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New WWE game best yet

Nov 17, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Smackdown Vs Raw 2010Almost every year since they began work on the ‘Smackdown vs Raw’ franchise way back in 2000, developers Yuke’s have outdone themselves with each new release.

Whereas other developers and publishers are satisfied with just flipping the date and updating the rosters on their installments each year, Yuke’s has pulled out all the stops with ‘2010’ by tearing down and rebuilding their product from the ground up. Seconds after you throw the disc in and take in the new menu which subs as a training ring featuring superstars John Cena and Randy Orton, you begin to appreciate that the Japanese developer has run through the game with a fine tooth comb, making necessary adjustments to improve everything that it can.

Smackdown Vs Raw 2010The biggest changes though are those that’ve been applied to the Royal Rumble match and the controls themselves. There are now fours ways…Count them…FOUR ways to eliminate foes and all of them involved timed button sequences or mashing. The modification makes what was a torturous match to go through, quite fun now. The Championship Scramble match from the ‘Unforgiven’ pay-per-view in 2008 has been added to ‘SvR’ and plays out much the same way.

Slight changes to the controls and move sets go along way to improving the grappling experience. The strong grapple holds have been increased from two to four, players can move from one strong grapple to another, the ring apron is a new battleground, the reversal system has been simplified and many of the monotonous submission moves have been dropped. Still wishing they would bring back some of the interactive combat areas outside the ring that were removed in past editions though. It was sweet to pull off those ECW style suicide balcony dives the rebel federation was known for.

Smackdown Vs Raw 2010Granted, Yuke’s doesn’t have the grandest WWE roster in history to work with at the current time but their infamous attention to detail reaches new heights with wrestler’s chests and backs turning bruised and red with every chop and blood staining their taped fists during a match. Blood can also rub off on opponents once someone has been busted open. Yuke’s intricate work never ceases to amaze and ‘SVR 2010’ is no exception.

Career and Road to Wrestlemania modes have returned. Although they are shorter in duration, there are more of them than before. You can play the storylines of Mickie James, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Edge, a created superstar and Brand Warfare which pits John Cena from Raw versus Triple H of Smackdown. Of all the selections, the created superstar plotline is the most entertaining. Pulling a Santino Marella, you rise from being a spectator in the crowd to a WWE superstar. This ticks off WWE owner Vince McMahon, who begins to suffer from ‘Stone Cold’ déjà vu and vows to tame you. His methods include messing with your character’s appearance, moves and forcing you to grapple in a giant chicken suit. Not good. Randy Orton’s angle is also well done with legends Ted ‘Million Dollar Man’ Dibiase, ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton and ‘American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes joining the fray.

Smackdown Vs Raw 2010The best gift Yuke’s has given to wrestling fans with the release of ‘SVR 2010’ is the ability to develop their own storylines. The new Story Designer allows players to book their own matches, put together cutscenes and add in dialogue to build their own Road to Wrestlemania type scenarios, if you will. Like everything else you can design with ‘SVR 2010’, you can upload the stories to Xbox and share them with others. This one addition by Yuke’s opens the door for limitless replayability options and makes ‘SVR 2010’ a must-have for anyone who has made the series a staple or go-to title in their game collection.

In this a very stagnant year where so many publishers and developers are cutting corners and delivering substantially less to the consumer, Yuke’s has put forth the effort and delivered the company’s crowning achievement. ‘SVR 2010’ stands as an extraordinary example of how to carry a game franchise forward and improve upon an already stellar product.



Smackdown Vs Raw 2010'Smackdown Vs Raw 2010'
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Yuke's
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site:

Rating: 9 / 10




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