Fire Pro Wrestling R - hands-on

Wrestling tykes weaned on today's glitzy SmackDown! franchise probably haven't even heard of the Fire Pro Wrestling series - one of the longest running and highly popular series' in Japan - what with its infinitely customizable gameplay, gigantic roster and incredibly in-depth move list. Oh, we have your attention now? Heading straight for the current/last-gen PS2 this fall is Fire Pro Wrestling R (the R stands for "Returns") and will compete head on against the WWE's longstanding series for your affection.

Now the bad news: in order to fit said custom modes, move lists and roster of 327 (you read that right), the graphics look like a really good SNES game. 2D sprites rule the squared circle for this series, but if you can look past the skin-deep butt-ugliness, than you'll find a grappler worthy of your time. For starters, the control scheme is simple enough to draw you in, yet intricate to keep you coming back.