History of WWF/E Games Part 31
WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth
Sony Playstation 2
Time to look at the last WWE game to feature one of The Rock’s catchphrases.
I am sure that too many people who were not familiar with the WWE when they saw the box on the shelf during holiday season 2002 with “Shut Your Mouth” written on were probably confused. Well this game is the fourth entry in the Smackdown series, and the second on Playstation 2. It continued the trend of having its subtitle be something that was often said by The Rock.
Shut Your Mouth was the first big WWE game to be just that a WWE game. All the logos on the box, manual, disc and most importantly in the game were all WWE there was no WWF logos at all. This game also included the WWE Brand Extension. This was when the WWE tried to separate the RAW and Smackdown brands with different wrestlers on each brand.
Shut Your Mouth did have Stone Cold Steve Austin as a playable character, but it came really close to him being left out. Steve Austin left the WWE some months earlier and I remember in a interview with someone at THQ where they said that it was a last minute decision to leave Steve Austin in the game.
Shut Your Mouth looked amazing at the time. Many people were a little underwhelmed by the visuals of the first WWE game on Playstation 2 Smackdown: Just Bring It, but this game got everything right. First thing you’ll notice is the character models because they look really good. While they may not be as smooth as the ones seen in Wrestlemania X8 on the GameCube or RAW on the XBOX. They still looked very lifelike. Everything about them were right for example the way The Rock would walk, to the way Jeff Hardy would stand. All the characters had there mannerisms captured perfectly.
Shut Your Mouth was the first game in the series to include the WCW and ECW wrestlers who were so badly missed from Just Bring It the year before. Also the game would include the NWO, but didn’t include wrestler Scott Hall. There has been pictures of a character model of Scott Hall, but as he was fired while the game was in development, he was cut from the final game.
In addition to the great character models, the arenas had been given a real upgrade. First of all the amount of arenas is amazing. Every WWE pay-per-view arena even including Rebellion and Insurexion the UK based pay-per-views were included. You would think that with the huge amount of arenas that the quality may be lacking, but that could not be farther from the truth. They all look amazing and still hold up very well to this day.
The sound is a bit better than it was in Just Bring It, but its not great. The commentary does not say as many stupid things as it did in Just Bring It, but after a while it will really start to get on your nerves.
Shut Your Mouth uses pretty much the same gameplay style as Just Bring It before it, but it just plays better. So if you played the other Smackdown games you would fit in right here. Like before though if you did not like the other games, then the core game play would really not win you over. There are much more moves this time around however.
The season mode is phenomenal and nothing like we had ever experienced before in a wrestling game. You would pick your wrestler, then you in first person mode would be free to walk around the back stage area and interact with different places and wrestlers before making your way to the ring for your match. This was a really cool mode and it recreated many of the events that had been on WWE TV the previous year. You could also unlock a bunch of stuff through season mode. This ranged from characters, attires, arenas, extra moves for the create a wrestler and some movies. The whole presentation of this mode is amazing. It has really cool backstage segments and some in ring cut scenes as well that move the story along. Sometimes a cut scene will pause letting you decide what action to take. For example you may have the option to hit a wrestler or walk away. What you do will alter the story slightly moving forward. As there was so much stuff to unlock and the story could go different directions. Season mode had a ton of replay value.
There was a ton of match types in Shut Your Mouth, and pretty much any kind of match you could think of was included. Create a wrestler was the best it had ever been. People online would post really detailed formulas to recreate old school wrestlers or wrestlers who did not make the cut for the game. Yukes the developers at this time would always include a bunch of moves from wrestlers who were not in the final game.
For me personally out of the original Smackdown games before it became Smackdown vs RAW, I think I like this one the best. It is just all round a great wrestling game. If you are or were a wrestling game fan at the time of release I am sure that you must have enjoyed this game. Out of the first round of battles, I am referring to RAW on XBOX, Wrestlemania X8 on GameCube and Shut Your Mouth on Playstation 2. I would easily say this was the best out of this round of wrestling games.
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