Preview By: Siou Choy
|Developer:||Yuke's Media Creations|
|# Of Players:||1-4|
|Accessories:||Nunchuk, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (online play, DLC)|
Like ‘em or not, when it comes to wrestling, the WWE is pretty much the only game in town. Despite some notable competition in the past from Ted Turner’s WCW (and to a lesser extent, the far trashier ECW, which almost singlehandedly introduced the far bloodier, more violent and dangerous “hardcore” wrestling variant since adopted by all venues of the sport), these brands (and their general managers) have since been absorbed into the WWE machine, leaving TNA as the primary home for disaffected and/or fired WWE stars of the past. So if you look at the fact that both WCW and ECW have been fully absorbed by WWE, and the fact that TNA is effectively little more than the old folks retirement home for WWE, the bottom line is that for better or worse, there’s no competition whatsoever in North America aside from indie outfits like ROH.
The good part of all this is that WWE has established itself as one of the most popular brands associated with sports entertainment per se, having produced such household names as Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, HHH, John Cena and the Undertaker. THQ has brought together two of the WWE’s in-house brands to bring us Smackdown (the more interesting underdog, home of the high flying cruiserweight division) vs. Raw (the slower paced home of the “big names” and major title bouts) 2009 for multiple platforms.
As with its predecessors, Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 will include many of the WWE’s biggest stars of today: the likes of Batista, Chris Jericho, Matt and Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, the aforementioned HHH and John Cena, Finlay and Hornswoggle, and even lesser lights such as Kofi Kingston and Beth “Glamazon” Phoenix.
If the roster isn’t to your liking, THQ is including a “create a wrestler” feature, allowing you to add in either an entirely original character or an old favorite that wasn’t included in the game (Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz, anyone?). Not only can you create a wrestler, but you can even customize both their entrance routine and finishing moves by linking a series of available actions to create something unique and recognizable. Wii owners will have more control over their entrances and victory celebrations than their PS3 and Xbox 360 counterparts. Minor flourishes such as raising your arms while holding the Wii-mote can rally the crowd in your character’s favor.
“The Road to Wrestlemania” is what passes for a story mode in SvsR 2009. WWE considers Wrestlemania to be its biggest event, so you’ll have to work your way through various PPV events inclusive of my personal fave, the Royal Rumble (a 30 man elimination match).
Nothing really gets a crowd into a wrestling event like a good tag-team bout, and THQ is hoping that you’ll feel the same way: the Tag Team mode is a big part of SvsR 2009. Interaction is very important to a tag team match, so you and your gaming partner will have to get it together just like the big boys. Whether your tastes run more towards early cooperative wrestling masters like the Rockers or Killer Bees or current roster favorites like Miz and Morrison, there’s room for all the dirty tricks and high flying action of a real tag team title bout. The player in the ring can distract the ref so that your man in the corner can attack your opponent. Your partner can try to rally the crowd in your favor, to cheer on your teammate. And of course, no tag team match is complete without some illegal double team moves on your opponent.
For the first time for a wrestling game on a Nintendo platform, downloadable content (which is likely to include new characters) will be made available for SvsR 2009.
Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is expected to be released this Sunday, November 9th in North America.
Posted: 2008-11-04 20:45:50 PST