Review by MercilessOne

"Since HCTP and No Mercy; The best out there"

Wrestling games offer the chance to reenact some of the things shown on real life wrestling shows. With Smackdown! vs. RAW 2006, the latest in a series from THQ, this gets even better.

Like it or not, the series has been around since the days of the original Playstation. From the very first Smackdown!, which eventually led to Smackdown! games for the Playstation 2, it shows how much the series has evolved during that time. The game features more than 50 wrestlers, including legends from the old days. You'll see current superstars such as Triple H, Kurt Angle, Batista, John Cena and many more.

The game features many modes, from online play, a very deep create-a-wrestler mode, season mode, and the new General Manager mode. GM mode, as it is called, puts you as the General Manager from your show. Instead of wrestling pre-determined matches playing as a wrestler of your choice, you actually decide it your matches playing as General Manager. Want a title shot against two tough brawlers? Go ahead. Want to interfere with the other show? Knock yourself out. The GM mode is a great addition to the series, but it could still use some work.

The mode is simple, you pick your show (Smackdown! or RAW), you start out with an amount of money, and you use that money to create your roster with the best of the WWE. You also pay for different types matches like a steel cage, hardcore matches, title matches, etc. Some matches are not available until you reach a pay-per-view that allows it. The goal of GM mode is to win the GM Trophy. It's a done deal, but against the computer, it'll be tough. A somewhat cool feature, is the ability to play GM mode with a friend to see who is the best of the best.

The roster offers a wide selection of today's best. You can play as the Champ, John Cena, or unleash the Animal, Batista. Also, the moves look better than ever. With a long list, from the Angle Slam, to the Rock Bottom, to the Stone Cold Stunner, it offers more than any other. But what really thrills me, are the legends in this game. For those wrestling fans, you'll see Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Andre the Giant, Stone Cold Steve Austin and many more. The legends have been remade down the bare details. Moves, and even voice-overs, this game has it all.

The overall game-play is crisp, smooth as ever. The grapple system remains the same as it was in the first Smackdown! vs. RAW. The graphics have been greatly improved , the entrances, the character models, everything, smooth on the PS2. The voice-overs have been greatly improved, now even your created wrestler can talk with others backstage. The many different types of matches are bigger than ever. New match types allow a greater variety of game-play. This is without a doubt, the best wrestling game since Smackdown!: Here Comes The Pain.

But of course, let's not forget the flaws of this game. Season mode could have better, and with less freedom replaced with a more linear-storyline, replay could have been so much better. GM mode is difficult without a doubt, and with the computer out-matching you in every way possible, you'll find that it's better to play with a friend. This and many more has proved one thing, it still lacks the necessity needed to be crowned the best wrestling game ever, and that is excellent game-play. Sure it's fun, but it's not good enough to be marked as the best. Overall, this game offers a greater enjoyment for the player and the fan. My advice: Get it, it's good, very good.

Final Words: You should go buy this game, and that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/04/06


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