I. LOVE. WRESTLING.
Yes, I know it’s fake. Yes, I know that the storylines are all bullshit and everything they do is just highly choreographed stunts… But did you assholes know that it’s one of the most unique forms of long-form storytelling on God’s green Earth? Or how the subtleties of the things that happen in a match tell a compelling story of back and forth as well as give you an insight on each wrestlers character? No. You just think it’s a bunch of oily dudes fake punching each other a lot which, well, that’s part’s a small part of it but shut up.
So with such a passion for wrestling, it can be kinda sad to see that the world of wrestling games is, well, kinda horrendous. When I was a kid you had Smackdown VS Raw, and that was about it, which was serviceable – Now you have WWE2K which is kind-of the same thing, but somehow ten times worse just because of the pure laziness of the developing studio. What I’m trying to get at is that wrestling games are extremely bad these days with absolutely 0 skill involved in the gameplay, and nothing in them that makes wrestling great.
In comes Fire Pro Wrestling World; a game that is part of a long-running series of wrestling games that have always looked too daunting for me to even get into, but now that I have had a chance to play it I can safely say that this is the best wrestling game on the current market.
Now let’s get the elephant out the room first; yes the visual style is very different than what most people would expect from a game about wrestling, but if you look past the kinda weird-looking visual style, then you have a deep and satisfying wrestling experience waiting for you.
I don’t really know how to talk about the combat without writing a full thesis statement about it but I’ll try to keep it short; the combat uses a lot of timed button presses and different directional inputs to pull of moves – Yes, that sounds like any other fighting game, but when I mean they’re timed, I mean you have like a 2 frame window to get something out or you’re gonna get slammed to the ground and stomped on a bunch. Your move list – depending on what wrestler you are – is so huge that you will not be able to pull every move off in a match, so you don’t have to worry about something like that; your biggest learning curve is your timing, and after that, you can start playing some casual matches with your friends. The game has a mission mode where you can learn the basics, but what I like about this game is that yes, it does teach you the basics… But then there are other little nuggets it still leaves out for you to figure out on your own. You have other factors to worry about as well such as body part strength, levels of tiredness, whether you’re bleeding or not, and all these things that add to your match. You also have to understand that you cannot be a wrestling game without putting the audience into it somehow, so pulling off different moves, more interesting ones, dangerous ones, performing taunts and basically anything that you can do to rile up the crowd will also come into effect and it’s bloody amazing.
Now the game offers a shitton of customization options too, like a crazy amount – You can make whatever type of wrestler you wish to make, with all their strengths and weaknesses, it’s all there for you. Try out the character creator at least once, I’d say. Some people will like it more than others and it can be a little bothersome with the weird menu systems this game ha, thoughs.
You can’t really have JUST a one on one wrestling match, that’d be blasphemy. You need cage matches, you need weapons under the ring, you need all these and more and FPWW provides. It gives you a whole bunch of match options, championship matches and all that jazz so you can find your favourites. My favorite is the Battle Royale because if you set eliminations to over the rope you basically have a Royal Rumble and it’s glorious.
So I think I’ve sung this games praises enough – This game is amazing; if you’re truly passionate about wrestling then this game is for you. If you aren’t, then maybe look elsewhere. I think fans of good games and wrestling can both agree that this is a cut above the rest.
I would give Fire Pro Wrestling World an:
8.0 / 10