THQ creates a good first impression, but that impression can only last so long on this iteration of Smackdown vs. RAW.
For years now, THQ has always modeled the wrestling world in the most accurate ways possible with their hit series Smackdown vs. RAW. From year to year, there are almost always improvements that are noticeable. We see annual roster updates, new moves, better looking superstars, and more fluid gameplay. Smackdown vs. RAW 2007 was the first entry to see the next generation consoles, and first impressions make you believe that the jump was definitely noticeable, and that this series could be a huge hit for many more years to come. Once you get into the core gameplay itself though, you will see that not as many improvements have come abound, and that this series has quickly become dated on the new consoles.
When you first startup the game, you will notice all of the games available modes which include Exhibition, Season Mode, GM Mode, PPV Mode, and much more. There are all the standard match types that you have come to expect from SvR, and all have a very distinct feel to them. Your standard singles match will have a different tone compared to a submission match or a hardcore match. It keeps the action going, and hardcore fans of the series will appreciate it; though if you are returning after not playing some prior games, some of the action may seem dull and repetitive.
When you jump to the game's primary modes such as Season Mode and GM Mode, you will also feel very bored very quickly. In Season Mode, you do have cutscenes to tell the "story" portion of each event each week. The writing in this game is worse than the actual thing, and you may feel as though your IQ level drops significantly in a short amount of time. Wrestlers do lend their voices to the game, and that is nice to have, but also part of what brings the game down. Their acting in real life surely does not translate well to the video game world, and most wrestlers will sound robotic, almost to a point of giving you migraines to last a lifetime.
GM Mode makes a return to the series and is unchanged overall. You hire your roster of superstars and go from week to week in what is still a very basic mode that I don't see a true point to. You can create storylines, feuds, and more, but it feels more like just simulating from week-to-week instead of truly having the experience of being the GM of RAW or Smackdown. SvR also features an online mode to work with, though don't expect much of a community these days since there have been four new entries since this game's 2006 release.
The create modes also return to this fabled series, and are really the star of the show. Creating a wrestler(s) can consume so much of your time it is insane almost, though that is a very good thing. You also can create championships that you can defend online if you somehow find an opponent. The other standard modes also return, such as create a stable and create a PPV.
The graphics in SvR overall are good. Each wrestler looks just the same as they do in real life, and to add on, you also have a few legends, such as Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and The Rock. Arenas all look the same with the exception of which show or PPV you are on, such as Smackdown or RAW. Crowds have seen minor improvements, though it is still a nice touch up on a game debuting on a new console.
Overall, Smackdown vs. RAW 2007 is fun for a short while. Fans of the television show and game series will probably enjoy this entry with little problems, though this game does have its flaws that can easily be felt and seen. The game doesn't necessarily introduce any major new improvements to a game series that releases each year. It is kind of surprising since THQ prides itself on making great innovations for its wrestling sim, but you can still get a decent time from this one. If you are not a fan of WWE or wrestling in general, stick to other fighters such as Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Street Fighter IV. If you enjoy the WWE and feel the need for updated rosters and improved graphics, then you may enjoy this grizzled wrestler.