WRESTLING VIDEO GAMES
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw
by THQ (for PlayStation2)
Description: Well first let me say I have played all seven of the SmackDown! Games all the way back to the February 2000 release on the original Playstation WWF SmackDown!. I had this game pre-ordered three months before it as released anticipating the release.
Well I picked up the game the day it was released and rushed home to play it. At first I was not disappointed as the graphics were great and even the opening video package showing clips of the previous six editions from yonder years in order was great. I will go through the parts of the game individually but give it one final score review.
Roster- The actual roster is rather small which was a disappointment. At the time of the games release there were about thirty active WWE wrestlers who were not on the game, there would have been many more had it not been for the cuts just a few weeks before. Though the roster is small though it was the important superstars for the most part. La Resistance, Spike Dudley, William Regal, Eugene, Orlando Jordan, and Billy Kidman were the biggest superstars missing from the time the "final roster cut" was made.
By the time the game was released Spike Dudley was the Cruiserweight champion, Billy Kidman was coming off of a fairly high profile feud with Paul London, La Resistance was holding the World Tag belts, and the team of Eugene & Regal were in the hunt for those belts. Those are some fairly big names to not make the game when you had guys like A-Train who was inactive since the brand switch and fired before the game was released, Chuck Palumbo who basically has the same story, Mark Jindrak who was a Velocity wrestler, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Garrison Cade who we had not heard from in a while in the game.
For the second year THQ gave us legends, but this years group was not quite as good. Last year names like Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy Snuka who were both inducted into the Hall Of Fame a few months later were in the game. There was also at that time "Old School" Undertaker with his deadman gimmick which for some reason is in the game this year as well along with "masked" Kane. The Legion Of Doom is also back, Brutus Beefcake took the place of Hillbilly Jim in the category of "why is he in?". The two big additions were Bret Hart and Andre The Giant (who can only be lifted by wrestlers such as Big Show, Batista, Kane, Undertaker, etc. and not guys like Triple H and Kurt Angle). Both of those superstars were great additions but having the second version of The Undertaker and Kane was just space that was wasted that should have been used for current roster superstars or two different legends.
Create A WWE Wrestler- This is were you create all the superstars who did not make the cut or anyone you want. I got a second memory card, one for an updated WWE roster and the second for other superstars I wanted. Because of the fact that WWE and THQ left out so many talents this mode is vital to those who want a larger roster. The CAW mode like last years has a max of 32 layers to create your superstar and has 32 slots for CAW's in the game. The CAW mode is great this year as there have been some real quality CAWs released.
Season- Very disappointed. For the second year in a row it is a one year season except this time it is even smaller. This is because of the individual brand PPV's. The storylines repeat every time and after playing through the story mode over twenty time there are roughly fifteen to twenty different storylines depending on which options you choose. That is another thing that was disappointing, the lack of a RPG like game. In past editions you have been able to choose your fait so to speak by having a choice of two or three things to say that would change the stroyline. This year there is not, only on a couple occasions can this happen.
You cannot wrestle as legends or Kurt Angle in season mode which was a huge letdown. If you choose to do season with a CAW you truly start at the bottom of the food chain and by the end of the season you will not be able to compete for even the Intercontinental or United States titles depending on which brand you are on. There is also a lack of belts, only the WWE, World, IC, and US belts. No Cruiserweight, Women's or either tag divisions.
Last year you could choose what brand your superstar would be on but this year you never change. If you want to be Triple H, Benoit, Jericho, or Kane you will only be able to wrestle on Raw. If you are JBL, Eddie Guerrero, Big Show, or The Undertaker you can only be on Raw. No stacking one brand more than the other.
WWE Challenges- A new addition to the SmackDown! game. In this you compete in a total of sixty challenges (4 different levels of difficulty, each having 15 challenges.) There are some that are very difficult such as beating Bret Hart in a cage match were you can only climb over the top to win in three minutes while playing as Brutus Beefcake on the Hard difficulty. Each 15 you unlock you get something different. A fun and sometimes challenging addition to the game.
Well that's it. Do I recommend this game? Yes but maybe wait until it goes down to $30 or $40 dollars or rent it first. The previous two installments were better in my opinion overall, but looking at this game by itself it is very solid.
Reviewed by Chad Perry on February 12, 2005.
Jarrod Foreman wrote:
I have been playing all of the WWF/E games on PS 1 and 2 and out of all I found that Smackdown vs Raw was one of my favourites here is my review for that game hope you enjoy
The last installment, HCTP was dire. They changed the grapple system to an annoying double button pressing style that had ruined older WWE Titles such as Attitude (PS1) and Warzone (PS1). This game has the same grapple system, yet is infinitely better. The weight detection system mean't smaller guys couldn't lift bigger guys, which sounds good. Unfortunately it wasn't applied correctly and Shawn Michaels couldn't lift Kane, even for a suplex or power-slam. For an addictive, quick fix of WWE action, this is definitely a fantastic game. What a welcome addition the Challenge mode is. I suggest expanding this part of the game, and having up to 100 - 150 challenges to play. It definitely helps prolong the fun of the game. Also the create a PPV is a welcome return. I always was a fan of this option, and craved for its reintroduction since it disappeared after Smackdown 2.
The only complaint is, as ever, the roster. We all know todays WWE has an ever changing roster of talent, but the games always seem to throw up some mysterious questions over the roster. Chuck Palumbo and the A-Train, whilst they were drafted to RAW a few weeks before the roster cut-off point, had not featured on TV, and therefore shouldn't have been in the game. Others who were on TV for a few months before the cut - off, such as Eugene, Luther Reigns, Tyson Tomko, Kenzo Suzuki, even Mr. Ass (Billy Gunn) could have been included. I also think the tag team belts should have been included, as it gives a bit more realism to the story mode. A build up throughout the year winning first tag team gold, then IC Gold/US Title Gold then finally your brands gold should be the way story mode is done. Plus there is always the old option of losing the belts due to your tag partner, then turning it into a feud. La Resistance should also have been included, even thought the characters would have been pretty generic.
If the developers keep the same mould, and ditch the poorly applied online play in favour of more game-play options, I believe 2005's installment should be great. Also, if the game wants to include true WWE Legends, give us who we want - Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, British Bulldog, Mr. Perfect, Jake "the Snake" Roberts, The demolition, The Natural Disasters and Razor Ramon. I appreciate the legal wrangles with guys currently under contract to other organisations/currently active wrestlers in the business, but for the sake of the game, could the developers/Vince not make an exception (if the price is right) to get them in the game.
Other than the usual few grumbles, a great game!
Jimmy Ditchfield wrote:
This game has probably the best graphics to date in a Smackdown game. Although it had good graphics, it didn't have many WWE superstars, with the likes of; William Regal, Eugene, Billy Kidman, Spike Dudley, La Resistance (although it has Rene Dupree) and more.
Satinder Bumrah wrote:
Hello, I have the game Smackdown Vs Raw. I have the online adapter, and when I went online to battle against other people,the online doesn't have many features. On online theirs only 2 matches you can choose to battle other people. The only 2 matches you are allowed to choose are- Single, & Bra & Panties. That's very dissapointing. They should allow you to choose more matches.
The Goods: WWE Smackdown! vs Raw has an amazing roster compiled of all of our favorites. You can play as Chris Jericho, Triple H, John Cena, Batista and many others. Also joining the roster are WWE Legends. The legends are Bret Hart, (Finally!) The Rock, Mandkind, Old Undertaker, Masked Kane, Roddy Piper, Brutas the Barber Beefcake, Andre the Giant, and Legion of Doom. It has a Season mode, Create a Wrestler mode, a Challenge mode and even Create a Belt mode. These are the following matches in the game...
Hell in a Cell
Bra and Panties,
Fatal Four Way,
and many others
The Bads: Season Mode isn't as good as Here Comes the Pain, but isn't entirely bad. What was bad to me about it was that it was mainly about the divas, and winning them over to become your managers. Create a Belt mode is only playable if you challenge someone else between memory cards, and doesn't have many good features anyway.
Sound: The game has amazing sound and even has commentating from the announcers from the respected venue your playing at. They do repeat words a lot, especially from Jerry the King Lawler. Never the less it's still great. 8/10
Graphics: These graphics are the best to hit the wrestling series yet. They are amazing, and they look just about real. The venues are amazingly detailed and makes you feel like your watching Monday Night Raw. The crowd still isn't great but, it's a lot better than other games I've seen. 9/10
Game play: The game play is amazing and has a huge move list. An all new grapple system opens your wrestler to even more moves. An all new reversal mode has been added as well. They have some cool reversals which can end up in your opponents loss... or victory. 9/10
Replay Value: I seriously give the replay value an amazing rating because I play it every day. All of the characters are amazing, and act and look like themselves. You can really only watch WWE twice a week and this game adds a lot more WWE to my life. 10/10
For those WWE fans, I highly recommend this game. This is my favorite wrestling game, and I'm sure it will be yours too.