Review by WhatTheDeuce92

Reviewed: 08/21/06

A Very Enjoyable Wrestling Game

Well, this is my first WWE game. Only other wrestling game I've had was WWF War Zone for N64, but I vaguely remember that, so basically this is like my first wrestling game all over again =). This is also my first review, so I hope it turns out okay. So, this is a review from the perspective of someone who's new to wrestling games, and reviews. There's 10 points in this review that I'd like to cover, and they are: CAWs, Gameplay, General Manager Mode, Graphics, Match Types, Modes, Online, Season Mode, Sound, and Replay Value. So let's get started.

CAWs: 9
The CAW(or Create-A-Wrestler for those who don't know what CAWs are) option in this game impressed me greatly. There's so many different people you can make using this option, it's just amazing. Now, the reason it got a 9 was because even though it's really great, it's not perfect. It could use some more options. But even where it's at now, it's really good. I wish you could have more CAWs per memory card, but 30 is a decent amount, I guess.

Gameplay: 7
Okay, here's where there's quite a few problems, sadly. Now, my biggest problems with the gameplay in this game are: AIs and Counters. First of all, with counters, it sometimes seems to me like my counters don't register. And another thing that makes me mad is that the AIs for some reason seem to counter A LOT more than you can. Counters are weird in this game, because sometimes they seem to work, but sometimes it seems like you can never hurt your opponent because they counter you all the time and you can't seem to counter them. I heard that the counters were a lot better in past wrestling games, but I wouldn't know because this is basically my first one. So that's one thing I hope they fix in SVR 07. Now, AIs are also weird sometimes. Sometimes they seem really hard to beat and sometimes it just seems like they want to get beaten up. Like for example, when I get low on stamina sometimes, I need to recharge it and they pretty much just stand there while I recharge it. And that brings up another gameplay feature: stamina. Now, there's two meters, Stamina Meter and Momentum Meter. Stamina Meter lowers when you perform moves on your opponent and so it causes you to become tired. Nice touch, I must admit. To get your stamina up, you must either manually do it by holding the Select button or else if your Superstar's not doing anything, then it recharges automatically. Then there's Momentum Meter. This raises when you perform moves on your opponent and when the crowd gets behind you. When you get a full momentum meter, you can perform your Superstar's finishing move. Now, I'm not going to go into any controls of the game, because it'd take a long time. There's eight pages of controls. I'm serious. So, that's all I have to say on Gameplay.

General Manager Mode: 7
Now, people seemed to really like this mode. I'm not a huge fan of it, to tell the truth. Now, it is fun and all, I admit, but to me it just kind of got a little repetitive. I had fun playing through the mode to get the GM of the Year trophy...but I don't find myself playing it again, sadly. Not saying it was bad, or anything, I'm just saying it wasn't that good. Mediocre, in my opinion. And now I'm sure you're wondering: what is General Manager mode? Well, to put it simple, instead of you being the wrestler, you're the person that runs the show. So that means, you have to put together matches each week and for each PPV(Pay-Per-View), and that also means you have to keep rivalries between Superstars going. Like normal, when a Superstar competes too much, they get injured. There's two types of injuries: a Minor Injury and a Serious Injury. A minor injury basically means they're hurt but not bad enough that they can't compete. But, if you put them in too many matches while they have minor injuries, they could become strained injuries, which would put them out of action for an X amount of weeks. That's also what a serious injury does, so no need to explain there. You get also get e-mails saying that gives you information, saying stuff like a superstar has been injured, or you're low on cash, etc, etc. Superstars on your roster have a fatigue level and a morale level. The fatigue level basically tells you how injured the superstars are. The morale level tells you how happy the superstars are. A superstar's morale level goes down when their needs aren't getting met...the only examples I can think of off the top of my head are that they're losing every week and they need help, they want a new contract because their popularity's going up, they want a title shot, or they want to be put in a match. That may be all of them, but it may not be, that's just from what I remember. The main goal of GM mode is to get more fans than the other brand, and fan changes go up or down depending on how good your show was compared to the other brand, obviously. The show with more fans after WrestleMania gets the GM of the Year trophy.

Graphics: 9
The graphics in this game were excellent. Why didn't it get a 10 then, you ask? Well, like the CAW score...this category needed just a little bit more improvement. It's not that the characters weren't designed right or anything like that, it's just sometimes it looks a little bit funky. Like sometimes when I rammed my wrestler’s head into my opponent, I could actually see the head come out on the other side. So, graphics are good for the most part, but they still do need improvement. I'm fairly certain they'll be improved in SVR 07, or at least I hope so, because in my opinion they're so close to perfect.

Match Types: 10
A lot of matches to choose from. There’s over 20 different match types, but I can’t explain them all because it’d take too long and if you really want to find out about all of them just read an FAQ. But, I was really impressed with the Match Types, like for example I really enjoyed such match types as Hell in a Cell, where you’re inside of a cell and you must pin your opponent. It’s also fun because you can go outside of the cell, climb it, and then put your opponent through the top of the cell. Hardcore matches are also fun. In case you don’t know, a hardcore match is where it’s extreme rules and you can use things such as sledgehammers, barbed wire bats, chairs, and even the ring bell to help you win the match. New match types in this game were Title matches, where you go against one of the title holders for their titles, or you can play as the title holder and defend you title. Another new match type is the Bar Brawl, which is another type of Backstage Brawl. Like I said, I don’t want to go into too much detail with the match types, but most of them are very enjoyable.

Modes: 10
There's a lot of modes in this game that will keep you playing for a while. There's Exhibition mode, where you can play all of those Match Types I just named. There's Season mode, which I'll explain more in detail in a little bit, GM mode, which I already explained, and PPV mode, which is where you can create your own PPV or play a PPV match. There's the five create modes: create a wrestler, create a move set, create an entrance, create a stable, and create a WWE championship. There's Locker Room, where you can view what trophies you have, what challenges you completed, and such. You can also buy things in the locker room for gameplay or stuff to customize your locker room. And finally, besides the options menu, there's Online Mode, which I'll explain next.

Online Mode: ?
Well, this is one mode I can't play in this game, because I don't have an Ethernet cable and stuff like that. But from what I heard, online mode is fun, but there are some flaws. But, since I haven't played it, I can't give a score for it. But basically, as you can probably tell, it's where you play other players online, self-explanatory.

Season Mode: 9
Good season mode, you can play either the SmackDown or RAW storyline, and both of them last a year each. There's 32 characters to play as in season mode, and you can also play through season mode as a CAW. Since I don't want to give away spoilers, I'll just say this: the SD storyline begins as someone runs over Theodore Long, the GM of SD. Suspicions run high and some other stuff happens, but I don't want to give spoilers. The Raw storyline is basically you trying to get to the top, I guess. There's branching story paths and different storylines, so it should keep you busy for a while.

Sound: 7
Okay, this is another not-so-good category about this game, sadly. Well, the music's pretty good, I think. I've heard a lot of people say that it gets annoying, but it hasn't happened to me yet, so I dunno. As for sound effects...hmm, how do I put this? Some of them are good and some just plain suck. Like, for example, one time when I smashed my opponent against the cell, it made the sound of someone hitting someone. So, the sound effects aren't that great. As for the commentators, umm...I don't really like them. They were funny and stuff at first, but after you hear them say the same thing over a hundred times, it's just plain annoying after a while. So, I'm sorry to say, but I had to give Sound a 7. Just could've used a lot of improvement.

Replay Value: 10
If you get this game, you'll find yourself playing it a lot if you enjoyed it like I did. It's just fun all the time when you play it and I think I'll play it quite occasionally until I get a new wrestling game, and even then I think I'll probably still play it a little. Not much else I can say except that this game has great replay value.

Final Thoughts
Do I suggest you buy this game? Well, that depends. If you don't like wrestling, then you certainly shouldn't buy this game. If you enjoy wrestling, though, then I definitely think it'd be a good choice. Now, there's always the question: buy or rent? Well, as for that, I'd suggest renting it first, since it's not at a low price yet, and if you like it, then definitely buy it, because you'll enjoy it. I'm glad I bought this game and if you're a wrestling fan I definitely think you should buy it, too.

Thanks for reading my review. I hope it helped on your choice to decide whether or not to buy the game. Enjoy.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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