deserve mentioning again, the Ultimate moves rock. Especially the tag team ones.

The voice acting is well done. All the voices from the cartoon supply the voices for the game. The music is generic as are the sound effects.

This game has one of the oddest create a wrestler modes ever. You only pick your wrestlers finishing move. All your other moves are selected on which three adjectives you use to describe your character. Odd. And there's not a lot of parts to choose from when creating your character's look. And if you want to make a normal, humany type character you're SOL.

There's hardly any modes to choose from. There are singles and tag matches and a couple variations there of. And that's it. And there's only one way to win a match: deplete your opponent's health. No pins or submissions.

That's this game in a nutshell. Not a lot to it, but still fun. A fast, fun button mashing fighting game as opposed to the usual more strategic AKI grappler. I much prefer Def Jam, but would still rather play this game then that Smackdown or Raw dross.

- Tyler