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Fire Pro Wrestling Returns
  opened by paleface at 04:10:56 09/27/05  
  last modified by paleface at 20:08:44 05/13/24  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Wrestling; reg=JPN]
The venerable 2D wrestling series comes back to give its die-hard fans a massive helping of the incredibly detailed Japanese professional (ie, semi-staged) wrestling simulation that has far outlived any other games with which it could be compared. Go Fire Pro!
In this rebirth, you get hundreds and hundreds of wrestlers based on actual big sweaty dudes, and then you can make more in the inevitable Edit mode, which this time around lets you get all that much more detailed tricking out the last detail of your favorite real or fantasy bare-chested brawler. Or so I've heard--Edit mode is too much for me; and really, with hundreds of wrestlers that they've already made for me, I'm not gonna need Edit mode for much.
This game didn't really come back for me, you see. I really like the control scheme, and the 2D-ness of it all, but I'm not into the endless editing and match-making, which is really all there is to FPR, once you get right down to it. I'm disappointed that there's no "story" type of thing this time around, as there was in Fire Pro G (see entry 81), and even in the retroactively maligned Fire Pro Z (see entry 331). Let us not even speak of D's flimsy "Victory Road." But there's not even the shadow of an attempt at that sort of thing here, and that will keep the non-puroresu-fanboy like me from really sticking with the game for very long, at least at any one time.
I mean, hey, I like to get eight big fat scaling sprite dude battling it out in a ring or cage or whatever all at once just as much as the next guy, but there's only so much of that kind of senseless violence that I can take before starting to ask existential questions, and that leads to all kinds of dangerous things.
So, you know, I'll *want* to come back to this every so often for a big rumble, and definitely so if I can get some peeps together to do it with me (up to eight with two multitaps, even!), 'cause I really do like the battle system, what with the bajillion strikes, rope drops, submissions, throws, pins, flying knees, and other fun things you can do to the other sprites. That's just good clean fun, as anyone will tell you. But meantime, on my own, I'm more likely to try getting through some of the story/career modes in G and Z.
  paleface 03:17:54 05/13/24
I seem to have unloaded my PS Fire Pros at some point, dang.
  paleface 05:46:15 05/13/24
2005 in Japan, two years after Z. 2007 in NA.
  paleface 05:48:28 05/13/24
On NA PS3 (not JP, as far as I can see) in 2013--and still there, it's where I've repurchased it for $9.99 plus tax. PS3 PS2 games can be dumped/extracted with Apollo Save Tool and converted to a chd-compressible .iso with PowerISO (or by converting/burning the Apollo iso to disc and then ripping the disc with ImgBurn).
  paleface 07:08:35 05/13/24
The 4.4 GB ISO chd compresses to 627 MB.
  paleface 07:11:14 05/13/24
The match backgrounds are still a big weirdly kinda diagonally chunky low-res crowd texture just like flat across the ground, like in G. ^ _^ Dirty 3D shading has crept up onto the ring but not noticeably onto the wrestlers themselves.
The first random-set match music I had was awful. ; D
  paleface 07:14:14 05/13/24
You can't get the same unified-looking low-res effect setting the res down to native with this game in PCSX2 that you can get with G in DuckStation; here it just gets alternating blurry/fuzzy-chunky, like it's doing some (bad) deinterlacing when it's at that lowest resolution setting.
But, it doesn't look bad at the higher resolutions; you don't have big pixels obviously rotating sideways on arms and legs like G did.
  paleface 16:28:28 05/13/24
In PCSX2, for this game I set
Bilinear Filtering = None
Texture Filtering = Nearest
to make it more pixelly.
  paleface 16:30:47 05/13/24
There are a couple Hulk Hogan edit heads (443 or thereabouts I think) but no Hogan character made (what I thought was close to Hogan was actually Vader), so you'd have to make one. It's a lot of tweaking and I'm never satisfied with my own efforts really 'cause I don't know what I'm doing, so I think I'll just leave my Hoganing to G, which has a Hogan-alike.
  paleface 16:39:47 05/13/24
The controls seem weird to me vs G: taunt/performance moved to left analog (was L1/L2 in G), breathe now on L1, nothing on L2/R2.
3D walk / drag / front facelock from grapple on R1 (3D walk at least is on R1 in G so that's the same).
  paleface 16:43:38 05/13/24
The characters are much bigger onscreen than in G.
  paleface 18:11:46 05/13/24
The wide screen patch works for gameplay: wrestlers stay their normal dimensions and you can see more of the area around the sides of the ring, etc. Menus are stretched wide. : P
  paleface 20:08:44 05/13/24 [title updated]
I'd been calling this just "Fire Pro Returns" instead of "Fire Pro Wrestling Returns." That would have been cooler but I guess there actually is that big ol other word in there eh. 'p'
· Fire Pro Wrestling 2 (GBA)
· Fire Pro Wrestling D (DC)
· Fire Prowrestling G (PS1)
· Fire Pro Wrestling World (PC)
· Fire Prowrestling Z (PS2)
· Pro Wrestling (NES)
· Wrestling Universe: Fire Pro Joshi - Doumu Chou Taisen (PCCD)

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