First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
THQ WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2008
- Nice graphics and detail in recreating the superstars
- Skull-crushing loading times, gameplay seems repetitive at times
If you're a fan of the franchise or just really love throwing men and pinning them to the ground then this game is for you. But it's not a title for the casual gamer.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 4 stores)
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 surpasses the 2007 version while still remaining true to the spirit of the sport. Although there are some problems, it does a great job of giving wrestling fans a chance to live the life of a wrestling superstar.
With a sport that's so dependent upon the athlete's individual personalities and outward appearance, it's important that the designers do a good job of digitising these wrestling superstars. This isn't Madden where you can hide a player in a football helmet: You can't just recycle The Rock's body and paste Carlito's head on it. Thankfully, the digital versions of the wrestlers look almost as good as their real-life counterparts.
The wrestling action is buttery smooth and the wrestlers control fluidly, making it easy to do the basics like kicking and punching. Some of the harder maneuvers can tax your fingers, especially the signature moves--franchise veterans won't have any issues but those new to the games will.
This brings up one issue with the game: unless you're a big pro wrestling fan, this game probably won't have much appeal to you. That's fine as the game is obviously targeting the WWE fanatics but just be warned that your enjoyment of the game is going to be directly tied to how heavily invested you are in the shows and characters.
You also need to be a diehard fan to endure the insane load times. It got so bad that at times, we felt as if we had been transported back in time and were playing a PS game.
As good as it gets
Still, there's no denying that WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 is a wrestling fan's dream come true. There is a surprising amount of depth in the game, from the WWE 24/7 mode where players take a no-name wrestler all the way up through the ranks, to the robust and endlessly complicated create a character mode, the game has enough content to keep a dedicated gamer busy for a long time.
This is definitely not a title for the casual gamer, but if you're a fan of the franchise or just really love throwing half-naked men off ladders and pinning them to the ground, then WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 is about as good as it gets.
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