Just thought you might like to see my latest video, which unlike the last half-dozen may be somewhat relevant to this blog! This is footage of Fire Pro Wrestling R, starring the savage Saturn spokesman Segata Sanshiro. No, he's not in the game by default, but since Fire Pro has historically had an extremely versatile create a wrestler engine, it wasn't too difficult to add him to the cast. I made sure to give Segata a large assortment of judo holds and throws, making him both look and act like the real thing. As for all the other characters in the video... well, I didn't make those guys, but if you watched television at all during the '80s and '90s, I'm sure you'll recognize most of them. If you were BORN in the '90s, however, you'll just see the grumpy dad from Hogan Knows Best and the guy who's in all those terrible action movies.
Oh yeah, this being Saturn Junkyard and all, it's probably worth mentioning that there were two Fire Pro Wrestling games for the Sega Saturn. Here's a review of the first, Six Man Scramble, by another YouTube member:
Obviously, the characters aren't as detailed as the ones in Fire Pro R, more closely resembling the ones in Fire Pro A for the Game Boy Advance, but everything else in the game holds up remarkably well. There are plenty of characters, largely inspired by real-life wrestling superstars, and the number of options available to the player are simply mindblowing. This was one of the more popular imports for the Saturn back in the late 1990s, and given the popularity of the now defunct WCW at the time, it's easy to understand why.
Then there's Blazing Tornado, best described as the New Coke of Fire Pro games. This release threw the deep customization of traditional Fire Pro Wrestling games out the window and replaced it with a more arcade-quality look and feel. What that means to the player is a lot of pretty character artwork and a whole lot more frustration and mindless button mashing. It reminds me a whole lot of Three Count Bout for the Neo-Geo, right down to the corny characters and the unnecessary thumb blisters. It's not the worst of the Fire Pro Wrestling titles (that honor has to go to Fire Pro Gaiden on the Genesis, with the Turbografx-16 games and Iron Slam '96 duking it out for second place), but it deserves plenty of scorn for losing sight of what makes the series so appealing to both wrestling nuts and video game addicts.
If you buy only one Fire Pro Wrestling game, make it Fire Pro Wrestling R for the Playstation 2. I know, it's sacrilige to recommend video games for a non-Sega console here on Saturn Junkyard, but it really is the best Fire Pro release yet, and there's a vibrant community dedicated to making game saves crammed with custom characters. Plus, it's like fifteen bucks. Even with the economy as crummy as it is, you can afford to spend that much on the ultimate wrestling game. If it sweetens the deal at all, you can always create your own faux-bama and have him beat the crap out of a George W. Bush effigy. Can you smell what the Barack is cookin'?