Developer: Anchor |
Publisher: THQ
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game |
Release Date: 02/11/03 |
Genre: Fighting

If you haven’t heard of Pride FC, don’t feel bad. I am not very familiar with it either. However, for those of you who have heard of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Pride FC is very similar to it. However, Pride is based in Japan and features over 25 real fighters from the organization–including: Ken Shamrock, Gary Goodridge, Kazushi Sakuraba, Carlos Newton, Royce Gracie, and Don Frye. While these names may or may not mean anything to you, they guys are some of the best martial art fighters in the world.

Japanese developer Anchor first developed a Pride FC game on the Dreamcast years ago. They once again have taken the development reigns and they improve upon the original title in virtually all aspects. But while the graphics are better, gameplay faster and more fluid, the best part of this title is the two player mode. Once players learn the controls, the gameplay really begins to shine. Each player will attack, counter-attack, and it will continue without ever making you feel like you have lost control of the game.

Each of the four buttons on the controller will cause you to target a specific limb. As you move the D-Pad and press buttons, you will perform a variety of attack moves that will hopefully force your opponent into submission. Normally, fights won’t go on for more than a few rounds� however there is always a way to counter of the situation you find yourself in. But don’t forget that your counter move could be countered and you can find yourself in an even worse position than before.

As I said above, because of the excellent gameplay, this title is an awesome two player game. However, that is not to say the single player mode fails to offer any challenge or excitement. However, when the multiplayer mode is this good, why play alone? If you do play alone, you will find several modes to keep you busy. First, you can create a fighter to try and take him to the top. When creating him, you have the option to customize how he will look� including his tattoos, hair, and clothes he wears in the ring. This mode is the biggest challenge in the game. After a bit of training, you can start your long road to the top.

The other main single player mode is the 16 man tournament. As the name suggests, you will fight against an opponent in a tournament style bracket until only one man survives.

A look at the screenshots will show you some of the great details Anchor has included in the title. Each fighter is reminiscent of his real-life counterpart. A nice touch to the graphics are the facial expressions that will be seen when a fighter is in a submission hold. With graphics continuing to get more and more realistic, the only thing left is to actually let players feel the pain. Hopefully that won’t be an addition added in the near future�

For those of you looking for a realistic martial arts style fighting game, this is the one to get. While Pride FC may not have the best single player experience, once you pick up a two player game with your best friend, you won’t want to put it down.

By Kaleb Rutherford – 04/25/03
ESRB Details: Blood, Strong Lyrics, Violence

Screenshots for Pride FC