Smackdown vs Raw (PS2)


Smackdown vs Raw is a wrestling game, and is a part of the ‘Smackdown’ series of games. This version has new characters to wrestle with as well as some new gameplay additions.

Gameplay: 88%
Smackdown and Raw are two different groups of wrestlers, who fight in their own group or ‘show’, or on occasions meet each other in head to head fights. When you start the game, you choose your favourite ‘show’, e.g. Smackdown or Raw, and then one of the many modes you can pick from. There are dozens of modes, but they include singles (1 on 1), royal rumble (which is virtually a mass brawl), tag team, handicap or ‘hell in the cell’ (where you are wrestling in and around a giant cage). In my opinion, the best mode is ‘story mode’ where you follow your characters progression season by season so you become more attached to your character.

After choosing your mode you pick from one of the 40 odd characters you want to fight as (male or female), which include legends such as ‘The Rock’ and ‘Brutus the Barber Beefcake’(!) Before beginning your fight, you select from various match rules and length. You can also select your tactics and try to win the crowd by fighting clean, or ignore the rules and fight dirty.

When wrestling, each character can use the standard moves, but also certain special moves that are unique to each character. With some of the slower characters, the game can be a little sluggish, however overall the wrestling is great fun and seems very realistic.

Graphics: 84%
The graphics in the game are above average but not spectacular. The wrestlers and arena’s are very good and realistic but as with a lot of sports games, the crowds are a bit 2D and are not as good.

Sound: 66%
This is the only area that lets the game down. Although the character voices are very good, the timing of the words in relation to the graphics is very poor. The crowd noises however, can be good at times, especially when they heckle the wrestlers.

Value: 96%
This game may have poor sound and above average graphics, but the lifespan of the game is incredible. There are so many modes you can choose from, but my favourite (story mode) is what really gives the game its appeal. The game also includes a multiplayer option so it’s great fun wrestling against a friend rather than the computer opponent.

Overall this is a great game and is probably the best wrestling game available. If it wasn’t for the poor sound, the overall score could have reached as high as 90%, but thankfully it doesn’t spoil the fun. In my opinion, it would take a lot for the next wrestling game to top this.

Overall Score: 87%  (not an average)