WWF Smackdown


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

wwfsmackdown1ps1.jpg (43603 bytes)Finally, the WWF has come back to the Playstation. This time around, THQ has created one of the most authentic wrestling games to date, at least outside the ring.

With a market quickly flooded by redundant wrestling games, Smackdown rises above the crowd thanks to the amazing never-ending season mode. A variety of matches keep things interesting no matter how many matches you choose to fight in. Backstage politics are kept to a minimum, but what's here is still more than any other game has ever attempted. The special referee mode is a special treat that will break up more than a few friendships thanks to it's inclusion. Allowing players to pick any superstar to referee a match (whether it's between a group of friends or the computer) and make the counts as they see fit, depending on their allegiance is a great concept for a video game.

While the season mode is revolutionary, the create-a-wrestler is not. Instead of choosing separate parts of the wrestler, generic heads, upper and lower bodies can be picked, but that's all. All of your wrestlers moves can be picked and a finishing maneuver can be named, but that's this features only highlight.

wwfsmackdown2ps1.jpg (48011 bytes)The gameplay is highly reminiscent of EA's surprisingly enjoyable WCW Mayhem. Simple, quick button presses are all that's required to perform even the most complicated maneuvers, but this severely limits the amount of moves that occur during a match. Simple punches and speed are all that's required to win a match, hardly what we've come to expect from today's wrestling games.

Any fan will be able to quickly identify their favorite superstars who have been flawlessly recreated in polygonal form. The trademark costumes, hairstyles, and taunts have been put into the game with care. Music lovers won't be so happy as the in-ring music is horrid. It can turned off thankfully, but this also kills the entrance music these guys are known for. Play-by-play would've been a great addition.

Storylines make or break a wrestling federation in today's world and finally video game makers have noticed this integral part of the sport (yes, sport). Considering the lack of real competition in the wrestling game genre on the Playstation, Smackdown wins this competition by default. Here's hoping that the inevitable sequel improves the storyline function, further making the video game experience more like the real thing.


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Last updated: Sunday, October 16, 2005 03:55 PM