Super Duper Sumos (GBA)
by Midway

Reviewer: Louis Bedigian
Review Date: 11/10/2003

This isnít just a marketing ploy: there's a real game inside of Super Duper Sumos.

GZ Review Ratings:
Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 7.8
Sound 7.5
Difficulty Easy
Concept 7.0
Overall 7.0


When I saw Super Duper Sumos for the very first time, only one thing came to mind: this looks like a game that's based on a hit cartoon series. Sure enough that's just what it is. I don't watch too many Saturday morning or weekday afternoon cartoons anymore, so I hadn't heard of this series before. However, if you like side-scrolling beat-'em-ups, that doesn't really matter.
The Super Duper Sumos are big on the outside, but even bigger on the inside. They dedicate their lives to doing what any "super duper" hero would do: saving the world. Brief written story segments introduce each chapter, but if you'd prefer to kick some butt and leave the words for novels, you can skip the text and go right to the game. The story segments have little to do with your actual mission, so it's not important to watch them if you don't want to.

Gamers over the age of 12 should remember the SNES classic Final Fight, as well as the Sega Genesis classic Streets of Rage. Both games were very a part of the rarely seen side-scrolling beat-'em-up genre. There's only one point to those games, and that's to walk around each level, look for an enemy, and punch and kick him until he's down. If you desired, you could also attack some of your environments, which could lead to either more points or a possible weapon (a pipe could be used to beat the weak enemy into shape).

Super Duper Sumos fits in with those games, with a couple of exceptions: 1) it is much simpler (target audience = kids), and 2) there isn't as much destruction involved.

You can acquire some non-weapons that can be used as weapons, like a giant fish (strange, but powerful). Even stranger are the enemies: deformed penguins, brute thugs, giant sea creatures, etc. They're big, almost comical villains that are likely taken direct from the show. I've never seen the show but I was still moderately amused by them. This is probably a show I would have watched as a kid, and definitely a game I would have played.

Super Duper Sumos uses one of the foe 3D setups made popular by 16-bit arcade games. It's purely a 2D side-scroller, but you can move up and down the sidewalk, which is intended to simulate moving in and out of the foreground. If you're not familiar with Final Fight or Streets of Rage, maybe the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle arcade game will ring a bell. They all share the same level structure.

By defeating enemies and protecting the world from the threat of invasion, you'll have to chance to obtain special attack items. These power meter-increasing items fill your meter and, when full, give you the option of unleashing one of two powerful attacks. There are three meters, and any time that one is full, you can unleash a powerful stomp by pressing the right trigger. This stomp will eliminate (or at the very least knock down) any enemy that is standing near you. You could take out several enemies simultaneously if you plan your attack with enough skill. The most powerful special move is performed first by filling up all three power meters. Then when you press the right trigger your super duper sumo wrestler will jump high into the air and drop to the ground like a 2000-pound car. All enemies will be knocked down, and most will be removed from the game. I'd say "killed," but this game isn't in the least bit violent. No death is indicated. Enemies merely disappear, not roll over and croak.

Quite simply, I enjoyed Super Duper Sumos. The beat-'em-genre is great when done correctly. I wish it would get more exposure because it has been years since I've played a game of this kind. Super Duper Sumos won't appease the hardcore crowd, especially those who are jaded and angry at all the "less than perfect" games that exist. But this was made for kids who watch the show. It's perfect for them, so parents, aunts and uncles, if your child or nephew is a fan of the show, you know what to stick in his stocking.

Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 7
Are you a sumo wrestler? Are you super duper? Oh, you're not? Well that's too bad, because the stars of this game are. They're big, but nice; overweight, but unusually fit. They move with ease and strike with powerful punches, pound for pound.

The game is fun Ė fans of the series will be thrilled to have a licensed game that isn't just a piece of marketing hype. There's a real game inside of Super Duper Sumos.

Graphics: 7.8
Appropriately cartoony graphics, with good characters and decent animation. Usual praise for usual effects.

Sound: 7.5
Not bad at all. I'm not sure where the music came from (it may be from the show or it may be brand-new), but it's worth listening to. The sound effects are not nearly as annoying as you'd expect from a game based on a cartoon series.

Difficulty: Easy
If you can't beat Super Duper Sumos, it's probably your first game.

Concept: 7
Super Duper Sumos doesn't do anything new or extraordinary, but as a kid-targeted beat-'em-up, it turned out to be a fun game.

Overall: 7
Sometimes it's hard to rate a game because it lacks an extreme quality, good or bad. Is Super Duper Sumos above average (like Crash Bandicoot GBA)? No. Is it below average (like Disney's Party)? No. So where does it fit? It fits best in the hands of a child who enjoys the show. Other kids would enjoy it too, but there are so many games out there that they probably wouldn't even give it a chance. That'd be a mistake, but it's a tough world out there, with so many choices to make when it comes to time tell Santa what you want.


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