Posted by Retrokaiser On Monday, November 30, 2015 0 comments
Five Star Pro Wrestling is an action packed 3D wrestling game that has you stepping into the squared circle and raising some hell. Yep, the concept of this game is just like the rest of the other wrestling games out there but as we all know it's the fun about the gameplay and characters that truly matters. In this wrestling game you'll be playing as parody versions of well known wrestlers: Johnny the Bull (parody of The Rock), Mike Iceberg (parody of Goldberg), Raganbrok (parody of Brock Lesnar), Curtis Angle (parody of Kurt Angle), Greg Hardy (parody of Jeff Hardy), HarVee Dee (parody of Rob Van Dam), and Dynamite Pegasus (A parody that's made up of multiple British wrestlers). Will this small roster be enough to give you some big fun? LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE! (Click on "Read More" to read the full review).
I really like the idea of this game being a game full of characters that parody modern wrestling legends. I found the parodies to be very funny and a little bit clever (didn't mean for that to sound like a backhanded compliment, wasn't my intention) it did make me laugh due to the humor being spot on. This game doesn't just parody the wrestlers, it also parodies all of their theme songs and you can read what I have to say about that in the visual and audio section of this review (yep, left this paragraph with a juicy dangler).
This game has a few modes including: Exhibition match, submission match, two out of three falls, no holds barred, falls count anywhere, and first blood. Exhibition is just the standard match where you have to out wrestle your opponent and win via pinfall, submission, count out, knock out, or via disqualification. Submission match is very self explanatory, you win by making your opponent tap out, simple stuff. Two out of Three Falls plays just like the exhibition rules but with the added twist of needing to have two points to be able to win. No Holds Barred allows you to do anything you want as there is no DQ. Falls Count Anywhere is just like exhibition but without count-outs and you can pin or submit your opponent anywhere in the arena. First Blood has you trying to beat the other guy until he bleeds like a burst fire hydrant.
The match types in this game are okay to play but are very lacking in variety, it feels like that I'm playing the same match type over, and over, so I just end up sticking with the exhibition match type. I also don't like how that the falls count anywhere match has DQ and how the no holds barred match has no falls count anywhere, it would've been more effective if they had combined the two of them together. The falls count anywhere is a bit shallow, you don't get anywhere much to move, you've only got the ring and the mats outside, there's no way to fight on the ramp, the gym area, or the crowd and that's a shame as it would've made this mode more interesting. No holds barred also suffers from being shallow due to not being able to use weapons or the surroundings to help you wreck it up.
The first blood match isn't a bad idea but the problem I have is that you have to use certain moves to be able to make them bleed and you do not get many moves that can bust people open. It would've been nice to have more ways to make your opponent bleed as this mode needed to be fleshed out a bit more. One match type I would've loved to have seen in this game is the steel cage match as it'll add some variety and freshness to the game and not make it feel like that I'm playing the same game type most of the time. A real fatal flaw with the match types is that you can't freely play them unless you've earned enough coins to unlock them. This fatal flaw is especially bad for people that like to play wrestling games with two players (myself included) and this flaw is just way too much and cripples the game.
This fatal flaw of having to unlock everything with coins also applies to the arenas as you are only stuck with the one until you have enough coins to unlock the rest of them, it does get a bit stale being stuck with one arena for a long, long time. You can also unlock costumes with the coins you've earned but I have no complaints about that, I found that to be a perfectly appropriate thing to have as unlockables. The way you earn coins is by going through the career Mode and complete all of the objectives. The career mode is pretty decent, there are a lot of missions and you get to play all of the match types and see all the arenas. Beating career mode will take a long time as there are several paths you must beat and they can take two to five hours to beat each (that's a lot of wrestling).
The gameplay itself is functional but can be a bit frustrating due to how some the wrestling moves work so roughly. Walking, punching, and grabbing are easy to do but in order to do some real damage, you'll have to do wrestling moves called modified moves. The way you do the modified moves is by holding down a certain button along with the grapple button. All that might sound easy but you'll need to get the timing just right and getting that timing right will be very annoying. Trying to Irish whip your opponent (throwing them to the ropes and/or turnbuckle) is annoying to do due to this move being incredibly rough to where it can be tough to not just throw them to where you want them to go, it can get quite frustrating to just get this move on your opponent in general. Other than those problems, this game has a very decent selection of wrestling moves and it helps to make the move set feel varied and not dull.
The finishing moves in this game come in two forms, a normal finisher and a strong finisher. You can do a normal finisher by filling up your momentum bar until it is filled with stars and then just go to your opponent and hit the triangle button. The strong finisher nearly works the exact same way but you'll have to hold down the a L1 button along with the triangle button. Performing a finishing move will vary in difficulty depending on the position your finishing move requires but once you've got it down, it is a very fun and satisfying thing to do. Each wrestler has more than one finishing move and all have a strong variant of those moves as well and that makes the move list even more varied.
You have two buttons for reversing moves, L2 will be used to reverse punches and kicks, R2 will be used to reverse grapples, and hitting L2 and R2 together at the right time will reverse finishing moves. The reversing system is very frustrating and outdated to where it requires a miracle to be able to pull them off, the reason why is due to you having to be real quick to hit the correct reversal button or else you are hit. The reversal system is also flawed, even when you do hit the button at the right time, there's a chance that it might not work anyway as it is broken and only works half the time.
The wrestlers also have a stamina system to where you'll slowly drain energy over time but with exception to the finishing moves, doing too much of those will drain your energy away quickly. I liked the idea of that but it just feels slapped on in this game and doesn't work very well at all due to it being useless. The thing you might've noticed is that while the wrestlers are comedic parodies, the wrestling moves are not and it disappoints me a little that they didn't put any comedic elements into the moves themselves.
The biggest downer to this game is that it is an incredibly buggy game and not in a fun way. The bugs you'll see include the wrestlers running through the ropes and falling out the ring, belly flopping into mid-air and only then to hit the ground, you even have a game breaking one where the wrestlers will freeze up for if you try to perform one of Icebergs finishers, plus sometimes the wrestlers will just freeze-up for no reason and so you'll have to reset the game. Some of the bugs are very funny to watch but the game breaking ones are frustrating as you'll have to restart the match and it can get to the point where you'll have to reset a few times and when you do, you'll be frustrated because of that process and just turn the game off.
Graphics in this game aren't very good, they look really aged due to the basic and undetailed designs. I wouldn't say that it was all bad as I did like the look of the first arena, the saw blades of the second arena, and I did like the designs of the characters to a certain extent. What I didn't like about the graphics and designs is that how the wrestlers are avoid of all facial expression, it makes the designs to be very disturbing as their heads look like creepy paper masks and are sure to make kids cry. I also didn't like how there is no crowd in this game and I found that to be very creepy and it also doesn't help make for a good atmosphere. The look of the wrestling rings are okay and I have no problem with them, I really liked the design for the ring in the third arena as it has Teslas for ring post and that added some character to the game.
Animation in this game is very average and looks dated although in a good way, it made me feel nostalgic for games such as WWF Attitude (1999) and ECW Hardcore Revolution (2000). The soundtrack in this game is full of generic rock and music that parodies the wrestling themes that the wrestlers are based on. I didn't feel anything for the generic rock due to it not sounding interesting and I found the wrestling themes to be so bad that they were entertaining and good for a few chuckles with exception for Dynamite's theme, it was very dark and serious to where it made me feel very uneasy every time I fought him. The sound effects are very generic and sounded hokey due to how canned the crowd sounded and how overly flat the splats sounded.
Overall, this game isn't a five star wrestling game but it isn't a minus five star wrestling game either. This game does have a lot of frustration but this game does have some fun to it and I'd only recommend getting it for when you find it for dirt cheap, otherwise, pass on it. Two and a half star wrestling game.
Game: 5 Star Wrestling
System: PlayStation 3
Developer: Serious Parody Ltd.