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== WWE 12 ==
One of my all time favourite games have been the Smackdown vs Raw games by THQ. THQ finally changed the name of their wrestling game to WWE 12 which is fantastic. Of course the game is a professional wrestling game that is associated with the actual WWE. This game is available on the Wii, PS3 and of course the Xbox 360. WWE 12 was developed by Yukes and published by THQ. This is the most realistic wrestling game I have ever played, its smoother, simpler and a lot faster than previous WWE games. Also Road To Wrestlemania mode is the story mode in the game and is much better and all three stories merge into one and its actually quite exhilarating. Also something new are the camera angles to the game which is like you're just watching the wrestling on the TV. There is also another version of the game out there called The Rock Edition which includes the playable character The Rock which you can download anyway after the game has been out 90 days but it will cost Microsoft Points
=== ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA ===
This mode is done differently this time and acts as a proper story mode to the game. There are three different stories to this mode which include you playing as The Celtic Warrior Sheamus as the villain, The Cerebral Assassin Triple H as the outsider and the new winner of the show NXT Jacob Cass as the hero. Each story merges together after each one and I believe it works tremendously well and is by far the best game mode to a WWE game I have ever played. This time around the story makes a lot of sense and also the ending to each one is phenomenal especially the last one. There are lots of scenes in this mode and most usually lead to you fighting. Also in certain matches you don't have to win you just have to hurt your opponent badly enough for a button icon to pop up that needs to be pressed and then usually something good happens which you can sit back and watch. A very fun and intriguing story to the game and a fantastic mode to play.
=== GAMEPLAY ===
WWE games have always featured some fantastic gameplay features and options and WWE 12 is no different and possibly features the best to a WWE game yet. There are so many options to choose from which include exhibition matches against the computer or against friends on the same console, taking on Road To Wrestlemania mode with an interesting story, going through WWE Universe mode which you can alter completely and involves you picking the matches for each show or event and also the online game modes which are fantastic when you can get on them. There are well over 60 WWE superstars in the game which is superb but the fact you can visit the Xbox Live Creation Center to download more is amazing. You can download well over another 50 and it can be from WWE superstars to WCW, TNA or even celebrities. All of these are what other people have created and tons of people have rated them so you know who is going to look like who. There are also WWE Divas on the game but not too many which is a shame. Throughout the year THQ will be posting packs for download that contain even more wrestling superstars and greats that include Kharma, HBK and even Batista (you need Microsoft Points).
The actual in game gameplay is fantastic and you can certainly tell the game has been upgraded for the better. The action is much smoother now and most wrestling moves can be interrupted if you're in a match that consists of more than two wrestlers. Also the wrestlers spend less time on the mat in this game where as previous games had you spending 60% of the match on the mat. The moves are much more detailed and are shown off better which is really good. There are a lot of things you can do in matches but it all depends what type of match you're competing in. You can use weapons such as steel chairs, ladders, tables or even sledgehammers. You can also use the barrier around the ring to slam your opponents into or you can use the steel steps and announce table. Also with chairs, ladder and tables some of them can be placed in certain places to make a real impact in the match. For example you can place a table against the rope now and slingshot your opponent through it or you can have a ladder placed in the center of the ring and do a move of the top of it straight through a table that is placed near it. You can do all types of wrestling moves from normal moves, turnbuckle moves, top rope moves and even running moves which involve you jumping off the rope with a springboard attack.
WWE 12 has never been this realistic and each WWE superstar looks phenomenal and all the overall ratings have much better in this game than previous games. There are also a lot of options that involve you creating your own storyline and everything else that happens on RAW, Smackdown, Main Events and even WCW Monday Nitro if you want. You can also create many things such as your own WWE superstar or yourself. You can also create a finishing move from either standing, top rope or against a turnbuckle. Something else you can create is the entrance to your superstar, a current WWE wrestler or even a group you merged together like The Nexus. Something new to this game is the ability to now create your own arena which is fantastic. You can create something absolutely ridiculous or you can even merge an old wrestling show into this game. Also available for customization is the highlight reel and your own custom logos which can be placed just about anywhere. There are also tons of different match types that you can play such as One vs One, Tag Team, TLC, Money In The Bank, Hell In A Cell, Tables, Royal Rumble, Last Man Standing, Iron Man, Submission, Inferno, Steel Cage, Elimination Chamber and many more all of which tell you what needs to be done to pick up the victory.
=== GRAPHICS ===
Something that the game has really improved on with great detail is the WWE superstars themselves as they all look exactly like they do in real life with different facial expressions which can be seen as you're playing through the game. Also the graphics when you're playing in a match is fantastic but there are a few tiny glitches which take place every so often but its nothing too serious. Also in real life events like Wrestlemania or Elimination Chamber they always have a short clip introducing the show before it starts and you now actually get that on the game which is fantastic. Also the entrance to each superstar and each event is perfect and designed really well. Also what stood out a lot to me was the crowd and to be honest its always been something that has needed improvement up until now and the crowd in WWE 12 are spot on and look fantastic. Overall the graphics are great with wrestlers looking good, arenas look electrifying, entrances looking stunning and overall a beautifully designed game.
=== SOUND EFFECTS ===
Something that always seems to outshine the overall sound effects to these games is the music these games have on offer and to be honest its no different because the music is still outstanding. All of the WWE wrestlers have their own unique soundtrack which they enter the arena with and they all sound superb. Menu sounds are quite good but the menu music is a little plain and repetitive. Also the in game sound effects really stand out with the commentary sounding better than ever, the wrestling sound effects sounding much better and the crowd sounding slightly better. Something previous wrestling games have lacked is the crowd noises and to be honest its not a massive improvement in this game but it is an improvement at least. Overall the sound effects are very interesting but really good so I cant fault them too much.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
Both the difficulty and longevity of the game are very interesting to say the least. Its quite varied for both of these but the length of the game seems to be what outshines the difficulty. There are numerous game modes and Xbox Live modes seem to be unlimited with what you can do and accomplish. Road To Wrestlemania mode is one of the biggest with all stories merged and that will occupy at least 10+ hours alone. Then WWE Universe mode is quite long as well but you can do this mode numerous times and end up with a different outcome to each show. So overall I would say the game will last a very long time especially for fans like myself. Now the difficulty varies depending on what game mode you're on and who you are using in that mode. You can also alter the difficulty in the options from the main menu to suit your style of play. The controls are a lot better than previous wrestling games and are much easy to get the hang of. Finally Xbox Live game modes tend to vary in difficulty because players are now ranked on their skill. You start at a low rank and take people on with the same rank as you but as you level up matches become harder because you're put up against the better gamers.
=== ACHIEVEMENTS ===
The achievements to games nowadays are quite a big thing for Xbox gamers and the achievements to WWE 12 are quite good but there an awful lot that need to be done with your created superstar. This isn't the best thing because I prefer playing with actual wrestlers than a created superstar. Quite a few achievements come from Road To Wrestlemania mode and there are a lot that are in WWE Universe mode. Also there are a couple of secret achievements that you need to unlock. Overall the achievements aren't too bad but they don't really cause a challenge and there are a total of 40 achievements to acquire.
=== PROS ===
*There are lots of different game modes with tons of different match types available to play.
*The sound effects really shine in this game as do the superb graphics.
*There are over 60 WWE superstars that include Divas and you can also download more when the time comes.
*Road To Wrestlemania mode is much better and WWE Universe is much improved.
*A lot of creation options that include creating your own superstar, arena, move set, finisher and more.
*Multiplayer is really good in WWE 12 with a lot of variety and also Creation Center is brilliant because you can download custom stuff other gamers have made.
=== CONS ===
*The severs to the game are atrocious at the minute and you will spend more time trying to connect than playing online itself.
*I think the game can be extremely addictive especially if you're a wrestling fan.
*There are quite a few wrestlers that are missing from the game such as The Great Khali.
*The crowd still aren't as lively as they should be like they are in real life which is a shame.
*Time seems like it absolutely zooms when playing this game.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
WWE 12 is definitely the best wrestling game available to date. It has a massive amount of options and other features to offer gamers. One of the best things about these types of games is that you don't really need to be a huge fan of wrestling to enjoy the full effect of the game. Also available for purchase online for this game is Fan Axxess which is more aimed at WWE fans because it offers downloadable content much cheaper and offers other bits too. WWE 12 is the biggest baddest and best wrestling game available its definitely worth checking out.
I would certainly recommend the game because its a lot of fun to play and has a wide range of variety available. If you love WWE or any other wrestling companies then you will absolutely love this game to the max. Also if you like action games that offer a good story then you might be surprised because WWE 12 also offers all of that. The game manual that comes with the game is poor but its severely made up with the in game manual which offers a lot more than the actual manual such as tutorials, abilities and attributes. Also the game has an age rating of 12+ because it contains moderate sporting violence, language and sex references.
The price of the game all depends on where you purchase it from as many places sell the game quite high with it being fairly new. I bought the game quite recently for £35 and I believe its worth every penny. A lot of places sell the game slightly more but some you also get The Rock with the game which is an added bonus. The game is currently on Amazon for around the £32 if you want a used copy but around £40 for a brand new copy. Overall its worth it in my opinion.
The best wrestling game ever made so far to date and I would give it a solid 9/10!
Review also posted on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!