Review by Robbie Kennedy

"Demolished all the predecesors that came before it"

This game, Smackdown vs Raw 2006, is the very latest in the famous WWE: Smackdown series. It is considered by all who have it to be the best game ever and I cannot help but agree with these people. It has it all, tons of wrestlers, GM modes, loads of new moves and redone graphics. Plus, it has quite a lot of new stuff, and online mode has been redone.

The graphics are awesome in this game. The characters, or wrestlers, in the game are accurate representations of their real life counterparts. Eddie Guerrero (RIP) looks awesome and they have his hair gel looking just like it did in real life. Also, the pyro and lighting effects in this game leave jaws dropped.

Speaking of graphics, there are some nice effects in this game. For example, when you do a finisher, the screen turns black and white and then slows down with a cool sound. There are also three levels of blood, which looks great, and every single effect from previous games has been redone in this game. Even the lighting in the entrances have been redone, so they look absolutely breathtaking.

Online mode has been redone in this game. For a start, the titles are automatically erased from the holder's profile when they go into a title match. This stops the champions exiting matches if they start to get on the losing side. You can also play in a lot more match types this year, so you are not as limited as you were last year. And there is also a new feature, in that you can trade your created wrestlers online. This is good, because some people are not good at creating.

The Create a Wrestler mode is the same as last year but you get a ton more options. Most dominant is Create an Entrance feature. Yes, CAE is in and it rocks. You can choose and set everything, minus pyro timing, about your wrestler's entrance. This is great because the generic entrances found in past games were getting really boring really quick. You can only have 2 pyrotechnic effects in your entrance, but that is something minor that is not really that bad.

And create a stable/tag team mode has been redone. Instead of you making them, you have to work with them as well. Play matches with them and they will become a better tag team as a result of it. And better tag teams can work matches better, and they tag more and do more double team attacks.

There is a GM mode. Basically, you start a show, Smackdown or Raw, and you have to win the ratings war, whilst keeping your wrestlers happy. This can be done by awarding title shots, making unique matches and so much more. It is very hard though, as you have to do the right advertising before people will tune into certain match. And you have to draft wrestlers over to begin with, and choose carefully how much you pay them. But when you get the hang of it, it does get quite easy to use.

There are a couple of new matches. FYF Battle Royal (Pick what divas wear), bar brawl (Fight in the bar) and Buried Alive/Casket. These are much needed matches to the series as we were only getting little improvements. The Buried Alive match is two matches in one. You have to put the guy in the casket, and then bury them alive. This is cool, because, instead of using space on separating them, they are put together so it ultimately saves space.

The season mode has been completely revamped. Everyone in it has their own unique storyline, and there are ECW storylines as well. This is excellent as it was boring with just WWE storylines. There are also some legends you can play as this time. You are limited as to who you can play as though, because you can only play as people who have contributed voices.

There are brand specific storylines. For example, for most of the Smackdown wrestlers, it starts off with Theodore Long being run down, and you have to find the culprit, whereas on Raw, you are thrust into a title situation, where you face the champion in a non title match.

Some of the newest wrestlers in this game are people like Hogan (All 3), Junkyard Dog, British Bulldog, The Cabinet, Hassan and many more. Most of the guys on the roster at the time were included in the game. They are all faces (clean) or heels (dirty) according to what they were when the game was released. So Shawn Michaels is heel, and Rey Mysterio is face.

Now, it has just come out but I still recommend that you get it. What is £29 anyway? It is not that much when you think about it. So go buy it. It is well worth your money, plus it will be the last game with Eddie Guerrero in it unless he is a legend. So bottom line is, this has completely demolished the past games because they actually spent a lot of time on it this time.

You definitely should get it. Everything has been redone, from new finishers being added to the graphics and the fact that you now have Create an Entrance mode in, it has all been done.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/15/05, Updated 12/30/05

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