Review by friendlydude

"Glitchy and unnecessary, but not the worst WWE game out there"

It's amazing how many years the WWE has been pumping out successful wrestling games. It's even more amazing when you think about how often people make fun of wrestling, and yet, the video games continue to sell really well and people continue having fun with them.

Every so often, a below average WWE game is released. I think Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 on the Playstation 2 is a good example of a game with its share of problems. This mostly has to do with certain problems that dominate the gameplay. It's like the game was rushed and not given the proper amount of time to sort out the bugs. The creative juices weren't running very high when this game was being created either, seeing as how, for the most part, it's just like the previous years game.

First of all, probably the very best thing about Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 are that the graphics are out of this world. The realism of two wrestlers hooking up in a grapple looks better than ever before. The moves you can execute are quite phenomenal looking as well. As you know by now, THQ continues to do an excellent job making the WWE games some of, if not THE biggest, wrestling games you can find. They continue here with that trend. When it comes to sheer size and the amount of options and matches you can sort through, there's no complaints. There's nothing wrong there.

Unfortunately, the challenge has been increased, in my opinion. Maybe it has something to do with the realism, or maybe it's the way the controls have been changed. But many times you really have to be fast in order to deliver a move to your opponent. If you're not fast enough, you will pay the price. A good challenge is okay, but when you continue losing match after match as you try over and over again, it becomes a little frustrating. On the other hand, with some wrestlers the matches are really easy and you can defeat the computer opponent in a matter of minutes. In this game, you really have to be careful who you pick as your playable character and who your opponent is.

One nice thing about this game is the ability to go outside and through the crowd. This is more fun than it sounds. Not to mention you have a bunch of things you can do outside the ring. Once again, THQ delivers with the goods. Unfortunately, again, nothing really NEW to mention. You've seen it all before.

Some people have a problem with the fact that the female wrestlers can't compete in certain matches. To me, that doesn't really matter because how often do you see female wrestlers participating in matches other than regular one-on-one matches? Hardly ever.

The loading times appear more often then they should. They're also really long and require a good amount of patience from you. Since this is a game appearing on the Playstation 2, and this console happens to be heading towards the end of its life, having to sit through loading screens in the year 2007 is quite an inconvenience. By now, these problems should have been fixed and waiting for certain things to load should certainly be a thing of the past.

I'm not a big fan of the Create-a-Wrestler option, because to me, creating someone new and picking them as my playable wrestler is *never* as fun as just wrestling with the stars who are currently working for the company. Creating someone and putting them in the ring with Triple H or Randy Orton just isn't believable and not very interesting to me. However, all the things you can do in that option are simply incredible. The thing is humongous.

Some wrestling moves have been removed, too. Not that I can really tell you which ones- the game already has a LOT of moves and you probably won't even notice (I can't). But the thing is, there is no reason to ever remove *anything*. If anything, THQ should have taken the time to make sure everything from the previous game was included, in addition to a ton of new stuff. If they have to resort to removing things, that tells me they're either running out of game space, or just being lazy. Let's face it- they're being lazy.

I hate using analog sticks. They're rather hard to use in this game, and now you're basically required to use them if you want to get anywhere. This makes me have issues with the control. I guess I can learn to get used to it, but I shouldn't have to. However, there is an option to change them back to the way they were.

As I mention above, the amount of crazy glitches in this game is incredibly high. Sometimes when you put a move on your opponent, they won't stand up in front of you, and will instead appear somewhere else in the ring, or even outside the ring. It's like they warp across the ring. Other times your opponents will just freeze. I thought maybe I was seeing things, but reading other reviews I now see other people have experienced similar problems. Why would this game have glitches? I have no idea. WWE games are supposed to be given more time to develop correctly, but maybe that's all about to change for the worse. Maybe THQ thinks they can start milking the license? I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

I don't think there's a way to win the "Money In the Bank" match because I've been playing it for what seemed like an eternity and never even came CLOSE to winning. It's because dealing with 5 other wrestlers is rather difficult. Trying to keep all of them down as you climb the ladder won't be easy, believe me. So much for that feature.

To be perfectly honest, I'm getting tired of all these WWE games on the Playstation 2. We have more than enough of them already, not to mention many of them feel exactly the same. Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 just doesn't have anything special to recommend. It's just an update, and soon, it will be forgotten. I will be *really* surprised if people still care about this game two years from now.

Overall, Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 is disappointing because it's not really a giant leap forward in terms of progress, and feels more like a game that's just there because it HAS to be, and that's it. The entire game has a rushed feel to it, and the game doesn't stand out in a positive light compared to the other WWE games. It's just the same thing I've played before. Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 is only worth a purchase if you don't have any other recent WWE game on your Playstation 2.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 03/06/07

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