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Pride game has no legs
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling


Game title: Pride FC

Company: THQ

Reviewed on Playstation 2

Pride has finally joined the video game universe, with the release of Pride FC.

For those who don\'t know what Pride is, it\'s one of the major mixed-martial-arts (MMA) organizations. Like the majority of MMA leagues, Pride\'s matches take place in a ring, with rounds of kicking, punching, grappling and submission figthing, similar to UFC or WWF\'s Brawl for All tournament.

Gameplay

Gamers can fight in one of three modes - singles matches, survival mode or in a grand-prix tournament. The object of each match is either to beat your opponent into a knockout, or hold him in a submission move until they tap-out. Think of this game as Street Fighter with a submission feature and you\'ll get the basic gist of what the game involves.

One cool feature is a training option, where you can perfect all of your moves and counter-moves. Be sure to utilize this before you head into combat.

As with any game these days, there is a create-a-player option, which is definitely up to the high standards THQ set with their various WWF games. There are enough detailed options that you should be able to re-create just about anyone.

Controls

This area is incredibly basic. There are only four buttons used for PrideFC, with each having a designated body part, those being left and right arms and legs. This is where most of you action will happen.

The other action will come from grappling, which uses a combination of buttons, rather than utilizing the L and R controls, which is completely mystifying. Normally, THQ is one of the best companies when it comes to controller usage. This time, however, they fail miserably.

Graphics and Sound

As expected, the graphics are superb and highly detailed, and the animation is incredible. The one problem with the graphics, however, is in the blood animation. There are some very cool splatter effects, including blood splashing onto your view-screen, but the grapplers look like they have not been cut at all. It\'s a small, inconsequential problem, but one that should be fixed for the next Pride game.

The sound is only flawed in one area - the English ring announcer sounds absolutely awful. She sounds like Lilian Garcia after chugging back a gallon of coffee, in that she is just way too excited in announcing the winner of the match. As well, if you are using a created wrestler, you are announced as \"Player One\". Of course it would be unheard of for a game to be able to properly pronounce a wrestler\'s name, but some games have managed to get around this by using pre-programmed nicknames.

Overall

Generally, PrideFC is more akin to Street Fighter rather than a wrestling game. The game is challenging, especially in the survival and championship modes, where your energy is not completely recoverable between matches.

That being said, the replay factor that most gamers look for just isn\'t here. Without any storylines or advanced options such as players with extremely differing move-sets, the average gamer will probably get tired of this game after a couple weeks of play. This game is more suited for rental than ownership.

Jon Waldman is a freelance writer based in Winnipeg. He reviews sports video games every month for Canadian Sports Collector. Look in SLAM! Wrestling\'s archives for previous wrestling game reviews.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.