Fire Pro-Wrestling

4 Overall Score
Gameplay: 5/10
Multiplayer: 2/10
Fun: 5/10

Only $10 I Scratches that wrestling itch

No challenge I Easy I Broken Multiplayer

Written by on October 1, 2012 in [, , ]

Fire Pro-Wrestling suffers from trying to please everyone by being a casual wrestling game and ends up pleasing no one.

Putting your Xbox Live avatar as the star of the game, you are tasked with fighting through three distinct leagues; “Casual”, “Championship”, and “Underground”.  Winning or losing matches will increase your XP and money that will afford you new costumes, moves, clothes, or presentation upgrades.

When you fire up the game for the first time, you get tossed right into a match.  This is jarring since you probably aren’t ready for it when it happens.  Initially, I thought that this was the game’s way of giving me a little tutorial.  As it turns out, you will have to go through an actual tutorial that teaches you the ins and outs of the controls.  This was confusing and strange, but at least I got a better explanation of the controls.

When you plow through your opponents, the game awards you the aforementioned XP that will allow you to upgrade your move set.  The game does a poor job; however, of explaining the lettering system for the moves.  Scrolling through the available moves, I figured that they were using the “A” through “F” lettering system to explain each move’s effectiveness, but once I saw a move denoted with an “S” my head exploded into frustration confetti.  “What the hell did that mean?”  I asked myself as I looked at a more powerful version of the same move and I figured that the higher the letter, the better the move.  I was wrong, for that specific move apparently. It was all trial and error, and the game didn’t help me figure it out at all.

Unfortunately, you can’t select the unlocked moves until you level up specific attributes.  When a match would end, I would be informed that I had unlocked a huge number of new moves but hadn’t leveled myself up enough to actually use them.  Yes, this gives you incentive to level up, but the moves are so high in cost that someone who is trying to keep his stats well rounded will have a hard time saving enough XP for the more desirable moves.

The gameplay is frustratingly simple to the point where it almost feels like the game is broken.  Exacerbating the issue is that your opponent AI is too predictable. It nearly feels like the old “Punch-Out!” method of fighting where you just have to watch for the pattern and exploit the weakness but it never offers that level of challenge. Even wrestlers who have imposingly high levels of XP will fall minutes after the match starts.  The game gets easier, still once you realize that reversals are common and not based on your skill level but luck instead.  Doing multiple different grapples hold no merit since equipping one really powerful move to the “B” button will be more than enough to get you by and seem to get reversed less often.  You can’t even win a match as a result of a submission.

The easiest way to blow past your opponents is to play each category up to your own skill level and then switch to the next category and repeat until you’ve beaten everyone. Starting out in “Casual” and switching to the other categories is exceedingly easy.  The only times I ever got hung up was when I was tasked with fighting more than one wrestler at a time since they can break up a pin; however, if you equip yourself with a move that tosses opponents out of the ring, your issue disappears along with any cheap difficulty the developer tried to insert.

This game is filled to the brim with frustrating choices.  For example, every counter has the same animation regardless as to the move being attempted or your position in the ring and that the rules for the “Battle Royal” matches are more akin to a “Last Man Standing” match.

To upgrade your wrestler between matches, you have to exit to the main menu to get to the locker room every time you level up just to improve your attributes.  It would have been too convenient to put that between matches, I suppose.

There is no real story mode, only a group of random matches.  It doesn’t even feel like any sort of career progression happens.  Once every random nobody has been defeated, you get a title shot.

Kind of.

I mean, they call it a title shot, but even after you win, it seems like nothing changes and you can just keep fighting random people in the title match mode.  You get more XP for a title match, but there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for losing even if you are the defending champion.

Two challenge modes will randomly pop up in between matches where you either try to kick out from a pin as close to the three count as possible or take turns kicking someone till one of you fall.  Yeah, I don’t get it either.

If you enjoy wading through a river of maple syrup, then you will be familiar with what it feels like to play the multiplayer.  If any more than two fighters go at it at the same time, I always had to grapple with the controls as well as my opponents at the same time.  I have never felt lag that noticeable before in any online game I have ever played.

The game offers Avatar Famestar features, which is another version of achievements where you can unlock costumes and items for use in each supported game.  During my time with the game, the server for this system went down and during every match a huge notice would display in the middle of the screen to tell me so.

Slamming your way through the game, you can’t help but feel that you are playing through one of the watered down Kinect Sports offerings since it kinda looks like wrestling, but is too simple to include the nuances of the sport. The flip side of this is that the game requires just enough strategy that you can’t just fumble your way through it and be successful.  You just don’t have to put too much thought into either.


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Author: Wallace Phelps View all posts by

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