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

The other thing I noticed about Smackdown vs. Raw '08 is a lot more detail in the audience. Where Smackdown games of yesteryear saw two-dimensional figures standing in the crowd with only a few different-looking audience members making the exact same motions, '08 features a more detailed audience with full three-dimensional figures to make things a lot more realistic. There is actually a level of interaction that you as a wrestler can have with various members of the crowd as well. As you walk along the barricade, some audience members outstretch weapons such as crutches or guitars that you can either grab from them and use on your opponent or throw your opponent into as your fan holds the weapon firmly in place. If you perform a taunt close enough to the barricade, you can sometimes perform a special interactive taunt with the audience.

WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2008 screenshot

It seems WWE has perhaps taken a page from the Def Jam book and made the game more interactive not only with the spectators but also with its environments. In a Parking Lot match, you can Irish whip your opponent into a parked vehicle, and as he lays unconscious against it you can grapple him and bash his head into the windshield to KO him instantly. Or, if you throw your opponent against the back of the parked hearse, you can perform a special finisher where your character pulls a coffin out the back and throws your opponent in to watch him get hauled off.

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What I really miss about the Hardcore matches in the WWE games is the ability to roam freely throughout the entire arena, traveling room-to-room with your opponent from the parking lot to the lobby o the dressing rooms. The Pin Falls Anywhere mode is completely gone, which was one of my favorite things about the older Smackdown games.

It is, however, nice to see WWE has done more voiceover and commentating work this time around. Where often commentating got repetitive and annoying after hours of gaming, the franchise has made sure to include lots of different hilarious bantering between JR and King, JBL and Michael Cole, and Joey Styles and Taz. It still gets repetitive after a while, but Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 has made a step in the right direction here - let's hope they continue it with future installments. Some superstars such as Kane have their own grunts and groans voiced over while they're wrestling as well, which is a nice touch.

There are a lot of nice improvements here. It just seems WWE could exceed fans' expectations, but they never really do. They continually add a few new interesting features each year knowing their loyal fans will probably purchase each edition regardless. Don't misinterpret me; Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 is good - but it's not great. Perhaps the franchise will start working harder in the future to give fans enough reason to purchase each installment year after year.

By Pete Richards
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Eight superstar fighting styles to choose from. Each fighting style has its own unique strategy with exclusive moves, abilities, attributes and more.
  • New Struggle Submission System gives players intuitive and natural control over their WWE Superstars. Realism and strategy are at the forefront, as players can now control the amount of pressure they apply.
  • ECW invades WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 with a variety of Superstars, arenas, and weapons.
  • Combining the popular Season and General Manager Modes from previous Smackdown vs. Raw games, WWE 24/7 Mode embraces the intensity of the Superstar lifestyle. Multiple character development options, stat tracking and career goals will guide players toward the ultimate achievement of becoming a Legend.
  • Numerous updates, including new rosters, more environmental hotspots, improved out-of-ring action, enhanced online community support, and much more!


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    4.0
    Graphics
    Stunning player models and animations makes this the most graphically impressive WWE title to date.
    3.4
    Control
    Standard WWE wrestling controls, with minor changes such as the new struggle submission system, making hardly any difference in gameplay.
    3.2
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Improved commentary is less repetitive than previous titles, but still needs work.
    3.0
    Play Value
    With few improvements from previous WWE titles, there is little reason to get overly excited about this title.
    3.4
    Overall Rating - Fair
    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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