Review by Brendan

"Better than SmackDown, Almost as good as No Mercy"

Since last September when pre-orders were first taken on X Boxes, I was waiting on this game for my X Box. So, basically, I got an X Box for WWF Raw. But there was more than that b/c Raw was delayed LOTS of times. It was originally a near launch title, then early December, then the day after Christmas, then January, and then finally mid-February. Well, I still think the X Box has potential, but this is a Raw Review, so when I FINALLY got WWF Raw last week, I knew what I was getting. I knew who was in the game and who wasn't, like K Kwik, Justin Credible and Haku but no Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Hurricane, and I knew there was a limited amount of matches, slightly more than in Legends of Wrestling, and not even close to the amount found in WWF SmackDown: Just Bring It. So, I played a couple of basic matches before my friend came over for a 4-hour Raw spree. My first impressions were that the game was gorgeous. The graphics are very nice and the sound was well done as the entrance music for everyone is very good and the effects for hitting people with weapons sounds very lifelike. I will say that some, like HHH for one, don't look as good as someone like Kane or Big Show, but everyone still looks really good. The modes and whose in it may upset some people b/c of the capacity X Box games have, you'd think Anchor could give us lots of matches and a pretty high amount of characters. But, since this was Anchor's first attempt at a WWF game, which is completely different from UFC, they did the right thing, and made a very good control system.

As reviews have said, it plays somewhat like No Mercy for the N64, but then it doesn't. It plays like Fire Pro Wrestling, but then it doesn't. When playing a match, you can stand and strike someone, or you can do a running attack or move, like No Mercy. Grappling is somewhat like No Mercy, but there is no need for strong grapples b/c when a wrestler is groggy, you can do more powerful moves and finishers. What makes Raw very realistic is the way it uses stamina like in Fire Pro. So, unlike in SD where you can pull off powerbombs and chokeslams and get pins in about a minute, you have to work for it in Raw, almost like in No Mercy and Fire Pro. Early on, you can get grapples off but only doing snapmares and simple suplexes. Further on, you can start going for stronger moves and then ultimately, finishers.

Now, rather than continuing to ramble on and on about the game, I'll just finish this. In order to get a handle on Raw, you need to spend some time getting used to how it plays and handles. You need to figure out its pacing and go from there. It is not a simulation game like No Mercy or Fire Pro, but it is not arcade-fast like SmackDown. You can have some fast-paced hardcore matches, but you can also slow it down and work on a wrestler going for a submission. For a first effort from Anchor, WWF Raw is not the best WWF game that has been released, but it is not the worst, and it is actually one of the better ones.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 02/17/02, Updated 02/17/02

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