History of WWF/E Games Part 44-Part 1
WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2008
Microsoft Xbox 360
Sony Playstation 3
Sony Playstation 2
Time to look at the first mass platform released game in the series.
**Hi guys just wanted to say thanks for reading. And that I have broken this into two parts because I feel the Nintendo Wii version of Smackdown vs RAW 2008 is very misunderstood, and I want to give that its own article.**
THQ were not messing around with Smackdown vs RAW 2008, and it was released on six different platforms. Although the Wii and DS version were completely different, they were still released under the same name.
This was the first WWE to make proper use of the ECW license. The game was actually called on the box Smackdown vs RAW 2008 featuring ECW. There were a few different special editions of the game. The Xbox 360 had a “high flyer” and “dirty” edition, and the Playstation 3 had its own special edition as well.
On the Playstation 2 and the PSP there is pretty much zero changes made to the graphics of the game. It’s fair to say by this point the focus was on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, and as a result owners of the Playstation 2 and PSP would have to make due with pretty bare bones updates in terms of visuals. One cool thing about the PSP version is that it had a few exclusive legends once again.
The Xbox 360 and Playsation 3 versions clearly look much better, but I personally think that Smackdown vs RAW 2007 boasted some better character models than this game. The hair of some of the wrestlers in particular looks terrible, but for the most part the game looks decent enough. I just expected a much bigger upgrade from Smackdown vs RAW 2007.
The Nintendo DS versions looks surprisingly good. Before the game was released many people made the claims that the game looked as good as some of the Smackdown game on the Playstation 2. I would not go this far, but it’s fair to say that the character models look surprisingly good.
The commentary is still terrible. We now have a new commentary team with JBL replacing Tazz, but he says the exact same lines that Tazz did in the previous game, and I mean the exact same lines. They must have just gave him the same script they gave Tazz the year before.
One cool presentation feature is in the sound. The Xbox 360 version would let you use music on your hard drive for your created wresters entrance music. For some reason this feature was not on the Playstation 3. To make up for this Yukes added first person entrances to the Playstation 3 version a feature which not many people were that excited about.
The big feature of Smackdown vs RAW 2008 was the fighting style. Each wrestler had two fighting styles; a total of eight. These were hardcore, high flyer, powerhouse, submission artist, brawler, dirty, technical and showman. Each fighting style had its advantages and disadvantages. The big problem here for me was that it felt like this really cut down on the amount of moves each wrestler could do. I get what they were going for, but it really just felt half ass.
Now to the reason why this game was such a let down for me is 24/7 mode. This year it was decided that instead of having a separate season mode and general manager mode they would combine them both into 24/7 mode. This mode was an absolute disaster. First of all you cannot even select the whole roster for this mode, and there is around 15-20 wrestlers that you can choose from. One very odd thing with the character selection was despite the game box saying “featuring ECW” you could not play as ECW wrestlers in this mode. Fair enough this is not a deal breaker for me, but the way this mode is executed makes me wonder just what on earth were Yukes thinking.
The various cut scenes in the 24/7 mode are terrible; they repeat over and over again. I swear to God I must have seen the one where my character walked into the divas dressing room by mistake at least 50 times. Not to mention the amount of times that I was sexually harassed by Bobby Lashley in the game. Yeah you read that right. You see, like in the previous game you have a cell phone, and for some reason time after time Bobby Lashley would call me up (in the game not in real life!) and just breath heavily into the phone. There was also no challenge in 24/7 mode. Lets say I was The Undertaker and I had a match with Triple H, well I could select to play as Triple H and just get him counted out. By a mile 24/7 mode is the worst single player mode I have ever played in a Smackdown game.
The core game play of Smackdown vs RAW 2008 is not that bad at all, and you can still have fun playing the various exhibition matches, but the fighting styles for me at least made the game not as much fun to play as the previous year’s game. There are many other little annoyances that are in this game as well. In games where there are multiple wrestlers in the game Yukes decided to take away the option to target a specific wrestlers by pressing a button. Instead in Smackdown vs RAW 2008 the game will auto aim. As I am sure you can guess the auto aim is terrible and more often than not will result in you hitting the wrong guy. It makes multi-man matches a real chore to play.
The DS version is just God awful in my opinion. This was released at a time when a great number developers thought that if you had a game on the DS you simply had to have touch screen controls. Smackdown vs RAW 2008 on the DS makes you use the touch screen to wrestle. You use swipes and circles to do various moves. This was a terrible decisions as the DS has more than enough buttons were you could have had more or less the same control scheme as on the PSP. I get that they were going for something new and different, but it did not work, and they abandoned this the very next year.
Smackdown vs RAW 2008 is the worst game in the series for me. I think they they had the best intentions with 24/7 mode, but they soon realised that there was no way they could make it as in depth as they wanted in just a year of development time. The fighting styles again a interesting idea, just make the game less fun to play.
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