There was a time when I would spend many an hour playing Fire Pro Wrestling Returns on the PlayStation 2, creating a raft of my own wrestlers, designing logos to go on the rings and “simming” matches… which is to say that I watched the computer play against itself.
Now you might say that sounds incredibly geeky, and I’d say you’re right but I am a geek, so what do you expect from me?
But it was also fun; one of the unique qualities of Fire Pro Wrestling is the ability to edit the wrestlers AI, meaning that even if two wrestlers had the same moves and the same stats they would behave completely differently in the ring.
As I progressed from my PS2 to the PS3 I continued to play Fire Pro, I had one of the backwards compatible PS3’s that still played the game. That was until the Ps3 died and was replaced, by one which would no longer play old PS2 games. It was then that my Fire Pro playing days were done (bar some attempts at playing older versions on my phone).
But this year my interest in Fire Pro has been renewed by the announcement of a new Fire Pro game, Fire Pro Wrestling World. FPWW is due for early access release on Steam sometime soon and a PS4 release will come later in the year.
While researching as much as possible online about the new game I rediscovered my love of the old one, and have wanted to play it again, to tide me over until FPWW is released (and to try and get my old save file working, to reminisce over my old creations). FPWR is now available as a downloadable game on the PS3… but I’ve moved on to the PS4, so that option’s out. There are PS2 emulators available that can play my copy of the game, but I’ve not managed to get those working on the Mac… they only appear to work on PC’s. So that option’s out too.
Being the Fire Pro geek that I am I’m obviously wanting to be a part of the Steam early access for the new game, but that too is only available on PC. So do I buy a PC? Surely I can’t justify that for a game?
Well I did research costs of laptops to see if I could pick up a decent second hand one that would be capable of running the new game and the emulator. I’ve actually considered a second laptop for a while, as both Kitty and I are often keen to get on and do things and only one of us at a time can at the moment. But it turned out to be out of my price range currently.
Then it dawned on me that I could set up the MacBook Pro in a dual boot setup, running both OSX and Windows. So I set about learning how this can be done and finding myself a copy of Windows 7 (as I’d read somewhere this was the best one to use on our Mac). It’s pretty easy to find an ISO of Windows online, and then you just need a key code.
I’m not one for using a dodgy code, and I found what appeared to be genuine codes available online which are really cheap. Apparently EU law says you are allowed to sell old Windows keys, like ones that are from PC’s that have long since died, if you sell them alongside the physical part of the computer it comes from. So I purchased the key, along with a broken motherboard that’s currently on the way through the post.
Next step, run Boot Camp Assistant on the Mac. I had read online that a Windows 7 install should take up about 30gb of space, and we had over 40 so were good to go. Except Boot Camp then said we needed 50gb. So began a purge of applications that had never been used, documents were moved to the cloud or to our external hard-drives and before I knew it I was at 61gb available.
Except Boot Camp kept saying that I needed 50gb free.
Cue me getting angry at the computer and throwing it some verbal abuse. I ended up copying even more data to the external drive and suddenly I was at over 70gb free, and Boot Camp was finally happy to run.
“Windows 7 cannot be installed on this device”
Apparently, after all the above hassle, our MacBook Pro cannot run Windows 7. Because it’s too old! No, not the MacBook. Windows 7 is too old; our machine can only run Windows 8 or 10. So I’ve ended up with a Windows 7 key code that I cannot use and have had to purchase one for Windows 8 instead.
That was the point at which I gave up and went to bed, and came back the following night to try installing Windows 8. I managed to run Boot Camp, partitioned the drive and Windows installation began, and it asked for the activation key first… at which point I realised the one I had purchased does not work. So installation cancelled, back into OSX and had to undo the partition.
I tried an alternative way of installing Windows 8, which has now actually worked! I mean it’s still not activated, but I’m able to boot up in Windows. Unfortunately the little bugger made itself the default boot option, so it took a while to work out how to get back into OSX again… but after a while of fiddling around I’ve managed to get OSX as the default and Windows only launches when holding a certain key after turning the machine on.
After all that messing about stage one was finally complete. Then I just needed to activate Windows (which worked after a reboot), install the emulator (which had issues but eventually worked), download my save, get a controller working (DS4Windows is great, allowing PS4 controllers to be used on Windows), find the time to actually play the game (I’ve managed 10 minutes so far), and explain to the wife why the MacBook now has Windows on it (she was very confused and somewhat upset that I had “defiled” the Mac).
Have your ever gone through so much just to play a game?
Update – April 2018:
So after a while of having the dual boot setup on the Mac we ended up running out of space on the MacOS portion of the hard drive. That was a real pain, and meant I had troubles with our photos. So reluctantly I removed Windows and lost my way of playing Fire Pro.
Until I went out and bought a second-hand laptop from Jamies Computers, a local charity that recycles old business computers and re-sells them. I got a decent laptop and got myself back up and running on Fire Pro World.
I’ve now been able to complete my original plan and am simming shows for Pro-Wrestling FRONTLINE, check out www.albear.uk/japan/ for details!