|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: Oct. 20, 2009||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|
A new feature that has been added to the character creation mode is the paint tool. This tool allows you to create your own emblems, logos, and designs for use with your created character. There are a variety of different paint brushes and shapes you can use in your design, and it can be as simple or as complex as you want. Once you have finished your design, you can paste it on your character's clothes as a wearable emblem or even a tattoo. While the paint tool is not as user-friendly as the regular creation modes (you have to use the thumbstick to fill in individual pixels, which is very time-consuming), if you really want that deep level of customization, the paint tool makes it possible.
The creation modes this year certainly seem to be the focus of the game, but if you are a fan of traditional WWE storylines and modes, then don't worry, there is plenty here for you too! Last year's Road to Wrestlemania story mode was lauded by fans and certainly was a welcome improvement to the lackluster story modes of the past. This year's Road to Wrestlemania has been beefed up substantially featuring six new storylines, including the franchise's first created character storyline, diva storyline, and co-op storyline. The choice to move the story mode count from one up to six was certainly ambitious, but all of the different story modes are of very high quality and feature multiple endings that are dependant on your character's actions.
There are also plenty of free play options in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010. All-new for this iteration is the Championship Scramble match, which was introduced this past year by the WWE. This match type is a five-man free for all which starts with two wrestlers but has the remaining characters walking in until all five are in the ring and fighting for the title. The new match is very interesting, and though it feels like a watered-down Royal Rumble, fans will appreciate this new match type's inclusion in the game.
Visuals in SvR 2010 have definitely been improved since last year, with sharper character models and more detailed environments. Although some of the backgrounds in the Story Designer, specifically, seem a little understated, all the main areas look great, and the resolution and framerate are both much higher than they were last year. One new aspect of the visual design is the inclusion of damage and injury effects. While occasional blood spurts and chest redness have been included in prior games, the damage in SvR 2010 is a lot more realistic. If one wrestler is bleeding from the head and another grabs him, some of the blood may transfer onto the other's costume. Although the blood does disappear after a few seconds, it is still a cool aspect of the visuals and helps the game feel more "real".
SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 easily represents the biggest leap forward for the series. While previous entries certainly piled on the match types and character rosters, the new creation aspects of SvR 2010 make it the best and most immersive WWE video game experience to date. Between creating your own WWE storylines, playing other community-created stories, taking on one of the six new Road to Wrestlemania modes, or being challenged in multiplayer versus matches (online or off), there are plenty of ways to get into SmackDown vs. Raw 2010. So get in there, get creative, and above all, make sure to lay the SmackDown!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor