STAFF REVIEW of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 (Xbox 360)

Monday, October 19, 2009.
by John Torrice

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 Box art I?ve been a fan of wrestling for many years and over that time some developers have introduced wrestling games trying to capture the action and intensity that makes it such an entertaining sport, but have always been lacking or just come up short in some way or another. Well grab your trunks and lace up your boots to take wrestling entertainment to the next level with THQ?s WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010.

Loading up Smackdown vs Raw 2010, SvsR, you will notice right from the start that you begin in the training ring. Unlike the previous releases there has always been a learning curve associated with the moves, but SvsR 2010 gives you a tutorial to master them eliminating the guess work. There is a training checklist that is marked off as you perform the 100+ moves, and can be reset at anytime if you might have a friend that wants to learn. As you are learning the AI can be changed to make them a bit tougher presenting you with more of a challenge. I really liked that as you start to beat up on your opponent you notice that giving chops to the chest it starts to become red, showing how it?s wearing on them.

After you have gotten your moves down pat you can choose to start your career and try your luck against one of the 67 Superstars available from Smackdown and Raw including the Divas, but that?s just starting to scratch the surface. All of the match types we have seen previously are packed into SvsR such as TLC, Royal Rumble, Inferno match and Extreme Rules to name a few, but take your gameplay to the next level by going in and messing around with the Create-a-Superstar, CAS, allowing you to make a wrestler that looks just like the Superstars already in the game, not simple looking like their ring attire was just painted on as it has in the past. The costumes and ring attire actually look real adding what it was lacking previously.

In addition to dynamite looking characters you have created you are given the ability to name them so during gameplay action the ring announcers will use your name along with the thousands of attendants in the crowd cheering for you and holding up signs. The number of wrestlers you can create has been increased from mere 30 to 50, giving a total of 110 with the Superstar lineup already in the game. Not only can you change up the screen pose for your wrestler but also give them up to 3 different changes of attire to be worn adding that much more of a personal feel to the customization.

Speaking of customization while in CAS you now have the ability to add your personal touch and flare to your character using the new Paint tool. This lets you get the creative juices flowing to design and put a Logo on your superstar to have them stand out adding that personal touch not just a bunch of preset artwork. Although there is 100+ graphics you could choose from to adjust, size and apply to the CAS.

If creating your character isn?t enough you can now make your own entrance movie to show off your superstar using highlight reels from matches. The Create-a-Finisher is back but now allowing you create a Diving finish from the corner turnbuckle, customizing if you showboat before jumping, the angle that you will jump at, if you do any flips or layouts in mid-air, then ending with how you land on your opponent. Name your finisher and again during a match the commentators will call it out adding that personal touch.

While being able to create a Superstar character and make your entrance movie along with the diving finisher, you now can create your own story in SvsR 2010. The Road to Wrestlemania , that was added last year, features Randy Orton, HBK, Mickie James, Edge, Triple H/John Cena, and your CAS, but now take your experience to the next level allowing the use more than 100+ preset scenes from getting hit by a car in the arena parking garage to smack talking to your opponents. The options are endless on what can be done and once you have finished creating your story on the calendars, up to ten years, you can choose to upload your story to the SvsR servers for other fans to download and play giving you many more hours of gameplay, like ongoing DLC readily available for you.

One of the great features of the Story Designer is when you have setup for something to happen like maybe a superstar being jumped in the locker room or as mentioned hit by a car, you can then go in and injure the character so it then can affect the match. Not only can that be done, but you can set for run-in to disrupt the match, maybe DQ someone or make sure that they get the pinfall the options are never-ending.

I must say that I really like many of the new features that were added, like the Tutorial to learn moves, only having to use one bumper to counter moves, implementing the paint tool to create a custom logo design for your wrestler, and not to mention being able to give Superstars rivals and allies making matches more interesting. Then throw in being able to make 50 CAS and create your own entrance from highlight reels and diving finish moves along with the ability to upload your created stories for others to download and play through give fans what they have wanted to see.

Overall the graphics are steller, and the sounds of the action really draw you into the gameplay sometimes almost feeling like you are part of a Live event. Then expanding on the CAS, Road to Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble giving a bit more depth then in years past. THQ has really listened to what fans have wanted and made WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 the best in the series yet and have really embraced their tag line ? It?s your world now?

Overall: 8.7 / 10
Gameplay: 8.5 / 10
Visuals: 8.7 / 10
Sound: 8.5 / 10


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