Review by TheRetroPlayer
Reviewed: 12/10/05 | Updated: 08/01/14
One of the better games of the series. *Edited*
This game was one of the last ones that truly cared about outside of 2007. This one could have been even better than HCTP if they kept the story mode that existed in that game, but no, they had to replace it with a story mode where only some of the roster is available due to the voice acting limitations. If they were smart, they would had kept that around instead of replacing it. They even had a GM mode which is fun to play around in, but it's hard unless you tweak the options a bit to make it easier. Now about this being one of the better of the series.
The wrestlers look rather realistic and not tacky like you see is many other wrestling games out there. Even the CAWs look like they belong in game. I say this because CAWs in other 3D wresting games looked too cartoony like in HCTP, and the body shape was hard to get correct in that game. HCTP was much worse for some reason when it came to that.The graphics is the best I seen in a wrestling game or any PS2 game in general during the time.
The music is alright, but sooner or later, you rather just mute the whole soundtrack, or play something else. If you take your copy of the game, and make a back up of it, you can replace, and edit the menu music for a more better suit, but many are not going to go though all that along with what it takes to play them since you can't do it out the box. Overall it's alright for the most part. All the WWE superstars have their theme music that you would hear on TV, and the sound is nice and clear. Problem is that a few of the themes sound a bit off. Another problem I have is that all themes cut off after about a minute or so, but blame the disc size limitation, and the fact that they use the ADX format for their music which cost a lot of space as it is.
I never get tired of JR and King on Raw and Tazz and Cole on Smackdown.There's some interesting things like how they argue among themselves about a certain wrestler's personality or about a wrestler that is cheating. In storymode they even talk about the events that xxx wrestler is going though. Like for example a big match coming up, or about xxx winning the title at Wrestlemaina. Nothing wrong with this one.
The gameplay is an improvement over HCTP. The pace is just right. It's not too slow or too fast. The mini games make the matches much more epic like the staredown as an example. The new submission system is alright for the most part except for when you're playing online which is another story! There is the button mashing one from HCTP, and there is the new one that makes you apply the pressure until the other wrestler taps out. I find the button mashing one annoying one to deal with online since everyone seems to get out of that one. I almost forgot about the sleeper hold system, but I don't know much about it since I did it only once. The grappling system has now broken movesets down to categories. The categories are Brawler, Old School, and Speedy for example. These categories have a set of moves in them. For example, if you want to give a CAW a suplex then you have to give him the old school moveset for that grapple just to get that one move. I like how we can put wrestlers though the tables, and do high flying moves off the top of the ladders. You can even attack the ref without it being a mistake in this game. The slow motion that is done when doing a finisher make it look more powerful than it really it. I'm impressed overall.
Best one I've seen in a long time. My CAWs looks as real on the default wrestlers on the roster. You can give him/her a custom entrance as well. Customizing an entrance is for people that are hardcore CAW users though. I like the old fashion easy entrance creator. You can mix and match entrances and themes along with the walk out style. It was good enough for me. Anyway the CAW system has improved, and you can make wrestlers much more detailed comparing to older smackdown games.
Replayabiltiy and Overall 8/10
There is plenty of things to unlock, and there is the challenges that you must complete to try to get 100% completion in this game. One of the better games of the SVR series comparing to the newer ones up until 2008 since I don't know what the rest of them are like.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 (US, 11/14/05)
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