Review by Tae Kwon Do Kicker
"2 words: commercial dissapointment"
O.K. I'll lay my cards on the table straight up. One of the first reasons I got my X-Box was so that I could play WWF Raw. And man when I did I felt like going back to the rental store and demand my money back for my trouble of going there. From what I had been reading about WWF Raw I had predicted an unstoppable all out wrestling game that would put all others to shame. And even instead of getting some of the features even mags promised what I got was a complete 180 rotation and the following:
Gameplay would be the most important thing to me about a game most especially in a wrestling game. But when I get gameplay like in this game it's enough to make me scream in frustration. First of all, there is the control. I've never seen anything so sloppy or frustratingly complicated in my life ever since WWF Warzone for the Nintendo 64. And, instead of having simple spirit or attitude meters for individual wrestlers, a single voltage meter forces a tug of war between the wrestlers and not treating them as individual. So tell me how is it fair that there will always be one superior in the match? The answer: IT CAN'T. Not to mention there are many unbalancements in certain character stamina. For example, The Rock or Undertaker will have more stamina than K-Kwik or X-Pac not to mention it replenishes quicker. What does this mean? Well, it means people with higher stamina bars can perform more strikes consecutively, take more damage, and can fill their voltage meters quicker so they can perform their finishers. This means total unfairness. Moreover, you seriously need to beat your opponent senseless to perform a finisher. So now you have to load your voltage meter and beat your opponent senseless or else the finisher will turn into a simple headbutt. Second, there is the total lack of match types. Where are the Hell In The Cell, Cage Match, 3 Stages Of Hell, Table Match, TLC, Guest Referee, Ladder Match, Armageddon Hell In The Cell, Casket Match, etc.? Nowhere to be found here. You can't even climb a ladder. Tables can only be used in Hardcore Matches. No backstage areas either. There is a gargantuan list of weapons but they're all underwhelming. And, there's a total lack of story mode. The lame career mode we haven't seen since WCW/NWO Revenge/World Tour where you just consecutively fight through a long line of opponents is back. Bye bye involved storylines. Not to mention in career there are no saves forcing you to beat as many as twelve opponents in one sitting with only 3 retries. Plus there are no distinctions between title modes except the competition you face. And the final slap in the face is the total lack of choices in CAW. 16 faces for males and 16 for females? On the lighter side, the gameplay is realistic. People can run into ropes and knock people of turnbuckles. Moves are more realistic, ropes bend realistically, and collisions are timed well. And of course stacking tables.
Graphics are great. The best so far in any wrestling game created I dare to say. Character models are smooth and realistic, close details have been paid attention to, and faces are distinct. Arenas and crowd look incredible too. My only complaint would be Triple H's poorly designed face.
Great sounds of bodies slamming onto the mat, grunts of pain, and crowd cheering are great. Music sounds fine and voice acting is good as well. Except for Lillian Garcia's maybe.
To Buy or To Rent
Neither I'll say. This game will definitely disappoint many hardcore wrestling game fans. Save your cash for the next THQ wrestling anchor trust me it can't be worse than this.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 03/17/02, Updated 03/17/02
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