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WWE SvR 2007 Review

In the year 2006, Yukes and THQ released another exciting sequel of the Smackdown vs Raw series for XBOX 360 and PS2. This game has good and bad qualities but overall, I had a lot of fun playing it and it was really awesome for me and it kept me entertained.
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007
Josh Tam's personal review

In the year 2006, Yukes and THQ released another exciting sequel of the Smackdown vs Raw series for XBOX 360 and PS2. This game has good and bad qualities but overall, I had a lot of fun playing it and it was really awesome for me and it kept me entertained. I managed to get hold of the PS2 version. I have always been in search for the best wrestling game available, whether it be for a PC, console or handheld and Smackdown vs Raw 2007 has proved to be the closest to what I have been searching for.

The graphics were a lot better than its previous versions and you could see a glossiness on the characters' skin, except the created superstars. Though I was told that on the XBOX 360, the created characters are also full of detail.
In Smackdown vs Raw 2007, The wrestlers are more and more like the real people though you can still tell the difference. Kurt Angle's bald head shines and Rey Mysterio's mask is just as colorful. But Mark Henry's upper torso seems a bit small and Trevor Murdoch ain't fat and flabby enough... : ]

The ingame music is below par for me. A lot of hip-hop and heavy metal in there. Except for the superstar entrance themes and some custom entrance themes, everything else I do not like. But if you are a hip-hop fan, who knows, you might like them. Different people, different taste. But Smackdown vs Raw 2007 has fixed a problem faced by previous versions. In Smackdown vs Raw (2005), when I tried to mute the background music, some ingame entrances were muted as well and the superstars came out without music. This was not the case here in Smackdown vs Raw 2007. They were separated, so I muted the menu music but the rest stayed intact! I have not played Smackdown vs Raw 2006 and I wonder if they had already implemented that there, but that is a really good addition. So the ability to mute music I dislike and still listen to the ones I want makes me shut my mouth about the music. AOK here.

Next up, CAW (create a wrestler). Since the PSX series, Smackdown games have offered a lot of options for creating wrestlers, but then some parts were improved since PSX but some deproved. Example of improvements are the face configurations. You can really make the face you want if you are good enough. That part of the game is well made and in a lot of detail. The deprovements (I am not sure if the word exists) include hair and clothing. Don't get me wrong. They all look nice. The clothes are more stunning and the hair can even sway, but I am a person who needs a lot of customability. And in Smackdown 2 : Know your Role, I found that I was able to adjust the lengths of almost all the tights and even the height of the short trunks to make them low-riders and stuff. Then I could make them any color I want. But in Smackdown vs Raw 2007, the original black short trunks (default male underwear) could not be changed in any way. The hairstyles in Smackdown vs Raw 2007 are all preset unlike Smackdown 2. In Smackdown 2 for PSX, I could choose a hair base and then add bangs add sides or add long bangs at the neck. The hair in that game looks unnatural but I could do a lot there, but in Smackdown vs Raw 2007, I could choose from more than 150 styles but that's about all. I mentioned earlier that the face configuration is well made, but that reason alone is a liability to me. I had to spend a lot of time just on the face to make it look like my friend's for instance. Just to adjust the length of the nose, I need to hold down the button for quite some time to adjust the numbers from 0 to 100 to make the nose grow. And configuring all facial parts like that took quite a painful amount of time. I was asking myself why Yukes would not just use a small range like -10 to 10 or even -5 to 5. Much like Pro Evolution Soccer or Winning Eleven's face config if you are unsure what I am saying. Afterall, after configuring the face, it is gonna be viewed in a distance in gameplay, so I am not sure why they put in a lot of detail in the configuration. Not that the Create-A-Wrestler part is faulty or anything, but I just thought it would even be better if the face config was like Pro Evolution Soccer's and the clothing configs were like Smackdown 2's but with the current graphics. Besides that, all good! I could still create some people I want and they looked nice, but not so similar to the original one in my imagination.

What about game modes? The Season mode packs a lot of drama, much like what you can see on WWE shows when you turn on your TV. You can rack up points for your superstar so that you can adjust their attributes and make them powerful. You cannot use female superstars though, but how are you going to make them grow more powerful? This brings us to the next game mode which is General Manager Mode. Book the created girls in matches and even if they lose matches, they still get points. General manager mode lets you become a Theodore Long or any other general manager. You get to book matches and make sure you get a lot of ratings. It is really fun to play but not at first. If you are unfamiliar with general pro-wrestling systems and bookings, meaning you don't watch much WWE shows or other pro-wrestling shows, you might have a lot of trouble. Next, PPV mode. You just get to book a card and play. You can even book titlematches, either titles you created or the ingame WWE titles. This is quite fun too if you have created several wrestlers of your own, maybe your friends, enemies, relatives, teachers or colleagues. You can book matches on paper and then use PPV mode to play out your bookings. In short, run your own federation. Cool? The only thing missing from PPV mode is the ratings feature that used to be found in Smackdown 2. After a show the game would rate each match and then average up the total show rating, and even keep a highscore! Smackdown vs Raw 2007 lacks this.

Back to character creation. Before I continue on to the review, I have got tips on easy character creation, how to get superstars with stats of your own desire without playing each one out in Season mode. It's still in theory but I am currently trying it out. Create one guy and just play Season Mode. Win or lose, just play. If you want to win, set the mode to easy. You'll have a hard time because his overall stat will just be 33/100 take and give. Then when you get some points, upgrade him to 40/100 and that's all. Fight all the way through season mode. Even with the low stats, you could still win if you are good. Use weapons to cheat to win if you want, but be sure to get the referee distracted first. Then when you go far in season mode with a lot of points, go to Create-A-Wrestler and DO NOT select New superstar. Select Copy superstar. Copy the guy and change everything to another guy, including name, weight, appearance... Then you can upgrade his stats as you would already possess a sufficient amount of experience points from the season mode. Repeat the process for other characters you want to create. Female superstars cannot participate in Season mode, but not to worry. Use the same guy mentioned earlier, change his gender to Female and proceed. You will need to forget the fact that that female was once a male, but hey this is just a game, right? ; D

Another one of my favorite modes is the Exhibition mode. There are tons of matches to play. I like the multiple-wrestler matches best, like Battle Royals, Elimination chambers, Armaggeddon Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble...

Last of all, gameplay. Some people say the gameplay in Smackdown vs Raw 2007 is horrible just because it was different from the previous Smackdown vs Raw games. It uses the right analog stick for moves. Well I did not like it either, but would that alone make the game bad? I was not sure, but I checked the config section and as I expected, there appeared an option for me to change the controls back to the old one. So nothing was wrong actually. Yukes provided a different system but also included the old one in case people did not like the new one. No problem here. What about the wrestling? Yes, at some sites, there were a few mentions about clipping problems and stuff, but all that just do not concern me. All I care about is if I can get the wrestling feel from the game. And the answer is YES. With the stamina inclusion, though some people hate it, I think the game just got more realistic. If I keep executing the high-risk moves, I would drop to one knee because of fatigue. Then the damage effect. The last time I checked, Smackdown vs Raw did not have that. But Smackdown vs Raw 2007 has it. When a body part is red, I could not walk properly and when executing moves, I would get dizzy for a while. Some gamers hate all these inclusions but I understand because these people want to fight fight fight. They are perhaps Mortal Kombat gamers. But I personally feel that with fatigue and damage effects, Smackdown vs Raw 2007 got more realistic than ever. The wrestling feel is there. Momentum swings, high-risks, the pain, ... all there.

Should I recommend Smackdown vs Raw 2007? To fighting game fans who want speed, no. To pure wrestling fans and WWE fans, yes. To old Smackdown series fans, yes. Try the new controls. If you hate it, go to options, change it back to the old one, then mute the background music if the hip-hop bothers you, then you will have a good time!

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Posted by [joshT] on 2007-06-21 [Thu] 04:44 with 7321 hits
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