Friday, December 20, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review #40 : American Gladiators

Title : American Gladiators

Publisher : GameTek

Genre : Sports / Gameshow

Players : 1 / 2 Player

Release Date : 1991

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $4-$8

When I was a wee lad, American Gladiators was the Pinnacle of late 80's early 90's television. It was something I watched all the time, especially when there wasn't anything else on TV at the time this aired. It was also something I dreamed of being a part of. What other opportunity did we have to watch fake "super stars" battle against normal human beings. Warriors such as NITRO, and LASER were waiting to kick your arse and spit on your grave. ALL IN THE NAME OF GLORY AND THE AMERICAN DREAM!


Okay, it wasn't really like that. It was a campy show with steroid ridden meat heads beating the crap out against each other and businessmen and women who went on the show. When I was younger, I preferred to watch GUTS on nickelodeon, but this still fed enough entertainment into my gullible little brain. Although, to this day I would have killed to take part in the event, ASSAULT, where you had to dodge the Gladiator firing tennis balls at you, while you tried to hit his target. That looked incredible.

So, of course, Nintendo had to make a game out of this show. And it was one of my absolute favorites growing up - hence why I had to do a little bit more of an in depth review. But does it capture the awesome-ness that was American Gladiators? 

You'd be surprised, but this game is pretty damn good!

As you would expect, this game has all a slew of the events ripped straight from the TV show. Not all of them though. A few I noticed that they're missing are the Atlasphere, Breakthrough & Conquer, and Hang Tough. Although those could have been introduced later on. Sorry, I don't know my American Gladiators history as well as I should.

Your goal is to pass each of the events four different times before getting into the final event, the Eliminator.

So let's quickly sum up each event, before I give this game it's final review.

Now before you start each match, one of the Gladiators makes an appearance just to insult and intimidate you. The only thing that intimidates me is how frightening they look. Like evil, deformed demons. 

Glistening in the sun with their greased up bodies.......

sorry...disturbing...Let us continue


Doesn't get much easier than this. You can seriously just button mash your way into defeating each Gladiator. They're all push overs. Although, if they do get a hit in they knock you back a hell of a lot more than you can knock them back. Shouldn't have much trouble though. Each Gladiator seems to be weak to a different move. Either hitting them up in the face, or down in the groin.

It's really not like the Joust from the show. You have to jump from platform to platform until you beat all the Gladiators. Only THEN do you complete the event. Each level does get significantly more annoying, but it's still the easiest of the events.


By far the most annoying of all the events. You have to rapidly tap A and B to get anywhere, and if you even touch an obstacle you fall all the way down. Hated....HATED...HAAAAAAAAAATEED this event. Absolute garbage.

Just look at em! They won't leave me alone!!!

And this is only the first level of the events..the other ones are monstrosity of evil. Good luck, you're going to need it.


This one is pretty easy once you figure out when EXACTLY to jump and when to jump off. Once you have that down, you'll be breezing by this section. Just slam your arse right into the Gladiators and that's all there is to it.

I mean, I could of sworn they were supposed to knock you down. But they never was also irritating that you had to knock down like 20 Gladiators....over, and over. No challenge. Boring. Even the later levels...yawn


Probably the most violent of all the events. Well, in the show anyway. I remember seeing people getting bloodied up after getting tackled to the ground. The goal is just to run back and forth, tossing the balls into the holes, without running into the Gladiators.

Easy enough. Wish it was harder actually.


Ugh! Why did they have to ruin my favorite event in American Gladiator! The only one I was really looking forward to, and it basically turns into a vertical shooter. Oy. All you do is dodge the balls, and get to each platform where you just get your weapons of choice. The weapons are definitely not as cool as they were in the show, and instead look like you're throwing rockets.

Where's the bow and arrow!?!? I mean i know the last weapon you get is a rocket launcher, but come on....


Now, you know what? I'm not going to show you The Eliminator. You need to EARN the right to see The Eliminator! Don't get me wrong, this game doesn't joke around. I had a hard enough time beating it when I was a kid, and even now I was brought to tears.

So let me ask you this? Do you have what it takes, to be an AMERICAN GLADIATOR?
Do ya? Punk? Yeah....didn't think so....

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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