Top Critic Average
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft Co.
Genres: Arcade, Sports
There's a very simple reason why so many modern pro-wrestling games are bad. Pro-wrestling is not a legitimate competitive fight, it's two or more people working together to put on an incredible, breath-taking performance. Wrestlers work within slight nuances of pace, timing and storytelling. The psychological skill of knowing when to kick it in and when to cool it down is just as important as the memorable characters and jaw-dropping moves.But in a video game, you're working against each other, because you're both trying to win. That's all well and good for FIFA, or Madden, or even Street Fighter. But you can't accurately translate the speed and intensity of modern pro-wrestling to a complex, realistic sim. That's why when Adam Cole (Bay Bay) and Ricochet have a ladder match in NXT, it's a breathless thing of beauty, but if you have the same match in a WWE 2K title, it's a boring clusterfuck. The more "realistic" the genre gets, the worse it gets.Fire Pro Wrestling is a long-running series that strips wrestling sims back to basics, while featuring deep gameplay mechanics and so many customisation options that it becomes less a competitive wrestling title, and more of a sandbox wrestling title. Fire Pro isn't attempting to perfectly recreate Sports Entertainment "like on TV", it's instead trying to encourage players to create their own memorable moments within the confines of the squared circle.
Fire Pro Wrestling World is the best wrestling game on the market, better than any WWE 2K released to date. It reminds me of classics like Wrestlemania 2000 and Smackdown Just Bring It, back in a time when wrestling games were fun to play without the constant need to turn them into a sports sim.
Though it's not very accessible and lacks a bit of polish, the amount of pure heart that has gone into Fire Pro Wrestling World means that it's a fun retro wrestling game once you get used to it. The endless customisation options and deep story mode provide great value, while the game's oddball nature is pretty charming. Like The Rock, Fire Pro Wrestling World is somehow still going after all these years. Unlike The Rock, its legacy hasn't been tarnished by an appearance in the Baywatch reboot.
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Fire Pro Wrestling World - Overview Trailer | PS4