Review by 03J

"What happened here?"

Smackdown vs RAW 2010 was released for the Playstation 2 in the middle of October of 2010. This is the eleventh game in the Smackdown series since the original Smackdown was released for Playstation and this game could have been really great if it wasn't for three big flaws.

The gameplay is fun. There are new HUD meters so not only does the action look realistic but if people want to do a signature move before their finisher, they don't have to time it right hoping their HUD meter will still be flashing when it's time to do their special. Now when your HUD meter is about halfway full, you can pull off your signature move and if you do that successfully, your HUD meter will instantly become full letting you pull off your finisher. Unfortunately there is a problem with gameplay. Last year there was a slowdown when it came to pulling off certain moves in tag team matches but now the slowdown happens in matches involving six men. In Randy Orton's Road To Wrestlemania, I was in a triple threat match with three lumberjacks on the outside and the whole match seemed to move in slow motion. That just drags the game out making it longer to play and is obviously not a lot of fun. There is also slowdown during some moves in six man matches. A new match was added to the game which is the Championship Scramble

The gameplay's difficulty level depends on the difficulty. If you put it on the hardest difficulty, it could be hard just to pull off a move successfully although it is not anywhere near impossible. On the easier difficulties, winning matches aren't really that hard unless they're a battle royal or some kind of special match like a handicap match or something like that. Speaking of Battle Royals there are multiple ways to eliminate opponents in Battle Royals and Royal Rumble matches. People who weren't fans of button mashing don't have to worry about that in this year's game. To eliminate people usually follows a chain command and after the chain command, you either succeed or have to try again. There are other ways other then the chain command but none of them are as unpleasant as button mashing.

The controls are really the same as last year's game. The controls have not changed at all. Anybody who did not mind the controls in this year's game (other then button mashing) won't mind the control in this year's game either.

The Road To Wrestlemanias are all new and two of the stories are first time evers. This year when you're picking a road to wrestlemania you can choose from: Shawn Michaels, Edge, Randy Orton, a Brand Warfare storyline (which is a storyline for Triple H and John Cena where sometimes you must play as one of them and the other times you get to choose) and the other two storylines are the first time evers. The other two storylines are for Mickie James and a created wrestler. Now the stories themselves aren't bad but is it too much work to have a Road To Wrestlemania that lasts a whole year's worth of events so pay per views like Summerslam and Survivor Series impact where the story will go even if it is a must win match? Another problem is every road to wrestlemania starts off the same way with a generic commercial of how important wrestlemania is then you start. The last problem with the Roads To Wrestlemania is the Created Wrestler Storyline. I've heard that the game freezes during the Created Wrestler Storyline and I personally had problems saving with the Created Wrestler storyline. How did problems like this go without being found?

The Career mode is back for anybody who liked it last year although I personally didn't and this year it serves less function then it did last year. The reason for that is you can take a created wrestler and build up his stats but if the Created Wrestler's Road To Wrestlemania works, you can build up his stats there too so why is Career Mode back in the first place?

The My WWE mode is back with the same functions except this time you can also decide a wrestler's rivals.

There is also a story editor where you can book a match segment by segment but honestly I prefer a GM Mode where you can compete against two other virtual GM's. I'll gladly take something simple like that instead of complicated like the Story Editor Mode. The good thing also is two stories are already saved. One is where ECW is having the best of matches from 2008 and you have to replay them like they actually happened. Fortunately unlike Legends of Wrestlemania all you have to do is play as who they tell you to play as and win but sometimes you have to win a certain way (i.e. by pinfall etc.)

The graphics and sound are done good for the most part. Everybody is voiced well and has their entrance themes and everybody looks like they should too. Unfortunately there are flaws here also. When playing with Batista in a tag match with John Cena during the Brand Warfare Road to Wrestlemania, when Batista did a knee drop, Batista became a whole lot skinnier for a few seconds to where Batista looked like a stick figure. Can wrestlers switch dimensions now while they wrestle?

If it wasn't for the flaws, this game would keep anyone entertained for hours and there would be a lot of replayability also with the Story Editor. Unfortunately the flaws take away all the replayability that would exist so if anyone is curious about this game, definitely give it a rental first.

I give WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2010 a 6 out of 10. It easily would have been worth a 9 but after all the flaws I have to say it's nice to try out but the flaws ruin any real time fun you would have with this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 11/09/09

Game Release: WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 (US, 10/20/09)

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