©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos
It’s an ever growing sport in which the millions around the world tune in to see their favorite entertainer do those death-defying high flying maneuvers off the top turnbuckle and land that sweet groan-inducing finishing move.
It’s a sport that kids and grown-ups can sit back, relax and enjoy the B-Grade soap opera melodramatics and entertaining wrestling matches.
What’s better is that if you’re sick of watching it you can just pick up the official game based off the franchise and mash up any superstar in the current roster and pit them against each other in any of the available matches in Smackdown vs Raw 2010.
Of course the new game tries to build on the foundation that was Smackdown vs Raw 2009, which in my mind had a very enjoyable multiplayer game when you had a few friends over who knew what they were doing and had an appreciation of the sport.
Single Player on the other hand was a bit of a snore-fest with no real deep career mode up there with that of other sport games that feature similar layouts. Smackdown vs Raw 2010 though has added a few nifty features to entice the player to try more Single Player as well as Multiplayer this time around.
Over the years, the Single Player in the Smackdown vs Raw franchise has been a tad stale. With the Road to Wrestlemania as well as your stock standard career mode taking a hammering.
You take a user-created wrestler or one of the current Superstars through the motions, but all of it has been done to death in the past, so Single Player of the franchise needed some kind of refresh.
With this probably sitting in the back of the minds of those at Yukes, the career mode in Smackdown vs Raw 2010 has a nifty new User-Friendly Career mode in which the player can create a superstar or take an existing one and create any story they please.
I like the ability to have a feud with the likes of Triple HHH or Cena as to who has the bigger muscles, who ate who’s cookie, or who stole who’s towel and so on and so forth.
The possibilities are endless!
It creates an endless supply of fun and never will you feel the sense that it would get boring at any given moment.
To go with the inclusion of this user created tool is a new HUD system which removes the silhouette of the wrestler from the corners of the screen and adds it all in a tiny circle that sits at the feet of your character.
Momentum is represented by a blue bar that, as always, fills up when you have the crowd at your fingertips and allows you, depending on how much is filled, to perform the Special Move which if landed then allows you to land the finisher.
These moments can be crucial in your match against an opponent and could decide who comes out as the victor. There’s a bit more of an emphasis on getting the crowd on your side to land the killer blow and it adds a bit more depth to the game over the previous entry in the franchise.
Along with this is the representation of damage on your wrestler. Gone is the silhouette and in comes character damage. The more backhand Ric Flair slaps you perform on your opponent’s chest, the more red it will become.
Bust open a cut on their forehead and this time round and blood will not only splatter onto the floor, but onto your clothes/body as well which is nice to see as it makes the game more dynamic.
Oh …. the pain of it all.
Add to that the fact that now if you target an opponent’s leg and do enough damage to it they will be rendered unable to run. This means in times of desperation that if they gain the upper hand in a ladder match and do the runner to the ladder they’ll trip over and stay down enough for you to get up and capitalise.
The new game is basically the same package with some added features to make it that much more enjoyable yet still contains the same annoying problems as 2009′s version.
Wrestlers can still do matrix moves off the turnbuckle and cover the whole ring, certain clipping issues with weapons are still apparent, the ability to not be able to choose which wrestler you can go for annoys and there are some weird grapple moves that occur in which the opponent is nowhere near your wrestler.
What’s with the bloody camera?
It’s a bit discouraging to see some problems from 2009 still persistent in 2010 but they don’t detract from the over all experience if you’re having too much fun.
With the recent release of Modern Warfare 2 it’ll be hard to find any Australian online local mulitplayer matches on Xbox Live to show off your created superstar and skills.
It’s sad because this game is a really good multiplayer experience and even if you don’t like wrestling in general it still is fun to bust a couple of grapple moves off the top turnbuckle or throw you opponent off in a Hell In A Cell match.
Keep an eye out for the game’s sweet tin case which, whilst nothing spectacular, can go quite well with other Collector Editions in your game library.
Give it a shot, get some mates over for local play, teach them how to do the moves, and you will find yourselves having an enjoyable Friday or Saturday topped with a couple of drinks, laughs and many tense, muscle flexing moments.
• Average press score according to TestFreaks: 8.8/10
©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Filed under: 3rd Party Games, Blogbanter, Console gaming, GameBanter, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Reviews, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | Cena, Hell In A Cell match, Road to Wrestlemania, Smackdown reviews, smackdown v's raw 10 review, Smackdown vs Raw 2009, Smackdown vs Raw 2010, Smackdown vs Raw 2010 review, THQ, THQ Australia, Triple HHH, Yukes