Despite what the title may indicate, Sumo Fighter is not a sports game but a side-scrolling platformer. The player takes the role of a sumo wrestler who has to cross five levels (each with three stages plus a boss) to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. The protagonist has two means of attack: his fists and a stomp attack which, in addition to the damage, can stun enemies. Experience points are awarded for killing enemies, solving hidden mini games and collecting power-ups like health refreshments or temporary invincibility. Eventually this leads to a level up and the player can choose to upgrade one of the two attacks or increase his maximum health. The mini games are sumo wrestling, arm wrestling and thumb wrestling. All are reaction tests in which a button has to be pressed to stop a cursor moving left and right at the correct spot.
- 相撲ファイター 東海道場所 - Japanese spelling
Credits (Game Boy version)
13 People (9 developers, 4 thanks)
|Graphic Arts by|
Average score: 49% (based on 2 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 5 ratings with 1 reviews)
Sumo Fighter is a 1991 Side Scrolling Brawler developed by Japanese studio KID and published by I'Max exclusively for the Game Boy.
They took a simple concept, run left to right punching enemies, and in typical KID fashion just amp up everything.
You control Bontaro, a Sumo fighter on a typical mission to rescue his girlfriend. You have different types of attacks. An up-close regular punch, a long range punch (like a Hadouken), creating tremors by kicking the ground (stunning your enemies); a run by pressing forward twice in quick succession, and then you can combine this with A or B to get different results (remarkably complex for an early GB game, wouldn't you agree?)
By killing enemies and breaking blocks, you receive food that will gain you experience points: here comes the RPG elements of the game, because you can invest these points into levels, strengthening your punches, your kicks and your life bar. Because of this you want to kill every enemy and break every block.
The graphics are nice, featuring large sprites and detailed backgrounds that continue to impress throughout the game.
Most of the levels have horizontal side-scrolling with some vertical climbing or descending.
There's a huge variety in weird looking enemies, all of them belonging to the vast universe of Japanese mythology. If you are a bit familiar with Japanese Folklore you'll be able to recognize some of them: the Bakemono, the Tanuki, some Oni, and various other spirits and demons.
The music also takes inspiration from traditional Japan, and is simply put perfect!
It's a long game, 5 stages, 3 levels each, for a total of 15; thankfully we have a password system. Every stage features a boss at the end.
There're two difficulty modes Easy and Hard and a secret "Super Mode" that only unlocks once you beat the later... This was like the signature of KID back in the day. Every difficulty adds new enemies and even new moves for bosses.
There are some Bonus games of Sumo, arm and thumb wrestling with substantial food rewards (that makes you really try to beat them) ... The problem is they have three consecutive rounds of very quick button smashing so it is extremely tiring. The hit boxes for your character and enemy sprites are highly inconsistent, to say the least (even broken at times... this is probably what ruined the game for most people). Also the placement of enemies in the stages is sometimes weird and unfair, rendering them unavoidable. Stage 4 Boss in the Hardest difficulties is near impossible, sadly it kind of breaks the game.
The Bottom Line
I wish I could say Sumo Fighter is a Master Piece, because everything in the game is near perfect. It exudes originality and love for Japanese Tradition. But the problem with the hit boxes affects of course the gameplay experience, resulting in unnecessary frustration... And some rough moments makes the game feels broken. Still, if you play it all the way to the end, you can't but love this one.
Game Boy · by pelida77 (36) · 2023
- MobyGames ID: 56109
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Patrick Bregger.
Additional contributors: Rik Hideto.
Game added May 29th, 2012. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.