Review by ShortyThePimp87

"The Best Wrestling Game To Date"

As a former avid viewer of wrestling back in the days of the WCW WWF feud, I was a huge fan of the wrestling games since it first appeared on the Nintendo 64. I've either bought or played most wrestling games that have come out, but after taking a quick break once the games got repetitive, I decided to renew my passion. Picking up WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2006 was one of the best gaming purchases I've made. This game has a great storyline, innovative gameplay, and sleek graphics.

Graphics/Presentation: Wrestling games have always focused on making their games realistic, to an extent that gamers would be able to recognize their favorite wrestler and his signature attire, taunts, entrances, etc. SvR '06 takes it to the next level with beautiful graphics that really accentuate a wrestlers facial features and body tone. The entrances are compelling and give off an atmosphere of attending an actual wrestling event. The presentation ties into the gameplay which gamers immediately get a sense of once the fireworks die down and the match bell rings.

Gameplay: This year's SvR '06 utilizes a creative grappling/submission method. As always, players focus on specific body parts for more damage, but there are added submission tactics from pressing X at the right time to break a submission hold to passing out while in a sleeper hold and having to awake before the referee calls the match. There is also an added stamina bar new to this version of SvR that adds realism to the gameplay. Players won't be allowed to run around for an infinite amount of time as if they are superhuman anymore. The stamina bar slowly decreases as the match goes along and players have to hold Select to regenerate the meter. As matches progress, the match slows down as wrestlers become more fatigued which gives the video game characters a human-like trait.

New Additions:
General Manager Mode: The GM Mode allows gamers to control a wrestling program, either Raw or Smackdown, from the general manager's viewpoint. That is, players will be responsible for booking matches that net a high rating, creating rivalries, sabotaging the other general manager's show, and creating the ultimate program that has a bigger fan-base. All of this has to be done within a salary cap, so players will also have to market in order to gain money.

Career Mode: This is the most innovative mode in my opinion. This year's career mode allows gamers to choose any superstar and progress them through a year of wrestling leading them to the ultimate Pay-Per-View, Wrestlemania. The cut-scenes involve full motion and voice acting by each superstar. Original storylines top it off, as the career mode has the most gripping storyline, far surpassing past wrestling games' attempts. The only complaint is the lack of a "custom" storyline. That is, players will rarely get to decide what they want to do as opposed to just following the story to a T, which creates for linear gameplay.

New Match Types: New to SvR is the Fulfill your Fantasy match that will have guys going crazy. Gamers can choose from their favorite Divas and three different "outfits" for the Diva. They will then face another Diva in a match requiring them to fill up a "fantasy" meter by spanking, undressing, or having a pillow fight with the other Diva. Also new is the Buried Alive Match that allows players to beat their opponent down and then finish it off by burying their opponent in a casket, as the name suggests.

Conclusion: There are many other subtle additions such as a locker room in which the player is able to customize to their liking. With so many gameplay options, fun gameplay factors, and in-depth presentations this game is worth any wrestling fan's $50. Even casual viewers can get hooked onto this game. My suggestion is to go buy SvR '06 if you know about wrestling. or watch it at all.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/08/05

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