Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is the latest sequal in the long running Fire pro series and is quite possibly the greatest wresling game ever made. The series has been hugely popular among wrestling fans in japan for over a decade and has stuck a cult following here in the US because of its unique look and amazingly deep gameplay. Lets take a look into that in more detail
This is where the game truly shines, and what has kept the series around for so many years. The conrols are easy enough to get the hang of. The square button is a weak attacks that you would hit early on in a match, X is medium moves and O works as the devistating match ending moves. The tricky part is timing and laying out which moves to use. If you try hitting a circle move as soon as the match starts, your opponent will reverse it every time. Thats the beauty of the fire pro series, you have to use actual match strategy to win.
The music in this game isn't bad really but it does get annoying after you hear the same song for the 50'th time. The actual sound effects are great though. Each move sounds devistatingly painful. Wrestlers cry out in pain when you lock in a partiularly powerful hold. The ring shakes and makes realistic noise as you bounce of the ropes and into your opponent. Little things like that are what make this series great.
As for graphics, they look fantastic although completely in 2D. That might turn off some gamers because mainstream opinion is that 2D is the past and 3D HIGH DEF is where its at.. This game makes up for it though with extreme detail. Every wrestler looks exactly like their real life counter-part, every ring looks great and of course every move is animated with great detail.
Here we are, another part of what makes a good wrestling game LOADS of features. You can have pretty much any match type you can think of. 3 and 4 man tag team hardcore exploding barwire match? No problem! Triple Threat Submission only cage match? You bet. Thats a level of depth that american wrestling games haven;t even come close to!
And I've yet to mention the best part about this game, the edit mode. Fire Pro R's Edit mode is nothing short of incredible. You have the ability to make ANY wrestler you can think of that looks just like them and fights just like them. The AI in this game can be tweaked to even copy a real wrestlers routine. For example you can set it up to where The Rock hits a spinebuster, taunts, and then does the people's elbow automatically just like he does in real life.
Another nifty thing is the ability to make your own rings. I think thats a first in any game.
Fire Pro R is one of the greatest games I've ever played and i could not reccomend it enough. Its been out in Japan since late 2005 but its coming out in the US and Europe on November 11th for a budget price of $20. For that price, you'd be crazy not to try a game this good!