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WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role

aka: Exciting Pro Wrestling 2, WWE Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role
Moby ID: 3904
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Description official descriptions

WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role is a wrestling game using the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) license, and a sequel to WWF Smackdown!. The game mostly follows the gameplay template of its predecessor, while expanding some of its features.

The sequel features a larger arsenal of moves, which not only includes signature moves of WWF wrestlers, but also those of other wrestling promotions, such as WCW, Japanese associations, etc. The game also adds striking moves in one-on-one matches and special double team moves.

The Season Mode from the previous game returns, adding more scenes depicting wrestlers preparing for a match, and featuring multiplayer support, with up to four players participating in a tournament. Create-A-Superstar mode has been enhanced, allowing the player to customize facial features and outfits of their wrestlers. A new Create-A-Taunt feature, in which the player can create a new taunt for a custom wrestler, has been added.

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Credits (PlayStation version)

102 People (70 developers, 32 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Producer
Executive Development Director
Executive Product Director
Director
Lead Game Designer
Game Designers
Game Menu Designer
Project Software Senior Engineer
Software Lead Engineers
Software Engineers
Art Director
Assistant Art Directors
Lead Modeler
Modelers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 19 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)

Arguably the best PS wrestling game, but not without its faults

The Good
First of all, let's get to the thing everyone should care the most about - the gameplay. The gameplay is smooth and the controls are really easy to get into. You won't have to spend hours or even days trying to figure out basic gameplay mechanics. All sorts of strikes, grapples and counters are easy to execute, they are done by holding down a direction on the D-Pad, then pressing O to do a grapple move, X to do a striking move and triangle to run towards a direction. To counter a move, one must hold square and then push the D-Pad in any direction at the right time. By inputting O without a direction, your wrestler picks the opponent up if he's on the ground or does an Irish Whip if he's standing. All wrestlers have their own moveset and a signature finisher they can do after they fill up their meter and then press L1 either when the opponent is groggy or on the ground, depending on the finisher itself. All moves are very well animated, too. Depending on the match type and settings that can be tweaked, it is possible win by TKO, submission or pin fall, while special match types, such as table or ladder matches, have different win conditions. There's also a lot that can be done in-game for it's time, such as piledriving opponents through a table, hitting them with weapons, doing double team moves in tag matches, doing special grapples and moves from turnbuckles, the ropes, hell, you can even do aerial moves from the top of a ladder or table. Hardcore and anywhere fall matches allow moving to locations at your will, you can even wrestle outside in the street (watch out or you'll get hit by a car) or in a bar, pretty neat I must say. All of this factors into a great multiplayer experience, just bring a friend over and you'll have a lot of fun, guaranteed. Even if they are new to the game you'll have an easy time explaining the controls to them and they'll get the hang of it very soon. This game isn't a realistic wrestling game, it's more aimed at being fun and fast-paced which is a very good thing because that's what it should be.

There's a ton of content and customization options too. An impressive roster from my favorite WWF era - The Attitude Era, including superstars like The Rock, Triple H or The Undertaker and even mid-card wrestlers like Gangrel, Funaki or Essa Rios. A plethora of match types are also included, from the usual single or tag matches, to some of the more interesting ones, like Hell in a Cell, where it's possible to fight on top of the cell, Rock Bottom someone THROUGH the cell or even do a Swanton Bomb off the top of the cell. The ability to not only create your own wrestlers, but taunts and stables as well! You can choose the appearance of your character, his moves, ability and even his personality or other traits. It is also very easy to make wrestlers who are not in the game, such as Big Show or British Bulldog, make wrestlers from other franchises or even make non-wrestler characters. All wrestlers also have their FULL entrance video and music in-game, which is a big plus. Not only that, but tag teams with their own entrance videos and music, such as T&A, The Hardy Boyz, The Dudleys and Christian&Edge have their own unique entrances!

The graphics are also pretty impressive for a Playstation game, but I honestly don't care about graphics except if they are a complete eyesore to me.

Now, even though I'm only going to have bad things to say about the game's season mode, I'll say that the cutscenes are enjoyable and that the storylines can be interesting too. There's quite a few PPVs in it too, which would make the season mode long, but for a good reason this time. The Belt Records are well done, showing not only who holds a belt currently, but it also shows who previously held the belt and for how long.

The Bad
The sound isn't great. There aren't a lot of sound effects, the crowd is too quiet and only has a handful of cheering sound effects. The background music is bland, too repetitive and sounds like crappy hard rock/heavy metal music, you're best off just shutting it off and putting on some Slayer.

While the full entrance videos and music are in the game, I find the actual entrances to be quite lackluster, the character is usually just shown walking and sometimes doing some stuff they are known for with the entrance video in the background, I'd personally prefer them going to the arena like in WWF No Mercy, but a bit better. I don't know if they could have done this, but it would be awesome for some wrestlers that have excellent entrances, like my personal favorite entrance by Gangrel, where he rises from a fiery circle with a chalice full of blood in his hands, walks to the ring, climbs the steps, then drinks blood from the chalice and spits it into the crowd.

Now, I mentioned the season mode being long, but it is so for all the bad reasons. If you're like me, you like your wrestling games with an at least decent season mode. The main problem is that there's way too much loading. Loading before a cutscene, watching the unskippable cutscene, loading after a cutscene and the one I hate the most, loading before a cutscene where your character gets attacked backstage, which makes it then load where you fight your attacker for a minute, after which it loads a loading screen which then loads to the next match, whatever it may be. When you skip a match, it doesn't just show you who won and who lost, no, you have to watch the portraits of the wrestlers with a little health bar underneath as it unpredictably diminishes and after some 30 seconds when one of them gets empty, then it's over. Also, if you don't choose a superstar or you make your own wrestler and put him in any league except the WWF Championship, you're not guaranteed to have a match every week, so sometimes you have to waste 20 minutes of your time on an event you weren't scheduled to be in. Another bad thing is that Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mr. Ass, Shawn Michaels, Debra, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, The Mean Street Posse, Cactus Jack, some moves and more than half of the match types have to be unlocked from the season mode! This is one of the rare games where I ENCOURAGE that you download a save game from the internet to unlock all of the unlockable content, because frankly it's not worth playing the season mode for half a year in real time to get all of this unlocked the legit way.

The Bottom Line
I'd say, it's a great game if you want to invite a couple of friends and have some matches together, the gameplay is smooth, straightforward, fast paced and most importantly a whole lot of fun and this game was never a miss in that respect. However, the Season mode is simply too much of a hassle which is a real shame because it just destroys any enjoyment you would have if you're just looking for a single player experience.

PlayStation · by ToMegaTherion (6) · 2013

Adding more features and improving a game by fixing what isn't broken.

The Good
The best part of this game would be the create a wrestler tool, after being heavily restricted to existing wrestlers attire in the first game, this time you can actually change the colours as well as the lengths of clothing and hair and completely customise the body shape/size. Another excellent addition is the ability to make fairly good representations for wrestlers from other federations. Several new match types were added which are somewhat new for a playstation wrestling title and add a new dimension to the game

The Bad
The most annoying thing about this game would have to be the time it takes to complete a show in season mode, in the original Smackdown the skip button would instantly jump to the end of the match, name a winer and move onto the next one. In this version the skip button takes you to a screen showing a mug shot of the participants and health bars that slowly drop until one is announced the winner (Which takes about 60 seconds) then you have to start again with the next match, there are usually five to six matches to get through so this makes the game very boring, not to mention that every few matches you have to wait for a cut scene to load which only plays for about 15 seconds, this might be fine if it didn't have to load the game engine every time it plays. The other problem that goes hand in hand with this is your character isn't guaranteed to even show up let alone wrestle on each show making the season mode more of a chore than an enjoyable experience. As with the original there is no commentary at all and only the occasional snippet from the invisible ref but they have removed the move display from the original which gave some illusion of commentary and if you tire of the small selection of bland BGM it leaves the game feeling empty. The sound effects are somewhat lacking, when a wrestler walks in a cut scene he sounds like he is stomping through mud, the crowd is almost always silent and when it does make a noise it's very quiet while big moves like a splash from the top rope make a sound similar to bouncing a flat beach ball.

The Bottom Line
While Smackdown 2 probably looks nicer and provides the most 'true to life' wrestling TV show, it does not match it in the long term playability area unless you absolutely love to watch all the matches and make up your own commentary, otherwise beating up your friends in exhibition matches is the most likely way you will get any enjoyment out of this game.

PlayStation · by Evil-Jim (145) · 2002

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Grant McLellan.

Additional contributors: Big John WV, DreinIX, Lance Boyle.

Game added April 23, 2001. Last modified December 13, 2023.