WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009

The next season of the WWE Smackdown VS Raw has begun and I was kinda hesitant to try it out. One half of me reminded that I’d been let down since the series stopped my custom divas making a career after Smackdown 2 (PS1). The other half of me beckoned me to play it for nostalgia’s sake, man those were the days back on Sunday’s Channel 4 replays of Smackdown. I could never forget the good plots around The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The cheating affairs of Vince McMahon and him getting rightly kicked in the balls by Linda. Oh those were the days, weekly dramas that grew bigger with each fight. This franchise is my equivalent to your favourite soap of Eastenders or Coronation Street.

Ok so the first thing I do as with all previous WWE games is nip straight to the character creation mode. There’s more fun to be had if you can put your virtual self into the action, a reason that has now steered a lot of games to have custom options. Personally I’m very conscious on how my character appears and acts so the process normally takes me a full two to three hours! Everything has to be right from apparel, her height, her glorious entrance, deciding between a facebustin’ or a hurricana signature move and lots more. 90% of the custom items are the same, there’s only a few new things and they’ve added one or two extra styles upon the existing. Maybe you want an extra fringe on that hairstyle? Unfortunately the developers still didn’t fix the small annoying problems where the headgear (caps, helmet, etc) would have pixel collisions with the hair graphics. Same thing happens when trying to piece belts or accessories to your bottom clothing.

I sifted through the move list pretty quick always pushing the right trigger to the “no lift up” tab. My lady of 5″3 isn’t really looking to perform a suplex on The Undertaker ya know. Amusing as it would have been back before they added these realistic factors in the recent years. It’s nice to see that wrestling has never forgotten the likes of old superstars so you’ll always be able to revive the moves of the comic duo “Too Cool”, or “Chyna” and who never wanted to re-enact the people’s champ.

I should have clocked onto it earlier as I noticed there wasn’t a choice for voice for your creation. They’ve just not bothered with making any generic storyline for anybody to take part in. Utterly disappointed as it’s just lost half of what made SvR 07 and 08, even if they were career stories just for the male wrestlers. However if you’re big fans of Chris Jericho, Triple H, the Undertaker, CM Punk, John Cena, Rey Mysterio or Batistia. Things are going to hot up for you with their “Road to Wrestlemania” stories. Plus it’s the first time they’ve put in a co-op career mode but you’ll have to argue out who is Rey or Bastista. The stories can get a bit repetitive and there’s only so much you can take, seeing the same two wrestlers constantly grudge matching is tiresome. For all other wrestlers (including your customs) career mode is just a belt-collecting job. There’s no drama to dress this up, it’s just a dull process. Pick a championship, beat the opponents a few times, win the belt, pick another championship and do it all again.

Mostly a flop for SvR 2009 but they have improved on a few things. Graphics is a standard expectation and that’s met well. The loading times are faster so less of sitting through long periods, singing along to the game menu songs. You can now configure the A.I can be so there’s choice if you want total pwnage over them or for them to reverse everything you’ve got. No more of last years’ tapping all buttons rubbish for a solid five minutes that brought no result to recovery. Gameplay has now got a little more balance so the tapping all buttons only needs to be done for two seconds, followed up by tapping with the A button (yet again a two second task), then you’ve got a quick guard (pulling LT and RT) so you don’t get kicked back down as you stand up.

Despite it seems they’ve neatened up these minor things, what the hell is with the dodgy camera when you climb out of the ring?! A frickin’ over-zoomed camera angle and you just can’t see what you’re doing. Just might as well throw out all the ideas of interactive environment.

Create-A-Finisher is a new thing this year. There’s joy linking up to 10 moves with maybe a series of punches, kicks, eye poking, spitting in their face, humiliating your opponent before finishing them off with a chokeslam. Of course you can create more respectful wrestling pride finishers but well, it’s all about being cheeky with me hehe. Word of advice to the gamers, don’t get caught up making a full sequence because you’ll find yourself having to redo it all when you see how it performs in the ring. Your finisher doesn’t work properly or some moves cut off because of animation and space issues.







Leave a Reply