Finally!! A real console version of Fire Pro Wrestling here in the U.S.! This is huge to any Fire Pro fan. I think one thing that separates Fire Pro from most of the other games is simple, you have to be a well…smart wrestling fan in order to enjoy this game to the max, as well as a big gamer. The wrestling games that typically come out, whether they are fun to play, put together well, or just plain good at capturing that moment in time of what is going on with its real-life counterpart, it is not a game meant for a seasoned gamer who knows that game-play is key. Fire Pro is a game that is… well, just that, a game. There is a learning curve, those who learn how to play are rewarded by being the better players. There are no licenses being used in the game. All the wrestlers are cleverly presented to let you know, it may not say “AJ Styles,” but it’s AJ Styles. The description of the wrestler, his info, even his birthday and place of origin are clear indications of who indeed this is. The Fire Pro series has been around for years dating back to the early nineties. Imports crept over here and allowed American fans to get a taste of it. It wasn’t until I was placed in front of Fire Pro D that I got to experience this game. As chance would have it, the engine was ported to the Game Boy Advance. Although the port changed some key things in order for it to play nice with Game Boy, it did teach me a lot about the series and I was able to apply much of what I learned to the console version. Enough of the boring history.
Fire Pro kicks Ass! Okay, with the US version you need to do a little tweaking, that is, downloading some stuff off the interweb, but then you get to rename all the wrestlers instantly (instead of doing it all manually). Another tasty downloadable morsel are roster expansions. Since a lot of wrestlers are simply unrepresented, there’s guys who play this game (and gals I’m sure) that have extracted these characters, some from scratch, some from other games, and ported them to this game. A quick trip to gamefaqs allows you to download over 400 wrestlers. I’m speechless. When you have a roster of 30 guys or so such as a game like Smackdown… 400 is practically a quantum leap. Well Fire Pro Returns is available now, although good luck finding it. A lot of retailers didn’t take it seriously and when big box companies shipped in all of 12 copies, they flew off the shelves. I’m sure nuts like me didn’t help, buying three and all. I assure you people however, they aren’t all for me.