WWF Raw Review
While the game does some things very well, it generally falls short of expectations.
WWF Raw is the wrestling game debut of Anchor, the development team that created the Ultimate Fighting Championship game for the Dreamcast. As it did with UFC, Anchor has focused its efforts on re-creating the intensity and excitement of a popular voyeuristic experience, this time being the continuing saga of the World Wrestling Federation. WWF Raw has impressive graphics and a beefy roster that includes many of today's most popular WWF superstars. Anchor has developed a completely original game engine for WWF Raw, and while the game does some things very well, it generally falls short of expectations.
Upon starting WWF Raw, you're treated with an impressive opening montage that perfectly replicates that of the televised Raw program. The opening video is high quality and makes an excellent introduction to the game, which for the most part shows off high production values. The in-depth tutorial shows how the game's mechanics--such as the voltage meter, stamina, and grappling system--work, with both text instructions and video demonstration. You can also take the time to peruse the museum, where you'll find biographies and other little tidbits.
Creating accurate reproductions of the popular WWF superstars is key to properly handling a licensed wrestling game, and in many cases, WWF Raw performs admirably. There are a ton of wrestlers here, including some of those who didn't appear in last year's WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It for the PS2, such as Haku, Justin Credible, X-Pac, and K-Kwik. Many of the wrestlers look amazing--The Rock looks absolutely great, as do many of the other wrestlers who were unveiled earlier in the game's development. WWF Raw's character models are replete with facial detail, nicely done muscle and skin tone, good-looking tattoos, and accurate overall body structure. Some of the characters aren't quite as well done as the rest, however. For example, the Triple H character model, representing one of the most popular wrestlers today, looks very little like the real-life wrestler. The artists also seem to have overdone it with the Chris Benoit character model, whose midsection just looks odd. The women also bear little resemblance to their real-life counterparts. They look rather good when making their ring entrances, as the high-quality Titantron video feeds, slick pyrotechnics, lighting effects, and animate crowds set the scene nicely.
The brand-new engine that Anchor has developed for WWF Raw is well suited to the task of accurately depicting wrestling maneuvers and their effects on other characters and the ring. When you perform a suplex on an opponent with your back to the ropes, you can send your opponent flying over the ropes to the ringside, with the ropes bouncing believably in the process. Striking opponents when near the ring ropes can get them tangled up, setting them up for strikes that will take them over the side. Tossing a hapless opponent into his or her tag-team partner is equally satisfying, since the collision detection is spot on, and the force of the blow will likely damage or knock down the second wrestler. Many other wrestling games have had problems with top-rope maneuvers, but WWF Raw has your wrestler nicely adjust for distance when going aerial, making these techniques worthwhile and quite satisfying. Better yet, if you scale the turnbuckles at the wrong time, and your opponents can reach you before you take off, they can knock you down, forcing you to endure an all-too-familiar groan-of-agony animation. As an added bonus, wrestlers sweat when performing, and you can see droplets appear across the mat, increasing throughout the course of a match. This little touch can easily pass unnoticed but adds considerably to the game's simulation-style aesthetic.
Anchor is known for delivering excellent animation, and in this respect, WWF Raw is quite impressive. When moves are executed, they look genuine, and in most cases each move has been tailored to animate in the same way that the real-life wrestler performs it. The Rock leans back and winces in pain while performing his sharpshooter, for example, and it seems that just about everyone in the game has a different way of throwing punch and chop combinations. There's quite a variety of moves as well, while you're standing up and while you're grappling. The same wrestler may throw a right-left punch combination, shift positions and use a slapping chop, throw a low kick or two, or even finish with a flying lariat. The number of moves you can execute is substantial, considering the simplified control scheme, and they all generally look great.
- Player Reviews: 15
- Game Universe:
- WWF Raw (XBOX, 32X, GB, GG, SNES, GEN),
- WWE Crush Hour (GC, XBOX, PS2),
- WWF Royal Rumble (GEN, SNES, DC),
- WWF War Zone (N64, PS, GB),
- WWF Attitude (DC, GBC, N64, PS),
- WWF European Rampage Tour (AMI, C64),
- WWF In Your House (PC, PS, SAT),
- WWF Super Wrestlemania (GEN, SNES),
- WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 (PSP, PS2),
- WWF King of the Ring (GB, NES)
- Number of Players: