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Road to Wrestlemania:
This mode is new to the Smackdown series, and it's just awful. You get to play six different storylines; John Cena, CM Punk, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Triple H and Batista/Rey Mysterio. The story lines in the mode are pretty generic and boring. Half of the time you'll find yourself winning a match only to be ambushed afterwards. Most matches can't even be lost, you have to win to progress which makes this mode so linear. What really tips the iceburg though is the Undertaker's story; where he has a big feud with Santino Marella, Finlay and the Boogeyman. Seriously... This even involves certain wrestlers being 'possessed' by the Boogeyman's 'dark magic'. I wouldn't be surprised if this story was written by someone who had never watched wrestling.
In previous games, career mode would have different storylines which you could follow with any wrestler you like. This time around they've removed the storylines completely, choosing to replace it with Road to Wrestlemania instead. So all career mode really consists of is 'paths' that you can play to win certain titles. It's really not very exciting, I only played through it to gain experience for my created wrestler and get a couple of achievements.
The rosters for Smackdown and Raw are fairly decent, no complaints from me there. What I don't like is the fact that there aren't any legends in the game, apart from Ric Flair! I don't know what they were thinking not including legends like The Rock, Stone Cold, Mick Foley, Andre the Giant, etc. I would much sooner play as these legends than nearly all of the wrestlers on the current roster, and I'm sure many older fans of wrestling (including casual fans) will agree with me.
The wrestlers themselves look pretty good. The crowd on the other hand look like they belong in a PS1 game. I know that crowd graphics are pretty poor in most games, but I still find this to be a minor annoyance as it just looks rubbish and out of place.
One of the best things about this game is the create a wrestler mode. There are tons of different customisable options, and once you're finished you can create him/her a moveset, finishers and an entrance. The list of available music intros are poor, but other than that the movesets and create a finisher are pretty good.
This for me is where the game shines. As much as I dislike the single modes in this game, I still love playing against friends.
I haven't watched WWE in a couple of years and I'd describe myself as a casual wrestling fan. The last game I played was Smackdown 07 on the PS2. Graphically 09 is a big step up, but other than that I feel that the game has gone backwards. I'd only recommend buying this if you're planning to play this a lot with friends. The single player just isn't worth it.
I hadn't played a wrestling game since Smackdown! Just Bring It on the Playstation 2 (so about 8 years ago) and with my obsession with sports entertainment recently being revived I thought I would give it a go.
For any fans of wrestling, this is a great game. It's also pretty good for the occasional fan as there are enough stand alone modes, create a wrestler and match types to keep all happy - especially for those drunken sessions with a few mates (I recommend the ECW Extreme Rules match for such occasions).
The game's greatest triumph is the Road To Wrestlemania mode, where you can play through any one of six storylines. The storylines range from brillaintly written (which WWE should consider adopting some time) to the unfortunately embarrassing. Thankfully the gameplay is good enough that you don't really mind the awfulness of the Undertaker's story, and that when combined with the sheer excellence of Jericho's it is worth the price alone.
It's fair to say that the "Smackdown!" game series, which is now around 10 years old and has its roots in the Playstation era, has amassed quite a following over the years. And let's face it, we all are, or have been at some time, fans of professional wrestling.
It seems that a large percentage of the Smackdown gaming community feels that the series peaked at "Here Comes The Pain", and the apparent "improvements" and new features of each subsequent title have merely served to weaken each new game, taking each one further away from the formula that made "HCTP" so popular. I couldn't comment as I never owned that particular addition to the series. I joined this "community" a game later, with 2004's "Smackdown! vs. RAW".
Since then I have made sure, despite each new titles' shortcomings, to buy each new release, in the hope that against all likelihood, THQ and Jakks have ironed out the flaws of the previous releases, brought back the positives of the previous installments, and listened to the fans of the game series. Invariably, it seems, they don't listen.
That having being said, with each new release there does seem to be more positives than negatives. It's just a shame that a lot of the positives are seldom retained into the next release, meaning each game somehow falls short.
SVR '09, as the cool kids call it, contains more good than bad. The graphics are an improvement, and the Inferno Match is a nice addition. Of the new features, the "Create A Finisher" function is a nice idea, but appears as if it was still in the development stage when the game was released, as you are very limited in terms of types of finisher you can create - you can only create front-facing, high-impact finishers. Rumours persist that in the next installment, this will expand to high-flying finishers, submissions and blindside attacks, but this remains to be seen.
My favourite feature on all the Smackdown! games has always been the "Create A Wrestler" feature. This is perfect if you're like me, and think you know better than the WWE creative team in terms of coming up with original gimmicks; or if you yearn for a better time past, and you want to add some legendary wrestlers to the roster. This is a feature that has been continually improved throughout the series' existence. More and more items, designs, hairstyles and accessories can be added to your wrestler.
The game modes bring about mixed reactions from me. Career Mode is essentially just playing exhibition matches, building up your wrestler's attributes, and unlocking things, with no story or deviation. It's rewarding to see your attributes increase, and to get a good match rating, but otherwise it's a bit disappointing - the lack of a story mode here lets it down.
And Road To Wrestlemania. This mode limits you as to who you can participate as, and that also lets this game down. The restricted options in this mode do mean that at least the story for each superstar is quite in depth, and the voice acting is substantially better than in previous games.
Overall, for me, this is an enjoyable game playing experience. The control system has been improved, the fluidity of the graphics and the matches themselves is a lot better, and the look and feel of the game means that THQ's series is getting closer and closer to resembling real-life WWE television. Let's see how disappointed we'll be with 2010... or not, maybe.
The latest release from THQ for the WWE Smackdown vs Raw series was an improvement from the previous version of 2008. With new game features and improved graphics and gameplay saw a major improvement in the game. Smackdown vs Raw 2009 saw the inclusion of a Road To Wrestlemania mode which added more durability and more fun to the game, however, I found it quite frustrating at first, as there are unlockables throughout the Road to Wrestlemania, and if you missed one then you will not unlock the achievement later in the game, to ensure that you do this, you will need to find a guide which details how to get all the unlockables. I also think the roster could've been improved, or delaying the release by a few days to ensure that the roster was better. Overall though, the game was good and fun to play. A must-have for Smackdown vs Raw fans.
I was eagerly awaiting Smackdown vs Raw 2009 as the 2008 edition was so poor with very little to shout about, but this is a very good addition to the series. As always, the create a superstar options are extremely detailed. I reckon I spent about 2 hours creating the perfect superstar, right down to the way he walks to the ring, which taunts he pulls off to what fireworks that are going off in the background during the entrance scenes. Another great addition is the Inferno Match - which of course was the first match I tried out. Much better that the Buried Alive Match from it's predecessor. I was a little confused as to why this was billed about being about tag teams. The only real thing here was the "Hot Tag", but if you weren't prepared for it, you missed your chance to perform the move. I enjoyed this online aswell. the previosu version was so slow it was unplayable. This version seems smooth and easy to get to grips with. This also links into the new title WWE - Legends of Wrestlemania, so you can use fighters from both of the games on your saved games, which is pretty impressive - although a little bit sneaky as you have to buy both games at full proce instead of having them all rolled into one title. A must for any WWE fan.
Another Smack down vs raw wrestling game but this one is awhole lot better to last years. With unbelievable realism and attention to detail the graphics will blow your mind as you use some of your favourite moves to take out ither wrestlers. It contains the usual game types; royal rumble,ladder match etc and you are also able to play road to wrestlemania with set characters. There is the option to create your own character and personalise everything about him from his entrance song to his finishing move. With this character you can go into career mode and search for wrestling glory. There is an online play which is fairly good but slightly confusing to set up a game. It is good when you know however. The best bit about the game however has to be the multiplayer with people on the same console. You can battle with each other for titles or simple pride. Great game
Media: Video Game
Genre: Sports/Fighting/ Wrestling
Platform: Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, WII, PC
Ratings: 16 and over
Release Date: 7th November 2008
This is WWE Smack down vs. Raw 2009, and it's the best franchise they've made. The graphics are literally outstanding. I didn't know where to start with this one at first, but I will start by saying how they always add a new feature to the game. This time, they've added the Roster Editor; I've always been waiting for them to add this. The Roster Editor is a feature where you can change the superstars from 'Face to heal' and from 'Heal to Face' (They're either liked or disliked by the crowd). This new mode is quick an easy, you don't even have go on 'Create-A-Wrestler' this time, all the superstars are on one screen. It would be great if they were to keep this feature when they make the next version. Smack down vs. Raw 08, had the Create version of it, where you had to click on one superstar at a time, and wait for the next screen to load. I felt, this was bloody nuisance, because of all that waiting around for loading screens. On 2009, you will find 'Roster Editor' under 'my WWE' at the main menu; just go to 'Superstar Management'. You can make these additional changes under 'Fan reaction' (described as either Clean or Dirty Superstar). 'Clean' meaning that some superstars play by the rules and win fairly, 'Dirty' meaning other superstars using dirty and illegal tactics in order to get a victory. You can change the brand they fight on, to Raw, Smack down, or ECW. If you want make someone a legend or even a free agent. This is a great way of using this if the superstar is either made up or retired. You can also view the superstars who hold title belts, and those who don't, quite Easley look at 'Title info'.
Whilst I'm still talking about features on 'my WWE', there is another new feature to the game, which I kind of find interesting, the 'Highlight Reel'. This is certainly a new addition, and has not been seen on any other wrestling game, and if it weren't for Chris Jericho returning to the company, I don't think they would have added it. In this feature you can record moments from any match you play, and make these recordings into a clip. You can edit, save and put them in your gallery, play them back any time, you will have you own treasured highlight.
Mentioning the 'Create-A-Wrestler' mode, there is features on this one they have improved slightly. As always, it comes under 'Create Modes' at the main menu, then 'Create A Superstar. What ever type of superstar you decide to create, (New Superstar, Diva or use Template) the appearance has only altered slightly with a tab more shine and effect. Some changes that have been made are, different style clothes, bit more make-up, slightly different tattoos, scars, piercings and designs. Apart from them adding a cape in the jackets section, everything else is basically the same, but looks better.
There's one other create type they've added on this game, and has not been seen on any other, this is 'Create-A-Finisher'. This allows you to put together a combination of moves, to make your own special finisher, and assign them to any created superstar. I've already created several myself; for my made up characters, and they look great.
The 'Road to Wrestlemania' mode is certainly a new feature that I really enjoy, to this years Smackdown vs. Raw. You experience the most important time of the year in a WWE Superstar's life, you get to choose between, Triple H, Chris Jericho, John Cena, The Undertaker, and CM Punk, or you play Batista & Rey Mysterio in a co-operative mode, and try and become tag team champs. These storylines brings you up close to the superstars, and lets you experience what it's like to be at the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania!
In career mode, I found it a lot easier to unlock things, the season don't really last very long. In one way, that may not be such a bad thing, because, you will have more time to play around with the unlockables, create superstars, and play matches.
The only disappointing thing about this game is; there is no 'General Manager' mode. I loved the 'GM' mode, you could do your own draft lottery (pick your superstars) and run your own show (Raw, Smack down, or ECW). I reckon the game makers replaced this with, the 'Road to Wrestlemania' mode.
There is at least one completely different match type, which you certainly can't resist playing, The 'Inferno Match'. The ring surrounded by torturing flames, the heat is defiantly on here. I'm so glad they added this! The first person to get his opponent caught by the flames; wins the match. In real life, this match is dangerous, but, in the virtual world, it doesn't look quite as bad. Another exciting thing about this match, the temperature bar rises every time you knock your opponent down. (Tip: I found the bar rises more quickly when go to the top rope)
The 2009 title has brilliant, unique style play when it comes to putting your opponent down for the 3 count. This time you have 2 finishers and 2 signature moves, the finishers can be stored and used, just by pressing the left shoulder button when the bar at the top is flashing. If you want to use a signature move, you can do this by pressing the action button whilst the bar remains flashing. This feature gives you the choice on how you want to finisher off your opponent.
The features THQ have added this year, certainly making me look forward to the next Smack down vs. Raw franchise, I'm so eager to know what they've got lined up for the next one...
-------------------------------------- Overview ------------------------------------------
This is the latest Wrestling game in the wwe Smackdown vs. Raw series created by jakks,This games sees improved graphics over it predecessors and a variety of old game modes and features returning along with a whole bunch of new game modes, features and match types. The game contains about 55 basic wrestlers from wwe programming and a further 9 to be unlocked through game play. there are also a lot of new match types, and other options to be unlocked through game play as well as announced downloadable content to be released onto the Xbox live market place.(released 3/4/09 for the price of 320 microsoft points). The game can be played with up to 4 friends on the same consol or with up to 3 others online via Xbox live. The following is a list of the features in the game with brief description. Followed by my thoughts and feelings on the overall game playing experience.
------------------------------------------ ROSTER -----------------------------------------
Ashley The Great Khali Michelle McCool
Batista Hardcore Holly Micki James
Beth Pheonix JBL The Miz
Big Daddy V Jeff Hardy Mr Kennedy
Big Show Jesse Boogyman
Brian Kendrick John Cena Jimmy Wang Yang
Candice John Morrison mvp
Carlito jtg Paul London
Chavo Gurrero Kane Randy Orton
Chris Jericho Kelly Kelly Rey Mysterio
Chuck Palumbo Kofi Kingston Santino Marella
CM Punk Lance Cade Shad
Cody Rhodes Layla Shawn Michaels
Edge Maria Shelton Benjamin
Elijah Burke Mark Henry Tommy Dreamer
Festus Matt Hardy Trevor Murdoch
Finlay Melina HHH
Umaga Undertaker Victoria
Curt Hawkins Mr McMahon Tazz
Jillian Ric Flair Tony (Story player)
Masked Man Snitsky Zach Ryder
--------------------------------------- Game modes ------------------------------------
Here any of the match types in the game can be played with up to 4 friends or against the computer, the difficulty can be changed to match your skill. The matchs can be selected to have a championship on the line. This is a good mode to play with friends or create your own story lines
ONE ON ONE - Normal Match, Inferno Match, First Blood Match, Falls Count Anywhere, Hell in a Cell, Iron Man, Ladder, Last Man Standing, Normal Submission, Table, Table Ladders and Chairs Match, Steel Cage, Backstage Brawel, ECW Extreme rules match
TWO ON TWO - Tag Team Match, Tornado Tag Match, Falls Count Anywhere, Hell in a Cell, Ladder Tornado tag, Steel Cage tornado tag, Tables ladders and chairs tornado tag, Table Tornado Tag, Elimination Tag, ECW Extreme rules Tag match
TRIPLE THREAT - Normal, Falls count Anywhere, Hell in a Cell, Ladder, Steel Cage, Table, Table Ladders and chairs, ECW Extreme rules
FOUR WAY MATCHES - Normal, Falls Count any where, over the top rope battle royal, hell in a cell, Ladder, Stell cage, table, Table ladders and chairs, ECW Extreme rules match
6 MAN MATCHES - Over the top rope battle royal, Normal 6 man tag, Elimination Chamber, Armageddon hell in a cell, Money in the Bank ladder match
HANDICAP - Gauntlet, 1 vs 2, 1 vs a tag team, 1 vs 3, 1 vs 3 man tag, 2 vs 3 tag match
ROYAL RUMBLE - 10 man, 20 man, 30 man
This is a new mode in which you can fully manage the current roster including all unlocked and created superstars, here you are given a list of all the wrestlers in alphabetical order, from this list you can enter a superstars 'card' here you are given a picture statistics, finishing move list and attributes. You can also customise the superstars preference between being a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy' which effects how the crowd react to the (these can even be changed for the basic roster so you can turn a normally good guy into a baddie for your own entertainment) You can also remove and add championship belts to wrestlers so you don't have to actually beat the champion in a match to give the championship to somebody else.
You can create and view your saved Highlight reels here which is a new feature were you save portions of a match during game play and can come to here to create a vedio clip in which you can add sound, effects etc and share them online
Here you can change the difficulty settings,sound options, Screen settings etc to your liking. You can also view the credits and input cheat codes from this screen
-----Road to wrestlemania-----
This is basically the story mode for the game, this is much more limited than previous story modes ad can be played through only with the following superstars
-HHH, CM PUNK, UNDERTAKER, JOHN CENA, CHRIS JERICHO, BATISTA & REY MYSTERIO
by playing through this mode you unlock the various unlockables in the game by playing through lots of cut scenes, matches and various challages onyour chosen superstars road to wrestlemania.
Under this heading you have the following options
This is a mode in which you can choose any superstar to play for a particular championship belt, this works like the old story but it has no cut scenes or story and is litterally a list of matchs you have to win to get the belt and then move on to the next, this is the ONLY way to increase created superstars statisics in this game.
Here you get to choose one of 2 preset tournements or compltley create your own. By creating your own you can edit every aspect from the number of branched matches there are, to the match type (as above in exhibition) to wether it will be for a championship title. the following are the preset match types
KING OF THE RING- a standard elimination tree tournement with the winner being named king of the ring
BEAT THE CLOCK - supers stars compete in various matchs, the superstar who beat there oponant the fastest after all matches are complete is the winner
You can save midway through a tornement and come back to it at a later date
One of the most original and in depth create modes returns in 2009
====Create a finisher====
A very basic tool for creating finishers, there are basically set parts of moves that fit together, there is not much room for creating anything to original here but i great tool that can be improved on in later games. you can only make facing the front finishers.
====Create A Superstar====
as with all the smack down vs raw games this is a very indepth create system here, you can create and edit any part of you created superstar from face,hair,beard to clothes tattoos hand size .. everything. this is good for making your own original wrestlers to add to the roster or for making past ledgends of wwe (many create models can be found on the internet)
====Create an entrance====
Here you can edit a current superstars dramatic ring entrance or create a unique entrance for your created superstar, here you can change the wrestkers motion, the lighting effects, fireworks,firework timing and the best part add your own custom music from you xbox 360 harddrive so now a computer game wrestling version of you can come to the ring to you favorite song.
====Create a move set====
Finally you can edit a current wwe wrestlers moves here or give your own jobber a custoised move set, this can take some time but there a litterally thousands of moves and motions to choose from to really bring your superstar to life.
This is basically the same a exhibition apart from you can play against people from all over the world. There is also a leader board system and a star ranking system to compare yourself agains the world
------------------------------------- My Opinion -----------------------------------------
This game does the series credit and is as true a representation of the wwe television programming as you can get, the graphics are fantastic and a lot of time has gone into making the superstars look and move like they should giving the game an authentic experience, there has defiantly been more time spent on some of the 'big' name superstars than the average ones but still all look great. As well as the superstars the areas are mindblowingly good, the stage looks as though you are watching a live event and the crowd though a little boxy are much improved from the 'cardboard cut outs' of the past.
The controls are much simpiler than in other titles, maybe this is to appeal to a broader audiance, this does't reall take anything away from the game play it just stop you being able to hide the 'how did you do that' secret from your friends
There are plenty of game modes to get into here, and I seem to keep entertained by playing exhibition and creating my own matches and superstars to be in them, the create mode is incredibly detailed and this is a personal favourite feature of mine (who doesn't like creating a wrestler version of themselves and there brother and hitting him with a steel chair???) and these games can usually hold my interest until the next instalment is released and this is no exception.
Now the bad sides, the online on this game is dyer, there seems no point in playing, especially with the amount of spoil sports online who quit every time they start to loose thus ending the game, there seems to be endless glitches that people exploit to ruin the completion aspect. The option to download other peoples home made videos off line is also quite pointless, although I have seen some impressive videos made they take a long time to download and take up a large amount of you memory to keep them. In fact the whole create a highlight reel feature is a big waste of time full stop, it is difficult to use and for no benefit.
Another downside I find with all these games is that there is never much difference in the in ring action, the moves always seem the same and the commentary has gotten annoying after listening to the same things for the past 4 years.
And anybody .. please tell me .. why did they remove the general manager mode from this game??
Overall well worth the money, a must have for wrestling fans that can last as long as you want it to, and fun to play with friends even if they are not fans of the televised programming
To me the saga of the wrestling games never get old but my fear over the past couple of games is that they've made it a bit too realistic and the same cocerns plague this one.
Lets start with the postives: as always the graphics are phenomenal and the variety of mosts and wrestling matchs along with characters is plentiful.
I love the fact that even after 100 hours of gameplay you can probably still find new things to try.
Also, the actual variety within the matches is vast and will definately keep you entertained: it ranges form being able to throw your opponent into the crowd to being able to set tables on fire and put people through them.
Even though this game is still very entertaining the intensity of the gameplay has deterierated over the last few games due to the increasing realism. I can get very boring having to button mash for up to two minutes to get your player up and the speed ad which the characters move can make matches uneccessarily long and boring. Also I sometimes had trouble with it crashing, however I think that was down to my game personally and not the general frame rate.
Overall, the entertainment vaalue you get from this game is second to none but I have to say I perfer the old ones as the new ones are a bit too realistic for my liking.
A good game, with a good background, a good future - you bet.
In this version of Smackdown there is a huge emphasis on tag teams, and they have made things very good in this department however havent done as much as they maybe should of to others.
Tag team moves allow you not just beat your opponent, but destroy them. Hitting them hard is the way to win matches and when you have no one else to rely on, rely on your partner.
Added tag teams to the roster such as the Undertaker and Kane coming out as The Brothers of Destruction and Matt and Jeff coming out as the Hardy's brings an extra little edge to entrances and with their double team moves being realistic you get to grips with the game and have a better experience because of this.
Graphics are visually stunning, with each wrestler looking brilliant and having a perfect set of moves and and entrance for them. Correct entrance music really allows you feel as if you are there.
Unfortunately such matches like Back room brawl and inferno need work to make them better, however with weapons being given moves to be done with them to a nex extent, such as being able to chokeslam through a table this makes these matches better.
A good game for the wrestling fan and one that lets you take real control, however with some matches not quite feeling right hopefully this will be ironed out in future releases.
Being huge on Wrestling Games, this game had a massive reputation to uphold, as well as high expectations on its shoulders.
Sorry to say, that WWE Smackdown Vs. RAW 2009 Featuring the lackluster ECW, doesnt live up to anything but mediocracy.
Lets start off with the good. A concept of Road to Wrestlemania, which is good for a time, but then you have to do some all over again to see what happens if you make different decisions.
Now the Badness. CAW Mode (Create A Wrestler) is exactly the same as it has been for the past 2 Years. No advancement whatsoever, and the same restriction of layers being unavailable for online play.
The graphics, they are the same as last year, and possibly the year before! The ring is still quite small, and the new match type in the Inferno Match is a disgrace.
Many people compare FIFA and Pro Evo to each other, and say that Pro Evo looks 'Cartoony.' If there was any word that sums up this game, much like the company, is Cartoony. In the perfect instance, the Inferno Match is like that. The fire doesnt look like fire! It looks like that tissue paper stuff, being blown upwards by a wind machine.
We thought that after the release of TNA iMPACT! that the people at THQ might have actually tried this time, but they didnt. They have used recycled again, which is a real shame.
Many theories have it down to the fact that THQ's contract could be up soon with WWE, and that if they built a new engine, or made the game better, then the WWE decided not to renew, it would be a waste of THQ's time.
Will probably be like this in the next one too, whereas the TNA Game, although very, very buggy and seemed an early build, was a great breath of fresh air! This game is getting stale. Really stale.
I didnt try online, because Ive heard bad things, and I didnt like last years. Again, if you have played 2007, or 2008, you have played 2009.
The last wrestling game i played was WWW Smackdown VS Raw 2007 so i knew it was time to get the latest edition and the hype that surrounded the game persuaded me to buy it and surprisingly i don't regret purchasing it.
The game play is pretty good and still has a bog standard career mode. You pick your character and all you have to do is to try and win all the belts from all the franchises. For some this is ideal as you don't get the character interaction or cut scenes which seemed to play in major parts of previous editions of this game.
This year the hype was about "The Road to Wrestlemania". Your character choice is limited to Triple H, The Undertaker, John Cena, Chris Jericho, CM Punk or as a tag team that with Batista and Rey Mysterio in. Whilst in control of your chosen character you are in charge of the few months buildup to the main wrestlemania event. All the types of matches leading up to wrestlemania vary and this works well with the storyline that is different for each character. The storyline can twist depending on which options you choose but this doesn't hide the fact that the game mode is slightly disappointing due to lack of character choice.
However, the online experience makes up for this and allows you to play any game mode you want with friends or WWE fanatics alike. Downloadable content is available and you can even share your highlight reels online too.
I have to say that WWE have created a fresher game by including a new game mode (inferno), new create options (such as a finisher). There did seem to be heavy advertising on tag teams and "together you're unstoppable" but Tag Teams were defiantly not the main feature of this game.
After nearing a decade of producing great WWE wrestling games, THQ, for me, had to shake things up a little with this offering and thankfully they seem to have done that in spades.
The first thing to notice is the vastly improved story mode which, whilst it won't please every wrestling fan due to the lack of character choices, is a huge step in the right direction and offers plenty of opportunity to test yourself in pretty much all the matches available in the game. The mode in question is called 'Road to Wrestlemania' and it enables you to choose to play the last 3 months building up to Wrestlemania as either HHH, John Cena, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, CM Punk or as a tag made up of Batista and Rey Mysterio. I have only completed this mode as Chris Jericho and John Cena so far and am pleased to say that the variety involved was terrific and the stories are not similar in any way.
There is still the career mode which enables you to try and capture all the gold from each franchise as any character you like. This doesn't involve any interaction or cut scenes but is good nonetheless.
The graphics and playability are up to the usual standard we have come to expect from the series and the interaction with the surroundings have moved on a level too.
Another huge plus is the emphasis on tag team action. No longer do you tag out and wait to be tagged in again. There is lots you can do as the non-legal wrestler. Things like distracting the referee, pulling the ropes down for an Irish whip and double teaming are all easily achieved and add a lot of depth to the game.
The online mode is a huge improvement too, with the lag issues gone and the new belt modes available. This adds a real sense of ownership of your titles and a real desire to defend them.
My only criticism really is that, even on the hardest setting, the game is a little too easy at times, especially when weapons are legal. Having said that, if next year's effort is as big an improvement as this, we may well have the perfect wrestling game.
I've always bought the latest WWE game no matter how bad or good the game is that they churn out, just out of pure loyalty, I still remember the days of N64 No Mercy and WWF Smakdown Here Comes the Pain, so I live in hope that one day they will release a game on those levels. This installment isn't quite as good as either of those two games but this for me is much more fun than any game THQ have produced in the past 5 or 6 years. The main focus is on tag team action with all new tag team moves added and a roster with tag teams in it for a change.
Graphics - Awesome, i've played it in HD and i'm very impressed with how good all the wrestlers look and the arenas they wrestle in look amazing too, the zoom ins when a big move is it is cool too, brilliant animations of all moves. 9 out of 10
Gameplay - Better than the previous installments, I still think it could be done a little simpler but it's a mile better than last year, after 4 or 5 matches on Easy you'll get the hang of it and theres so many moves to do you always find something new. 8 out of 10
Sound - Excellent, I still don't really like the commentary in Wrestling games as they repeat constantly but this isn''t as bad as earlier editions and the menu screens finally have used WWE entrance themes instead of 2nd rate metal bands. 7 out of 10
Longevity - Theres a lot to do in this, the career is a bit long and unrewarding but there are 6 "Road to Wrestlemania" options to play through which should take you a good while, plus all the different match types take you a while to go through including the new Inferno match. Plus Online gaming is fun with this. 8 out of 10
Overall - I'm saying this is the best wrestling game released here in 6 years, looks plays and feels great, no perfect but as close to it as we've had in a long time. 9 out of 10
Smackdown games are getting bad i play my mates last night as i havent recieved mine through the post as yet. The graphics are good gameplay feels slow and sluggish. There's no manager mode, Career mode is the biggest dissapointment in a game like this i spent 2 hours making my created character with custom soundtracks and created my own finishers. I started career mode thinking this should be awersome it was rubbish no story or cutscenes rubbish it was so boring no effort was put into this. But the do have a mode called road to wrestlemania where you play as 1 of 6 superstars inc Triple H Batista etc this is the story mode not very long at all about 15-20 matches per wrestler. They have also missed out some legends on previous smackdowns i think the smackdown series is getting worser and worser each the biggest thing in smackdown was the story mode with your own created character for me everyone to there different but based on this only having road to wrestlemania i would give it 1