Review by Dragon Myst

Reviewed: 08/12/03

The "fire" is burning itself out...

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Introduction
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Chances are, if you are reading this review, you know two things already:

1. That the Fire Pro Wrestling series owns.
2. You don't need me to tell you that.

Because let's face it. Any wrestling game fan has heard of the acclaimed Fire Pro series, one way or another. And yes, it is that good, and has dominated the wrestling game genre for several years. But if you're not careful, you could very well be missing out. On what? One of the most entertaining wrestling games ever created. But if there's one big problem within FPW2, it's the inability to improve the same nagging flaws that have plagued the series since day one. After a decade of the same ol' same, I'm a little fed up.

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Graphics
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Case and point. This game, just like any other Fire Pro game, has terrible 2D graphics. The days of being able to stomach the abysmal 2D sprites and horrendous arenas are long gone. We're at an age of gaming where graphics sell games, sadly. And yes, this is a GBA game and I understand that you can only do so much with it's hardware, but that doesn't nullify the mess that I see in front of me. It's a shame that over this decade of Fire Pro's exhistance, that it's no better looking than it was in it's SNES days. The fact that they haven't even made a solid attempt to make this game (or any of the others) any better looking just counts as laziness in my book. Some see it as a trademark style, but I see it as a refusal to move on with the times.

Score: 3 out of 10

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Control
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Once again, the Fire Pro series has always stuck by it's tried and true control scheme, and continues to do so in FPW2. But in this case, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The control in this game is extremely easy to get a grasp of and get's the job done in almost every single way. Not much to say about this area of the game except a ''job well done,'' and maybe a good segway to the next catagory would help. Nah, forget it.

Score: 10 out of 10

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Gameplay
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Ah yes, the meat and potatoes, the bread and butter, the neck bones and macaroni and cheese of the FPW2. Hmm... not sure about the macaroni and uh.. nevermind.

I don't need to tell you how great the gameplay is, do I? You want long see-saw battle matches? Thousands of devastating moves used all over the world? Hundreds of the most famous pro wrestlers in the world at your fingertips?
Not to mention one of the deepest CAW modes ever made? You got it all right here in FPW2, bucko. And your're not going to find it any where else. Okay now... enough of the hype duty.

But yes, this has always been the biggest selling point, and in FPW2, it continues the trend. I would have liked to see more modes this time around, so there would be more incentive to buy this game, but there isn't. Ultimate Fighting is still a mode, as is the electrified cage match, as well as the classic battle royals. The career mode (if you can call it that) is definitely on the lame side of the spectrum and the removal of the Management of the Ring mode is a big slap in the face.

Bottom line is, the gameplay still packs enough punch to hold your attention span, but the fact that this sequel has taken a step back from the first GBA FPW is no fun at all. Booooooo!

Score: 7 out of 10

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Sound
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Trust me, there is no remedy to the sickening sounds you'll hear when playing this game. Feel free to think up any negative Simon Cowell (American Idol) comments you've ever heard him say, and you'd probably be able to take that comment and apply it to this game. There, good.

Now in all seriousness, the sound quality is flat out sad. You can probably make better sound effects with your own mouth than what they actually tried to do with this game. The crowd always cheers the exact same way and in some instances, they don't even cheer at all. Nope, I just don't like it. Don't get me started with the in game music. Brutal. Absolutely brutal. Once again, you can dispute what I'm saying by arguing that it is only a GBA game. I can name a handful of GBA titles that wipe the floor with FPW2's sound quality. So don't try and tell me that this is the best it gets.

Score: 2 out of 10

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Final Score
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When it's all said and done, FPW2 may get the job done for now, but the ''fire'' is burning out. It's time to move on, Fire Pro fans.

7 out of 10

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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