games / Reviews

Fire Pro Wrestling (XBLA) Review

November 9, 2012 | Posted by Todd Vote

Title: Fire Pro Wrestling
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: SPIKE CHUNSOFT Co., Ltd.
Genre: Fighting, Sports & Recreation
Players: 1-4 online and offline
Rated: T for Teen

Fire Pro Wrestling finally makes its way to the Xbox 360. But it is not the Fire Pro that you may be used to. In fact, I am willing to bet it is not even anything close to what you remember. This version of the game utilizes those lovable Avatars to create the in game experience. Of course with this you do lose a lot of what made this series famous, the customization. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of things for you to add to your avatar to create your ideal wrestler. There is. Let’s break things down a bit shall we?

Let’s start by talking about the decision to use Avatars instead of custom designed characters. It both works, and fails, I guess would be the best way to say it. While using the avatars probably allowed them more time to focus on the game play, they are very limited in what they can do. The avatars move slowly, they are clunky, and very robotic until you enter one of the preset animations for the moves that you can assign. The best analogy I can give you for this is that the avatars move like The Great Kahli when moving around the ring, but as soon as you execute an attack, they suddenly come to life like Rey Mysterio.

The clunky animation is only made that much more clear when you start to fiddle with the controls. The controls, are sound in idea, you have a grapple button, and from there, each of the face buttons activates a different attack, whether it be a suplex, or a piledriver. Holding the Left Trigger while pushing a face button offers another set of attacks. Again, the moves themselves are not the problem. Executing them can be a bit of a chore. Unless you are lined up perfectly, you have a better than average chance of missing your attempted attack completely.

The game offers challenge tiers that serve as the basis of what I guess could be called the campaign. Each tier features 3 areas, each with about 5 matches in them. It is really as simple as that. You fight one guy, then you move on to the next match which could end up being a tag match or just another singles match. Thats it. There is no attempt at a storyline to keep you playing. Just wash, rinse and repeat. It gets pretty tedious pretty quickly, in my opinion.

The game does offer a lot of customization options, especially for being an avatar specific game. There are loads and loads of costumes, taunts, music, masks, and a whole host of new attacks to unlock as you play through the game. The thing about these is, you have to play A LOT of the game. After beating three of the campaign sections, I had barely scratched the surface of everything you can unlock.

In addition to being new attacks to unlock, you also have to build your characters stats in order to use some of the more flashy moves in the game. Some may require that you have a speed stat of 20 in order to be able to execute the move. There are plenty of things to keep you completionists busy, but I just couldn’t get past the extremely mediocre game play to want to keep going.

The game does feature some online play, but finding a game is not easy. I don’t know if it is to be blamed on the servers themselves, or just a lack of other people playing the game, but it really did take a long time to find a game. Once in game, things seemed to run fairly smooth. I didn’t run into a lot of lag or slowdown.

+ Customization
+ Flashy moves

– Use of avatars
– Bad controls
– Just a boring experience

The 411:
If you ask me, and obviously you are if you are reading this, the first attempt to bring Fire Pro to the Xbox 360 is not a good attempt at all. I understand the idea was to make the game more accessible to everyone, but in doing so, it has become a boring train wreck.

Graphics4.0Very basic, You would think the use of avatars would have afforded them some time to make the game look a bit more unique, but nope. 
Gameplay3.0The controls are clunky, and there is no story to speak of at all.  
Sound3.0The sound is not great, the music selection is very basic and bland. 
Lasting Appeal2.0Just couldn't get past the bad gameplay to want to keep playing this game.  
Fun Factor 3.0I had fun for about 10 minutes with this game. 
Overall3.5   [ Bad ]  legend

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