Review by OOC Riot

"WWF SmackDown 2 is a fantastic wrestling game. It's as simple as that."

WWF SmackDown 2 is the latest (and last) grappler for the Playstation from THQ and development team Yuke's. After weeks of spending time with this title, I've finally been able to pass judgment on it in its entirety, here goes...

Graphics:

The graphics in this game for the most part are very good. The wrestlers all have very well textured skin and clothes; there is some visual pixelation, but nothing to be turned off by. The animation is much improved from its predecessor, but is still not quite up to par with other titles such as WWF No Mercy. This really becomes apparent when a wrestler executes an aerial maneuver. Again, this isn't really a problem, it is easily overlooked. The framerate is super smooth at most times, with slight hitches when there are 4 wrestler on-screen at once, nothing bad, it just needs mentioning.

Gameplay:

The gameplay in SmackDown 2 is pretty standard. There are so many modes of play, for instance, Hell in a Cell, Table, Slobberknocker, Casket, Ladder, and many more. This game will definitely keep you busy for a while. There is an improved Season mode in SmackDown 2. It is, for the most part fun, it takes you through 4 events per month (Two Raws and SmackDowns) and then at the end of the month you take part in a Pay-Per-View. Very standard, vary predictable, but fun nonetheless. There are basic storylines throughout SmackDown 2, which while some are entertaining most are not. This now brings me to another point, load times, they are absolutely horrendous. When the game takes itself to a match or scene it has to load going into and out of the match or scene. While this may sound like a small gripe, it isn't. Each load time takes about 10-15 seconds, for example let's say you were going to a cutscene, there's 15 seconds of loading, you watch a cutscene that you've seen 40 times and are sick of, then there's another load screen to get you back to where you were. This, my friends is very irritating. You do, however get to see a nice pretty picture of a wrestler that's in the game, how nice of Yuke's to ease the load time with a picture to stare at. These loading issues are very annoying, but again they can be overlooked, although they are a big pill to swallow. There is, however an awesome feature that SmackDown 2 puts to use, and that feature is the Create a Superstar (CAW/CAS) mode. This area of the game is so detailed and gripping that it will keep you busy for a very long time. Everything can be altered and colored, from wrestlers' figure, to hats, to clothes, to wrist pads. A very neat feature and probably better than anything else on other Playstation wrestling games.

Sound and Presentation:

This area of the game is fairly solid. The menus are silky smooth and easily navigated, the word fonts are much smoother and are easy to read. The sound effects are also well done with the standard bumps and crashes; they are crystal clear, and work with the action of the game. The music on the other hand is complete trash; it's pretty much the same cheese-rock that's been found in most of the other THQ grapplers. While bad, it is tolerable; I wouldn't go looking for a soundtrack for this that’s for sure. There is a decent amount of Full Motion Video (FMV) in SmackDown 2, it is usually used for the entrances of the wrestlers, it's cool, but nothing special.

Replay:

SmackDown 2 seemingly has endless replay value. It has multiple modes with many options for each mode, a great multiplayer mode, and a decent Season mode. The real treat, however is the awesome CAW/CAS mode, you can make everyone and their mother with this thing, a truly amazing mode that deserves the mass praise that it has gotten, great job Yuke's!

Overall:

WWF SmackDown 2 is a fantastic wrestling game. It's as simple as that. With so many modes to enjoy, fun season mode, and one of the best CAW/CAS modes ever put into a videogame, this game will not disappoint the buyer. This comes highly recommended to anyone interested in wrestling.

High Marks:
Chock-full of modes
Good season mode
Great presentation
A truly amazing CAW/CAS mode

Low Marks:
The graphics could use a makeover
Some modes seem to be done badly (Casket, for example)
The season mode can get tedious after a while
Horrible load times cripple this other wise amazing game

9 out of 10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/17/00, Updated 12/17/00


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