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E3 impressions - WWE SmackDown Vs. RAW 2009

by rawmeatcowboy
18 July 2008
GN 1.0 / 2.0

THQ has listened to what you guys said about WWE SmackDown Vs. RAW 2008, and they agree with you 100% They know that you want more characters, more moves, and more match variety. They may have taken baby steps with the first entry for the series on Wii, but their sophomore outing is shaping up to be much better. Just the inclusion of more match-types would have made a lot of people happier, but that’s not all that’s going into 2009.

I played a lot of the Wii and 360 versions of SmackDown Vs. RAW, so I am very familiar with the series. I can say that, right off the bat, this year’s Wii version does play better. It feels like the controls work better this time around, and are much more responsive. I jumped right into a game and had no trouble at all, and noticed that some of the quirks from last year’s version are gone. I don’t know if things were sloppy last time around, or this year the team has just had more time to work out kinks…but either way, 2009 is the better of the two.

Motion controls are a lot more responsible and fluid, too. I was playing as Jeff Hardy, and pulling off his ‘Twist of Fate’ move was a blast. The timing and motion controls were spot-on. Instead of doing what the on-screen arrows told me, I just mimicked what Jeff does in real life. After a few successful completions, I then tried what the arrows on-screen said. All four ‘Twist of Fate’ finishers worked flawlessly. Let’s face it…a large majority of WWE fans are buying these games, and they know the character moves by heart. When you can act out what your favorite superstar does without looking at controls, and have things work out perfectly, you know something is right.

Taking motion controls a step further, the in-ring taunts are even better this time around, and we have the entrance motion-controls to look forward to. During the matches I played, I spent half of the time just going through taunts. I was playing while a THQ rep was standing by, and we couldn’t stop laughing at the taunts. Once again, just do what the real superstars do, and the game captures them perfectly. It’s just a small, stupid thing…but it adds in so much fun. This is one case where motion controls are absolutely head-and-shoulders above just flicking a joystick. Anyone that says different obviously hasn’t had the pleasure of pulling off a motion-controlled ’suck-it!’.

THQ is working hard to shake off the stigma that this series has gained over the last couple years. Some think that THQ ships us the same game every year, and just photoshops us a new logo. I can honestly say that the 2009 version of SmackDown Vs. RAW is going to be a much better product than 2008. The team seems to be having a lot more fun with the game, and they are also adding in more modes…just like we wanted. Last year was paltry, and this year is being fleshed out. It remains to be seen just how much more we get, but without a doubt, there is more content. Keep your fingers crossed…this one is looking to best its first appearance.