Review by Haddes911

"Final Fire Pro Wrestling vs Fire Pro Wrestling 2"

March 21, 2001, was the date that Spike released its first Fire Pro Wrestling game for the Gameboy Advance. It was titled Fire Pro Wrestling A. Most fans of the series were happy for this because they now had a portable version of the series to play on long trips, in the bathroom or just wherever they were. None were happier then me when BAM! released it's American counter part on June 6, 2001. Fire Pro had finally hit the American shores.

So As you're wondering? ''What does this have to do with Fire Pro Wrestling 2 and Final Fire Pro Wrestling?'' Glad to answer that. I'm going to discuss the changes (and few at that), that both BAM! and Spike did to this game. BAM! not only changed the main focus of Management of Ring to their little Iron Man Mode and Wrestler list. They also took out some key Japanese wrestlers such as Johnny Ace, AKIRA, Mammoth Sasaki, and other wrestlers that were the little updates to some of the rosters. As well of a lot of mixed martial arts and shooters are missing as well.

Let's get on with the review now.

Graphics: FPW 2 vs FFPW
If you've played FPA or FPW, you know what to expect. The wrestlers are a bit generic but they look like their real life counter parts. The series never been known much for top of the line graphics. However they are very good, but fans of non-2D might be turned off by this. But let them remain in their little ''3-D wrestling games'' are better little fantasy world.

Sound: FPW 2 vs FFPW
There isn't any differences in sound as fair as I can tell in both of my copies. People have been complaining that there is, however. The sound is basically generic screams, NES sounding music, and thuds whenever you hit someone or slam them to the mat. It's a wrestling game on GBA. What do you expect Smackdown entrance themes and announcing and commentary?

Main Modes: FPW 2 vs FFPW
Well, their is Iron Man Mode & Wrestler list, compared to the Japanese's Management of Ring. Iron Man Mode for FPW2 is very simple. You start with 10 APW (WWE) wrestlers, and wrestle through it until you're done unlocking all 200 wrestlers. Wrestler list is a cheap bio feature BAM! put in the game so most people could more then likely try and match up the bios with their real life counter parts. Some bios are actually quite entertaining, such as the one for Steve Majors which says ''Obtained the nick name Venomous Snake. Is the heaviest drinker in the wrestling business.'' Can you guess who that is? None other then Steve Austin. One of my favorites is ''Rumored to be an ex-porno star actor. His aerial moves and dance at entrance are worth seeing'' for Walther Kyoto, or more commonly known as Magnum TOKYO.

Management of Ring from Final Fire Pro Wrestling is an entirely different ball park. You start with a majority of the wrestlers trying to unlock the hidden ones. How do you do that? You run your own promotion (or an existing one such as NOAH, WCW, WWE, AAA, AJPW, Zero-One, ect., ect.) and you talent search by countries and styles. You can do lots in this mode. Want to turn the WWE into a garbage wrestling promotion (not like it isn't anyway) only? You can do it! Just hire some hardcore wrestlers, put the match rating on that, and watch the magic happen. Sick of Toryumon just being juniors? Hire Vader, and make it strong style. But that's not just the fun part of this. You can have wrestlers win titles via inter-promotional shows. The more titles your wrestlers wins, and longer he defends him, the better rating that wrestler gets. The you could book a big match between him and another wrestler and sell out the Tokyo dome. Don't like just having your promotion in one country? Try moving to another and see how you last in America, Japan, Mexico or Europe depending where you start. Want your wrestlers to get better at a certain style? Send them away for training or to another promotion to work matches of that style. I once hired Stacy Keibler for my AJPW, sent her to NOAH for about a year and she came back putting on great matches. She learned how to do the fighting spirit. You can steal wrestlers from other promotions if they aren't happy, sell merchandise, get training equipment for your roster. The possibilities are almost endless. The only negatives to this mode are depending on what promotion you pick it could only last 3 or 5 years at the most, and it's way to easy once you figure out what exactly to do. Without a doubt it is one of the coolest modes I've ever played. Now only if it was harder, and was in English.

What did BAM! do to butcher it?
Yeah, it's been butchered. Spike's roster contained around 65 Japanese wrestlers that weren't even ported over as was said in the start of this review. BAM! did however make up for it. They gave us some more Americans for the WWE fans like Team Xtreme, Edge, Brock Lesnar. Hell, they even put in some American legends such as Rick Rude, and Jimmy Snuka. But does that make up for 65 missing wrestlers? Not at all. FPW 2's edit mode contains 77 edit slots while the FFPW only has 42 slots. A plus for BAM! But BAM! did the worst thing a Fire Pro fan could ever dream of. For years, American wrestlers have been normal colors. Even in FPA, Spike had the Americans with normal colors. BAM! changed the colors themselves for FPW. However, both FFPW and FPW 2 both have fake colors to avoid copyrights. The UFC 8 sided cage is missing from the American Version, while still in FFPW using a yellow mat with a logo that says ''SAMMY'' instead of the UFC looking logo.

Which one is worth my money?
I enjoy both of them for different reasons. If I wanted to play more WWE style wrestlers, I go towards FPW 2, which I'd recommend to most friends since they'll be more familiar with the wrestlers. If I feel like playing MOR, I'll go to FFPW. But which over all do I recommend? It's a matter of personal preference. First off FPW 2 is $20 at Walmart ($30 everywhere else), is in English, and will appeal to more US based wrestling fans. On the other hand FFPW is a better game, $50 after importing it here, Management of Ring, and is in Japanese which would throw off most people even with the use of a FAQ.

If it were possible to rent both, I'd say it. However it isn't. If you interested in giving MOR a shot, all the more power to you. But I can't help but feel that both companies lazily updated the game by tossing in one mode, a few new moves, wrestlers, and remixing the music. Spike and BAM! both were lazy on this part. Which is better? Who am I to say this for you? FPW 2 and FFPW get a 6 for not being much of an update, but they are still is one of the best wrestling games I've played in my life.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/26/02, Updated 10/26/02


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