Fire Pro Wrestling World - Early Access First Impressions

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If you have played and enjoyed a Fire Pro Wrestling game in the past, chances are you have already bought Fire Pro Wrestling World. If you haven’t, you absolutely should. It’s everything you would expect and want: the classic Fire Pro feel and gameplay, with sharper graphics and sound. Spike Chunsoft could have stopped there and I would be a happy customer for €20 - but they didn’t.

Those that aren’t familiar with the franchise would take a brief glance at the 2D graphics and assume an intentional retro vibe. In fact, Fire Pro Wrestling World is very much a product of today. The simplistic visuals lend the player almost endless wrestler creation possibilities. It means an absolutely astounding amount of moves are properly animated. More importantly, these creations can be easily shared and downloaded through Steam Workshop.

Within hours of the game’s release, there were good creations for Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada. Choosing Omega, I was delighted to see the range of animations that are very specific to him are present and correct. His double finger-gun taunt, the V-Trigger and a very satisfying One Winged Angel are all there. In true Fire Pro fashion, the match against the AI was a dramatic affair, with back and forth momentum, 2.9 kickouts and a spectacular finish.

The Best In The World

It was a reminder of why Fire Pro Wrestling is still the undisputed champion of wrestling games. I’d argue that Fire Pro Wrestling Returns held that crown before now, surviving 12 years of attempts from Yuke’s WWE games. Nothing has matched the pacing, balance and thrilling unpredictability of Fire Pro Wrestling in all this time. No other game has you looking back at the battle you just finished, win or lose and think to yourself “that was a great match”.

I played a match online with fellow WrestleThinger, Thingsuke - and the game performed admirably with us both on Wi-Fi connections, in different countries. There was a slightly floaty feel to moving around the ring at times, but nothing worse than what we have experienced in other games with the same setup. Let’s hope this continues to hold up and improve in further sessions as the netcode is improved. Most importantly, I never felt like I won or lost a grapple attempt due to lag.e is a little convoluted, with even setting up a 1v1 match against the AI not being as straightforward as it should be. Grabbing player creations through the game interface doesn’t seem to work properly right now, so browsing via the Steam store is the way to go. I’d also suggest that they move “Mission Mode”, which serves as the game’s tutorial, to the first menu screen, so newcomers can learn the game’s unique controls.

I’m thrilled that the game delivers everything I was hoping for from a new Fire Pro Wrestling game and knowing that there is still more development to come makes the €20 asking price an absolute bargain. Keep following WrestleThings for continued coverage on the game!

Buy this game!

My recommendation to jump in today stands, but you should be aware that the game is in Early Access on Steam. This means that there are still some bugs known to the developer to iron out, which they share on their blog on the Steam community page. It also means the game could be improved based on player feedback.

My biggest nitpick would be that the menu interface is a little convoluted, with even setting up a 1v1 match against the AI not being as straightforward as it should be. Grabbing player creations through the game interface doesn’t seem to work properly right now, so browsing via the Steam store is the way to go. I’d also suggest that they move “Mission Mode”, which serves as the game’s tutorial, to the first menu screen, so newcomers can learn the game’s unique controls.

I’m thrilled that the game delivers everything I was hoping for from a new Fire Pro Wrestling game and knowing that there is still more development to come makes the €20 asking price an absolute bargain. Keep following WrestleThings for continued coverage on the game!