WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 Reader Review
I'm a wrestling and a WWE fan. That may be kind of obvious, because if I wasn't I would have never bought this game. All right, confession made, let's start this review!
First of all, the gameplay has changed since SmackDown! vs Raw 2007. The grapple moves, the finishers, the high flying techniques, everything has changed. Well, I welcome it. I don't know if they will keep changing the gameplay in every year, but I think 2007 was not very good and this is just fine. It took me sometime to get used to it, but do some exibition matches and you will master it quite fast. Good change here.
The biggest improvement in this game was the creation of different fighting styles instead of the clean and dirty of the previous games. Now a superstar can be brawler (Stone Cold), dirty (Edge), hardcore (Mick Foley), power house (Batista), showman (Shawn Michaels), submission master (Bret Hart), high flyer (Rey Mysterio) and I guess I'm not forgetting anything. Well, this may look very well on paper, but in the ring you almost don't notice any differences. Sure, every fighting style has some special moves, but not very important. I just want to do my finisher and that's the only special move that matters. But I think this has a lot of potencial and it may very well be great at 2009. For now it just good.
The graphics are not bad. The hair looks really unrealistic, but everything else is ok. The music is good (same old rock and hip-hop themes) but the commentary is a disgrace! JR and King are still the same, and JBL just said the same lines as Tazz. Imagine JBL saying "I know that I say this a lot, but this ain't ballet". You don't need to imagine that anymore. He actually says that in the game. The Joey Styles / Tazz duo is the only one good to hear.
I was very curious to play the 24/7 mode. The objective is to become a legend, and the mode is actually quite long. It's not bad, but it has two (huge) problems. The first is the ridiculous amount of glitches that appear. Ridiculous! Nothing that interferes with the gameplay, but I won a match against Kenny Dykstra, and the cutscene showed me defending my title against Bobby Lashley! And JR saying that we are coming closer to Judgment Day! Every wrestling fan knows that Judgment Day is a SmackDown! PPV (this is before all PPV become tri-branded) and JR didn't notice the mistake. Unbelievable. The other problem is that you play the same storyline all over again. It takes three years to complete the mode, and it looks like the McMahons storyline is always appearing. Boring!
The GM mode is almost similar to the other year. I'm not very fond of that mode, but there are people that are, and I guess it's not bad. It's not very good either. One of the coolest things in this game (for me) was the Hall of Fame challenges. It's like the other games challenges, but now tries to recriate famous moments (Michaels vs Hart in an Ironman, for example). I loved it. And there are some challenges that are quite hard (money in the bank in legend was really a challenge).
To end the review, this game is not bad. If you are a WWE fan, you will find yourself enjoying this, like I did. But if you are not, forget this game. You'll hate it. And be prepared to forgive some glitches...
7 / 10