WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007
Wrestling, the Hollywood style. Never been a fan of it and even less of the games. And suddenly WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 falls in my mailbox, together with a Borat-like spandex, accompanying make-up and an inflattable babe with balcony to encourage me!
THQ and developer Yuke more than ever believe in this type of games and right they are. The amount of fans across the ocean is huge and also on this side of the Atlantic the genre continues to grow people that love it. Up to me to get those in doubt across the line and calm the fans of the series: version 2007 is quite ok!
The most important thing of this kind of games is and stays how well the controls play, how easy you can shake the boldest moves out of your sleeve and how many possibilities there are to, according to the premade deal, break the opponent’s neck, abuse chairs and arouse the audience. And that’s exactly where the makers hit the nail by going back to a control through the right stick in combination with the bumper for more advanced options. Easy to start with, very deep for those that want to specialise.
In stead of using combos you have to grab the enemy to do all kinds of attacks, special moves or grapples from that position. On top of that you get incredible interaction with the surroundings as the cherry on the pie. You can throw chairs, push people against poles, make air jumps, turn necks around a rope (or reverse) and use tv screens to bash heads.
Too bad then that you can’t keep doing this à volonté since you need to take into account the energy bar that slowly drains. The only solution is to take a breath now and then by doing nothing for a few seconds. This often breaks the action just when you’re starting to have fun and drops of sweat mingle with the loud yelling of the crowd.
Graphically the game is quite nicely made on the technical side, but the models still have too much problems from the Barbie-phenomenon (plastic and shiny) to make them look like the tough guys they are. Also their sometimes shaky movements break all too often the illusion. What does deserve some praise are the endless amount of possibilities to create your own character, the many playing possibilities and types of games, the extensive career mode where you make a name for yourself and the atmosphere that’s as over-the-top like the real thing!
If you want to wrestle, there’s no better option at the moment than WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007. Graphically on top, filled with possibilities added with an excellent and vast collection of moves and completed with a great control mechanism. Only the models should be a bit more realistic and also the energy meter could use some work