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WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2008!

The popular fighting series has returned for another shot, but will SmackDown vs. RAW 2008 be able to do any better then its predecessor?

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Remake Of The Original: Since nearly nothing has changed about WWE SmackDown vs. RAW from last year, I feel that the review that I posted on WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007 fits well here as the review of the 2008 version, with a few additions of course:

Same Ol Same Ol: The gameplay in SmackDown vs. RAW 2007 has remained essentially the same as previous installments in the wrestling series.

You will start out in the center of the ring (using any of your favorite fighters featured on the slightly outdated roster) and will end up all over the arena as you chase your opponent down with a chair.

If you have played any of the previous wrestling games in this generation or the last, you will feel at home here...which is both good and bad.

You will not notice any differences this time around from any of the other wrestling games, and you tend to have a feeling of deja vu.

Franchise For Wrestling: WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007 features a massive variety of modes, but the main draw-ins are the Season, GM and 24/7 modes.

In Season mode you will take a wrestler of your choice (either hand-crated or a legend) and guide him through his career. You will deal with feuds, rivalries, and other TV-ready events.

The Season mode is quite enjoyable, and even though you do not have much control over the backstage areas of your career, it is still quite fun.

The GM mode has you playing the role of a GM in the wrestling game. As a GM, you will control fighters, their feuds, paychecks and such, as well as promoting certain fights and handling other business aspects.

The GM mode is a little dull and the fact that the entire mode is run through menus and text does not help.

When you are playing as the GM, you just do not have that feeling that you are in complete control of everything around you. It kind of feels like the game has pre-scripted some of the events.

The 24/7 mode is really a mix of both the GM and Season modes thrown together into one nasty package.

When you start 24/7 mode, you will choose whether your want to be a GM or a character (wrestler).

If you choose GM, you will choose a brand, draft your roster of fighters, hire storyline writers, manage your constant feuds and deal with injuries and salaries.

There are also a couple additions like the GM of the Year Award, a list of goals (beat a rival's superstar) that get you closer to being Vince's right hand man.

If you choose to be a wrestler, it is a far less enjoyable experience. When you choose to be a wrestler, you will choose which one of the 19 superstars you would like to play as, and then you start your career, trying to rise up the wrestling ladder.

The biggest flaw in the fighting side of 24/7 is that when you get hurt, the game is essentially over and you basically need to restart the game.

When you get hurt, you are informed that you have to rest, or your injury will get worse, the problem with that is there is no option to rest, so you always come into the fight with an already injured body.

All it takes to make you a useless chunk of bad acting is a simple throw or punch, depending on where your injury is located.

Online Bullies: SmackDown vs. RAW also features an online mode that allows you to fight with others online in most of the single player modes (excluding GM and Season).

The online mode is quite impressive, and there is relatively no lag when you are battling with other Luchadors.

Rent vs. Buy: WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008 is only decent wrestling game that will probably fail to live up to most of your expectations.

The impressive season mode, large roster and strong online multiplayer cannot completely overshadow the sub-par graphics, bad clipping issues, dim-witted AI, boring GM mode and horrible commentary.

If you are a hardcore fan of wrestling, then you should own this game, but if you are simply a casual fighting fan, then there are much better places to look then SmackDown vs. RAW.

Report Card

The impressive season mode, large roster and strong online multiplayer cannot completely overshadow the sub-par graphics, bad clipping issues, dim-witted AI, boring GM mode and horrible commentary. If you are a hardcore fan of wrestling, then you should own this game, but if you are simply a casual fighting fan, then there are much better places to look then SmackDown vs. RAW. (Krakrabbit.com)

C


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