Video game developer Spike Chunsoft announced last night that Fire Pro Wrestling World, the latest in the long running franchise, will be coming out for the PlayStation 4 and PC this year.
Since some are unfamiliar with the franchise (there hasn’t been a main series release since 2005’s Fire Pro Wrestling Returns), I’ve taken the liberty of creating a quick, nifty FAQ for those who are looking for basic information on the franchise and how it differs from WWE’s video games.
So, what is Fire Pro Wrestling?
It’s a longtime pro wrestling video game series that was very popular in Japan during the height of the wrestling boom in the mid-nineties. The more recent games featured deathmatch and MMA modes, along with the ability to customize your own wrestlers and rosters any way you like.
Beyond the deep customization abilities, the gameplay itself is noted for its complexity, which kind of takes you by surprise once you play it at first. But the game does reward you once you put enough effort into it, making it a pretty rewarding experience once you get the hang of things.
The biggest difference between Fire Pro Wrestling and the WWE 2K series is that Fire Pro has almost always been in 2D, save for a few spinoff titles like King of Colosseum. You'll find that while WWE 2K17 looks like a modern video game by every stretch of the imagination, Fire Pro Wrestling World will look archaic by comparison. But hey, substance over style, right?
Will this feature rosters from New Japan Pro Wrestling or any other promotions?
No. It has been indicated there will be 30 original wrestlers at launch. From what it sounds like, however, people will be able to share their create-a-wrestlers with one another. Given that there is already a strong community out there for the CAW mode in previous Fire Pro Wrestling games, you shouldn't have that big of a problem finding who you want.
What will this new game have that previous games in the series don’t?
So far, it's been announced that the CAW mode will be making a return, filled with over 2000 moves and 2000 create parts to choose from. And for the first time, players will be able to battle one another online for up to four players. It also supports offline multiplayer too, with the PC version supporting up to eight players.
Beyond that, it will be familiar fare for those who have played Fire Pro Wrestling in the past -- same gameplay but now in high definition for modern gaming consoles.
When will this come out?
Gamers will have the chance to have early access to the PC version in the second quarter of 2017 (between April and June). This means that there will be some sort of playable version out at that time, but all the options intended for final release won’t be out yet until a later date, which isn’t known as of right now.
Is there a trailer?
You can check out the announcement trailer below:
Will this be coming out in the United States?
Yes. The PC version coming out will be on the Steam client which, unless specifically noted, anyone can access any game they’d like regardless of country of origin. The PlayStation 4 version will also release worldwide, Spike Chunsoft has confirmed, once the game leaves the early access stage of development.
Is there another version of the game I can play in the meantime? Are there other games out in the US?
The easiest version to nab is Fire Pro Wrestling Returns on the PlayStation 3. It’s up for download on the PlayStation Store for $9.99. There are other versions for the Game Boy Advance that were released in the United States, and if you want to import you can always look up titles on eBay. A full list of games can be found here.