New Japan Pro Wednesday (8/29) Fire Pro Wrestling World Review, More

New Japan Pro Wednesday (8/29) Fire Pro Wrestling World Review, More
Photo Credit: WrestleZone & New Japan Pro Wrestling

Fire Pro Wrestling World Released For Playstation 4

New Japan Pro Wrestling has taken their latest step in the world of digital entertainment. On Tuesday, popular PC wrestling game Fire Pro Wrestling landed on the Playstation 4 with Fire Pro Wrestling World. The game is loaded with NJPW licensed content, from belts to wrestlers to theme music.

A break from the Madden-esque sports simulation mechanics of WWE’s 2K series, Fire Pro Wrestling World is an energetic, 2D throwback to games like WCW vs. The World or WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game. Were it not for the fluid animation in the game’s main menus, the game would fit flawlessly alongside early Playstation games.

Gameplay can be a little difficult to figure at first. The game does not reward button mashing, and is ultimately built around proper timing. There are no health bars and no special meters, meaning a player never knows how injured their wrestler has become, and that finishers and signature moves can be spammed to the heart’s content. Once a player gets the hang of the physics, the game is an addictive time-warp (Quite literally, as the matches feature a sped up clock, meaning a player can play “hours” of matches in much less real time).

Unfortunately, for fans of the Fire Pro Wrestling series, there is not much that distinguishes the game from its PC equivalent, meaning on the PS4 version can feel like a $60-$80 roster update. The PC version of Fire Pro Wrestling World has been out for around a year now, meaning the PS4 version is aimed more at first time players of the FPW series.

The center of the whole game is a story mode called Fighting Road. In this mode, players create their own wrestler that is taken through the New Japan Dojo’s Young Lion system to excursion to America to superstardom in NJPW. It plays like equal parts wrestling game story mode and anime dating simulation, with plenty of NJPW wrestlers just staring at your character. It’s a fun, humorous break from WWE 2K’s repetitive corporate soap operas.

Where other wrestling companies have tried to copy WWE’s approach to building video games, New Japan breaks from the pack with Fire Pro Wrestling World. By licensing their content to an already existing, and popular, wrestling game franchise, NJPW can compete with WWE without spending a disabling sum of money like TNA, ECW and plenty of other wrestling companies. In fact, ECW entering the world of video games is usually cited as one-of-many nails in ECW’s coffin, whereas licensing their intellectual property to Fire Pro Wrestling World feels like another smart step on New Japan’s long road of English language accessibility.

NEXT PAGE: More Wrestlers Announced For Fighting Spirit Unleashed