Fire Pro Wrestling World has finally been unleashed onto consoles this week in America and will be coming to Europe at the end of Septmeber! The PC game wrestling fans have been dying to get their hands on for a console is here, but it’s not just your standard port. They’ve only gone and put ACTUAL New Japan Pro Wrestling stars in the game! If you’re a fan of both the Fire Pro series and NJPW, then this must be the happiest you’ll be for a long while. SteelChair has certainly been excited for this, which was why when we had the opportunity to chat with community manager Dave Kracker of Spike Chunsoft (developer of Fire Pro Wrestling World), we were more than happy to hear their thoughts fan responses and overall feelings towards the game.
The first thing we needed to know was regarding the advertised NJPW tie-in that has been added to the game. Not only have the wrestlers been added, but voice clips, likenesses, and a story campaign are all included to give the closest representation to the New Japan product as possible. We had to ask, how difficult was it in order to grab the licence to use all these resources within the game, the answer we were told showed that the process was shockingly not hard.
“Surprisingly, not at all!” Dave began “NJPW actually approached us: Abe-san, our contact person in NJPW, used to work for HUMAN, the game company that would become Spike (and then merge with Chunsoft to form Spike Chunsoft). Abe-san knew Terasawa, the Danganronpa series producer. Terasawa introduced Abe-san to Fire Pro director Matsumoto and things went from there!”
Luckily the connections shared between Spike Chunsoft and NJPW lead to us now being able to recreate NJPW matches on our PS4. The world is a small and funny place when you take a step back and look at it.
If there is anything that the Fire Pro series should be known for, it’s the creativity of its fan base. Since Fire Pro Wrestling World had initially been released via Steam Early Access, the game flourished as a haven for those that take the time to create any wrestler they can think of and let the player base download for themselves. Basically, if you have a favourite wrestler, they are more than likely to have been created by someone and you’re able to put them up against ANY wrestler in the world (if they are popular enough to get created of course).
We’ve seen detailed recreations of real-life stars and even absurd designs like a bear that’s also a referee (or maybe a referee that’s also a bear? We’re don’t judge, I’m sure he’s qualified). So we wanted to know the reactions of the people making the game with their thoughts on creations made by the public.
“Community created wrestlers are the reason that World succeeded on the PC, so I can’t thank everyone enough” Dave expressed. “It’s labelled as a sports simulation game, but I think it’s more like a sandbox game—if you can dream it, you can build it, and have it beat the tar out of other creations.”
“I’ve learned a lot by dissecting user-created edits—like innovative ways to layer parts or create CPU logic that feels just right—so if you’re new to the series, I recommend you check what’s out there for inspiration.”
There are a few highlights from the game mechanics that definitely make it stand out from other wrestling games on the market. But we wanted to know what Dave’s favourite aspect about this version of Fire Pro Wrestling World is. Needless to say, the fact that NJPW has made it onto the game is what’s made him the most pleased.
“The new NJPW moves and edit parts are the obvious draw—the wrestlers look and act more like their real-life counterparts than ever before”. Dave continued by talking about the newest mode in the game, Fighting Road. “I think the Scenario Mode is a super exciting addition. You start as a fresh-faced recruit that learns how to work a good match, making it a great launching point for new players with plenty of payoff for NJPW fans.”
Story modes in wrestling games have always been a difficult task to achieve, but Dave seems confident that they have managed to craft something good and worthy as the first thing to play once you buy the game.
Finally, we thought to bring things down we needed to head to our last question and possibly the most divisive within the developer team. Who is their favourite NJPW star? While Dave didn’t speak for the entire team (respectfull wise choice), he did gush about possibly one of the greatest comedic characters working with the company today.
“Recently I’ve been obsessed with Toru Yano. He just looks so happy to be in the ring, and win or lose, he always puts on an entertaining match for both his opponent and the crowd. And isn’t that what pro wrestling is all about?”
Yes Dave, That’s exactly what it’s about. Dave has confidence in the success of this version of Fire Pro, and we certainly look forward to getting our hands on it as soon as possible. Whether it’s recreating any Omega vs Okada bout, or making a dream match of your very own, Fire Pro looks set to take the console wrestling world by force.