Review by Hyacinth2600

"A great wrestling game that offers a lot."

Intro:

The main reason why I wanted a PSP was mainly for this game. A 3-d wrestler on a handheld is something I always wanted. But When I got my PSP I kind of forgot about this one. But during the summer, two days after I got Monster Hunter Freedom, My parents surprised me with this game. I immediately got into it and played for a while. WWE Smackdown '06 is one heck of a handheld wrestling game. You won't believe how close this comes to the PS2 version. If you're looking for a game with lots of replay, you can't go wrong with this one.

Graphics:

For the first wrestling game on the PSP, this game looks and acts amazing. The loading times are a drag, but well worth the wait since it has some of the best action on this portable platform. The variety of matches is impressive since fans get to experience not just the ring, but also the popular 'hell in a cell' and backstage fighting too. The player models are absolutely astounding and look extremely close to the PS2 counter-part. With amazing modeling and great action flow, the graphics of this game for the PSP will please any wrestling fan.

Gameplay:

Smackdown vs Raw 2006 includes a number of additional gameplay modes. The game includes the typical exhibition, tag matches, cage matches, table matches, hell-in-a-cell, TLC matches, first blood matches, the elimination chamber, etc. New to this version are the buried alive and fulfill-your-fantasy matches. In the buried alive match, you'll have to throw the opponent into a casket. It makes for a pretty good match mode since you need to physically move the opponent from the ring to where the coffin is. Fulfill-your-fantasy is the equivalent to previous years' bra-and-panties matches, except you're allowed to choose outfits for the various WWE divas before you getting into the match. The game also includes the expected create-a-wrestler and create-a-belt modes from previous years and the new create-an-entrance mode. On PSP, though, this is less exciting since the long load times when switching textures makes the feature less exciting than it was on the PS2. The game makes some changes to the gameplay. It introduces a stamina and momentum tracking system. Stamina depends on whether you're giving or receiving the big moves and momentum depends on the variety of moves you do. The PSP version of the game does not include online multiplayer. Local wireless multiplayer supports up to four-players and every match that is available in single-player. It also lets you trade created wrestlers or compete for created belts. The main single-player mode in Smackdown vs Raw 2006 is the game's season mode. The game does include a few storylines, for instance, RAW and Smackdown wrestlers have their own patches. While it is a bit more linear, the game boasts voice acting from nearly every wrestler in the game adding some much-needed authenticity to the game. There are also five additional voices included in the game for created wrestlers. The GM mode, which You'll have to manage one of the WWE brands but stay within a budget as you expand that brand. To do this, you'll need to plan events and make sure you have good talent at the shows. You can set your own matches, rivalry's, and more. It's just like running your own show. Instead of online multiplayer, the game includes some brand-new minigames. You'll find three, a trivia game that asks you some trivial questions like guess which wrestler this silhouette belongs to which wrestler, a balance minigames where you try to keep Eugene balanced as he runs around the ring like an airplane, and a Texas Hold'Em minigame against WWE superstars. You can also connect the PSP to PS2 to exchange data and a secret wrestler only in the PSP version.

Sound:

Sounds just like the PS2 counter-part. Everything is accurate, from the sound of a chair hitting your opponent to punches and slams. The entrance themes are all there and sound impressive on the PSP. There is no commentary during the matches but put music, instead. The voice-overs are also well done and give off tremendous emotion.

Conclusion:

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2006 is, by far, the best wrestling game on the PSP (until the 2007 game comes out). It even beats the GBA wrestling games by a long shot. I recommend any wrestling fan to give this a try due to it being very close to the PS2 version. It has almost everything that was on the PS2 version. When it comes to PS2-to-PSP ports, you can't do better than this. This is probably the best port you can find on the PSP. Smackdown '06 is the best wrestler on a handheld system, by far.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/21/06


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