Review by checky

"Better than last year's model?"

Okay, this year Smackdown vs. Raw promised to fix almost all the flaws of the previous installments, sadly, it brought a few more in.

This game looks simply beautiful for a wrestling game. The only thing that seems to lack is the "physiques" of some wrestlers. I haven't seen a six-pack on Carlite...ever. The bigger names look incredible. Triple H, Cena, and Orton bring up a few names. But, lower down the roster, some people look like they were just throw to gether using create-a-wrestler. All the arenas and effects are vastly improved. I am a huge Carlito fan, and seeing him actually spit apple on the opponent after a match was great. Overall, it was the same I expected.

I tunred off the commentating after my first match. Michael Cole and Tazz are almost as annoying as listening to Ashlee Simpson at the Orange Bowl. The music is good, for the wrestlers. The packed in songs still stink. You wonder if the WWE just picked some random janitor at the HQ to make the music. Also, they really should have fixed Season Mode. The voice over for you character is ALWAYS as a face. I have never heard Muhammed Hassan or Carlito talk all chummy to anyone.

Gameplay-9/10 and 4/10
Okay, I gave it two ratings. The 9/10 is for the new elements added. I love the stamina meter, the momentum system and the new bonus' (sleeperhold meter, the two-men down 10 count and the Buried Alive meters). Some elements of the game are just amazing. You can tell they put in a ton of effort on the new elements.

Then, there comes to the reversals. I thought I was playing a UFC game. My first match was against John Cena, and he reversed 6 of my finishers. Now, while I don't say "This game sucks, you can't hit them!" I do say that if the guy has no stamina, is almost completely in red and has been getting beat on for 5 minutes straight, I don't see him reversing a finisher. Sometimes I just get frustrated with the whole reversal system. On Normal, it shouldn't be as bad as Legend was on the previous game.

Okay, they redid the controls AGAIN. Last years took me a bit to get used to, but I found them to be perfect. This years are seeming that way, but I dunno if I will be irish whipping anyone again. They seem to add more stuff each year, and make it harder to do something else. Oh, if anyone could explain how to pick someone up and be behind them, I'd love to know. Last year wasn't too good, this year, I still can't get it. Maybe they will become more fluid after a few days of playing, but so far, not even close.

Replay Value-9/10
Okay, even though Season Modeseems repetitive, I think this game will have huge replay value. I played last year's game up until Monday this week. You can't say enough about the replay value on a wrestling game. Between creation mode, GM mode, and unlocking all the goodies, this game really has more replay than anything on the Playstation besides another sports game. I do wish Season changed up a bit more, but we can't have it all.

Overall, I really like the game. Some elements tick me off, but some just make me happy as a pig in the mud, I think the legends are great this year, except Junkyard Dog (Never was a fan). I also wish I had a PSP to unlock Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Even though it isn't 100% accurate as always (Okay, you guys finally added La Resistance, but where the hell is Nunzio, the Mexicools, and Ken Kennedy). In the end, while single play may not be great, you always have Online Mode, and whipping your buddy's ass for a case of beer. If you were considering getting this game, you may want to rent before you buy. Some people love the new grapple system, some people hate it. It's all in your playstyle.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/17/05

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