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As you can see, Returns is packed with options. I didn't even touch on the match types (everything from your typical cage match to barbed-wire death matches). Don't like those? You can also set up mixed-martial arts matches in an octagon. Casual WWE followers might not find Returns so hot, and it's not for everyone, but if you are a hardcore wrestling fan, you must play this game. Still on the fence? The best bit of info is saved for last: Returns is only $15. Like I said: best wrestling game ever.
I was a big fan of wrestling games all the way up to the N64 and PlayStation era. After that, I was never able to get into the games in the same way - so it has been a few years since I played a wrestling game for any length of time. It is easy to overlook Fire Pro Wrestling Returns based solely on graphics; but by doing so you would rob yourself of playing one of the best wrestling games on the market. Save the $20 you would spend paying for the next lukewarm Pay-Per-View event and pick up Fire Pro Wrestling Returns. You'll thank me later.
Hats off to Spike, and hats off to Agetec for finally making this English re-version happen and giving wrestling fans in the US a game they really deserve. And now with No Mercy 64 eminently returning through the service of Wii Ware, in the words of Jim Ross, “business has picked up.”
The graphics certainly won't wow anyone, and could pass for SNES. That may be a huge weakpoint for some, but it really doesn't matter. You won't get the best looking game of the year (or even day) if you get Fire Pro Wrestling Returns. What you will get is the best wrestling game on the market, and one any true fan of wrestling needs to pick up.
Fire Pro Wrestling is a game that caters to multiple audiences. This is a game for the hardcore mixed martial arts fan who has been disappointed by the latest Ultimate Fighting games, and who wants to be able to pit the fighters of Pancrase and K-1 against the best that the UFC and Pride have to offer. It's for the wrestling fan who skips the ring entrances in their wrestling games and just wants a solid grappling and fighting experience. It's for the devotee of games with deep editing tools, who would love the chance to make hundreds of complex, satisfying characters. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns may not be the best-looking wrestling game available today, but it is in fact the best.
The Review Busters
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is pretty much a must own for wrestling fans. This game brings back memories of the original ECW with the insane matches and overall mayhem that can be caused in the ring. This one is also great for you crazy people that spend hours upon hours customizing things. You'll spend plenty of time on this one, and at only $19.99, it's a freakin' steal. I can confidently give this bargain treasure a 8.75 out of 10.
Fire Pro Wrestilng Returns è un titolo che ogni retrogamer degno di questo nome dovrebbe per lo meno provare. Una curva d’apprendimento quasi proibitiva ed un comparto tecnico degno di un 16bit non riescono infatti a nascondere quelle immense doti di giocabilità e divertimento che fanno del titolo Spike un campione nel suo genere.
At the end of the day you either love this game or you avoid it. There's an amazing amount of depth in Fire Pro Wrestling Returns but if you can't get by the way the game mechanics work, the way it looks or its archaic menu system then you should just keep walking because there's nothing to see here. Hardcore wrestling game fans that want a truly deep experience should definitely check this game out and if you happen to own a couple of multitaps lying around you can have up to seven friends join you in some old school 2D carnage. For the rest, look to Smackdown Vs. RAW 2008 on various platforms.
Armchair Empire, The
Compared to many other wrestling games, FPWR is a much more old school affair, but it is also extremely details oriented. From the precision of pulling off moves, to the sheer amount of customizing that is available, it gives players a lot to sink their teeth into. Be prepared for a challenge, though, because getting a handle on this game won't come easy. However, for a game that sells for under $20, it's unlikely many will complain to much if FPWR hands out more than a few sound thumpings as players learn the ins and outs of the game.
It's not hard to see why some people will go nuts for Fire Pro Wrestling Returns -- especially when it's retailing for less than $20. The fact that you can create your own shows, rings, belts, logos, superstars and more means that if you dig the game's style of grappling, there are literally thousands of things for you to do. However, this game is far from being for everyone. A clunky control scheme, complicated interface and lack of online play pretty much guarantees Fire Pro Wrestling Returns will only appeal to a select few.
That's really the key thing about Fire Pro Wrestling Returns: It's not an especially friendly game for the newcomer. It is unapologetically a Fire Pro game and almost seems to expect a certain knowledge of the series right from the get-go. There are no real tutorials to speak of, nothing built-in to help you ease into what is an extremely complex game across the board. So, ultimately, Fire Pro remains a somewhat niche product: a deep, intense wrestling game for people who don't care about such modern frills as real promotional licenses, 3D graphics, simple-to-use gameplay designs, and the like. While the actual number of those people might be on the lower side, this is a game that such an audience is guaranteed to love for its depth and level of challenge. And even if you don't fall into this category, any wrestling fan really ought to give this one a shot, given its ridiculously cheap price tag. You'll definitely be getting more than your money's worth.
Game Freaks 365
When you see a $15 price tag, you have to expect a $15 product. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is such a product; it will draw the attention of those hardcore wrestling fans who love to customize their characters and anything else they possibly can. I have met these gamers—one man I met while working in a video game store actually bought memory cards weekly to create more and more characters in his wrestling games. That guy would find an infinite amount of enjoyment here. Everyone else would probably enjoy attempting to shove down as many Big Macs as their $15 can buy without getting sick.
The Video Game Critic
I tried to get the hang of the game, but never felt fully in control. Another big issue is the incomprehensible user interface which makes setting up a tournament an utter nightmare. You get about a million different wrestlers to choose from, but they all have the same pudgy builds. When playing my friend Scott he commented "Man, this has so much potential - if we could only get it to work!" Dedicated wrestling fans can bump up the grade by a letter, but few others will make much sense of this.
||How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be
||How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.)
||The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines
||How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes
|Sound / Music
||The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition
|Story / Presentation
||The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
|Overall MobyScore (6 votes)