WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It
For the millions! And millions!
When THQ first announced a Smackdown title was being made for the PS2, WWF fans rejoiced and the original announcements for the game danced in their heads. About seventy matches, over one-thousand moves, and around forty wrestlers on the roster. Then came the announcements of wrestlers being able to distract the referee, in-depth story-mode, and Micheal Cole and Tazz handling commentary! At E3, THQ showed off the first few screenshots of the game in action. Although somewhat disappointing, the game showed promise.
Then came the announcement of wrestlers’ entrances that were to be exactly like the real-life entrances, this is what WWF fans have been asking for since the first Smackdown title! This had to be the wrestling game fans have been waiting for, the closest you could get to being an actual WWF superstar. While the game may have its faults, it is definitely the best out there...
Playing in the story-mode is truly like actually being a real-life WWF superstar. You can pick your friends and foes, find tag-team partners backstage in first person view, and chose your own role (pun intended). While in the squared-circle you can do anything and everything wrestlers do in real life. Distract the ref, use illegal moves, use weapons. Also reversal moves have been implemented - although useful and nice to look at, they can get repetitive and annoying. Not only that, but you can even take it out in the crowd, as you get closer, the people move out the way and you can have a brawl right there. Sometimes when your losing bad or the computer opponent is losing -either in tag-team or single match- the wrestler's best friend will come out onto the ramp from backstage. After awhile the wrestler will come running down the ramp and help his friend beat up on the opponent. The ref will immediately hold back the illegal man and yell at him telling him/her to get out of the ring.
The backstage arenas have also been re-done. Every room that you see in real-life, you can pretty much find backstage. Locker rooms, V.I.P rooms, and even outside the arena! Each area has its own weapon that you can use like pipes in the boiler room. Speaking of weapons, there have been some new additions to the list like even Moppy for example. To get from room to room, there are arrows that point towards the doorway, once both you and your opponent are lined up the arrow will start blinking. When it turns red then you can go through the door.
The controls are very simple, but at the same time, very frustrating. To pull off grapples, you press a direction and circle, but you have to be right front of the person and very close so most of the time you find yourself grabbing air. To perform kicks and punches, press a direction and X. Reversals are done by simply pressing square. They are easy to perform since you just press it whenever your opponent is trying to attack you. Although helpful, it gets really frustrating when the computer does it right back to you. R1 is used for picking up objects, tagging your partner in tag-team matches, and getting in and out of the ring. Triangle is used for running and climbing up the turnbuckle and ladders. And last but not least, L1 is used for performing special moves as usual, but harder to perform now.
Menus are easy to navigate and easy on the eyes and loading times are pretty decent. Although there are some frustrating parts in the gameplay, it's as realistic as you can get to actually going up against “The Game” or the Rock. The only other problem is that sometimes matches are really dragged out and could become boring for some.