Review by sonnybone4

Reviewed: 01/26/03 | Updated: 01/26/03

King of Colosseum: The Best 3D Wrestling Game... EVER

Spike, the creators behind the world's greatest wrestling game series, FIRE PRO WRESTLING, have jumped into the realm of 3D... AND IT ACTUALLY WORKED.
KOC, in my honest opinion, is really just a 3D Fire Pro without the insanely large roster. Spike's new masterpiece is worlds ahead of every other 3D wrestling game on the market, and easily surpasses my once favorite series: Virtual Pro Wrestling.

Graphics- 8/10
I'm a huge Fire Pro fan, so let me say first that I really don't care about graphics. However, the character models in KOC are outstanding. Guys like Keiji Mutoh, Satoshi Kojima, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan look just like their real-life counterparts. The arenas, entrance ways, and rings are superbly done and could quite possibly be the best EVER. In AJPW arenas, streamers are thrown in, and look OK, but could have been done better. Giant Gramm 2K did a PERFECT job, and that was several years ago. The crowd also looks quite pathetic during the entrances. That 2-D crowd is fine during the matches, but when the camera pans around during wrestler intros, you can REALLY see the crappiness. But I'm just nit-picking here, as the crowd does NOT affect the score in any way... it just has to be said.
Moves are (generally) animated very well, and the personalities of the wrestlers are brought to life...
like with Mutoh's dragon screws, low dropkicks, and elbow drops...
or Kawada's shin kicks, powerbombs, and backdrops.
Their moves are one-of-a-kind, so you won't be seeing them unless they're in the match... and THAT is truly great. Having mulitple versions of the same move in a wrestling game is an absolute MUST, and Spike has done MORE THAN ENOUGH to fulfill that *ahem* quota.
Not all moves are animated well, though. They are VERY RARE, but some moves just don't look right. Lariats from the standing position resemble punches, and (in my eyes) they 450 just doesn't look 'natural'. But HEY... who cares... only 10 or so out of the 2000 moves in this game look less than perfect, so there's no real reason to complain.

Sound 7/10
Spike is getting better. I'm sure they'll get the hang of this tricky 'sound' thing one day.
The bigger names have their REAL themes, and the crowd chants and claps right along, just like in real life. Other wrestlers who reside a little lower on the card have 'remakes' of their themes, and all sound just fine. They did a good job with the ring announcers, and the commentary is great, but still not as great as Giant Gramm 2K. But, again... WHO CARES... it's still good, and does what it's supposed to do.
The trouble starts with the crowd, though. They are far too timid during the intros. If they're NOT chanting or clapping along to the theme, they don't do anything. There's not even a slight roar to be heard. And when the wrestlers are being announced, there's an odd pause between the wrestler's name, and the crowd's reaction. During the match, the crowd ''pops'' for short bursts, but there's no real build-up, which leaves the crowd hot for the final 5 minutes of the match. I also miss the 2.9 count ''foot stomping'' that made KOC's little brother, KOS so great.
The wrestling mat sounds good, and the majority of the slaps, chops, and kicks are done nicely. Wrestler voices are usually done well, with the exception of Stan Hansen and a few others. I was really looking forward to Hansen's famous ''HEEEEEEEEE'' but sadly, it's a big let down. Screw you, GIANT GRAMM 2K! You have SPOILED ME!
I really do enjoy the menu music in KOC. It's not too repetitive, and it's even good enough to hum along to.
All in all, this is Spikes BEST job in the sound department, but they still have a few things to learn.

Wrestler Edit- 8/10
That score should be a 10. If the appearance editor had more options and was a little more detailed, the edit mode would be perfect. As it is, you can create only the wrestlers who’s heads are available... or wrestlers who RESEMBLE those heads. Once you figure out HOW to do it, there's a decent amount of attire, and you can even choose left arm/right arm, left leg/right leg.
This mode really shines when it comes to stats/moves. Only a few moves are missing, but they'll be in the GRENN DISC, I'm sure. The number of moves you can assign is mind-boggling. It'll take you forever to make a guy from scratch, but there ARE pre-assigned move sets available. Check Jerrold's FAQ for a list of heads/movesets.
Great mode, great options... but I've only had time to make one guy, so I can't talk too much about it.

Gameplay- 10/10
WOW. Just.... WOW.
King of Colosseum is a wrestling sim. There are NO arcade-style elements to be found. Puroresu is represented very nicely here, and the gameplay alone makes this the BEST 3D WRESTLING GAME EVER.
I'm not going to talk about WHAT all you can do or HOW to do it, because you can find that all over the place.
Just take my word for it...
Once you master this system, you'll realize that it beats every other grappling system ever devised. I have had the best matches on KOC. I can't even remember any GREAT matches on Giant Gramm, VPW2, or No Mercy. KoC has surpassed them all. Playing KOC with friends will spoil you, too. I had GREAT matches with the CPU, but once I played with my friends, I began to hate CPU matches. HAHA, they're still fun, but HUMAN vs HUMAN just blows them away. Having an epic 40 minute tag match for the IWGP straps is just ONE of the many hilights so far. Hell, I have more fun putting on a good match and losing in KOC than when I win sometimes. IT'S THAT GOOD.

Then there's shoot fighting...
I can't even talk about this... it'll take a whole separate review. It's like a whole other game. It is VERY WELL DONE, though

I have played them all, and I'm confident in my words:
I know, I gave it an 8/10.
THIS GAME IS NOT PERFECT. When the perfect wrestling title emerges, then I'll give it a 10. But right now, this is THE game... and the only other company that'll beat this title is... SPIKE. With either KOC GREEN... or FIRE PRO Z.

There's not much more I can say... I was willing to pay 250 bucks for a Japanese PS2 for this game, and I would have been completely satisfied. But, the Flip-Top came along, and saved me a lot of money. There's NO REASON why you shouldn't own KoC. (besides money issues, of course) If you love Puroresu... and if you love Fire Pro... or if you are just tired of WWE crap and want to experience what everyone is talking about, then I put the official SONNYBONE guarantee on it. YOU WILL ENJOY KoC... unless you're some punk nu-age hybrid-wrestling entertainment fan. But that's another rant altogether.


Rating:   4.0 - Great

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