Woo, wrestling fans, WWE wrestling fans in particular, it's time for another exciting year of WWE gaming action. Over the weekend I've had ample amount of time to sit down with the demo version of this year's WWE installment-Smackdown! Vs Raw 2008. And I must say that I am pleased. I'll start with the in ring action. Played right, mimicking the in ring action of WWE excitement, this game has what it takes to excite onlookers. Using the Right Thumbstick to perform grapples makes the moves appear fluid. Irish whips are definitely easier to pull off as compared to last year's installment. In last year's game, players had to push A and the Left Bumper to perform an Irish Whip, or hold down both buttons at the same time to perform a strong Irish Whip. In SVR 08, for a weak Irish Whip, just push the B button, and for a strong Irish Whip, just push and hold down the B button for a matter of seconds. Also, the running mechanics in this installment is much better than last year's installment. Last year, you used the Y button to run. Using Y made some moves awkward, for example, running ground attacks. This year, all one has to do it hold down the Left Bumper to make the character run, which feels a lot more natural. This time you don't just run towards your opponent, you can run in any direction while holding down the left bumper. You can run around in circles if you like. Not only does this make performing running strikes easier, it makes running ground attacks much easier to pull off. Strikes are pretty much the same. Push X to perform a strike, and push X plus a direction on the Left Thumbstick to perform a different type of strike. Counters and reverses are the same as previous years' games to pull off-Left Trigger and Right Trigger, respectively. This year the weapon shots are much more realistic. When you hit someone, you actual light them up.
Still, there are the occasional, irritating glitches. Maybe the glitches are just products of bad timing-which would be understandable, but sometimes the timing is accurate, and still, strange things will happen. The running grapple maneuver, for example, is kind of hard to pull off coming from a long distance. Now, I would understand if an opponent side steps a charging opponent, but there has been times when I've been right on point, and still I go tumbling past my opponent. Let's not forget about the top rope moves where you jump past your intended target, jumping short of your opponent is one thing, but jumping past your opponent is another.
The voice-overs for the announcers are great, but there are times when they comment on something that happened minutes prior. For example, I hit my opponent with a chair, and then, minutes afterwards, good ole' J.R. comments on the shot to the head. And then there's times when the camera angle doesn't make any damn since. For instance, when the Undertaker removes his hat and flips his eyes, the camera will catch him from an angle that doesn't display his eyes so well, like a side mug shot. Obviously, since online, character create, and other feature were not on the demo, I don't have any comments at this time. But as soon as the full version is released, I willgive you all a full review. Despite some minor glitches, that should have been fiixed by now, the game is look excellent!