Pride FC an extremely vigorous sport played in a Japan, but unfortunately has never made its way to the US. It’s a no-holds-barred, everything-goes fighting extravaganza. Now doesn’t this sound like a good video game, you bet it does. But unfortunately the lack of any deep gameplay modes stops this one from becoming a top fighting title for the PS2.
Although you may not be familiar with the fighters of Pride FC, the game does host to a twenty five-man roster, of some of the best from the league. Some of these fighters include: Ken Shamrock, Don Frye, Gary Goodridge, and Carlos Newton.
This is definitely more of a multiplayer game then it is a single player. That’s not to say there aren’t single player modes, because there are a few. These modes include, a single match, Grand Prix (Tournament Mode), Training, Survival, and a Create A Fighter mode.
The Grand Prix mode is one of the two main modes of the game where you will play through a tournament as either your created player or one of the 25 fighters. This is really a pathetic attempt at a "main mode", in which I ended up completing this one with my created player, in less then twenty minutes.
The survival mode is what I would consider to co-main mode. While in this mode you will fight against all the Pride FC fighters, that’s right, all twenty five of them. This mode is a bit lengthier then the Gran Prix mode, but once again the difficulty is just not up to par, even on the hard difficulty setting.
I did find the Create A Fighter mode to be quite intriguing. In this mode you will be presented with plenty of styles, and appearances you can choose from to create your fighter. These options include, changing everything from facial attributes, to the clothes your fighter is going to be wearing. This is a solid mode for anyone who wants to invest a little or a lot of time to create a fighter.
The biggest disappointment though of the single player mode would have to be the lack of a true main career mode. This is an amazingly huge drawback, from a game that has a lot of potential. What this all leads to is not enough options on the single player side of the game to keep you playing. You would expect in this day and age at least a light career mode, that let you go for the title, but this is non-existent in Pride FC.
Like I stated earlier this is a multiplayer game, that although doesn’t host to a lot of modes is just one that is great to play with friends. Fighting games like Pride FC have always been great games to play with the guys, and this one is sure not to disappoint.
With the lack of Gameplay modes to choose from, what really comes through for Pride FC is the execution in the Gameplay department. This is one game that plays very nicely. There are a few different kinds of fighters, and it really shows on there overall abilities when fighting. So when fighting with a kick boxer you will find that grappling with your opponent might not always be your best option. So depending on who you choose will depend your game plan for the fights.
This is not a game that you can pick up and start playing. For the most part you should try the training mode, to learn all the buttons, along with the grappling techniques that will help you throughout your matches. Overall though the controls work very well, the four front buttons are used for punching and kicking and the rest are used for other tasks.
The sound of Pride FC is solid except for one minor aspect that I will discuss later on. To start off with the crowds are very impressive because they react at key moments of the fights, which helps make the game seem realistic. Along with the crowd effects also the sound effects during the game also sounds very good. The sound of punches and kicks flying sounds very cool, it’s unfortunate there wasn’t any 5.1 Dolby Surround sound included.
My biggest issue with the sound was the lady announcer, who announced the winners at the conclusion of each match. Her voice was a very high-pitched weary sound that just leaves me to wonder why they have her announcing the winners. This is only a minor issue I just had trouble standing this lady even only after one or two fights.
Pride FC is one game that does an above average job with how everything looks in the game. To start with the character models are solid. Each character matches that of the fighters they are attempting to recreate, with some extremely nice details (like facial hair, ect.). However, the overall appearance of the character models are only decent. The tattoos and other attributes on the rest of the body fall a little short from being excellent.
The rest of the game is but once again above average. The ring in which your fights take place in are very nice, although it’s a shame there aren’t other rings to choose from, so you will be stuck fighting in the same one over and over again. The crowds are pretty standard compared to other fighting games. A nice graphical effect that Anchor has thrown in was the blood effects. You can choose to take the blood on and off, but I really think it keeps the level of intensity in the game up, and it looks pretty realistic.
This has to be the strongest portion of Pride FC, because it is just so fun to play. Although very disappointed with the fact of no career mode, I got over it after playing the multiplayer, and just playing around on the Survival mode. This is just one game that doesn’t lose its flair. It stays fun throughout, with plenty of different grappling moves to pull off and non-stop action, this is just a lot of fun.
If you enjoy UFC type games, or even fighting games, this is one game PS2 owners should think about giving a shot. There is a lot of fun to be had, in both the single and multiplayer modes that can last you quite a while. If you’re not sold on the whole idea of the game, then I would definitely put this on top of your rental list.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.