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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Wrestling Series Make It's First Console Debut In The States
Fire Pro Wrestling is a really old wrestling series from Japan that has been around since the early 90s. So far only 2 versions have only ever been released in America, both of them on GBA.

Agetec decided to bring this two year old Japanese wrestling game to the states recently, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Yes this game looks bad, but the...
Published on November 16, 2007 by gk28

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's fun
I'm a huge fan of the N64 THQ games (No Mercy, Revenge). That being said this game is a lot different but I enjoy it. Don't be scared of reviews that talk about the grappling system, it's not bad at all. They actually have a move were you stab a guy in the head with a fork! How cool is that? For the price you can't go wrong.

I will say this, the ring...
Published on September 23, 2009 by P. Cowell


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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Wrestling Series Make It's First Console Debut In The States, November 16, 2007
By 
gk28 (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
Fire Pro Wrestling is a really old wrestling series from Japan that has been around since the early 90s. So far only 2 versions have only ever been released in America, both of them on GBA.

Agetec decided to bring this two year old Japanese wrestling game to the states recently, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Yes this game looks bad, but the graphics are not where it shines. It is all about the amazing gameplay and extreme customization.

Some people may complain that their favorite WWE superstars are missing, but they are not. All your favorite WWE stars are there under a different alias, and if they do happen to be missing you can create them.

For $15 this is something any wrestling fan should pick up. It's amazingly deep and way better then the latest WWE game.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally!, November 27, 2007
By 
Badger "badger" (APO, AP United States) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
Finally, the legend of Fire Pro envades the US. I have been playing this series since the NES days. The graphics are not going to wow you, but they are perfect for this game and more than gets the job done. This game is about depth, creativity, and building your dream match. When you read any comments from TRUE fire pro fans, that is the essence of this series. Many thanks to the Firepro community for always letting Human and eventually Spike know there was a huge demand for this game.

This game allows you to create any wrestler you can imagine. the game also has many different styles of matches. The controls may be a bit tricky to work initially, but nothing as confusing as RvS08. Once you get the feel and timing down, the controls are pretty easy and you are well on your way.

The game does not have the standard American super star wrestlers, but you can create their almost perfect likeness using there creative edit mode. I mean you can create almost every star down to there clothes, haircut, mask, signature moves, gestures, and ring entrance. That is awesome! if you happen to create Steve austin, he can wave hello in his special way :)

I think the graphics get a bad rap with this game. They are cartoonish, but they are pretty crisp and well drawn. The 2D mode works for this game. I would sacarafice 3D for all the other options offered in this game any day. bottom line, your avatar looks like the star they are supposed to.

The true value in the game is developing your wrestlers and creating their AI. This is a deep option and now finally having an American version, incredible experince.

You can even create your own titles. I belive you can create up to 8. the game keep strack of title history. If you like customization and being able to play something with the family and friends. This is the game for you. Enjoy
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is life in 2D sprites, still., April 7, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I remember back when I was a kid, playing EPYX Pro Wrestling, on my Commodore 64, with it's horrible graphics, small list of moves, 3 minute time limits and simplistic game play...and loving every single second of it. I daydreamed about having the ability to hack that game, just for the purpose of being able to change around the character's colors, and add in "additional" wrestlers.

It was my gamer fantasy, to have a "complete", pro wrestling, video game package, which focused on the presentation of the pro wrestling industry, "as it is"...not as some flashy, super quick fighting game, but something which mirrors the actual world of pro wrestling.

I wanted the whole gambit...the high flyer's, brawlers, small guys, giants, technicians, cheaters and I wanted them to have realistic differences in stats, which meant something and had a serious impact. And moves/holds, I wanted hoards and hoards of them. This was my fantasy, pro wrestling game.

You can imagine my amazement, when I happened across (by chance) a web site, of a hard core fan of the Fire Pro series, back when Fire Pro G was the new addition. After reading all the features, I knew that I had the wonderful fortune of having found my fantasy wrestling game...and this game was better than anything I'd anticipated. It was so much deeper.

I have been a solid supporter and fan of the Fire Pro Wrestling series, ever since (though, technically, I did already own HAL wrestling for the gameboy, I just didn't realize their connection at the time)...and I've purchased every installment since. Each has been superb.

The thing which sets this series apart from all other pro wrestling video game series, is that the people who created it are pro wrestling fanatics, and this shines through in the end product. They have the same vision, of being faithful to the true presentation, which you find in the pro wrestling business.

The flow of the matches are wonderful. They run the gambit, just like the "real" industry. The flavor and style of every single match, feels almost endless in it's diversity, as there are so incredibly many variables which come into play. You never truly know how a match will outcome, until it is over...and there are enough moves per wrestler/fighter, to where you can fight substantially different matches, even in a series with the same wrestlers/fighters. The matches just "feel" right. Like you just experienced a "real" match.

Consequentially, some matches are snoozers, while others are freaking awesome (in a wide variety of ways)...and most fall somewhere in between the extremes...but they are very fun and enjoyable, for the most part.

Fire Pro Wrestling R, has been one of the single most addictive games in my library, because it is a world of pro wrestling, on one disk (and a memory card). There is virtually nobody (wrestler/fighter or not), who you can not create with this game. With 500 edit slots, you could spend years creating and editing new characters, and still not fill up the limit. And the editor is amazing in it's (relative) simplicity, yet powerful versatility (I would kill to have a character editor like this, in an RPG Maker game/software).

I have some very cool looking, original characters, who fit in seamlessly with the default roster (something which is hard to say about most edits, in other wrestling games). You just need creativity, imagination and the patience to explore and experiment. I also have several, unique promotions, some with their own rings.

One thing I love about this series, is that while the game consoles were becoming more powerful, and the better known game franchises were boasting about "how many more polygons they could waste processing power on, this year" (as though this were some type of new and amazing "feature"), Fire Pro always remained focused on what has always made it so great, and they only added in new, real features which actually improved the game.

This game is the standard setter, for pro wrestling simulation video games. That is why I love it so much. And, having grown up with really bad graphics in video games, what Fire Pro brings to the table is not painful or unsatisfying, in the least. The graphics are great for this kind of game.

Whether or not "you" should buy this title, depends on "you" and what "you" like in this type of game. This series was very clearly created for those who love pro wrestling simulators (the kinds of people who fantasize about running their own promotions, and want that experience in a video game). Those who lean more towards the break neck speed, "life like" graphics and gimmick matches of other game series may not like this title...

...Then again, maybe it will fill a personal niche for you.

[One last note: They tell you that you "cant" play this as a button masher, but my experience is that you can set the difficulty level low (I keep mine on 3 or 4), and do rather well, mashing your way to a victory.]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is It Really That Challenging?, August 30, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS for the Sony PS2 sounds like a wrestling fan's dream: You get to create and play whatever you want. While dozens of gimmick matches that have been made popular in the United States aren't featured in this game, the amount of customization available to the player is unmatched.

Yet, this game has so much debate and mixed reviews that I was too scared to buy it for 20 dollars at my local game store. What if I couldn't "master" it? What if I like "flashy WWE games" too much? Only when I saw it on a K-Mart rack for 10 bucks did I finally just go for it.

I'm beginning this review with this little story because while both lovers and haters have a point, I think the overall tone is misleading.

Yes, this game is unlike most wrestling games in the States.
Yes, it takes longer than usual to get used to the controls.
Yes, the game lacks any form of narrative or single-player incentive.

But, take it from a newbie - FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS is a game that you can learn, and enjoy. You just need to have patience.

The wrestling gameplay is primarily based around the timing of moves. For example, grapples aren't started by one player. Instead, they happen automatically, and whoever enters the button combination first pulls off the move. Escaping from pins and submissions aren't just about button-mashing. The only to get out of a pin is to rapidly press (X), while you have to use the D-Pad to escape holds. Luck and fatigue plays into the counters and reversals more than just the push of a button. In fact, button-mashing penalizes you more than it helps. Landing high-flying moves is difficult if your opponent isn't dazed, but that's logical wrestling, if you ask me.

What's even stranger for a guy who's never played FIRE PRO before is that this PS2 title doesn't just have wrestling matches. There are MMA-style fights where you ground & pound in a cage, and can't win via pinfalls. There's also a K-1 kind of kickboxing mode, where you only use strikes; grapples will often only result in clinches.

However, FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS also includes Cage Matches, Barbed Wire Matches, Battle Royals, and all sorts of Tournament and Team modes. There's even a Deathmatch mode, where after a certain amount of time, bombs go off inside the ring. The more you play this game, the more you realize that FPWR is more than just a "wrestling game"; it's a fighting game, too.

All of these modes work very well, although I'm disappointed that the single-player features (like Competition and Season) only give you points for your success, rather than unlockable characters. Then again, that's also a bonus. Every character is available from the outset, and you can create over a hundred more. I don't recognize any of the 300+ Japanese stars, but they're all fun to use.

The Create Modes are where FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS runs into some problems. You see, while the gameplay and style are a matter of taste, the menu system is pretty un-user-friendly. Putting together a belt, customized ring, and managing factions is pretty easy. Creating a fighter is complex once you start getting to the A.I., but you don't have to manage that part if you don't want to. In other words, making a wrestler is only as complicated as you want it to be. Heck, you can even create a referee! Overall, character customization is a very managable that will please most gamers. While it may take some testing and tweaking, at least you'll be able to accurately design how your favorite wrestler would actually behave once the bell rings.

However, trying to design a logo is an absolute pain in my you-know-what. Rather than using an interface like ANIMAL CROSSING - or Windows Paint - FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS has controls that are horrible. It's bad enough that sometimes one button can do several things in the menus. For example, the [Start] button doesn't always exit a menu; sometimes it's (Triangle). But there several sub-menus in the Logo Design feature, meaning that I still haven't figured what to do. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to exit the thing! I'm sure creating your own art is possible, but I couldn't tell you how to do it.

Other than the customization difficulties, the challenges in FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS are legitimate and beatable. You might have to look at the manual sometimes to learn the gameplay, but it is learnable and very deep once you get the hang of it. The default A.I. difficulty won't slow down for you to learn, but at least I know that FPWR will always have a challenge ahead. There aren't any storyline modes, but the in-ring action is so crisp that the game is fun to WATCH! That's right...the A.I. is so smart that they will put on an excellent show without a controller in your hand. I can't give the A.I. enough praise; the default Level 4 difficulty beat my tail, poured salt on wounds, and told me to go home to mommy.

There's a hundreds of other little details that FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS includes that I don't have time to mention. But if you're still unsure about whether you should buy this game, I have a few suggestions:

* Obviously, rent the game first if you can.

* This might not be as helpful, but go to this PDF website to look at a free strategy guide. You'll be looking at the manual anyway, so this might give you a good idea.
- - - [...] - - -

* Look up this game on YouTube. There are many videos (with excellent created WWE fighters) of matches. As I said before, FPWR is equally fun to watch.

I'll always love the WWE franchises, but there is more than one brand out there. Just like Akira Kurosawa inspired American cinema, this Japanese title has given wrestling gamers a worthy alternative.

I give the game:
"8.0 / 10".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fire Pro, Good game, but know what to expect..., December 1, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I bought this game a week or so ago. It is becoming an addiction!

Graphics are not state of the art. This game has a real old school gaming feel, think something from Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo era. Or better yet an arcade like the Neo Geo machines. The graphics are super well drawn sprites with tons of customizing options. Again, graphics are good but not state of the art, a retro look.

Sound is not so good. During matches is O.K. Some of the sound effects are good, but that dang menu music will have you ready to tear you hair out. The menu music is complete GARBAGE. I have been on a few of the receiving ends of my wifes scoldings about that **** music. THIS WOULD BE A 5 STAR GAME EXCEPT THE TERRIBLE SOUND!

Game play is great fun. It is VERY difficult so far, as far as timing on grapples and such, but I get better with each session. I guess that's something missing from games now, the ability to improve you SKILLS, not just reload the data until you beat the bad guy! This aspect it is great for someone wanting a challenge.

It also features match maker mode, in which you act as a promoter setting up matches and the likes. That is pretty fun, and you have the option of playing as one wrestler in the match or just watching (actually many more options). It is actually fun to watch the computers go at it.

Another thing I have found, you can make almost any wrestler with some imagination. If you lack imagination and want to play your favorite wrestler of yesterday (or today, or tomorrow), there are also many packs available online which you can use on your playstation via a usb cheat device like a codebreaker.

Another option is up to 8 players in any match, with them being any combination of computer players or actual human players via a mulitap. When was the last time you saw an 8 player wrestling game?

All in all, its a great game, especially at such a low price point. Think about it, you could go see a movie at the theater or have an addicting game that you could probably play for years without boredom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Game, February 8, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
This is the best wrestling game to pick up! If those of you who are disappointed in the WWE Raw vs. Smackdown Series, This is the game to play! You can create up to 500 superstars from the past to the present, as well as creating your own logos, referees, championship belts, and the wrestling rings. You can even save the same match type if you always play the same match type. The match types are amazing- from deathmatches to classic wrestling all the way down to MMA (UFC), which is so cool! You can even sort them based on the organization they belong to (WWE,TNA, ROH, etc.) It already comes pre-loaded with some american wrestlers as well as wrestlers from old and new japan pro wrestling! Great game! I Love It!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words cannot do it justice!, March 27, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
This game may very well be the greatest wrestling game ever created. Infact, it's so deep, so customizable, that you can sit and watch the cpu fight eachother and possibly be more entertained than you would if you actually played it...can other wrestling games dish that out? heck no.

Fire Pro Returns has the absolute deepest edit/CaW system of any wrestling game. You can make literally *anybody* you want, from *any* era in wrestling, and they'll look so close to the real thing people wont believe you made them.

The game also comes with over 300 some odd wrestlers, most are from Japan/Mexico, but you'll recognize some American guys too, like Bret Hart, Sting, Kevin Nash, etc. The names have all been changed to avoid copyright issues.

Now back to edit/CaW's, you can actually create 500 wrestlers! 500! no joke.

Also, aside from wrestling, this is also an extremely good MMA/Ultimate Fighting simulator. Octagon cage, MMA fighters, complete MMA move sets, and more.

Enough cant be said about how great a game this is. It's an absolute jewel, and a MUST for any wrestling fan that owns a PS2.

The price? hell, it's laughable, 20 dollars, all the way down to 8 dollars, depending on where you get it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a complex and rewarding wrestling game., July 30, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
First off, this game is not a button masher. It is very intricate and hard to master. I would not recommend this for anyone under 12, the move system and create mode is simply too hard.

The good news is that you can create everything : wrestlers,move-lists, federations, the ring, and even the belt. The create mode is actually very cumbersome, but it is complete, and gives the user TOTAL CONTROL. Alot of old-school wrestlers from the 80s(WWF glory years) are already on the game, you just simply need to change the name.

This game is aimed at players who like to create, and has endless replay value.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This game wins the championship hands down, August 16, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
I just got this game yesterday and, without a doubt it is the BEST wrestling game ever put out for the PS2!!! With 300 wrestlers on it to start with, the ability to make 500 more, being able to customize everything including the title belts, you possibilities are endless. The AI is tough at first, but once ya get the hang of the game, which I would recommend setting the AI at the weakest to start with, it will come to ya fairly quick. I could not be happier with this one, for it is so much better than any of the WWE games out there.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best console wrestling game in quite some time, November 29, 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
After making two appearances on the GBA over here, the overseas hit series Fire Pro Wrestling makes it's console debut on the PS2 with Fire Pro Wrestling Returns, and be glad that it has. Even though it features 2-D character sprites (albeit they are well designed and animated 2-D sprites) and no big name wrestlers (although there are some characters that look noticably similar to fan favorites of yesteryear), Fire Pro Wrestling features one of the deepest combat systems you'll ever see in a wrestling video game. Instead of pushing button mashing gameplay, everything about Fire Pro Wrestling Returns comes down to timing and precision. However, this is where another flaw in the game comes about: the AI is challenging to say the least, maybe too challenging for those more used to the big name, big budget WWE titles that get all the attention. However, once you get over all the turn-offs, Fire Pro Wrestling Returns offers a wide variety of playing modes, wrestlers, options, styles, and an incredibly deep edit and creation mode as well. Not to mention that you can't beat the game's price tag, which makes Fire Pro Wrestling Returns all the sweeter. All in all, you may be turned off at first by it's presentation, but give Fire Pro Wrestling Returns a chance, and you'll be pleasently surprised.
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Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - PlayStation 2
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