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Amazes approach might not please every gamer despite it’s innovate approach. However if you’re looking for a console adaption for a portable, the PSP version is your answer. If you want something new from your WWE license then the Nintendo DS is your vice. Smackdown vs. Raw on the Nintendo DS can also complements the console version with its strategy approach to wrestling. If you’re a hardcore wrestling fan, then you owe it to yourself to check out this bold new direction on Nintendo’s portable. The ground work has been laid out and hopefully THQ sticks with Amaze Entertainment for next years edition of Smackdown vs. Raw. I believe in the DS's potential as a contender in 2009, showing the bigger consoles that being small, and less powerful doesn’t mean you’re a looser, just ask Rey Mysterio.
It was a risky move, as the core wrestling audience isn’t always up for a more strategic and tactical game when they could be button mashing all over the place, but the current experience lends itself well to DS’s somewhat limited 3D capabilities, the cinematic nature of wrestling, and the more tactical elements of the sport. The gameplay can become shallow a bit too quickly though, and while there are some solid match variations there’s never more than a one-on-one bout, and computer AI doesn’t do the game justice. In order to play multiplayer you’ll need to score two copies of the game, so it can take a ton of investment to get the most out of this year’s product. Hopefully next year brings more options, a bit more control over the wrestlers, and far more multiplayer modes, as this newcomer has the potential to become a true legend. If it’s given the right push, that is.
One of the most pleasant surprises you’ll find on the Nintendo DS, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 is a fun and interesting wrestling game if you give the intriguing controls a chance. With inventive use of the touch screen, the action is hard-hitting but the moves are not as diverse as other versions of this game. It’s still a game well worth playing if you own a Nintendo DS or love WWE wrestling.
Die Gameplay-Ansätze mit der Touchscreen-Einbindung sind prima, jedoch leidet der gewohnt dynamische Spielverlauf darunter. Der Spielfluss ist deutlich matter und es fehlt an gewohntem Spielraum, zum Beispiel wenn man den Ring verlassen möchte, um sich aus den Publikumsmengen einen Gegenstand zum Verdreschen seines Gegenübers zu beschaffen. Daher werden Fans der Serie ungestüm die Hände über dem Kopf zusammenschlagen. Wen das aber nicht stört, ohnehin viel eher an strategisch angehauchtem Arcade-Wrestling Interesse zeigt und den ausgiebigen Touchscreen-Einsatz zu schätzen weiß, darf gerne einen Blick riskieren.
It was really interesting watching this game play out, especially as I wasn't sure what to expect from a DS wrestling title. Unfortunately, the game really didn't stick with me, and the wrestling itself just felt stilted. Even in short bursts, the game really didn't feel natural to me, and spending so much time digging for those time tokens didn't help matters at all. Hopefully next year's title will show great improvement.
Assuming you can get used to the controls, you'll probably like the DS rendition of SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008 if you're in the market for some portable wrestling entertainment. It may not offer the sizeable cast and customization options that console-based wrestling games have, but the action is exciting and the atmosphere is frighteningly true to the soap opera-style pageantry that the WWE actually broadcasts.
It is true that most conversions to a handheld system sacrifice significant game content from their original versions. In the case of Smackdown on the DS this is very much true. The stylus based fighting system is certainly a new approach and although there are very few actual game modes, the game itself looks and plays decently. Hopefully, a more aggressive AI, and a less monotonous season mode will be added in next years versionl then, Smackdown VS RAW 2008 will only truly be enjoyed by the more hardcore wrestling fan, and even then mainly for the turn based novelty.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 is an interesting take on the in-game antics of the WWE Superstars, and one that really separates itself from the pack. It's not necessarily the best wrestling game put out by THQ this year, but it's easily the most innovative. It's a shame that the overall package is lacking in variety, one of the hallmarks of the console versions. There are only the season mode and a couple of bland single-player exhibition match types to choose from, though two players with their own carts could face off head-to-head, quite possibly where the most fun can be had. With more features and a handful of additional match types, this formula could one day result in great success. As it stands, it's fairly entertaining for a few hours, and not a bad way to get your fill of sports entertainment when on the go.
A fun control concept only works when the rest of the game works, too. Unfortunately, WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2008 featuring ECW for the NDS demonstrates this all too effectively, resulting in the weakest iteration of the series in quite a while. The concept, however, remains sound. Add more variety of situations, more and better modes of play, and implement the Create-a-Wrestler mode, and the end results could be very solid a year or two down the line. For now, it's at least worth borrowing from a friend or renting it just to try out the novelty of the new control scheme, but it's not really worth a purchase.
Décision audacieuse que de transformer ce qui aurait dû être un pur jeu de combat en une sorte de super "pierre, feuille, ciseaux" tactique et éminemment esthétique. Malheureusement, le concept, intéressant quelques minutes, perd vite de son attrait si on le pratique seul face à une intelligence artificielle qui ne mérite pas vraiment ce titre. Reste le multi, réussi, mais trop contraignant, puisque deux cartouches sont nécessaires pour le pratiquer. WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2008 vaut tout de même le coup d'oeil, ne serait-ce que pour sa réalisation hors-norme. Quant à l'acheter, c'est une toute autre histoire.
Pocket Gamer UK
The reality, however, is quite different. With no direct control over your wrestler, a weak single-player campaign and a script that's about as gripping as an in-flight airplane safety leaflet, this is one testosterone-fuelled experiment gone wrong.
Digital Entertainment News (den)
Wrestling games are going to keep coming, and it is good that the lessons learned from earlier sports games is ingrained into the developers. However, there does still seem to be a lot of caviler developers out there who think slapping stylus controls into a bad game will make you look the other way from bad design. This doesn’t happen. The DS and the Wii both in fact will call attention to how bad your game is. The control schemes are not able to carry a game, the controls are you port of entry into the game world, but focusing on that would be like a city fixing up its airport to attract tourists. It’ll get people into town, but they won’t be pleased if downtown is still a crumbling mess.