Review by Darth Samson
"Decent game play, poor extra's!"
Graphics: Let’s start with the best feature. RAW’s graphics are unsurpassed for a Wrestling game and most likely will not be matched or beaten except on the Xbox. The wrestlers look very good, the ring and surroundings look nice as well. However clipping does occur especially outside the ring. Many times a wrestlers head has disappeared inside the guard railing around the ring, or into the side of the ring while falling to the ground too close to either one. As good as this game looks I think it could have looked even better.
Score it: 8
Game Play: Not bad but not great. Again it’s as if THQ just pushed a lack luster game out the door wondering if how well it would sell as is. I honestly ask my self if it’s possible that THQ delayed this game to take stuff out of it as a test. If an unpolished, no frills WWF game can sell like hot cakes then how well will sequels sell. This way THQ can slowly add features with parts 2,3,4 etc.
I digress..The engine is a decent one but it is so different it takes a long time to get used to. After hours of play I can win frequently but it’s still a struggle. That’s not a bad thing really as I tear through most wrestling games with ease. To win you simply have to get the crowd on your side and you can tell who’s side they are by a large “crowd meter” at the bottom of the screen. One cheap way to win their approval is to “taunt” especially on the turnbuckle.
You also have to master timing, reversals, and stamina. This is where the serious challenge in the engine comes from. If you lose stamina you will get pounded by the AI. If you see your running low (it replenishes quickly) retreat and attack when it’s full. Reversals consist of a two button simultaneous push, which can be annoying, but once mastered it is a key to victories.
You also cannot repeat the same moves over and over and over. This is a good idea but if I am in a hard-core match and pound my opponent with a chair 5,6,7 times I should not be punished for repetitiveness but you are. Hopefully this will be addressed in the sequel.
If you’ve played UFC for the Dreamcast you have to go into WWF Raw like your playing that game only with wrestling moves. You go in full speed trying to kick someone’s ass quickly your gonna get your handed to you. You either like that or you don’t.
Score it: 7.5
Sound: I am not too picky when it comes sound unless it’s just horrid and RAW is not horrid. No commentary, thank God as commentary in a wrestling game has never been done well IMO. WWF songs are all in including the new ones like Stone Cold and Christian. Grunts and groans from the wrestlers are in but not very noticeable.
Score it: 8
Presentation: Nicely done with entrances, ring announcer, taunts, and the Smokey arena from the pyro blasts as flash bulbs pop in the background. Fans hold up signs as match’s progress and seem to get into the action. It wrestling presented very well.
Score it: 9
Replayability/Create a wrestler/Edit features: This is RAW weakness. Replayability in wrestling games hinges on the ability to edit stuff and create wrestlers neither of much is done well in RAW if at all (when it comes to editing anyways).
Try creating the nWo (Hogan, Hall, and Nash). You will come up with a group that is a nice impersonation but not the real thing, You know who they are “trying” to be but they just don’t pull it off. That is just unforgivable in a next gen wrestling title. I also couldn’t make a good Goldust, or Mr. Perfect. The moves sets are bad as well. No Insider Edge? How was that left out of the game? You can make some nice looking Japanese stars but if you then expect to find all their crazy, “over the top” moves you can just forget it. If you want a Great Muta of Jushin Lyger who wrestle like Kurt Angle or Tzz then your all set. If you want them to wrestle like them selvs..forget it! Who can you create pretty well? The Ultimate Warrior is by far the easiest and best looking and performing character you can create.
The edit features are SUPER in regard to entrances. You can chose from a long list of lighting effects, pyro’s, spotlights, etc. It’s a blast to create your own entrance! But guess what? That’s all you can edit! Want to give the Undertaker his new short hair style? Forget you can’t. Want to change a few moves the Angle doesn’t do any more? Nope, can’t be done. Want to make HHH look like him self instead of the crack addict he looks like in the game? Forget about it! I may hate this worst of all. I mean who wouldn’t love to change the long ago released K-Kwik into Booker T? Or how about Steve Blackman into RVD? WWF Raw for Xbox just won’t let you do it and that is just wrong THQ.
If his feature were on par with WWF Smack Down just bring it (waaaaaay more features, write on clothing, etc) then this game would be one of the best out there. Sadly I have never seen these features so lacking in a wrestling game before.
Score it: 4
Total Score not an average: 7
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/15/02, Updated 02/15/02
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