WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2009 Hands-On Preview
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | DS
WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2009 box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Yuke's Media 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov 9, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Wrestling With the Best!
by Amanda L. Kondolojy

October 16, 2008 - Although last year’s SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 brought the series into the new generation of consoles, many fans were disappointed with how little the series had evolved from the last generation. Bland features and barebones wrestling modes were some of the chief complaints many fans had from last year. However, after spending some hands on time with this title at a recent THQ event in L.A., it seems that the developers have been really listening to the fans since last year. There are tons of new features and modes, and this year’s SmackDown vs. Raw looks like it is definitely going to be the best entry in the series yet.

WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2009 screenshot

One of the best new features in SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is the new story mode, Road to Wrestlemania. The story mode has really been overhauled this time around and will feature unique storylines penned by some of the WWE’s best writers about your favorite superstars. In addition to the new story, 2009’s Road to Wrestlemania mode will also feature a special co-op mode with a completely unique storyline for two characters.

Another facet of the game that has been completely overhauled is the volume of different match types. While previous versions of the game had several broad match types like “Hell in a Cell” and “Ladder Match,” SmackDown vs. Raw has up to fifty different match types, including the fan favorite “Inferno Match,” as well as more specific tag team matches. Another feature that fans will appreciate in SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is the active roster system that will allow you to update the branding of your favorite WWE star based on current standings or your own fantasy settings.

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Another facet of the game that has been completely overhauled is the volume of different match types. While previous versions of the game had several broad match types like “Hell in a Cell” and “Ladder Match,” SmackDown vs. Raw has up to fifty different match types, including the fan favorite “Inferno Match,” as well as more specific tag team matches. Another feature that fans will appreciate in SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is the active roster system that will allow you to update the branding of your favorite WWE star based on current standings or your own fantasy settings.

WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2009 screenshot

The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions have a ton of new features, including a create-a-character mode and an all-new create-a-finisher mode. This mode allows you to use a very deep finisher editor tool to string together different moves in order to create a signature finisher move. This can be applied to a created character or a WWE superstar. The different move possibilities range from complex lifts and turns, to simple actions like eye-poking. Altogether there are up to 11 different moves you can use to create your signature finisher. Once you are finished creating your finisher, you can give it a cool name and apply it to whomever you want.

The most exciting feature in the PS3/360 version of the game has to be the highlight reel functionality. Essentially what the highlight reel function does is allow you to use some very complex editing tools. You can add graphics, filters, and even commentary and sound effects to your favorite gameplay moments. You can also upload your videos to share with other players and rate your favorite user-created videos. The video creator is very intuitive and easy to use, but the tools are very deep, which will allow for some very interesting video creations.

WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2009 screenshot

One thing fans will be very pleased with in the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game is the beautiful graphics. The different wrestlers look amazing and have a ridiculous amount of detail from the hair on their heads to their individual muscle definition. Also, the crowd animations are much improved from last year’s title. The special arena locations also look very good and have plenty of interactive elements. The game is presented in 1080i HD, so you definitely won’t be disappointed with the way this game looks.

SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is literally packed with new features and is definitely a much-needed improvement over last year’s game. Although the different versions of the game have different features, it seems there is something in this title for every wrestling fan. So, if you are ready to rumble with your favorite wrestling superstar, then you should definitely keep an eye out for SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, coming this November!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor


Game Features:

  • SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 unleashes a brand new tag team match. Build momentum and attributes as a team, destroy opponents with high-impact double teams, pull off new bone-crunching tag team finishers, and get the “hot tag” for the win.
  • Pave the way to WWE’s biggest event of the year through WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009’s new story mode, which features the franchise’s first-ever co-op storyline.
  • Construct the most devastating moves ever unleashed in a WWE ring with this brand new interface. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 lets players customize all aspects of created Superstars – even their very own finishing moves.
  • Extend the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 gameplay experience with downloadable content and much more.


  • Screenshots / Images
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