Describe this game in one phrase? Bi-polar.
theone86 wrote this review on .
Create modes have seen a little more focus this year. I was very pleased with the way my created wrestler turned out. There seems to be a few more options this year, although it does still have limitations. Specifically putting multiple layers of certain items is impossible and they still have limitations on the color range of some items. There also seem to be certain items that got a little more attention than others, specifically hair. There are still categories, plural, that leave a lot to be expected. The other problem is that they've streamlined the menus...somewhat. The item select menus are still a one column long list, but there are some subtle changes to the way other menus are handled. I, personally, don't like it. I think it was much faster finding my way around the old menu. Now I have to go searching for a feature that used to be right in front of my face. Created wrestlers do look much better, though, and a lot of the lag that used to occur in this mode is gone or diminished.
On to Create a title. This mode has also seen significant improvement. Most notably, there are a lot more options. You can make just about any ECW Title, although they still haven't included a way to edit the color of the belt manually. Instead you have to use their color options which, suprise surprise, don't include orange. I guess I'm going to have to wait another year for a true **** the World Title. You can also make a ton of different WCW and WWE titles, and *drumrolll* the classic TNA X-Division Title. The other problem is that you still can't mix and match company logos with different centerpieces. There could be a design for a specific belt that's missing just the logo, and that throws the whole belt off. Also, some designs are still only available as spinners. That wouldn't be a problem, but they never start out in the entrance at dead center, they're always a little off, giving away the spinner aspect.
That's where the fun in create modes ends. Create an entrance is largely unchanged, except for a new timing menu. It basically works exactly the same except that now there's a little meter at the top of the screen. It runs into the same issues it did last year, and again falls short of the same mode in THQ and Yukes Day of Reckoning series.
Create a moveset isn't much better. There are some high points, but they get negated. First off, weight class limits what fighting style you can choose, which in turn limits your moves. You have much more moves available for a single category, but much less choice within that category. For instance, a submission specialist will have a lot of submission holds available for their first category, but not much in the way of anything else. To make things worse, two spots are now given to ultimate controls. This essentially means that we went from having four categories, each with four moves and an UCM, to having two categories with four moves and two UCMs. That's a loss of two UCMs and eight moves. But wait, this isn't the only place they cut moveslots. there are now two less strike slots, one less down diving slot, and probably a couple more. And that's just moveslots, let's talk moves. I can't be totally sure because the moves they make available to you depends on what style you have, but your choices become pretty miniscule. High flyer and hardcore, specifically, have a lot of extra moves available while having some pretty useless primary abilities. I'll get into styles more in a second. The bottom line is that your move selection is down. We wouldn't even have new moves if it weren't for the new wrestlers in this year's edition. We would have an even smaller movelist than before. If you've ever played a SD game you're probably going to be missing at lest a couple moves. They also still change your move if it's a submission or pin an a non-submission or pin situation. This means that almost any diving move becomes a body splash. They did add a new move position that I've been wanting since I started playing the series, but it really doesn't do much. You can now jump onto the apron at any point, but there aren't any moves you can execute from there, sadly.
Now to fighting styles. Good idea, bad execution. I like some aspects of it. The submission wrestler's lockpick, the brawler's striking UCMs, the dirty wrestler's tactics. The problem is all of the other useless stuff. There are a lot of things that are limited to one styles that I feel should be pretty universal. Dodges, irish whip modifications, diving moves, and I definitely don't like having a decreased moveset. You can talk about gameplay all you want, but at the end of the day it still plays almost identically to every other SD game. The styles really don't do much to enhance gameplay. Also, not being able to use two finishers in a row or store a finisher for later use gets very annoying very fast.
As for the rest of the gameplay, so-so. It is definitely slowed down, which I think is a good thing. The new running mechanic works decently. As for matchtypes, gameplay is pretty much unchanged. Nothing has been done to improve Royal Rumble matches, parking lot brawls, or just about any other matchtype you had a problem with before. Hell in a Cell has a barrier on the top, which is a welcome addition IMO, and Last man Standing now has a new winning method, basically you have to use a special to win, which I could do without. You still can't have a pinning ladder or TLC match, you still can't get weapons in HIAC, there is no Extreme Elimination Chamber, and like I said, basically any match flaw is still present. They also still restrict which arenas you can use for which matches. You still can't have an over-the-top-rope match larger than 6 people in an arena other than the Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber is available only at Mania and Survivor Series, and Extreme Rules is available only in the new ECW arena.
Extreme Rules is the standout of the game, although it's also completely uneccessary. It's basically a hardcore match with pinfalls and submissions only in the ring, and a nifty little weapon wheel. The problem is that the weapon wheel is available ONLY in Extreme Rules. You can't have a classic ECW Three-Way Dance because you can't have elimination rules in Extreme Rules three ways. You could do an elimination match, but you can't even get out of the ring in those, much less use the weapon wheel. It's a good idea, but it falls short.
As for the new 24/7 mode, it's almost unchanged. They basically put GM mode and Story mode under the same menu title of 24/7 mode. There should be a law against this type of marketing. Nothing new, just the addition of ECW. Oh, by the way, did I mention you can't use ECW wrestlers in story? In fact, you can only use about 29 out of the 50. Have fun. The new Legends mode is also just a fancy way of saying challenge mode.
Speaking of story, it's pretty bad. The injury aspect really does almost ruin the whole mode. The training exercises are just a very tedious exercise in micromanagement, and the locker room is no longer customizable. They did bring back the popularity meter from years past and implement a power 25, but the stories seldom change. You'll again be tired of this mode by the end of one year at very best. They did add one new mode, tournament, which is pretty cool. But seeing as how they refused to fix any of their matches it's pretty much a moot point.
And now roster, it SUCKS. Think of my enunciation of sucks in the same way of Rodney Dangerfield's in Caddyshack. Think of Homer Simpson's infamous quote, "They were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked." I can barely fill a Royal Rumble with wrestlers that I actually want to play as. There are actually a handful of pleasant surprises, such as Terry Funk, Sabu, and Rick Rude, but the blatant omission of so many others combined with the pathetic number by this series standards wahses out any benefit they make and then some. I don't care what you say about CAW or DLC, the roster is a DISGRACE. It would be forgiveable if 08 was a great game, but it's just your regular old sub-par SVR entry.
On to graphics and sound. They're actually pretty decent. There's a good selection of songs and the game looks great. The crowd is the one exception to these, but the game still looks great. Collision detection has also improved. The flip side to that is that there are still instances where you ahouldn't be able to do a move yet still can, like when someone is falling you can still grapple them. A.I. also remains pretty much unchanged. The only difference is that they adhere to their style. Hardcore will spam weapon shots, submission will spam submission moves, and so on.
I'm so sick of this series getting a free pass based on the name. The fact is that this series is dying. It was fun five years ago, now it's just getting old. Nothing ever gets fixed. All they do is change titles around to make things seem different and then repackage it as a, "BRAND NEW FEATURE!!!" Please. All 2008 is is a fresh coat of paint on a car that needs a new engine. This game is worth a rental only if you're a die-hard WWE fan ot SVR fan. I wouldn't reccomend a purchase to anyone. No one who was involved in the making of this game deserves your money, don't give it to them. You're just going to get bored in a month or so and forget about it until 09 gets announced, why even bother? You're not going to be interested after a single rental period, it's time THQ/Yukes/WWE got the message that we want a better videogame, why don't we send them that message by not purchasing their half-hearted efforts year in and year out?