Sumo wrestling fans finally have a game to call their own on the Nintendo 64, although unless you can read Japanese you might want to skip this import. Sumo Battle is an action/sports simulation that tries to depict every aspect of what a sumo wrestler must go through.
You can choose from several different modes of play such as tournament, exhibition, and story mode. Tournament and exhibition are the usual "jump into the ring and rumble" modes. But in the story mode you have to deal with life outside of the ring as well - everything from choosing a daily diet that will give your sumo wrestler a perfect silhouette to dealing with getting kicked out of your house when you lose a match. You can even fish your own sushi out of the river!
The actual gameplay is pretty weird: You frantically press the analog stick and buttons in the direction you want your wrestler to move and the direction you want to move your opponent - the object being that of sumo wrestling, to push your opponent out of the ring. The matches are incredibly short and usually only last a few seconds. Of course, there are a ton of different sumo wrestlers to choose from, each differing in style and performance.
Unfortunately, the graphics are mediocre at best. With 3D wrestlers that move choppily and have faces that look painted on, the game is definitely not going to win any awards. The backgrounds and arenas that you can wrestle in range from your ordinary sumo rings in Japan to a ring on the moon. The sound and music are rather maddening, from the intro music that seems more suited for a Godzilla game than a sumo wrestling game to the announcer calling out the action during the matches. It's actually all quite funny and for some reason brings the phrase "meat bomb" to mind.
In the end, Sumo Battle seems like a game that someone who really likes sumo wrestling made. Die-hard sumo fans will probably like it. If you don't know anything about the sumo business or don't read Japanese, Sumo Battle is one import game that you never need play.