With solo artist Eminem's endorsement, D12 has risen to the tops of the hip hop charts. Whether they can dominate the mobile download charts remains to be seen. Apparently, the "Dirty Dozen" (actually a sextet) has been practicing some serious kung fu in their spare time. D12 Pro Wrestling lets you fight as any of the Detroit-based rap troupe's soldiers (sans Eminem himself), along with a busty groupie, a Mexican wrestler called "El Guapo," and other unlockable grapplers. The fighting itself isn't much more advanced than a game of rock, paper, scissors, but the overall presentation is good. Essentially, this game is a novelty piece for fans.
The goal of D12 Wrestling is to keep your opponent at bay while charging up your momentum meter, which is used to represent crowd support. You are vulnerable while charging, so you'll either have to resign yourself to taking damage, or only charge when your opponent has been slammed to the ground. Once your meter fills to a point, you can perform a unique attack (usually a throw), which will cause massive damage. During these special-move sequences, the static ring backgrounds darken and are replaced by horizontally streaming motion lines, a la Dragon Ball Z.
In addition to these unique moves, you have three standard maneuvers available: light strike, medium strike, and a throw. The idea is to change up these moves, thereby penetrating your adversary's defenses. Certain moves take precedence over others. If two identical moves are performed simultaneously, they'll both be canceled out. Of course, you can also block by pressing the back key. The move animations are entertaining, albeit a little silly. It's just too bad there isn't more variety to the attacks. D12 isn't deep enough to be much more than a gag game.
You can play D12 in two modes: battle and survival. These are essentially identical, except that in survival mode your health won't regenerate between bouts. Given that luck plays a central role in determining the outcomes of D12 matches, survival mode doesn't require any new or any more of a conservative strategy. It's simply a skew of the game in which the odds are more heavily stacked against you.
D12's strength is its presentation. On the LG VX7000, the diminutive characters are drawn in a cute manga-style that runs counter to the Dirty Dozen's tough real-world personas. While the Wu Tang Clan draws influence from anime ass-kicking, the D12 crew has gotten a less violent, more whimsical treatment. The backgrounds--streetside and ringside--are well-detailed and sometimes include animated elements, like booty-shakin' babes. The game's sound is, as you might imagine, a highlight. Nine D12 backbeat clips have been included in MIDI form and they play during matches. You can choose to listen to sound effects instead of the music, but these aren't quite as good.
While D12 Pro Wrestling doesn't really succeed as a game on its own merits, it probably won't disappoint fans who are just looking to get the group on their handsets. Of course, one could argue that Eminem's absence is disappointment enough, but no matter. It's really funny to see Proof nail Bizarre in the head with some kind of stepmaster-kicking motion. As a game, D12 is fair at best; as a novelty app, it's not all that bad.