Hi everybody! Welcome back to Geekdom101.com! I apologize for not having written anything since E3, but there hasn’t been much to talk about. But now there is, as Fire Pro Wrestling World was released last Monday, July 10th. Well, not a full release. It’s in Early Access, which means it’s still in beta phase. But Spike Chunsoft are using this to get feedback on features and stuff that fans really want. So that’s a big plus. Enough babbling for the intro, let’s get to my full take on Fire Pro Wrestling World.
Fire Pro Wrestling World is very similar to previous Fire Pro Wrestling games. In fact, not much has been added to really change up the game. There is a dedicated pin button this time around, so you don’t have to waste a move slot on a pin move. Also, there is a sort of back-and-forth exchange sequence in which the wrestlers take turns hitting each other. Not sure how that one is initiated, honestly. And there is now the ability to steal your opponent’s finishing move.
All this is fine. Fire Pro Wrestling is an excellent series, and you don’t really have to do much to it. The biggest addition is the Steam Workshop. Since this version of the game is on PC via Steam, custom wrestlers can be uploaded to the Steam Workshop for easy sharing and downloading. The edit system as a whole isn’t perfect, though. There is no logo editor, though the developers know that’s a highly-requested feature, and you can’t share rings or belts in the workshop yet, either. And the biggest omission, in my mind, is the arena with the elevated ramp leading to the ring. You know, the one where the ramp platform is level with the ring apron. That was my favorite Fire Pro arena, darn it.
There are still some bugs, which is to be expected. The original programmer of Fire Pro unfortunately passed away some time after Fire Pro Wrestling Returns, so the entire game engine had to be rebuilt from scratch. They’ve done an excellent job, to be honest. It looks and feels exactly like Fire Pro. They were even able to fix some bugs that plagued the series in the past. New bugs have popped up, however, mainly surrounding the AI and the various AI Logic settings you can use in the wrestler editor. Also, there’s an apparent mistranslation in the Parameters menu in the wrestler editor, in which the Defense parameters all have the same names as the Offense parameters in the English version, but in the Japanese version, some of them have vastly different names. Which will no doubt lead to users of the English version not setting them properly. Oops.
As far as gameplay goes, it’s your standard Fire Pro affair. It’s very timing-based. There’s a Mission Mode which serves as your tutorial mode. Unfortunately, they’ve locked away wrestling moves behind the missions, meaning you must complete the tutorial and all subsequent missions in order to unlock every move in the game. There’s a lot of backlash against that design choice in the Steam forums, so who knows if it will stick. It really does suck, as there are a lot of people who just want to create wrestlers and simulate matches, and not actually play the matches themselves.
And that brings me to the true fun of Fire Pro Wrestling World, at least in my opinion. Finding and downloading wrestlers, setting up dream matches, and watching the AI play it out. I find that to be just as fun and entertaining as playing it. Maybe even more so. I’m currently simulating a tournament, and in it, Braun Strowman knocked-out Brock Lesnar, only to tap-out to Dean Malenko in the next round. You never know how things will turn out, which is so great.
Fire Pro Wrestling World is such a great game already. I can’t wait to see how it all shapes up in the coming months. If you’re a wrestling fan and have never tried Fire Pro Wrestling, and you have a Steam account, give it a shot. It’s only $20 on Early Access, and it’s a bunch of fun. It does have a learning curve, though, but if you stick with it, you’ll love it, I’m sure. If you’re not a PC gamer but own a PlayStation 4, don’t worry, it will be coming to PS4 once it’s out of Early Access on PC. There isn’t a timetable for that just yet, though.
I honestly can’t say enough good about Fire Pro. I’m a huge fan. It’s just awesome. Speaking of awesome, if you have the game, you need to check out this custom wrestler named Tsunderetaker. It’s The Undertaker, but as a tsundere Japanese schoolgirl. It remains the best thing I’ve seen in the Steam Workshop.
You can catch me on Twitter at @vgramblings. See you all next time.