WWE Smackdown Vs Raw

Format: PS2

4 005209 057288
Age Restrictions: 16+
12 November 2004

Two worlds collide as the elite superstars square off on the Playstation 2. WWE comes to life with new additions to the series including new stare-downs, chop battles, submission reversals, match tactics, and overhauled Royal Rumble controls. The Divas are hotter than ever with an enhanced bra and panties match and to polish off the robust roster, from the halls of immortality, come a handful of the most celebrated legends to ever lace up their boots...

WWE Smackdown Vs Raw is, and I'm sorry to state the obvious here - but I will, only going to really appeal to wrestling fans. To us Brits in our mid-30s, wrestling conjures up Saturday afternoons in front of the TV watching Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks running around in tights and spandex costumes trying to show how tough they were.

But, as with most things, American's do things bigger, better and more theatrical. WWE is a million miles away from UK's hilariously camp sport. Sure, it's still camp (and hilarious) but it is far more entertaining - and there are cute women for the pervy males to dribble over. No longer a sport (?) watched predominately by little old ladies and young lads, wrestling is now an event the whole family can enjoy.

The game attempts to capture all the excitement of the television shows. Okay, there are a few minor bugs: odd audio commentary that relates to two guys in the ring when you are playing a mixed sex match; and some very dodgy tactics that allow one player a very unfair advantage in the dirty locker room fights where you can pick up chairs and beat your opponent - basically player one is closer to the chair which means that player 2's energy will be depleted, almost to the point of defeat, before the game has really started. But, to be fair, there is very little wrong with this game.

You can create your own character - which can take hours if you want to tweak it so that it looks as close to the real you as possible - and play any one of a number of different match styles. There are also characters and arenas to unlock.

Yes, the good old bra and panties match is still there. Simply try and rip your opponents clothes off to leave her in her underwear. There is also a special "spanking" mode - class!

Probably the most fun is to be had in the two player mode. There's nothing quite like drop kicking your boss in the face only to hear him mumbling something about his controller not working properly.

Without a doubt the best wrestling game on the market - although the format is getting a little tired and THQ will have to revitalise the next game in the franchise if they want to keep fans happy.

Ray Thompson

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