THQ try something different but in the end, the lack of commentary and the arcadey action ruin the game

User Rating: 6.7 | WWF SmackDown! (Platinum) PS
I was quite excited when this game came out because in my mind there had never been a good wrestling game on the PS1 before and now THQ who had made Wrestlemania 2000 on the N64 were making one for it and I have to say that my hopes were quite high. But in the end, it just didn’t meet my expectations. The game is much faster paced than the sluggish N64 games and matches last around 3-4 minutes long if you’re playing as one of the worse wrestlers. The moves are very limited also as each wrestler has only 4 different “front” moves and one finisher. This makes the games very repetitive and can become a chore because the A.I is really bad and is really easy to beat. Yet it is much better suited to multiplayer than the N64 games and can become fast and furious. This game has much more match types than Wrestlemania 2000 including a fun special referee mode and one of the best match types ever, the hardcore match. The areas to do battle in on the hardcore match are massive and are really great fun. (Too bad they don’t have outside areas in SD vs. RAW 06)

By the time the N64 games come out I always felt the roster was out of date and that half the wrestlers had left the WWF. This was not the case in Smackdown. This roster was one of the best ever and what it lacks in quantity and absolutely makes up for it in quality. The hottest new superstars, like Chris Jericho, The Big Show and The Hardy Boyz were all here. And I don’t know how they did it but they just managed to include the best tag team in the history of wrestling into the game, THE DUDLEY BOYZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The graphics were kind of crappy compared to W2000 but were some of the best on PS1 so ill let it off with that yet there is something I can’t forgive. The entrances. Instead of just doing the safe thing and show the wrestlers walking to the ring and doing their poses, THQ decides to show the wrestlers entrance video on the screen (The WHOLE screen, so you can’t see anything else) and just put the wrestler at the front and show them walking in mid air towards the ring and don’t make them taunt or pose or anything. It’s disgraceful.

The sound, to put it simply, is bad, just bad. Yeah, maybe they have got the real theme music but yet even after WWF Attitude nailed the commentary just right over a year beforehand, Smackdown has no commentary. None at all. So you have to sit watching these matches (thank god they’re short) listening to nothing but badly made generic tunes. No thank you.

The Season mode was much hyped and for THQ to go as far as saying it is “Revolutionary” is pretentious. Yes it is a step in the right direction, but it still is just a bad Season mode. The difference from any other game is that a wrestler will come up to you randomly and will try to beat you up. A better thing is the Rankings. Smackdown has its own ranking, or league table which shows who are the best fighters. For example, If Billy Gunn who is 10th beats X-Pac who is 13th; he might move up to 9th or even 8th depending on what his win/loss record is and if 9th place has a better record than him. You have to be in the top 5 to have a shot at the world title, top 10 for the intercontinental and top 20 for the European. The rankings are really in depth and are really good surprise to be found in this game. There is also a create-a-wrestler mode but it really is no good because there are only a handful of different clothes to wear and all created characters look the same.

I’ve said some good things about this game, I’ve said a lot of bad things about it but in the end, there aint much point in getting this game anymore if you have a PS2. But if you only have a PS1, then I recommend Smackdown 2 instead of this.