WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 review (PS3)
It has been years since Smackdown developers Yukes have actually released an installment that has vast amount of improvements, and not released a rip off of from last years game.
To be more specific the Smackdown franchise has been using the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 formula for the past 4 years now. Many gamers have felt cheated, buying annual releases to find out Yukes have only updated a few things that could have been released as DLC perhaps.
It is now 2009 and the 11th installment has been released; WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010. Playing SVR 2010, it would seem that the fans prayer to improve the franchise has been answered (well sort of).
Amongst the improvements is revamped create a superstar model’s and clothing almost replicating the WWE superstars themselves. This has been a clear bummer for years now; created wrestlers could always be differentiated from WWE wrestlers.
There is now a create a tattoo tool, create a high flying finisher tool, design a storyline mode, revamped Royal Rumble match and many other improvements I can’t wait to talk about.
Firstly you will notice that when you fire-up the game, there is a new training facility in the background of the menu. I have to admit that the controls in this game are a bit fiddly. A training mode is just what the series needed for any new comer or fan looking to hone their skills.
Moving on one of the main updates this year is create a superstar, I have to say I’m impressed with the effort gone into making the clothes and accessories more 3D and individually layered. There are even a few new hairstyles and accessories for a change (thank god). Some of them are imported from WWE Legends of Wrestlemania and others are brand new, such as the turban.
Amongst the changes is the preset body builds which in the last Smackdown could be extended to a beefy body builder. Now the body builds are more subtle and toned, which none the less can be modified to suit your needs.
As always one thing that never seems to be updated, are the tattoos. If you don’t like the preset tattoos there’s even a tool to create your own. The interface of this tool is pretty much your basic paint tool really, with basic primitives and a fill tool, left to your imagination to design weird and creative stuff.
The attributes system has also been changed to gain points more accessibly. After every match you play with your created superstar, you can assign attribute points any way you see fit depending on your action during a match.
So if you want your superstar to be a high flyer perform more high risk and speedy moves during matches. Basically you can decide what kind of wrestler you want to be by either doing more grappling, flying or submission moves etc.
Have you ever wanted to change your favorite superstar’s colour of clothes? Well now you can with the superstar thread tool, which allows you to change the colour of clothing as you desire.
One thing worth noting though is that the different coloured attires you create will appear in both the entrance and ring, so don’t expect to create separate attire’s for someone’s entrance individually. Other than that this mode will do for now and keep many fans happy.
If you’re the kind of person who like’s stirring up chaos and enjoys listening to the cheesy dialogues scripted by WWE then you might want to visit the story designer tool. The deep customization tools put you in the director’s seat to produce your very own WWE programming.
Sadly there are no actual voice over’s to use at your disposal, so just like the old days of Smackdown you will have to read the scripted dialogue from the bottom of the screen. There is no obstruction for you to create your story as long as you like.
Talking of chaos SVR 2010 just got bloodier with a new feature, where by blood is gushed out progressively through a serious of stages. Starting with a cut across the forehead, blood then splatters everywhere on your chest and even your opponent’s body and fists.
The physics have also been updated, slowly utilizing more Havok Physics. When I was scoop slamming an opponent near the ropes, parts of his body like the legs and arm were hanging over the ropes. This is a nice touch when you’re playing a match, it just adds to the experience of wrestling in reality.
Road to Wrestlemania returns once again with your favourite wrestlers such as Shawn Michaels, John Cena and Triple H to name a few. The storyline in each scenario is pretty much your standard affair, with the main goal being obtaining a title.
The usual incentive to play this mode is to acquire unlockable’s for exhibition mode. It would be nice to unlock some of these items, if the objectives to gain unlockable’s were clearly stated. Another obstacle that stopped me from attaining items was the objectives written on the loading screen, which would only be seen for a few seconds, especially before a backstage match.
In the past the Royal Rumble match has been a button masher and was always one sided when it came to being eliminated. This year the game mechanics have been changed slightly. You can now throw people out of the ring from under/over the ropes and any corner of the ring by selecting on screen button’s shown.
You also have a Royal Rumble finisher that might be a choke slam or Cena’s attitude adjustment. The main aim here is to deliver a similar experience seen in the WWE pay per view event Royal Rumble.
At the time of reviewing the console I was playing SVR 2010 was PS3, I don’t know about any other console but the PS3 version tended to dip a frame at random intervals. It wasn’t that often but it’s definitely something to take into consideration.
One mode that makes a return is the create a finisher tool, tagging along is a new addition which allows you to create a high flying turnbuckle finisher. Working in the same way as create a finisher the only difference is you can change the elevation of your move in the high flyer finisher tool.
Last year the online experience was terrible, it comes as no surprise that it’s still not functional. On the upside the inclusion of the ability to upload your created superstars, moves and movies is very impressive.
So now you won’t have to go on the internet to find out how someone made your favorite 80’s wrestler or super hero, as you can now view and download community creations on to your consoles.
I’ve only touched on the bare minimum of improvements and additional features in this game since its last release. The only thing they haven’t improved on is the Hell in a Cell structure but hey there always room for improvement next year.
The fact that they’ve improved on the features that players actually use the most, such as the in depth create a superstar tool is a testament that Yukes are listening to the fans after all.
This year’s installment just might revive the franchise. I can’t stress enough how deep the creation tool’s are and how many improvements have been made such as the inclusion of the WWE logo during game play to replicate WWE programming. I would recommend anyone who enjoys wrestling games or seeing their own creations in video games to buy this game without a doubt in mind.