Worst wrestler since WCW Thunder. And that hurts to say. Read an honest review..and save your well-earned money. Please.
Sound: The sound issues that appear in this game should have been resolved two iterations ago. The announcers still fail to comprehend any of the action going on in the ring. The vast majority of the time, and I'm talking 90% or more of the time, finishing moves are not announced because Michael Cole is busy explaining that, "These moves should not be tried at home." Does that sound familiar to anyone? Yeah. You're right. That's the same line used in last year's game. Well, it gets better. There pretty much is no new audio to speak of. The announcers say the same things, keep talking after the pinfall has already happened, and your superstar...oh man. I like to play through Season mode as my created superstar. Well, here's the thing. Yeah, I picked a voice for him. Thing is....I'm eight hours into the game....and he hasn't spoken yet. W....T.....F?? Also, for anyone who has ever played Halo 3 and used the shotgun, that's the EXACT sound you hear as an impact sound for finishing moves in this game. It's the personification of lame. The soundtrack to the game leaves PLENTY to be desired, and the superstar voice overs are lackluster at best. Even the messages on your cell phone are poorly done.
Graphics: This year's edition sees a nice bump up in character model quality. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of quality in every other category. I'm not going to lie. When I was playing this game, I suddenly found myself feeling like I was playing RAW 2 again. For those that don't know...that's not good. Also, the ever-present issue of "hair clipping", instances where characters like the Undertaker who have long hair that seemingly graphically glitches through their body, is still present. THQ...for shame. People were pointing this out in 2002...and yet, it's still here. Are you guys hiring graphics designers or something? The ring looks good...I mean, outside of the character models, what is there to see in a wrestling game? Oh yeah..the crowd. It's generic. I guess it isn't bad, but I certainly wouldn't say it looks good. The graphical package, on the whole, is impressive. But the little hiccups, like hair clipping, get annoying after a few hours of play.
Control: An absolute trainwreck. I do not want to put the Texas Cloverleaf on my controller just so my character will do it in the game. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst control setup I have seen in a video game since the days of WCW Thunder on the PS2, where they were still using button combos to pull off moves. I'm really not sure what the goal here was other than to frustrate the crap out of the player. Oh, mission accomplished by the way. For starters, the whole concept of Technical grapple, power grapple, etc. has been thrown out the window. It seems someone thought it would be sweet if, in order to perform a swinging neckbreaker, you need to actually rotate the right thumbstick in a half circle to "simulate" the move. If you ask me, this is the publisher's effort to "simulate" motion controls, since that's the new rage these days...a sort of "See? We can make OUR game immersive this way too!" Well guess what? No you can't. In fact, if anyone from THQ ever sees this review, I just want to say one thing: Your control scheme in this game = fail. The triggers still do reversals, but who's the idiot that said you need to hold down the left bumper and use the left thumbstick to run in the ring? I mean, honestly....who was that? It HAD to be on a Friday when they set this game up. I guess it's a good thing that you have the thorough instruction manual to back you up in case you need help right? Well, not exactly....see, I still don't know how to tag in my partner after trying every button combination known to man...and they seem to have left that one out of the instruction book. Guess they got tired of trying to figure it out too.
Gameplay: Okay, I have my cup of coffee here. I think I'm just about ready to just cover the basics of how this game goes out of its way to prove that, even with great graphics, a game can seriously suck it up. First of all, whomsoever came up with 24/7 Mode should be fired effective immediately. This edition does not have a season mode. In stead, it has this 24/7 mode that allows you to sit in your non-customizable locker room and click on either the wwe magazine on the table, which contains nothing more than storyline b.s., the laptop..which shows you all the fun stuff they screwed up..I will get to that stuff later...the calendar, which shows your events, or your cell phone. That's it. NO CUSTOM OPTIONS FOR YOUR LOCKER ROOM AT ALL. How can you take a feature out that was already there? Let me explain to everyone exactly why this 24/7 mode..SUCKS...24/7. You go through the week, and each day, you can choose to work out or do other events, such as make a movie...yeah..apparently it only takes a day, and you can make another one the next day. Your charisma stats and other stats determine whether the movie succeeds or flops, and you get charged fatigue for your effots. Does this sound familiar? Maybe...RPGish? Yeah. And they should have left it at that. Okay, check this out....so you want to get your character's speed attribute increased right? Okay, okay..well...here's what you do. Remember how you used to have those user-friendly scales that showed a numeric value for Stamina, Strength, etc.? Well, they are all gone. You want to up your speed, first of all, you click speed training. It will take you to a ring with a random opponent and a 2 or 3 minute time limit. Now, what you have to do is perform enough "dash attacks" (see also "running attacks") on your opponent before time runs out. How many do you have to do? Well, that's a guessing game, because THE GAME DOESN'T TELL YOU! You just do as many as you can until time runs out or you get the message of "Training Successful." ......................yeah...............I'm not joking. Want to increase your charisma? Same concept as before, only this time the goal is to perform a hidden number of taunts within the time limit. Seriously, I felt stupid doing these excercises. Also, you can now be injured. What i mean is, my character has had a broken arm for about 3 months now. He wasn't put in a hold, hit with anything..it just randomly, after a match, sent me a text message that said, "You have a broken arm. You should try to rest and let it heel for about 10 weeks." Funny, because you have a match every week. And at the start of the match, my arms were already in the red. It was awesome. I mean, the sheer realism of it all was insa.......wait.......no.....no, okay that's just stupid. Really, really....really stupid. To top it off, the computer is practically untouchable. They reverse EVERYTHING, and if you go into options and turn the A.I.'s reversal usage down to 0%, they will STILL REVERSE EVERYTHING. What a sick, twisted joke. The create-a superstar mode is the same thing as last year...heck, if it wasn't clearly marked 2008 I would say this whole game was the last year's version...only with alot more suck added. In career mode, you see the same cutscenes every time. I literally mean that. The game only has about 5 different cutscenes to play before matches. It's pathetic. I get more variety out of my Pez dispenser than this game gives me in cut scenes. I've never felt so sorry for a developer since I played Lair. Everything about this game screams "I was rushed!!!" When a wrestler grabs the ref and throws him at you, its funny because if you run out of the way of the ref he will follow you like a homing missile until he collides with you. It's just hilarious how bad this game is. Seriously.
I could spend all day going on about issues with this game. I swear, I'm only scratching the surface with what I have pointed out. I bought this game today...on launch day. My only hope with this review is that it will reach people fast enough to keep them from buying this poor excuse for a video game. As far as my recommendations go, they are as follows: As a rental, I don't recommend this game..even if it's the last game in the world and if you don't play it, the world will end. Just don't touch it. As a purchase....okay look. If you are thinking about buying this game, do me a favor. Buy a Nintendo 64 and No Mercy. You will be much, much, MUCH happier with that. I'm not even close to kidding. THQ....Smackdown Vs. Raw.....someone forgot to flush. If every game in the world sold out tomorrow, I guarantee this game would be the Last Game Still Standing on store shelves. Man, what a stinker.