The ebb and flow of petty in-fighting is one of the primary characteristics of any good World Wrestling Entertainment story arc. The same can be said for the gaming franchise based off of the popular pastime, as its history has taken more than a few cues from its fantasized counterpart.
In the three-way cage match that is the WWE-THQ-Jakks alliance, the game publisher has come out on top the most in recent months, with a United States District Court judge dismissing a WWE racketeering lawsuit brought against the two gamemakers in December, and THQ touting a court decision against Jakks over royalty rates earlier this month.
Luckily for fans of burly men grappling with one another, the entertainment label along with its game-making partners still manage to put aside their differences long enough to produce a game every year, and THQ today announced WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2009 will take to the ring this fall. As with last year, THQ will be releasing editions of the game on nearly every current platform, including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Wii, and mobile.
As is customary of annualized franchises, Jakks has performed a number of adjustments under the hood of its latest game. On the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, and PSP, Jakks will be revisiting tag-team play, revising mechanics, and implementing a number of new ways to eliminate opponents. The franchise's character customization will be further expanded with a new Create-A-Finisher option, and the Road to WrestleMania career mode will feature co-op storylines. THQ also promises downloadable content to be available in the future.
With the Wii version of SmackDown! vs. RAW debuting last year, Jakks will be amping up the game's offerings with an expanded suite of modes, including online play. On the DS, SmackDown! vs. RAW 2009 offers a number of alterations to the formula, including a redesigned Season mode that takes more of a role-playing tack. The roster of superstars has also been expanded, with the Create-a-Superstar mode now added to the DS edition.