Some of you might remember M.U.S.C.L.E., a line of small rubber wrestling figures from Japan. Similar to Monster in My Pocket, they were cheap, collectible, and quite popular. However, they actually originated from a Japanese manga called Kinnukuman… while Kinnikuman never made its way to the U.S., the follow up series Ultimate Muscle eventually did.
Ultimate Muscle was… weird, to put it lightly. The butchered 4Kids dub only served to make it even weirder, and the show wasn’t for everyone. Whether you liked the show or not, though, the Gamecube game was pretty awesome.
Now, I’m a sucker for good character creation. That said, the character creation here is pretty limited… but fun nonetheless. Anyway, on to the game proper.
There’s only a few characters initially available in story mode, but quite a few playable characters overall… 20, excluding the fan-made recruit wrestlers. As you can see, one of these characters is a gazelle man named Dik Dik Van Dik. If that’s not enough to make you go play this game right now, I’m very disappointed in you.
The controls are relatively simple. You can punch, grapple, block, and jump, as well as do special attacks by holding the L trigger while punching or grappling, provided you have enough special meter.
Unlike most wrestling games, where you win by pinning your opponent for the 3-count, in Ultimate Muscle your goal is to K.O. your opponent. So in some ways, it’s more like a party fighting game than a wrestling game.
Things can get a bit hectic, to say the least. But it’s loads of fun and easy to get into, making it a great party game. Overall, this is one of my favorite games in the Gamecube library, and I know there are plenty of people who share my views. I recommend you pick it up if you like wrestling games or clusterfuck fighters like Power Stone.