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Playstation 2












M (Mature)



Q1 2003



- More realistic fighting game than UFC

- Inclusion of blood and appropriate fighting styles

- Taunting included (although no bare-assed slapping or googly eyes)



- Creation mode thin

- Not much replay value



Review: Guilty Gear X2 (Playstation 2)
Review: Dragonball Z: Budokan (Playstation 2)
Review: Dead or Alive III (Xbox)



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PRIDE Fighting Championships

Score: 7.0 / 10

We’ve all heard about the brutality of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, but we rarely hear about its more brutal predecessor and worldly brother PRIDE. Unlike UFC, PRIDE matches take place in a standing ring (think boxing or professional wrestling… now think which one is more staged... ok, back to the review) and hosts relaxed rules and consequently brutal fights. For example, chokes on an opponent as well as stomping (on a prone opponent) and knees to the head are all allowed. As one can imagine, these fights are much more brutal than UFC matches and blood is almost as prevalent as a good TLC match in the WWE.

pride-fighting-championship-1.jpg (49775 bytes)         pride-fighting-championship-2.jpg (28817 bytes)

These matches are ended like most martial arts competitions: knock-out (good ‘ole unconsciousness), submission (tap out to the Ankle lock, or the viscous arm bar… just thinking about it makes me want to slap at my shoulder and scream “Aaaaahh!” like Vince Gill) or Judges Decision for those matches that are more like sissy girl tea parties than an actual fight. Because of the content and the same gaming engine, PRIDE FC and UFC will draw constant comparisons.





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The game breaks down into about 6 modes of play… well actually 5: Grand Prix, One Match, Survival, Create a Fighter, Biography, and Training. They’re all pretty much self explanatory, Grand Prix is the pre-selected tournament which allows you set up all sorts of grudge matches or mismatches depending upon what the gamers’ sick mind is spinning towards; set the number and length of the rounds and fight on. One Match is pretty much what it sounds like, play against the AI or some unsuspecting victim, 


choose your persona and match length. Survival mode is the most challenging game mode; you try to defeat all 25 PRIDE characters in consecutive matches… but you don’t get full health for each match, you only get back half the health that you lost, which makes for one very difficult challenge. The Create a Fighter mode allows you to create and save your alternate personas (go Harvey the Wonder Hamster – use your Ninjitsu attacks!) for combat against other PRIDE fighters. Unlike UFC’s Create a Fighter mode, this system isn’t based on the development of your character, so you end up with a completed fighter after your first pass through the creation process. While this does speed up the process of getting a completed fighter into competition, the novelty of creating a character wears off quickly, especially when this has been done better in different games. The Biography mode is a collection of video shorts and still photos of the 25 featured PRIDE combatants – it’s an excellent way to appreciate the martial arts of each of the competitors. The training mode is pretty much the most important mode of the game for the beginner (or if you are switching characters in the game) as you can experiment with new combos to unleash on the unexpected fools or at least master those character-specific techniques.

The fighting engine employed is exactly identical with UFC’s engine, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t showcase some superior graphics. The game uses more dynamic camera angles than it’s predecessor including close ups on ground work (which will give you some cool blood splatters and sweat flying on the “camera lens” – it’s like you’re watching a real fight on pay-per-view).

pride-fighting-championship-3.jpg (60922 bytes)        pride-fighting-championship-4.jpg (65037 bytes)

PRIDE features some of the more traditional mixed-martial-art fighting styles, namely Kick-boxing, Shoot-fighting, Jiu-jitsu, and Judo and while it was kind of cool to fight as a Sumo wrestler or a Greco-roman wrestler in UFC, you don’t really see those styles in actual competition so the basis in reality isn’t missed and is certainly appreciated. However, the extent of the realism exists only when your character is standing. Once your character is working on the mat, the fighting style is uniform – the only difference being the number of moves that you can execute. That being said, once you figure out all of the characters that you’re interested in, the game does become repetitive and does lack any replay value except when playing with friends.

All in all, PRIDE FC is a strikingly realistic fighting game that will be immensely fun for those to rent, but I can’t imagine getting more than 15 hours of enjoyment out of the game.

- Tazman

August 24, 2003

Hey I know that place, it's the abandoned warehouse right next to MelonShakers... uh, I mean the Gentleman's Club. - Carl (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)

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