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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

THQ

 

Developer

Jakks Pacific

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2001

 

 

- Freaking amazing intros

- Grappling interface

- Huge selection of match types

- Characters are looking more life-like with each incarnation

 

 

- Where's the off button for the announcers?

- Alliance wrestlers?!? I need my RVD! Where's X-PAC?

- Story mode is terrible

- OVER 4 MEGS OF CARD NEEDED? YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING?!?

 

 

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WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It!

Score: 8.2 / 10

 

The popularity of wrestling seems to come from the same dark place that causes people to slow down and gawk at a really brutal car accident. I admit it, I happen to enjoy watching wrestling on occasion (mostly when Monday Night Football has a snooze-fest going on) and I do know most of the wrestlers in the WWF. This game houses a large collection of wrestlers from the WWF, but doesn't include all of the Alliance wrestlers attained through the buyout of the WCW and signing of former ECW wrestlers. This is a little disappointing considering that it really would have given that little extra to the game. Besides the alliance wrestlers, there are some glaring omissions from the WWF roster like X-Pac and Scotty 2 Hotty, but you can create them in the create-a-wrestler mode (which I really didn't like because I have no artistic talent at all).

 

wwf-smackdown-1.jpg (16016 bytes)          wwf-smackdown-2.jpg (33404 bytes)

 

Anyways, this game really shines in its variety of match types. They have all sorts of matches (some of which I've never heard of): Single, Tag, 6-man Tag, Handicap, Royal Rumbles (4 start - new wrestlers enter ever few seconds, up to 30. You eliminate people by throwing them over the top rope), King of the Ring Tournaments, Hardcore, Falls Count Anywhere, Survival Matches (up to 8 people in a ring at once trying to score the first pinfall), Street Fight, Cage, I Quit, Table, Ladder, TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs), Special Referee, Submission, Hell in a Cell, Ironman (most pins in 10 minutes), Last Man Standing (10 second count), and my personal favorite the Slobber Knocker (you stand in the ring and try and KO as many wrestlers as possible in 10 minutes). The variety is really great for when you have friends over and want to mix it up.

 

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Visually and aurally this game kicks! The wrestlers and their intros look amazing (the detail of the wrestler's motions as they come down to the ring are dead-on) and really does provide a level of immersion. The wrestlers are look closer to their lifelike duplicates than ever before, a few more games and I think that you'll be unable to tell the difference. The gameplay and interface is strong. It is much easier to master the controls for the game than for some of the previous games but I think that the 

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countering system is a little too good (you can actually have matches where you just counter the hell out of your opponent - don't go on offense, you're just going to lose). The one major weakness of the game has to be the announcing. They don't shut up and most of the time they talk as though you're listening to a form letter. "You know that wrestler…. Chris Jerico…. has got to be the greatest … Intercontinental Champion…. that we've ever had." It's bad trust me.

 

wwf-smackdown-3.jpg (19025 bytes)          wwf-smackdown-4.jpg (21939 bytes)

 

What about the other modes of play besides individual matches you ask? Well, there's the Story Mode where you can control a wrestler towards one of the championship belts. It's kind of cool the first time through, then you realize that it doesn't change. The only way to change which belts to wrestle for is determined by who you chose and who you speak with during the game. It gets really old - FAST! Besides the story mode and the singles mode, there's a hidden card game where you unlock more game features by finishing the Story Mode (there's clothing and options for the create-a-wrestler mode, you can unlock some wrestlers, and you can unlock new venues, and so on and so forth). The create-a-wrestler mode is absolutely huge. Besides creating an entire ensemble and appearance for your wrestler (which has so many details that can be tweaked and messed with) you can generate a complete move set and even generate your own taunts. It's downright impressive.

 

All in all, this is a game which typifies style over substance but in this case that's not all bad. I did like WWF Smackdown, but I felt that it really was lacking on some fronts. It's a definite try before you buy title.

 

- Tazman

 

"You did a good job, laddie. NOW BURN THE HOUSE DOWN. BURN THEM ALL!!"

-The imaginary Leprechaun that only Ralph sees

 

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