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That mode looks fantastic.

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This video is a decent overview of the mode but leaves some of the cool stuff out - like a lot of the guys they show in Freelance you have to get by sending scouts to other countries to look for new talent.  Like if you scout America, you get the Dudley Boys.

There are also interpromotional matches, where you can even challenge champions of other promotions, beat their champions, and take their belt (each promotion has one).  I had Vader go on a belt collecting murder spree.

Note that that video is from a hacked rom that puts in a lot of English.  While Gamefaqs has management of the ring guides in the Fire Pro Wrestling 2 for the GBA section, that's actually a much less involved game with a lazy localization.  They cut all of that stuff out and it's only in the Japanese game Final Fire Pro, which is kind of a rare cart now.

 

 

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Stevie Richards has a youtube!

 

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I can confirm Richards is a fucking huge Fire Pro mark all the way back to 6 Man Scramble.  I remember him hanging out at the video game store in Oxford Valley Mall (his friend was the manager) and people playing 6 Man Scramble on the Saturn kiosk.

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He mentioned it in WWF magazine when he had his column in the back of every issue, actively shitting on current games from the company he worked for in it's favor.  That ruled.

 

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I vaguely remember that.

BTW, for those on Steam, FPWArena setup a Steam Group for the game. It's either FPWorld or FPWArena. One of those two. Hell, I may have botched that as well.

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Early translations bits and pieces from the Famitsu article in tomorrow's edition:

-L2 is the dedicated pin button now (yes!)

-"Wrestlers will inch their way towards the ropes for a rope break while in a submission." (YES!)

BL88, this is for you:

tumblr_n8xb09MP6W1qaa8d1o1_500.gif
 

I wonder if we get to edit what kind of pin L2 performs or if you want anything fancy it'll take up a grounded move slot. 

The FPWarena crew is sending a list of 20 suggestions and they got feedback from a Spike dev saying that they check the board, so let's hope they at least put some thought into integrating a few of the suggestions. Some are pretty unrealistic but it's nice to dream.

Edit: here's an early translation from Maikeru at FPWarena...

Quote

Matsumoto/TOMOZOU (the game director, who also directed Gachitora: Abarenbou Kyoushi in High School for PSP) ended the interview by saying he'd make it rain money for Spike Chunsoft--no, the games industry.

I ended up buying the 3/23 issue digitally, even though my Japanese is frankly complete crap. :P

The first part of the interview is him talking about how he entered the gaming industry because he wanted to create a Fire Prowrestling game and put his all into that. He started working for Spike Chunsoft (previously Human) with Fire Prowrestling G, touching up the screenplay and characters for Fighting Road mode. He was also worked on the Wonderswan game and mentioned that he came up with the idea of updating the results screen to show the last move hit before a pinfall on the result screen, because he always went "Wait, wasn't it the wrestler's finisher that cinched it?" when he was playing. One of the interviewers mentioned that it's an added touch that gives it the feel of the wrestling results page in a "certain" sports magazine.

let's see, what else... Matsumoto says that this is a complete rehaul of the game's code. Part of which is because there were a lot of elements of Fire Pro, from the very start, that had a "Chef's super-secret sauce" sort of element to it, and that the staff had been reusing old programming code dating back to the PC Engine days because only the original main programmer knew the ingredients of his "secret sauce." Since he couldn't get that main programmer back, but had the backing of staffers who had worked on the other series titles, he attempted to reverse engineer the games with them only to run into more and more bugs that cropped up. So, he decided to throw everything out and start fresh.

Matsumoto confirms what we already knew from the Spike Chunsoft conference--that this time, they won't be adding any new wrestlers to the roster and wished that he could say exactly why IIRC (legal issues, more than likely). But, he went on to show off the US arena, with its longer, sloped entrance stage, rubber fencing, giant monitor, etc. Which led one of the interviewers to mention it looks like the stage of a "certain" wrestling company (I wonder who?). Matsumoto mentions that it hasn't been added yet, but that they'll be adding a sliding ring-in animation when you run down the entrance ramp (which draws further comparisons to World Wrestling Ent...I mean a "certain wrestling company"). They remark on the ringside table, and that steel chairs can still be used (and they will eventually break, so keep an eye on its condition).

I'll try and piece out some more of it, but, I can at least say that the L2 pinfall button is indeed a thing, so that you can have more move spaces dedicated to attacks and submissions.

There's a Mission Mode that is apparently going to be a sort of mode that requires you to finish matches under certain conditions, and that of course there will be trophies related to it.

The last part... I think might be talking about a versus mode where players match up their own creations and see who has the best CPU Logic?

Doing the code from scratch is pretty impressive. Probably necessary for getting it to work decently online.

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Just steal MDickie's dumb wrestling games on the app store and go to town!

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I appreciate that everyone is super excited, and because of that this'll be my last post in this thread until it's out.

Between my general distrust of the Japanese games press, a functional stranger saying "you guys I got the latest magazine and here's what it says I think maybe!," the hours I spent writing up Sonnybone's thing for the Giant Bomb wiki, and the big heaping of crow I ate over that there, I'm gonna go ahead and not believe a single fucking thing anyone says about this game until it's available for me to buy, see, and manipulate for myself. If it has a quarter of all that stuff, great. The screenshots they have on their steam page have direct asset rips from FPR, though, so I'm totally ready for it to have none of that and less.

Still, any new Fire Pro is significantly more Fire Pro than I thought I was ever gonna get, so it's not like I'm not buying it. Just protecting myself in advance.

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14 hours ago, Ryan said:

Just steal MDickie's dumb wrestling games on the app store and go to town!

I play those if I want to mess around on a slow work day.  It's not horrible, but definitely not Fire Pro.  Though if they had no legal issues with fake names that look pretty much like the real deal then I think Fire Pro could have gotten away with it too.

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I've never played one of these games in my life. It sounds like a lot of hardwork

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The hard work is going to be all of us vets teaching you goddamned noobs how to play.  Actually not really, a lot of people that consider themselves vets these days only sim shit and mess with CPU logic and can't even play the game.

I buy Firepro games to play them and am now in the minority.

Actually it's not really that bad to learn.   You need to learn how to grapple right (press the button right when they touch), then you need to learn to build from weak moves to strong moves or the strong moves wont work and you'll just get reversed,  then you need to learn how to rest right, then you need to learn how not to spam shit like WWE games because you'll get tired and die.  The breathing helps.  Then you gotta learn how to properly line up your strikes and weapon attacks because the collision detection is super super specific and exact.  All of this will make more sense when you have one in your hands and are playing it and can see what I mean.

You guys just starting out now are lucky because you're having all this handed to you.  

I had to play this shit in Japanese for at least ten years before anybody got any kind of version in English.

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Figuring it out was a big part of the fun back then, at least for me.

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I remember modding my PS1 to play FirePro.  Soddering a fucking chip where one wrong move could have cost me my PS.  Anyway, I literally had like a 180 page guide i printed and binded at work with menu translations etc.  lol.  It was so worth it.  

 

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Fuck simming matches. That always sounded incredibly boring, unless you ran an efed that used Fire Pro. I have the game to play it. If I wanted to watch wrestling, I'll watch, you know, an actual match.

And oh man, figuring it out was the hardest part until it clicked for me, and that didn't happen on a consistent basis until D. Honestly, I should have been better prepared given how much of the Tecmo and WCW wrestling games I played on the NES.

More than the visual cue, I listen for the audio cue, which is that "slap" sound you hear right when you grapple your opponent. At that point, I already know what move I want to do. That's pretty much it. Well, that, and knowing when to breathe.

What I missed the most in D and R was the fucking awesome mode in the GBA game that had you go through the various promotions and you had to achieve a star-level for the match. Maybe I'm not remembering it correctly, but busting out a 5 star match really felt like I wrestled an epic match. The other cool part was that you had to wrestle different styles depending on the promotion. So in the Fire Pro version of WWE, you're "working" a match, which means not relying on the opponent to kick out and instead giving up on the pinfall as close to 2.9 as possible. I really wish we had something like that again.

Casey is right. If you're new to Fire Pro before this or R, then you were babied by the English translation and won't know what it was like to print out half a ream of paper in the university library just to have a Gamefaqs guide in front of you. So much wasted paper of guides for the Fire Pro games and VPW 2.

BL88's trepidation is confusing though. I haven't read the entry on Giant Bomb's wiki (and I'm not sure what entry that would be), but I'll have to check it out. I don't know. The press conference and news since then haven't really given me a reason to be worried. Actually, I take that back. The only concerning part is the admission that they tried to reverse engineer the code and had to start from scratch. If they had to go through that process then and they weren't getting it, then what changed this time around? They don't have the original coder or the "secret sauce" info, so will it actually be as precise as Fire Pro should be?

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You know what always fucked me up....That in Japan the "O" buttton does the selecting, and the  "X" button does the cancelling.  Lol.  That would drive me nuts for a while.  

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Yeah, same here. What's as weird was when a game from Japan would be localized for the US, but still maintain those Japanese quirks. I can't remember if it was Konami, Square, or the other company that would release JRPGs here in the US, but one of those companies used a button other than X to select stuff. It's changed since the PS1 days, but at that time it took getting used to because, at least with Fire Pro, you would keep backing out to the menu screen. I think that happened to me with each version of Fire Pro I played from SFPWX onward. 

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X being the cancel button always seemed logical to me. 

For new players to Fire Pro, I think the striking distance is the most difficult thing to overcome. With the grapple timing, a neophyte can just turn the CPU difficulty to 1 and work up. I hope now that there's a dedicated pin button that there's also a dedicated break up button too for stopping pins and subs. That's still frustrating to a long time vet. 

After talking about World with a buddy last night, we decided to play Returns. Did the classic endless critical battle royal. Nothing in the fancy 2k games is as satisfying as winning a battle royal by getting a critical on Sexy Star with the pedigree and you've got 6 other bodies laying around the ring. 

Edit: forgot to mention that I also don't get the whole sim over playing aspect but to each their own. I find timing changes are usually enough to keep things interesting against the CPU. Hopefully the online play is lag free and we can test our skills against other good players.

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For striking, the way I nailed it and the way it still works for me is that I approach my opponent, stop, then move down, and then I throw my strike. Usually that connects. It's again another timing thing that probably works for me, but I think I just found that if was walking towards my opponent and moving in other directions and try to strike, I'm going to miss because I'm basically chasing air. If I do it the other way, then I'm "squaring up" my opponent and giving myself a better chance at hitting him.

Also, playing the MMA matches really helps with nailing your strikes. It's good practice.

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If I had any mode back, it would be the mode that was in G, which was the "Start as a Young boy and work your way up", complete with just basics available at the start and  you had to unlock more advanced moves as you worked up the card and went with different promotions on tour.

 

Sadly, with only 30 guys and no thinly veiled renames, we're probably not getting that.  

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A training mode would be helpful for new players - or even something as simple as an "too early/too late" hint like on WWE games.  Have it be optional or even disable it completely on higher difficulties.  

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I've been playing Fire Pro since D on the Dreamcast and I can still only work out the timing on running strikes maybe one time out of five.

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I've been playing Fire Pro since Fire Pro-wrestling Special on the SNES where I had to hack out the plastic tabs inside the Super NES so the cart would fit in.

 

Simming matches depend.  I would always do a march madness tournament where I would construct as many tag champions as I could, would break them out by the various feds (NJPW, AJPW, FMW, I think I had misc if I couldn't field a block), plus WCW, WWE, Misc US and a Misc International.  You could be on more than one team so Road Warrior Hawk would be in with Animal and Power Warrior, but I tried to keep guys in what I felt was their "major" fed, so the Steiners would be in WCW even though they had the WCW tag titles), after your local pool play, I'd take 2 from each pool and then mix it up.  The fun part was when you could dig up weird champions, like I got to do Fuchi and Onita as a team for US indies for their tag title reign in Memphis, The Puerto Rico tag champs Mr. Pogo and Kensuke Sasaki.  I think I had Baba and Jumbo win one year, I think Vader/Hansen once, Maeda and Takada I think were beasts in a few tourneys because they would hit a lot of critical KOs, but because they were shooters, their logic didn't allow pin saves, so sometimes it would cost them a match they were dominating.

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25 minutes ago, Zimbra said:

I've been playing Fire Pro since D on the Dreamcast and I can still only work out the timing on running strikes maybe one time out of five.

You need to play as Stan Hansen waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy more

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Things that newer players AREN'T being handed that I feel bad about actually:

Hundreds of actual wrestlers with nothing but a fake name and sometimes some recolored looks preventing them from getting sued (Including WWE guys, which eventually ended- with Firepro Wrestling D on the consoles and the GBA games being the last ones to feature them as default characters).  This new game ships with 30 dudes.  The last one shipped with over 300.  This is just a symptom of the changing copywrite laws in Japan since 2005.

Special Editions with cool shit:  They had one that came with a blood splattered "foreign object" bottle opener.

The glorious, glorious swearing - this was a thing pre FPR.  You can assign sounds to individual moves and taunts.  Goddamn, some of them were great.  In 6 Man Scramble, Terry Funk would yell YOU SON OF A BITCH before the last punch in the Texas Bronco punch combo.  FPG had "EC FUCKING W" and actually just ramped up the swearing in general.  You could theoretically yell fuck and shit with every punch or kick.  Crazy MAX did the Crazy Fucking pose complete with FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING

This all changed for some reason, probably an emerging game ratings system in Japan or something - by Firepro Z for the PS2 (not a very good Firepro game and almost a bad port of D on the dreamcast but still good - buy R instead) Crazy Max was yelling WHAT WHAT WHAT during the Crazy Fucking.  Come on man. 

 

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