Wrestling video games have existed in the world of video games for quite a while now. Titles like Pro Wrestling (NES), Tecmo Pro Wrestling (NES), WWF Wrestlefest, WWF No Mercy (N64) and WWF Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain (PS2) are some of a few examples. Thinking about these games brings me so many memories of the fun I had during those childhood and teenage years playing this grappling genre.

By the time Fire Pro Wrestling Returns was released on the PS2 in 2007, it only took a small YouTube video for yours truly to visit the local Gamestop at the time and acquire this title. Today, Gaming Access Weekly is excited to review Spike Chunsoft’s latest entry into its already acclaimed series, Fire¬†Pro Wrestling World for the PS4. And I cannot be any more excited to provide you with some insight on what is considered my favorite wrestling video game franchise at present.

ALL IN!

My first impressions of the game proved quite remarkable when, for the first time ever in the series, the well known New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) was included. The experience of not only being able to square off and test out the ropes, cages, and barbed wire with the SWA’s (Spike Wrestling Association) roster proved to be a quite refreshing take not only on the franchise. Now exclusive to this entry I was able to choose and even edit NJPW wrestlers such as Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada! The freedom to customize everything and anything surrounding the game environment made me feel truly “All In”! Back in 2007 while experiencing Fire Pro Wrestling Returns I got to play creator (or promoter better suited) and Fire Pro Wrestling World is no different. The customization items are endless! To have the control of creating your favorites from other wrestling promotions and bring them into the mix is totally possible. My next idea is to create a WWE, ECW and WCW invasion angle, and it is truly possible. Maybe The Bullet Club vs. The NWO? Yes!

When it comes to creation, Fire Pro Wrestling World doesn’t stop in letting one expand its already colorful roster alone with moves and looks. This game also allows the creation or ability to edit championship belts, wrestling rings, and even logos. It is truly a wrestling fan’s one-of-a-kind experience to be able and has control of all that surrounds the wrestling venue.

Are you Online? “Bring it”!

Spike Chunsoft’s latest allows you to share your creations online. The FPW NET function will open a browser in-game for you to upload and share your newest wrestler while also being able to “Like” and subscribe to other creators. Here you have the ability to download a created wrestler from another player and have it imported into your roster, saving you the time to create from the ground up. However, I found the process to be a little tedious and time to consume anyway, especially when other competitors of the game genre allow the ability to download other community creations in easier ways for some years now. Fire Pro Wrestling World‘s online mode allows players to battle it out or team up against other players/CPU. Now I am of the opinion that online gaming hasn’t still reached its full, synced to perfection momentum. This especially when you throw in differences in internet speeds between users, adding in-game glitches and response delays. Same occurs with Fire Pro Wrestling World depending on personal experience. This doesn’t break the experience of the game yet one may encounter some laggy gameplay here and there while online. Up to four players can join in at a time for online and local co-op gameplay. In comparison with other wrestling games, Fire Pro Wrestling World may fall a little behind however fun it may be.

 

Let’s Settle This in the Cage!

Fire Pro Wrestling World does a great job in walking out the victor when it comes to its diverse match modes. And mind you although the game is easy to pick up with the basic moves here’s where it gets a bit more challenging and with less hand-holding. Players will be able to engage not only in singles matches but can also battle it out in tag-team fashion or in a battle royal mode for an every-man-for-himself, last man standing showdown.

If you are ready to engage in this hardcore mayhem, here are the match
types Fire Pro Wrestling World offers:

  • Cage Deathmatch – Battle one-on-one or more inside a cage to claim victory by scoring a pinfall or being the first to climb out of the cage.
  • Electrified Barbed Wire – The ring ropes are wrapped in high voltage barbed wire that on contact can deliver a shock and also severely injure your opponent.
  • Landmine Match – Landmines surround the outside of the ring. If the player or an opponent is thrown out these will set off on contact. Players can also set the landmines to explode simultaneously at the reach of a set time limit chosen during match settings.
  • SWA Match – A match where no pins, no outside battle and a mix of wrestling and MMA can be the way to victory only via 10-second count or by executing a critical move or strike, causing a knockout.
  • Gruesome Match (MMA) – These matches go per round in mixed martial arts form. Each round can last 3-minutes. Victory can be achieved by knocking, tapping out or winning by decision if all rounds are completed.
What I love about each of these is just how varied they can be. The ability to add more to the rules is even better. I lost a cage match that I decided to add weapons into as well and I am not even sorry for myself. It was all for the greater fun.

Break it Down! 

Fire Pro Wrestling World brings a great soundtrack that soars through the game’s menu navigation and during matches. Much of the music genre involved will have fans of bands like Iron Maiden and Megadeth headbanging as they navigate the menu, setting up the next match or even creating a new custom experience.

Spike Chunsoft has done great in giving us players the chance to choose official theme songs of NJPW performers to any created superstar.

The game offers very few choices to add to your newly created wrestler’s entrance and theme song apart from a handful of originals and NJPW themed songs. I would also like to add that the soundtrack while navigating the game could’ve been more elaborated and diverse. After some time, the music playing during matches and menu navigation may get tedious and repetitive. It does, however, give you the chance to turn the music off during gaming in Options.

To Be the Man

Spike Chunsoft has added the entertaining and up-to-the-challenge Story Mode dubbed Fighting Road.

In Fighting Road, I had the opportunity to create a new wrestler with beginner attributes. As a gamer in pure fashion through and through, I selected Fighting Road late when I previously hours later had thrown myself in the ring with the expert skills of my own instinct, getting my behind kicked in the process. Later on, after some wins on singles matches and many losses in special match types I realized Fighting Road is where I should’ve started.

This mode allows the player to learn the ropes in the game with each chapter designed to instruct something new to learn in the squared circle. The chapters in the story start with an audition/tournament in which the winner will sign a contract as the new superstar of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. The winning prize? The IWGP Championship, NJPW’s most prestigious title.

Although a great feature in the game to look at as a learning curve, Fighting Road is based on a caption-based dialogue with little to no sound effect by the featured wrestlers during interactions. At times it felt like a job orientation video in the sense that you will see the coaching wrestler onscreen staring at the player, then his expression will switch with the change of a photo and a repetitive expression when in the dialogue something funny or witty is said, or in other cases a grunt. Kind of funny at times but a little bit cringe-worthy in others.

And That’s the Bottom Line

Fire Pro Wrestling World has acquired a worthy spot in wrestling video games. In a genre that is monopolized by competition and that has grown quite stale, it does bring a refreshing take and an alternative to fans of the wrestling industry to jump back in the ring and experience the excitement of the squared circle. In quite some time it truly is wrestling gaming at its finest. Although some controls are hard to acquire such as striking an opponent and landing a clothesline while running, it does make up for its retro-feel graphics and the nostalgia feeling of better wrestling games from the past.
Fire Pro Wrestling World Review
The Good
  • Easy to Learn the Basics
  • Large Roster With Customization Options
  • A Classically Fun Wrestling Game
The Bad
  • Low-quality graphics
  • Strike System May Take Some Time Getting Used To
  • Repetitive soundtrack
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
2.3

About The Author

Javier C.
Staff Writer

Javier currently resides in Orlando, Florida. He graduated college from the University of Puerto Rico in the field of Tourism and Hospitality where he was also a part of the Honor's English Writers Program. With this, Javier found a passion for writing reviews and editorials about video games and movies later on in life which brings him to be a part of Gaming Access Weekly! He has a soft spot for pets and a love for traveling and music (which he can't live without)!

  • Luis Rivera

    Good review! I have this game in my radar for some time. This article is very informative and have a lot of details about this game. Yep I am getting this good review!