Most wrestling video games try to capitalize on well-known licenses, but end up falling short in their portrayal of TV-style wrestling. Not so the acclaimed Fire Pro Wrestling games. This translation for the GBA keeps the tradition of play over personality intact. Any real fan of the body blow and the suplex should want this game.
Featuring 150 different wrestlers from which to choose, each with his or her own moves and finishers--as well as the option to combine more than 1,200 techniques and styles to create your own grapplers for the 3-D isometric ringside--Fire Pro Wrestling doesn't lack variety. You can even link up your GBA unit to fight against your friends or trade wrestlers you've created.
You can also play against the computer, which turns out to be a pretty good opponent. The game takes full advantage of both the A and B and the shoulder buttons, so the control is solid. Getting used to the time delay for punches and kicks can be frustrating, however. The manual does an excellent job in teaching you the tremendous variety of moves, and once you've learned what you can do, the gameplay is extremely satisfying.
About the only thing lacking from the game is familiar personalities. In offering so many fighters, each seems rather bland, and one is often a thin variation on the last. Of course, your own imagination can let you add a Rock-like or Mankind-esque wrestler, if that's what you want. Anyway, it's good fun for a handheld. Can you smell what your Game Boy is cookin'? --Andrew S. Bub
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