|Developer: Yukes!||Publisher: THQ|
|Release Date: November 15, 2005||Also On: PS2 and PSP|
Tight pants, sweaty men, loud yellingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not talking about Richard Simmons; weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re talking about wrestling, the WWE. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never appreciated or enjoyed myself, but nonetheless, every year I see a few new WWE games that sell like hotcakes and receive critical acclaim. YukeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and THQ are back once again for WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, and for the first time in my life, I have the chance to add to that critical acclaim; this is a quality wrestling game, especially if you enjoy the sport.
The career mode is where the majority of gameplay time is supposed to be spent. I can tell that YukeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s put a lot into it, simply because it offers the drama that the WWE is famous for new and old rivalries, women, etc. In some of the cut-scenes you are given the ability to make decisions that change the way the story pans out, but basically it comes down to you leading a WWE wrestler through a gauntlet of matches.
Other than the Career mode, WWE offers dozens of game modes like the new Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fulfill your FantasyÃ¢â‚¬? and General Manager mode. The former mode features some of the WWE’s ladies tearing each other’s clothes off and the latter puts you into the fancy suit of a WWE manager. Despite the fact that some of the modes are almost identical to each other, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all enjoyable in some way and theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a perfect collection for those looking for the thrill of beating men into submission. I particularly enjoyed TLC and Hell in a Cage matches, especially in multiplayer games.
The gameplay in WWE is spot-on in every way. Alongside the amazing set of matches is a control scheme and gameplay concepts that play out perfectly. Beating the stuffing out of an opponent takes only a small amount of time for wrestling newbies to learn, and wrestling pros will feel right at home with the scheme. Of course, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t relentlessly pound on an opponent and expect to get away with it. Each wrestler on the mat has a Stamina gauge that eventually wears down, resulting in wrestlers falling to the ground. Of course, a higher amount of stamina means that your character is more mobile, delivers stronger hits, and the like. The reversal system is something I grew to love, as it only requires the timed press of L2 or R2 depending on the attack coming your way. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s simple but still requires a bit of talent and timing to pull off.
Visually, WWE excels on the PlayStation 2 and is one of the flashiest games IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen on the console for a while. Though there are the typical problems, like low-res textures and such, the wrestler models look fantastic and the introductions are as flashy, explosive, and extravagant as a wrestling fan could possibly want. Unfortunately the sound factor isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as impressive. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even be flowery and wordy with my dislike for the announcers, who have to be the most annoying pair IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever had to listen to in a video game. They spend so much time bickering back and forth between themselves that it actually detracted from my experience.
Altogether, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 is a quality game. Whether youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re buying the console version or the PSP handheld one, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to enjoy this title if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re interested in wrestling or the WWE. Even if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like wrestling, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d recommend trying itÃ¢â‚¬â€at the very least, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s enjoyable and entertaining to watch hulking men insult each other and then throw each other around in the ring.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||9|
|Written by Cliff||Review Guide|