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Fire Pro Wrestling

Preview By: Chris Lee

Developer:   Vaill
Publisher:   bam! Entertainment
Genre:   Wrestling
Est. Release:   June 11, 2001
Posted:   4-6-01

Any of you who've read my reviews of the titles in the Fire Pro series of wrestling games know that I have great love for it. When HUMAN Entertainment folded, fans around the world thought that the Fire Pro series would die. Fortunately a group of developers by the name of Vaill decided to fight the good fight and keep the franchise alive. From the looks of things they've done one heck of a job. The first title they released is Fire ProWrestling D, a Japan- only title for the Dreamcast that without a doubt is hailed as the best of the series. The second title has already seen the light of day in Japan and is known as Fire ProWrestling Advance for the Gameboy Advance. Fire ProWrestling Advance has the distinction of being the first in the series to be localized for America.

Since for most of you this will be the first Fire Pro you've ever played, I'll take a little time to tell you about the basics. The grappling system is completely based on timing. In order to grapple you simply walk up to your opponent and they'll begin a grapple, as soon as they touch you try to execute whichever move you like. Sounds simple huh? Well it is and it isn't. If you got your game on then you can rock the competition, but if your timing is off or your opponent is too strong for a move you're trying then you're in for a real fight. The difficulty goes from 1 to 10, and with each level of difficulty the timing changes such that you'll have to be quicker and more accurate and the computer becomes a bit more cut throat. From the grapple you can not only execute a move but you can do a number of other things. One feature I really love is that you can put the guy in a headlock and walk him to where you'd like to place him in the ring. From the headlock you can also tag your partner in a tag match, which makes for a some great double- team moves. You can also put a guy on your shoulders and hold him for your partner to strike him in whatever way he see fit. This time they've added apron moves that allow you to perform chokeslams, powerbombs, and a ton of other moves from the apron to the floor. Another great feature of the Fire Pro series is the inclusion of "Criticals". Criticals CAN happen when you execute your finisher. A character can also have his criticals set to any submissions, technical moves, or strikes. So for those UFC fights, watch out! A critical can happen at any time or it may not happen at all, if it's anything like Fire Pro D you'll be able to set the critical frequency so you can have whatever kind of match you like.

The sheer number of maneuvers and holds will also amaze you. That's what the Fire Pro series has been about all along; moves and finishers from around the world all in one place, allowing you to create anyone you can imagine. As more and more FP game have come out, more wrestlers have been included which translates to more moves. And as often as possible they give wrestler- specific animations and techniques. Speaking of creating whoever you want, HUMAN, and now Vaill, were the first and continuously the best at allowing players to make their favorite wrestlers to a tee with the Create-a-Wrestler feature. With the right combination of clothing, heads, and colors you can make anyone from your favorite independent wrestler to your best friend down the street.

There's only one potential injustice that could be done to the translation. Since there are several American wrestlers in the game, any likeness of them in a game not licensed by Titan Sports (now that wrestling IS Vince McMahon) is subject to possible lawsuits. Depending on how that goes the game could be quite butchered by the time it reaches store shelves. I sincerely hope that they're able to find some alternative to altering the Japanese version of the game. Only time will tell. In any case here's a list of what you can expect from the game:

  • Features over 150 unique wrestlers. Each wrestler has his own fighting style, animations, and finishing moves.
  • Create your own wrestlers! Choose from over 1200 different techniques and build yourself the ultimate warrior. Players can save up to 66 wrestlers of their own on the cartridge.
  • Choose from 7 different fight modes including Single Elimination Tournaments, Leagues and Survival Matches.
  • You define the rules! Choose from Tag Team, Death Matches, Gruesome battles and more!
  • Link Feature Allows 4 Player Battle Royal matches. (Multiple Cartridges and Link Cables Required)
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