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Five Years of Insanity: R.D. Lee's Review of WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009

By R.D. Lee Oct 2, 2010 - 3:19 PM print

R.D. Lee has been pwning noobs so long that he once stuck a semtex to George Washington.  But long before he brought his ratings to Monday Night Raw for World Wrestling Insanity, R.D. checked in with his review of Smackdown vs. Raw 2009.  The game is worth like nine bucks now, but it was brand-spanking new on November 25, 2008.  So grab your joysticks as we continue our celebration of Five Years of Insanity...

I have been a lifelong wrestling fan like most of you. I grew up playing every wrestling game I could get my hands on including the lame ones. I have poured hours upon hours of my life into these games and don't regret a second of it. So that brings me to the latest wrestling game to hit the market, WWE Smackdown v.s. Raw 2009.
This year's edition adds some new characters, new modes and a new and improved storymode. Now keep in mind with this review that I have in fact played all of the other Smackdown games so my opinions will be compared to them and not in comparison to games like No Mercy or TNA.
The following review contains my thoughts on this years game, so without further adu, "The Ratings Are In..."
Graphics: I want to begin by saying that this years game boasts some of the most impressive graphics I have seen from any game, on any system. The lighting effects are top notch, the character models for the most part are scary accurate, with the rare case of someone like Umaga having a nice set of abs for some reason... There are the occasional clipping effects during the animations, but overall the moves are smooth as ever and allows for a great match flow. One of the big complaints you hear every year is how THQ never adds that many new animations for the moves, but this year is not the case because they updated many moves such as Randy Orton's RKO, Kane's Chokeslam and Jeff Hardy's Swanton Bomb. The fact that when people discuss realistic graphics and never mention a SVR over a game like Mass Effect really baffles me. I will give the graphics a 4.5 out of 5.


Gameplay: Smackdown's control scheme has changed alot over the years, but one constant is the fact that it's always been relatively easy to pick up and play. This years game is not different, having not changed too much from last years game, but rather upgrading it mostly for the tag team matches and the addition of the signature moves. Striking is done with one of the face buttons, while grappling uses the right analog stick. To modify your grapples and strikes, you hold down the power button when doing a move. To execute a signature move or finisher you must first build momentum. When your momentum is full you will have the option of using it right away to do a finishing move or storing it as a signature move that you can use anytime during the match. Pressing the Y or Triangle button depending on what system you play it on will execute the move. Simple as that. The gameplay is simple to play, but hard to master. I will give the c ontrols a 4 out of 5.


Sound: The same problems that plague the previous versions is still there... The announcing can become VERY repetetive. Although they do say new things from time to time, it's really just alot of the same little one liners and catchphrases. The entrance music for the characters is vibrant and full, and they do come out to the same themes that you hear on TV (in most cases). The addition of custom soundtracks helps make this game alot more fun. Being able to use your own downloaded music to your CAW's and update current roster when someone changes their music on TV helps keep the game fresh. Because of the constant repetetive commentary I will give the sound a 3.5 out of 5.


Lasting Appeal: This is the one that makes this game so great in my eyes, there is so much to do in this game. They did remove the GM's mode this year, but have replaced it with a Career mode and a Road to Wrestlmania storyline mode. These 2 modes make it a fair trade to me. RTWM mode features your choice of 5 different storylines with 6 different characters to play as. The stories are linear but you can change the outcomes in some scenerios if you decide to which results in different rewards. By completing RTWM you will unlock the full roster and even some outragous alternate attires such as "Zombie" Santino and "Zombie" Finlay. Career mode is simply you picking a character and winning all the titles in the WWE and defending them until you become a Hall of Famer. Some people are specualting that by getting your character to a Hall of Famer in Career mode that it may be your ticket for importing him into the Legends of Wrestlemania game next year. That is not confirmed, only pure rumor at this point. The new match types are an Inferno match where you can only win by setting your opponent on fire and a 3 on 1 Gauntlet match where you face 1 person at a time until you have faced all 3. This will also be the first WWE game to feature Downloadable Content in the form of new characters and attires. The first set of DLC will include Evan Bourne, Ted Dibiase, Super Crazy and Charlie Haas, among various alternate attires. This game can also be played online to extend the fun factor and life of the game. Due to all the content of this years game I have no choice but to give it a 5 out of 5 on lasting appeal.


Overall: This years Smackdown proves to be one of the best of the series. From the top notch graphics to the upcoming DLC, this game has it all. So if you are a fan of the WWE or a fan of wrestling in general I urge you to check it out. If you don't agree with my review or want to add a comment, then look up the WWE thread at the Insanity message boards and leave a comment or thought. This game gets a overall score of 4.25 out of 5.
Well that's it for my review of WWE Smackdown v.s. Raw 2009, thanks for reading and keep on keeping on!

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