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Smackdown vs Raw 2010 is the latest offering in this popular series by producer THQ. Whilst wrestling games have had mixed reactions in terms of their quality over the years. THQ however, seem to have found a formula which appears to work with games players coming back for more each year.
As an officially licensed product of WWE, Smackdown vs Raw 2010 must live up to high expectations, but does it deliver?
There are masses of options and game modes within the game, all can be played offline and the vast majority online. You can choose to use one of the real WWE superstars (including the women's championship) or create your own superstar which adds a fun dimension to the game. Game modes include standard one on one, tag team and six man tag team which are pretty standard across all wrestling games. Smackdown vs Raw 2010 goes a lot further however with specialist events such as a Royal Rumble, cage matches, ladder matches and submission matches to name a few. The controls for all of these matches are quite easy to master, although to perform a trademark finishing move requires quick reflexes as you need to press the buttons in a specified.
If you want to take your newly created superstar from a nobody to the top of the WWE then career mode is just for you. Initially you have to beat a handful of opponents in order to get a title shot for the USA championship. If you are successful here, you have a choice of career paths, each with differing goals. From hereon in, things start to get a lot trickier and in order to win titles, you will need to perfect more than just your wrestling skills. In order to get an Intercontinental championship title match for example, you will need to perfect the technique for climbing out of a cage as you will need to win a cage match to get a shot at this title.
Another fun mode is called 'Road to Wrestlemania'. This is a pre defined story mode but nonetheless, you still need to win the matches in order to progress the story. If you fail, you just have to keep persevering until you win. This is quite a difficult mode to play for beginners and novices as your opponents are very unforgiving.
As with most video games, playing offline is only half the fun and playing against another human increases the skill element required vastly. This game works quite well online with the occasional lag. Novices beware however, there doesn't appear to be a feature which tries to match you up with a player of a similar ability so you could find yourself taking a serious beating from a seasoned WWE player. This takes a bit of the enjoyment out of the game but it is a good way to learn nonetheless.
This game will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the WWE and wrestling fans in general. It also has some value as a general fighting game so people who like this genre of video games will also get some enjoyment out of the game. For people who are not wrestling fans and do not like fighting games then this is one which is probably best left on the shelf.
I used to be a big fan of WWE games and WWE itself and have therefore continued to purchase the THQ releases.
I have been disappointed with the past few releases as I believe it's been far off the pace that the earlier versions had laid out, that was until I played this..
I admit I have only had this game a matter of days but I have played it quite a bit in the past few days and have noticed that the game has been improved drastically.
Where shall I start?
The Royal Rumble match mode I think. The controls for this match has been improved so much it's become a joy to play this mode. Whereas in the earlier versions you'd have to do some stupid exercise to eliminate a superstar from the match, now you have to press the button that is shown on screen as quick as you can or if the elimination is taking place with the superstar on the floor, then you have to stop the ball in the area to eliminate.
The Road to Wrestlemania story mode has been improved with the addition of new storylines and the new Create-a-Wrestler storyline. This has now added many more hours to the game as it has become more personal.
This goes beautiful with the Original story mode which as ever is good. I also like the feature where you can create your own story mode, as this has been a revolution with the game and a beautiful move by THQ.
The graphics are great, especially in HD. The gameplay has also been improved which has made it easier to play the game for longer periods.
The roster is a little bit on the disappointing side once again, as I still believe it can be improved a little bit.
Overall, although this is an early review from myself I believe this game is brilliant. I would give it a 4/5 as there are still areas that need to be improved for next years release. I would recommend this to anyone though.