WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 box art
System: Wii, PS2, X360, PS3, 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. 13, 2007 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

As far as control is concerned, Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 does pretty well at nailing the basics, but an oversimplified control scheme based almost exclusively on motion control really hinders this one. Control essentially involves swinging the Wii-mote in different directions to perform fairly basic foot stomping and hand hitting moves. You can also perform a grapple move by holding down the A button and swinging the Wii-mote. Reversals are executed through timed movement of the Wii-mote, and special moves are performed by holding A and B and swinging the Wii-mote. And that's about as complex as it gets. It's really a great foundation as far as Wii controls are concerned for wrestling and other fighting-type games, but these controls just don't provide the complex experience that this type of game needs. You'll end up just madly swinging your Wii-mote to try to score a victory, and unfortunately, that's not really a great experience when it comes to a game that's all about pulling off the best wrestling moves

WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot

But for its pretty obvious flaws, Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 on the Wii does have its strengths. One such strength lies in its different modes. You have the generic Quick Play mode, which functions as more of an arcade-style game. You also have Tournament mode where you can either participate in pre-existing WWE tournaments (such as the Royal Rumble) or you can create your own tournament. But the main mode of Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, which was undoubtedly the most fun to play, was the Main Event mode. What this mode essentially entails is you pick a superstar and build their career from the ground up. You can choose their brand and even whether they are a clean or dirty fighter. This mode is pretty cool because it lets you exert a considerable amount of control over your character. You're basically in charge of keeping them trained, healthy, and setting up new and challenging matches for them. Although it's not the deepest experience available on a sports game,it's entertaining enough for this title and proves to be pretty fun in the long run.

Sound in Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 is also passable. The menu songs are absolutely awesome and channel the rockin' spirit of the WWE franchise. However, the sound department falls short when it comes to the actual gameplay. Although none of the wrestlers really speak while you're playing, there is a commentary track featuring WWE wrestling commentators JR and JBL. And while it's great that these legends lent their voices to this title, their commentary track leaves much to be desired. It ends up being very repetitive and sometimes what they say does not match up at all with what's going on in the ring.

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Overall, I really wish I could give this game a better ranking. The idea behind this game is absolutely solid, and Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 shows that there can be legitimate uses for the Wii-mote in fighting or wrestling type games. Its diverse modes also help it become a fairly interesting and re-playable game. However, its too-simplistic controls and marred visuals really ruin any shot it had at being a great game for the Wii. But I have hope for the Smackdown vs. Raw series, and perhaps this mediocre attempt will spawn a more refined and reworked WWE experience for the Wii in the future.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Superstar Fighting Styles: With eight Superstar Fighting Styles to choose from, playing WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 will never be the same. Each fighting style has its own unique strategy with exclusive moves, abilities, attributes, and more. Take the fight into your own hands and feel the power of the Superstars.
  • Struggle Submission System: The new Struggle Submission System gives players intuitive and natural control over their WWE Superstars using the analog sticks. Realism and strategy are at the forefront, as players can now control the amount of pressure they apply.
  • Giving Fans What They Want: WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 offers numerous updates, including new rosters, more environmental hotspots, and improved out-of-ring action


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    2.0
    Graphics
    Wrestlers look alright, but the crowd and framerate really ruin the visuals in this game
    2.5
    Control
    Simplistic Wii controls are a good foundation, but don't do the genre justice.
    3.0
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Music is great, but commentary is repetitive and annoying.
    4.0

    Play Value
    Different modes make this one very playable for quite some time.

    3.5
    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
    WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot - click to enlarge

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