the theatrics of boxing with the drama and pure athleticism of
professional wrestling, the Pride Fighting Championship, on which this
game is based, is truly a sight to behold. Of course, Pride isnt fake
like boxing is. It is real, no holds barred combat where the only ways
to win are to knock your opponent out or make him give up.
arent familiar with the organization behind Pride FC, let me put it
this way. In America, we have the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In
Japan, they have the Pride Fighting Championship. The only real
difference between them is that UFC uses an octagonal ring while PFC
sticks with the more traditional square ring. These two mixed martial
arts tournaments even share a lot of the same participants. So, to put
it simply, if you are a fan of the UFC games that Anchor has developed,
you will probably love Pride FC. Same concept, same gameplay, a lot of
the same fighters, just a differently shaped ring. If you are a fan of
no holds barred, realistic combat, then Pride FC is the game for you.
main mode of the game is Grand Prix, and it is identical to the actual
Pride FC event. It is a 16-man, single elimination tournament. Since it
is handled as a straightforward bracket-style tournament, you only have
to fight four matches in order to become the Pride FC champion. This is
the main mode of the game, but it can easily be completed in less than
five minutes. There isnt anything to unlock or anything new to see. As
you can imagine, Grand Prix mode becomes boring rather quickly.
modes include a one-match mode where, obviously, you pick your fighter
and an opponent and duke it out. Survival mode pits you against all of
the Pride FC fighters in a series of fights to see how long you can
last. Biography mode has information on the background of each fighter
as well as pictures and a video clip. Training mode is just like the
training in every other fighting game.
the most interesting features in the game is the Create-A-Fighter mode.
It doesnt have nearly as much stuff as the Smackdown games have as far
as editing the physical appearance of your fighter, but it has a wealth
of options pertaining to how well your character fights. You can choose
all of your characters moves and combos for each of the different
fighting positions. This mode goes a long way towards adding replay
value to a game that is severely lacking in the single player
matches themselves look exactly like they do at a Pride FC event. Each
fighter comes out to the same theme music and pyrotechnics that he would
in real life. The fighters are introduced by the ring announcer in both
Japanese and English, just like at the real Pride event. Once these long
intros and other theatrics are done, it is time to fight.
your fighter is fairly intuitive. Each of the face buttons on the Dual
Shock represents a limb. Pressing two buttons together performs a
grapple. Different directions on the D-pad perform different moves and
grapples, just like any other fighting game. What sets Pride FC apart,
though, is that once you get into a grapple and throw your opponent down
to the mat, you can then pin them down and proceed to rain blow upon
merciless blow upon them. You can also put them into a submission hold
for a quick victory. Of course, the person on the ground can fight back
and even roll into submission moves of his own. The fighting system is
fairly deep because there are dozens of different situations with
different moves presented at each of them, but it still all boils down
to whoever can mash buttons the fastest wins.
of my gripes with Pride FC is that the matches are just too damn quick.
Most of the fights are over in twenty seconds or less, which means that
the game has longer loading times than fights. If you get in a couple of
lucky punches or put on a quick submission hold, the match is over just
as quickly as it began. This wouldnt be so bad if there wasnt so much
loading and other junk to sit through, but Im spending far more time
looking at loading screens than I am fighting.
Pride FC looks great. The fighters are all fairly accurate
representations of their real world counterparts. The faces are detailed
enough that you can easily identify your favorite fighters. Or, if
youre like me, you can pick former WWF superstar Ken Shamrock out of
the sea of people you dont recognize. The faces all include detailed
animation that does a great job of conveying pain and other emotions.
Overall, everything is animated very well and has a nice smooth look.
is also very good. Pride FC features all of music from the Pride event
including all of the fighters entrance themes. The sounds of fighting
sound about as good as they can with lots of thumps, bumps, and cracks.
There isnt any color commentary, which is probably a good thing, but
there is a ring announcer that introduces the fighters in both English
and Japanese. The graphics and sound both mirror a real Pride event
perfectly and will definitely help Pride FC appeal to fans of the sport.
Pride FC is a decent fighting game that suffers from one or two key
faults. The lack of modes and unlockable items definitely hurts the
single player aspect of the game, but multiplayer matches are still an
absolute blast. Also, the matches are over in a matter of seconds and
you spend a lot of time looking at loading and menu screens. I know that
matches are occasionally over that quickly in real life, but I highly
doubt that every match is over in fifteen to twenty seconds. Fans of the
Pride Fighting Championship in real life or people who liked the UFC
video games will probably find a lot to like in Pride FC. For everyone
else, rent it first.