Game Review – Fire Pro Wrestling Returns


The North American release of Fire Pro Wrestling Returns was on November 13th. That was two years after the Japanese release. After spending almost two full weeks with the game in my possession, I feel I can do an impartial review. I’ve been a fan of this series for a long time, but I can still recognize its flaws. How does Fire Pro Wrestling Returns stand out against the most popular competition? Where to start…


There are no major changes to Fire Pro’s basic gameplay. This is the same solid grip system that fans have long been used to. People who are new to Fire Pro will have to take some time to get used to it. The combat system punishes button makers. I would advise beginners to set COM difficulty to 1 and work to a harder level. This is one of the games where definitions are only obtained after learning.


The series’ trademark features are strict gameplay and a huge roster. FPR prides itself on having 327 real-life competitors. To avoid copyright issues, each name has been modified. Vader’s name is “Sabir”, Kanta Kobashi’s name is “Keji Togshi”, feel free to name each one accordingly. You also have the option to change clothes for standard characters. You don’t have to sacrifice one of your 500 edit slots (CAW) when your favorite wrestler does the trick.


FPR’s all-star cast includes fighters, boxers and mixed martial arts artists from around the world. Prosaic legends like Vishal Baba, Storo Siama (the original Tiger Mask) and Joshin “Thunder” Lager are recognizable. As always, the pre-determined cast is dominated by fighters. Famous wrestlers for American/UFC wrestling fans include Bret Hart, Sting, Andre the Giant, Patty Williams, Merco Crowe Police and Quentin “Rampage” Jackson.


A new addition to the series is the “corner to center” attack. When your opponent gets knocked down in the middle of the ring, you can sneak into the corner to prepare a spear, super kick or some other tactic. This adds a little more drama and precision to the games, featuring characters who organize attacks in a special way. Because of this new feature, if you want, you can create an accurate Sean Michaels or Bill Goldberg.


A traditional steel cage match was finally added. Players can use weapons such as spiny bats or cages designed to hurt themselves. Other match types include S-1 (boxing, punches only), Terrible (a 12-sided UFC-infected cage) and Electrified Barbed Wire Exploding Death Match. While there is hell in a cell, Japanese hardcore wrestlers throw themselves on electrical boards covered with shiny barbed wire. It’s different, but no less fun.


Buzz-enabled features include ref editing, belt editing, and color/logo editing. There is a GM mode called “Match Maker”, but is it too limited? All you need to do is set up fights between the fighters and assess the cheering percentage. The bizarre things that happen during a matchmaker do little to go beyond that. Due to some incomprehensible reasons, the fighters created were banned from using in Matchmaker.


The presentation is nothing special. The menus are useful, but accessing certain features can be a daunting task when FPR’s 2D graphics remind me of arcade games like WrestleMest. Character sprites are not high resolution, but they are large and detailed. Spike Fire Pro Wrestling Z can recycle graphics. Some animations look a little robotic, but are quite smooth.


I’m sorry to say that Spike has once again mapped the weapon pickup button to the run button. Want to grab a fluorescent tube in the corner while playing a game of explosive barbed wire? Make sure you are close enough to the tubes. Otherwise, you’ll run into barbed wire ropes, looking like a complete idiot. It doesn’t spoil the game or anything, but that kind of neglect of the R2 button surprised me. Overall, this is my biggest grip with FPR.


I don’t give grades or numerical grades in my evaluations. If I were that type, Fire Pro Wrestling would probably have 91 returns. Even so-called classic games that get perfect scores from other critics have some flaws or flaws. I recommend this game to anyone who likes professional wrestling or UFC. You don’t need to join Peru to enjoy FPR, the unique gameplay and customization options are more than enough Game Review – Fire Pro Wrestling Returnsfor your interest.