WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 Review
Every year I play a WWE game. Wrestling games are like MADDEN and NBA LIVE(which I always play every year) are to regular sports fans. Well lately I haven’t bee too into the show because it’s been pretty boring lately. So would that translate to this years game offering? Not so much. The game reminds me of what I love about wrestling. This year the big deal is that they’ve totally revamped the tag team matches. This overhaul actually makes tag matches enjoyable. In years past I hated being in tag matches because your tag partners were idiots. This year they actually run interference after you hit your finisher so that you can get the pin. Now in last years game I actually enjoyed running one of the three shows and making matches. This year that modes been scrapped, as has last years awful story mode that made characters act out of character. This year you can only do a “story” mode with already selected characters. So far I’ve played through John Cena and Chris Jericho’s storylines. The thing about these storylines is that they are by the actual writers of the TV product. I’ve heard rumors that some of these stories were scrapped from TV by Vince McMahon. The Jericho one is a bit of a rehash from the old Stone Cold-Triple H storyline, but it’s alright. It was weird playing Jericho as a Babyface while he’s currently the top Heel on RAW. Now Cena’s storyline was much more enjoyable and actually gave three permenant mid card wrestlers a pretty good storyline. Although I enjoyed the story it does take a bit from the awesome KING BOOKER storyline from the good old days. The stories are fully voice acted by the wrestlers and you get the feeling that your actually watching a telecast, with the full on RAW openings and the trademark over the last image of the show.
Now that I’ve went over the good stuff, it’s time I get to the bad. My favorite mode was scrapped to make way for the career mode. Now once you create your created wrestler you have to take them into the career mode to upgrade them. I did like the way that your character evolved by what you do during a match, but the game is too easy. I should not be able to destroy JBL with a level 30 character, it was so easy I couldn’t believe it. I also found myself having to play matches multiple times because the game would say I only need two more stars to challenge for the #1 Contendership, but I would get a four star rating and it wouldn’t let me progress. Very frustrating. Usually unlockable characters are fun to get, but not this time. The unlockable characters suck. I don’t understand why I would want to play through a ton of modes just to unlock HORNSWOOGLE as a manager…really you couldn’t just add him from the get go? How is that a reward? The same goes for Jillian Hall/The Boogeyman/Zack Synder/Curtis Hawkins. The only worthwhile unlockable character is Tazz, because he doesn’t wrestle. If they wrestle on the shows they aren’t a good unlockable they should already be in the game. Now the only really good unlockable was the ability to fight for the WCW belt and put wrestlers in a WCW faction. That little add on makes the game that much more interesting. It also leads to a function they finally added to a game. Now you can change a characters show, championship status, and fan reaction on the same screen. This adds so much customization it’s insane. I put my created wrestler in WCW and made him the WCW classic champion, I also moved the recently fired wrestlers to WCW just for fun since your stuck with them. I respond to the little things, tweaks can make or break a game. With WWE firing a bunch of unused wrestlers and the usual obsolete characters list, I just hope with the new DLC that going to be offered for this game that it’ll help end that problem once and for all. Now the only thing is that most of the games that touted this feature have yet to offer any DLC(except a few).
CHARLES’ GRADE: B-
PROS: ‘MY WWE’ MODE HELPS TO GIVE THE GAME LONGER LIFE, MORE FOCUSED STORY MODE IS FUN, TAG MATCHES ARE ACTUALLY FUN
CONS: GAME IS TOO EASY, CAREER MODE CAN BE A LITTLE TOO MORTAL KOMBAT FOR IT’S OWN GOOD