Review by dartmanoncaws

Reviewed: 11/30/10

That suplex onto those steel steps HAD to hurt!

This year's edition to the Smackdown vs Raw franchise is a good one. Though it doesn't quite live up to the uber hype it was given, there's more than enough fun to be had.

The newest mode is WWE Universe. Basically you are given a calendar, and and the game makes cards for shows and PPVs based off of the kind of matches you play and the superstars you use. It works good most of the time, but you'll find yourself frustrated at times because it doesn't always work the way you need it too.

Road To Wrestlemania has been reworked, and now features backstage free-roaming in between matches and being able to interact with superstars while doing so. Unfortunately, the backstage is lifeless, with most superstars you talk to will tell you to just go away or something. The ability to level up your character has been added to Road to Wrestlemania, but it is not worth the effort it takes to do so.

The great news is, despite the annoyances in these game modes, the matches turn out to be so much fun you don't care. Many improvements were made into the gameplay. The physics have been reworked for weapons. You can suplex, powerbomb, and throw people onto steel steps, ladders, and tables without much limitation. Although it can look buggy sometimes, you will find a lot of bone-crunching satisfaction in doing so. Also, the grappling system has been changed. No more strong grappling, now there are "chain grapples" which work just as well and pace the match more realistically.

Now, for many the biggest part of these game are the Create-A-WWE Superstar mode (more widely known as CAW, as in Create a Wrestler). This year it's back with many improvements, but some things were changed for the worse as well. This year you can only choose from a handfull of skin tones, and you cannot change the transparency for most items. While this doesn't seem like a huge problem, many people who are masters at giving CAWs to the community find this bad (and it is).

Other creation modes include The Paint Tool, which you can create designs and tattoos for your characters. You can also use these logos to make signs that audience members hold up during matches. Also returning is Superstar Threads (where you can make custom attires for superstars), the Story Designer (which is improved in every single aspect this year), and the Highlite Reel (make your own entrance movies, clips and stuff like that).

The most fun you'll have with this game is the local multiplayer, hands down. With the new physics, there is so much fun to have during matches. I have not played online though, but I hear good things about it.

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 is a must buy for fans of the series, or if you like wrestling games in general. It improves many parts from last year's game and adds so much more. Not only that, but DLC has been released and much more is on the way. But the time will fly by, because you'll have so much fun playing this game.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 (US, 10/26/10)

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