#655 Fire Pro Wrestling Returns

Posted: 18th March 2019 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , , ,

769th played so far

Genre: Fighting
Platform: Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2005
Developer: Spike
Publisher: Spike/Agetec/505 Games

I don’t get wrestling. I’m not even talking about fakeness or performances, I don’t really get the appeal of watching people fight. I think I struggled with that in the previous WWE game we discussed. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns at least avoids the WWE side of things, drawing from other international leagues that I guess seem to take themselves more seriously. It also looks like it avoids the standard 3D side perspective, so at least we’ll be playing something new.

Our Thoughts

There’s a lot that feels different here from other fighting games. The isometric perspective is a big change, almost immediately making it seem more strategic. At the same time, I don’t think that’s the real result. There are very few indicators as to what’s going on during the fight. As the game is mostly based around your fighter’s exhaustion, that’s what you need to check, but only some of your animations really indicate it – like when you get up after falling. It means that you’re doing a lot on gut feel, which doesn’t always work, and which contrasts with games where I feel like I have more of a grip on the mechanics and controls.

I suspect that the real reason for the perspective is for the game’s stand out aspect: its customization.The default roster is immense, with a triple digit number of wrestlers based on a template, a few customization options and some groups of fighting styles. The system gives a lot of variety, but it feels like the entire game doesn’t really allow for that much individuality, they’re all the same fighters at their basic. There’s still a fair amount of custom fighting styles, but I think that at the same time, I didn’t get enough of an idea of what the real differences were.

There areloads of modes to play through as well, with different tournament types and setups. It’s actually a bit of a dredge to set up in the first place, but for the most part it feels impressive enough.

Final Thoughts

I guess it’s hard for me to say for sure, but this feels like a game with a bunch of options, not all of which necessarily lead to a difference in the game that really matters. It’s nice to get something different out of a wrestling game, but arguably it doesn’t give me enough to work with and learn them.