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 Wii version, specifically, has evolved quite a bit since last year’s release. One of the first things you’ll notice is the sharper character models and smoother animations. Although the crowd animations still look a little rough in the preview build we were able to play, the different wrestlers look much improved, which was very impressive.

However, the part of the Wii version that impressed me the most were the improved controls. You will still be using the Wii-mote and Nunchuk combination and will be able to perform most attacks with strategic button mashes and motion controlled movements, but there is an enhanced amount of precision, so it is easier to execute specific attacks. However, the control here is definitely not as complex as the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, and it definitely appeals more to the casual wrestling gamer rather than the hardcore sect.

WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2009 screenshot

In addition to the improved controls, the Wii version has a very cool interactive entrance scene feature. When your character enters the wrestling arena, you will be able to do a number of specific Wii-mote motions that will correspond to different signature actions that the wrestler can perform to pump up the crowd. Because the controls often mimic the actions themselves, doing the different actions with the Wii-mote and Nunchuk is quite fun and really makes you feel like a pro-wrestler!

Also new for the Wii version is the online modes, which are quite robust. You will be able to play a large variety of matches online using the Nintendo Wi-fi Connection, and you will be able to play both friends and random matches. The online functionality was sorely missed in last year’s Wii release, so it is great to see the Wii version with a non-friend-locked online mode.

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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