Chapter 3: General Strategies
Many game mechanics of previous Smackdown vs. RAW titles have carried over into this year's version. There's still a momentum meter and you can still focus damaging attacks on specific body parts but some elements have been tweaked. Instead of storing finishers you store fighting style icons unique to your superstar; these activate powerful abilities that can be used during the match. This section provides some general strategies for match success as well as specific tips on some of the match types you'll battle it out in exhibition, 24/7, or online mode.
The momentum system used in the last few Smackdown vs. RAW games returns for 2008, with a few tweaks here and there. The blue bar under your superstar's name represents momentum and it rises and lowers depending on in-ring actions and situations.
Basically if you're completing maneuvers, you're building momentum and if opponent's moves are pummeling you, you're losing momentum. Fill the blue momentum meter to completion and you can perform a finishing move. New for 2008: you can store a full momentum bar into a fighting style icon to perform your superstar's primarily special ability and any time.
The list below reveals what abilities can be performed with a stored fighting style icon.
- Brawler's Wreck Shop: For a brief period, all of your strikes are unblockable and you can counter every opposing strike attack.
- Dirty's Super Dirty Move: Knock your opponent groggy and face them to perform a match-turning underhanded maneuver.
- Hardcore's Hardcore Resurrection: Grab a chair and your superstar will use it to bust himself open and heal some limb damage.
- Submission's Ultimate Submission: Turns a standard struggle submission hold into an ultimate submission hold.
- High-Flyer's Possum Pin: When you're down and ready to be pinned, execute the possum pin to reverse the move and go for a tough-to-break roll-up pin surprise maneuver.
- Powerhouse's Rampage: You become invulnerable to strike attacks and all of your grapple and ultimate control grapples can't be reversed.
- Showman's Steal Finisher: You can use your opponent's finisher when in the correct position.
- Technical's Technically Sound: For a brief period of time you can reverse all of your opponent's attacks.
Increase your momentum meter by completing successful strikes, grapples, and other maneuvers. Weapon strikes, if allowed by match rules, raise your momentum meter significantly. Completing taunts will also raise the momentum meter. The blue bar lowers slowly over time (no one wants to see you running around the ring avoiding contact!) and suffering damage from your opponent's successful attacks will also lower the meter. Using the same move over and over again will also decrease your momentum meter. You're putting fans to sleep!
When you have filled the momentum meter completely, you can either store a fighting style icon to use the ability later or go for a finishing move. After approximately 10 seconds, the full momentum meter will disappear and lower to about half full—so make your decision quickly!
The best time to go for a pinfall victory is immediately following a finisher. Your momentum is at its peak and your opponent has just suffered a huge momentum blow. It's not a certain victory; a lot depends on how much damage your opponent's limbs have sustained (particularly in relation to what limb your finishing move damages!).
The location damage system has been around for several Smackdown vs. RAW games and is back for 2008. Strike attacks, grapple maneuvers, and submission holds inflict damage on specific body parts (upon completing a move, watch the flash near your opponent's name for the specific part). You can inflict damage to the head, torso, arms, and legs. As damage is inflicted, the body parts turn from white to yellow to orange to red; white is undamaged while red is heavy damage. Locking a submission hold that damages an already red body part will almost certainly end in a tap out.
Location damage is most important for submission holds but it pays to focus attacks on the specific body part your finisher damages. For instance, Triple H's Pedigree inflicts head damage. If you damage the head throughout the match, when it's time to execute your finishing move, the combination of already inflicted damage, momentum, and the new damage from the finishing move will likely be enough to score a pinfall.
The Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble is one of the greatest WWE events. Thirty superstars enter the ring and only one exits…willingly at least. Each superstar enters the ring at a predetermined point. You may be the first to enter and must survive 29 other superstars or you may draw the best slot, number 30, and can clean up the scraps and hold on for a much easier victory. Superstars are eliminated if they're tossed over the ropes and out of the ring. The last superstar left in the ring is the champion.
There are a few methods to get your competitors out of the ring. The easiest is the Irish whip move near the rope. Just initiate an Irish whip and direct the opponent toward the near rope. You can't be in the ring's center; you must be close to the rope for the maneuver to work. When you're close enough, the whipped opponent flies over the rope and onto the apron.
Once you have a superstar on the apron, you can punch him off with strikes or initiate a grapple. The grapple triggers the ring-out meter, which determines how close a superstar is to falling off the apron and out of the match. The meter is long enough to withstand a couple Irish whips onto the apron. If a second superstar joins the grapple, the meter depletes very quickly.
Avoid standing around the ropes or you will get tossed over. It's wise to avoid confrontations to maintain your health. Build your momentum gradually as you look for opportunities for strikes, grapples, and taunts. Look for opportunities to join in a grapple at the ropes to eliminate a competitor.
Hell in a Cell and Steel Cage
Mankind (also known as Mick Foley) single-handedly made the Hell in the Cell one of the most popular match types. His amazing spot off the top of the cell and onto the announcer's table is one of the greatest—and craziest—moments in WWE history. Hell in a cell is just as the name suggests. Like in a steel cage match, a cell surrounds the ring. You can use a variety of unique grapples on the cell (slam your opponent into the cell, and rub his face on the cell, etc). But the most important element of the match is the ability to climb on top of the cell. Victory in a hell in the cell match comes after a standard pinfall.
A steel cage match typically has different win requirements. For instance, you may be required to climb out of the cage and escape to win, get out of the cage door to win, or even just execute a standard pinfall. Weaken your opponent significantly before attempting an escape. Getting out of the cage takes time and computer opponents will be quick to pull you back into the ring. Execute a finishing move or fighting style ability to keep your opponent out of commission (and ideally on the other side of the ring) long enough to get the win.
- Downloadable Game