WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2009
PS3 & XBox 360
WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw returns to the
console world with this review focusing on both the PlayStation 3 and
XBox 360 versions. THQ once again allow gamers across the world to enjoy
one of the most entertaining "sports" as they wrestle their way to
victory with new maneuvers, gameplay modes and the biggest change to the
franchise, in-depth story modes.
reviews of the previous incarnation of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, THQ have
addressed some of the inconsistencies of the gameplay and load times,
making the tenth game of the franchise, a truly entertaining experience.
Without dwelling on past errors, it's time to focus on WWE SmackDown! vs.
Raw 2009, the latest and perhaps greatest wrestling game!
When it comes to wrestling modes, this title has it all, whether it's
One on One, 6-man or the new Inferno Match, wrestling fans will be
pleased to know that this as close as one will ever get to being in the
ring. The story mode "Road to Wrestlemania" is truly a great
addition to the franchise where you battle your way to
the top of the Wrestling world and for a sports game, it contains quite
an interesting story that even includes cutscenes. In Road to Wrestlemania, players can play one of seven WWE wrestlers such as Triple
H, John Cena and the Undertaker.
This mode is like watching a season of wrestling as your characters
experience all the ups and downs of their careers plus their arch
As to regular gameplay modes in the title, it has everything from quick
matches, career and tournament modes. My favourite is the tag team mode
which allows either you or your ally to distract the referee or even hold your opponent
against the ropes makes that makes for some exhilarating wrestling fun.
part of the tag team mode is that you can even work up the crowd by
using the controller to clap your hands which gets the crowd going.
it comes to wrestling divisions and fighters, there's everything from
Raw, SmackDown, ECW, WCW and my favourite, Legends which contains all
your classic wrestlers. I'm an old school wrestling fan!
The most noticeable improvement over 2008 is the speed of gameplay which
almost mimics the real-life speed of the wrestling we all love and enjoy
on TV. The way your character interacts with the gaming environment and
your opponent or opponents seems quite flawless at times, even switching
between different maneuvers allows for smoother and enjoyable gameplay.
The control system on both the 360 and PS3 allows you to have greater
control over your wrestlers and keeps the action going, without it
feeling like you are stopping and starting.
Control wise, the game is
reminiscent of last years title as you use the right analog stick to
create a variety of wrestling maneuvers. Although the novice gamer can
easily pick up the controller and start playing, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw
2009 allows for some truly engaging gameplay for the more professional
gamer which is definitely value for your money. If you do have problems
with the controls, there is also a good tutorial to assist the gamer in
mastering the basics.
For those that want a little more control and ownership of their
wrestlers, Create a Finisher allows you to create your own wrestling
superstar, even with their trade mark entrance and finishing maneuvers
which truly ups the ante from previous incarnations. Not only is this
easy to do but it flawlessly interacts with the gaming mode, making for
a fun wrestling experience.
Graphically, the titles on both the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are
slightly more slick than 2008 with all the wrestlers mimicking their
real-world counterparts. The wrestlers themselves move with an almost
human-like grace as they grapple, wrestle and throw their opponents. The
collision detection does need a little work as sometimes body parts go
into your opponents body parts (ala Mortal Kombat), however you're not
meant to be performing surgery.
also contains some great lighting effects which allow you to become more
immersed into the title due to the realism of the graphics that sets the
ambience. The rings
where you wrestle are a little sparse, however this mirrors the
real-world places and I'm pleased to say that the crowd graphics,
although not as impressive as some of the boxing games available at
present is actually not that bad. The fans even hold up signs for their
wrestlers and are quite dynamic at times thanks to the various
individual fan animation.
What would a wrestling game be without the tacky and over the top
commentary and Michael "Tazz" Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler
lend their voices to the franchise. Initially the commentary is quite
entertaining, however it does become a little repetitive at times but it
nicely compliments the graphics as do the realistic wrestling sounds.
At the end of the day, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is still the
definitive wrestling game available with THQ and developers Yukes making
this franchise a fine art. A definite huge improvement over its
predecessor, this is definitely the game for wrestling fans around the
world and is probably a great gift for the upcoming summer holidays in