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WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009

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WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009
SmackDownvsRaw09
Developer(s) Yuke's
TOSE (Nintendo DS)
Publisher(s) THQ
Series SmackDown vs. RAW
Released NA November 9, 2008
EU November 7, 2008
AUS November 6, 2008
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
PlayStation Portable
Wii
Nintendo DS
Xbox 360
Mobile
Genre(s) Professional wrestling
Mode(s) Single player
Multiplayer
Multiplayer online

WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2009 is a professional wrestling video game developed by Yuke's and published by THQ for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Xbox 360 video game consoles. It is the tenth video game in the WWE SmackDown series, and is the sequel to its predecessor, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008. TOSE oversaw development for the Nintendo DS version. The game was released on November 9, 2008 in North America.

The video game is based on the professional wrestling promotion, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and is named after two of the promotion's three brands, Raw and SmackDown. The game introduced a few key new features including the Inferno match, a revamped tag team match, and four new game modes: Create-A-Finisher, Road to WrestleMania, Career and multiplayer season.

GameplayEdit

Match gameplayEdit

SmackDownvsRaw09 - TagTeam

Tag teams are a major focus in this game with a reworked tag team match and co-operative season mode.

One of the game's most prominent features is the enhanced tag team match. Additions in the match include new ways of tagging the player's tag team partner such as the reversible hot tag, which can help save the player in the match if they are in trouble, and the forced blind tag, where the partner tags themself into the ring. The player's tag team partner has more of a part to play in this match and will aid the player by holding an opponent by the ropes while on the apron, and the pulling down the ropes for an opponent dashing towards them, sending them out of the ring. Teams will now share their own momentum meter, attributes and double team finishers.

Tag teams are a major focus in this game with a reworked tag team match and co-operative season mode. SmackDown vs. RAW 2009 is the first WWE video game to include the Inferno match, a match where the player has to set their opponent on fire. Unlike the real life match which takes place with the ring surrounded by fire coming from gas fed pipes, the ring ropes themselves are on fire. To win the player must increase the temperature of the ring by performing more devastating moves. As soon as the temperature reaches 500°F (or in the EU version 300°C), the player can then begin to set their opponent on fire.

Several matches absent in previous games also returned to the series. The backstage brawl, where players can battle in either the locker room or the backstage "gorilla position" with a variety of weapons at their disposal, returned and replaced the parking lot brawl match featured in the last game. The Gauntlet match also returned, which was featured in earlier games as the Slobberknocker match before its removal.

Both the Wii and DS versions now include new match types, such as the Steel Cage and Ladder match, with the DS version in addition also featuring tables and TLC matches.

Fighting styles, a major feature from the previous version, were removed. However, the fighting abilities used there were kept and enhanced with each wrestler possessing six out of twenty different abilities that would aid the player in specific areas. New to the game is the inclusion of signature moves, moves secondary in importance next to their finishing moves. When in full momentum, the players can choose to store a signature move instead of performing a finishing move which they can perform later.

A new semi-auto targeting system was implemented into the game, which will generally automatically target a particular wrestler the player wants to attack but can also be controlled in-game by the player.

Japanese company TOSE took over from Amaze Entertainment in development for the Nintendo DS version. Unlike the previous year's game whose gameplay was focused exclusively on the handheld's stylus, this year's edition instead uses by default the D-pad for movement and the left shoulder button for finishing moves. The DS version's gameplay is now similar to that from the other consoles with full movement control around the ring for the wrestler and a stamina meter to build up for a finishing move. Grappling, attacks and submissions will still be controlled by the stylus.

Game modesEdit

Road to WrestleManiaEdit

For the PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3 version, a new season mode entitled Road to WrestleMania replaced the previous version's season mode, 24/7 Mode. In this new mode, players can choose from five superstars to play as in single-player storylines: Triple H, CM Punk, The Undertaker, John Cena, or Chris Jericho. The storylines featured in the mode are tailor made to fit the chosen wrestler's character with each cutscene made exclusively for the wrestler. As part of the game's new emphasis on tag teams, a co-operative storyline was also included in the mode, in which players can take the parts of Batista and Rey Mysterio respectively. For the first time. the Wii version will also include the Road to WrestleMania mode, replacing their equivalent Main Event mode in the previous edition.

Career ModeEdit

The other new mode featured in the game is the Career mode, replacing the General Manager (GM) mode from the previous game. Unlike the Road to WrestleMania mode, all characters featured in the game are eligible to play including wrestlers created by the player in Create-A-Superstar mode. The main aim of this mode is for the player to fight their way up the rankings for a particular title of their choice, in match types that they can also choose. After each match, the player's character is awarded attribute points based on the style of wrestling the player used.

Nintendo DSEdit

Partly inspired by the TOSE-developed game, Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, the Nintendo DS version has an RPG element to their season mode. Players will be able to roam around the arena, improve their characters through the training room or WWE Shop and interact with superstars to start feuds. The player is given missions to complete in order to become a champion. Created wrestlers will be eligible to use in this career mode.

Create modesEdit

SmackDownvsRaw09 - Finisher

A screenshot of the new Create-A-Finisher mode, where players can form their own finishing move.

The series features a new Create Mode: The Create-A-Finisher feature. In it, the player has the ability to chain a selection of up to 10 out of over 500 animations to make unique finishing moves along with the choice to speed up or slow down the animations. Created finishers are limited to moves starting with both wrestlers standing face-to-face, with THQ suggesting future games will develop on more starting positions. The Create-A-Finisher feature is not available on the Wii version of the game.

The other major new addition to the game's create modes is the addition of the Highlight Reel, where players can record the last 30 seconds of an ongoing match, and edit the clips together afterwards with custom camera angles and added visual and sound effects. Players can save up to 20 files and can upload them for online users to see. The mode is featured on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Both Create-A-Finisher and Highlight Reel have replaced the Create-A-Belt feature, which was taken out due its lack of support from fans.

The Create-A-Superstar mode in the major console but now features physics-based clothing items that will sway around realistically such as loose clothing and necklaces. About 70% of the parts in the mode are now 3D with about 25 to 30% of the mode featuring new content. For the first time, the Nintendo DS version features a limited version of the Create-A-Superstar mode.

A roster editor has also been introduced to change the wrestler's brand, face/heel disposition and titles for exhibition matches. The game's Create-A-Stable mode has also been incorporated into the editor under the Team Management name.

The Create-An-Entrance mode has now been extended to feature created entrances for tag teams. The Wii version will feature a Create-An-Entrance mode like the other versions except a limited created entrance for tag teams. Instead, utilizing the Wii Remote and nunchuk, it will feature interactive entrances and victory celebrations, such as posing or beating down an opponent post-match. Successful poses during the player's entrance will give them more momentum and bonuses at the start of the match.

Online featuresEdit

The Wii version now includes online gameplay as well as rankings. Voice chat functionality for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were confirmed (also note that if a tattoo is used on your created superstar, he/she will not be prohibited online). However, online play is not available for the PlayStation 2 version.

After complaints about outdated rosters in the previous games, THQ stated that the game will provide downloadable content to keep the game as up to date as possible with new wrestlers and alternate attires.

RosterEdit

SvR '09, like previous games in the series, features actual superstars from the WWE. The roster in the 2009 edition is split into six classifications: Raw brand, SmackDown brand, ECW brand, free agents, legends and an unlockable WCW classification. Despite the available classification, it is the first time since WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth to not feature any legends. This coincides with the development of the 2009 game WWE Legends of WrestleMania. According to THQ, there is no particular cutoff date in which the roster is locked down due to continued release of downloadable superstars. Wrestlers featured in the game include:

RAW SmackDown ECW

Ashley, Jeff Hardy[c], Beth Phoenix, Candice Michelle, Charlie Haas[b], Chris Jericho[c], Maria, CM Punk[c], Cody Rhodes[c], Hardcore Holly[c], JBL[c], Jillian Hall[a], John Cena[c],Trevor Murdoch, JTG, Mr.Kennedy[c], DH Smith, Lance Cade, Tazz[a], Melina[a], Mickie James[a], Mr. McMahon[a], Paul London, Randy Orton[c], Triple H[c], Santino Marella[c], Umaga, Shawn Michaels[c], Snitsky[a], Ted DiBiase[b], Tony[a], William Regal,Vader,Angel Medina

Hornswoggle V[c], Big Show[c], Brian Kendrick, Carlito[c], Curt Hawkins[a], Edge[c], Festus, The Great Khali[c], Deuce[c], Jesse, Jimmy Wang Yang[c], Chuck Palumbo,Trevor Murdoch, Batista[c], MVP[c], Ric Flair[a], Finlay, Mark Herny[b], Trevor Murdoch, Rey Mysterio[c], Shad[c], The Undertaker[c], Victoria, Zack Ryder[a],Mike Awesome,Axl Rotten

The Boogeyman[a], Chavo Guerrero, Elijah Burke[c], Evan Bourne[b], Shelton Benjamin[c], Big Daddy V[d], John Morrison[c], Kelly Kelly, Masked Kane[c], Kane[c], Matt Hardy[c], The Miz, Layla[a], Tommy Dreamer[c],Balls Mahoney,Bobby Lashley

a. ^ These superstars are unlockable characters

b. ^ These superstars are downloadable content characters.

c. ^ These superstars are featured in the Nintendo DS version.

d. ^ This superstar is an unlockable manager.

Downloadable contentEdit

WWE confirmed in late-2008, via their official website, that downloadable content would be available for the Xbox 360's Xbox Live and for the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network computer entertainment system. Download Pack 1 will cost US$4.99 for the Playstation Network and 400 points for the Xbox Live; this download includes Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, Jr., and Charlie Haas as playable characters, along with an alternate attire for Chris Jericho. Exclusive to the PlayStation Network will be alternate attires for Kane, Edge, MVP, Kelly Kelly, and Maria. The PS3 Pack was released in the US on January 8th 2009.

DevelopmentEdit

The in-game commentary in the major console versions feature three announcing teams like the previous version but has more of a play-by-play aspect this time. According to THQ, loading times for the game have been reduced by 50%, affecting such areas as wrestler entrances.

SoundtrackEdit

P.O.D. contributed with two of their songs, "Addicted" and "Booyaka 619", featured in the game's soundtrack.Unlike the previous games in the series, the soundtrack consists of a mixture of entrance theme songs used by the wrestlers (many of which are composed by WWE's music director Jim Johnston) and licensed songs. For the first time, entrance theme songs can also be played in the game's menus. The licensed songs in the soundtrack are:

Artist Song
P.O.D Addicted
Six Better Than Mine
Bloodsimple Get Up
The Exies Lay Your Money Down
Disturbed Perfect Insanity
Burn Halo Save Me
MURS SWC
Egypt Central Taking You Down
Egypt Central You Make Me Sick

Marketing and releaseEdit

WWE SvR 09 Collector's Edition

The contents of the Collector's Edition for the PlayStation 3 in North America.

Production of the game was officially announced on March 27, 2008 by IGN and THQ. IGN released their first video game trailer and screenshots for SmackDown vs. Raw 2009. The trailer featured The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) in a tag team match against Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy at the SummerSlam pay-per-view and the new tag team match features were explained. A commercial for the game was released in October, starring Triple H along with John Cena, Batista, Big Show, Hornswoggle and Kelly Kelly.

A demo for the game was released in October for the PlayStation 3 console, featuring the singles and tag team matches with Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Shawn Michaels and Triple H as playable characters.

As with the previous game, a special collector's edition of SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 for the PlayStation 3 was released, which includes the game, special steel cage packaging, and a Blu-ray Disc featuring matches from Raw and SmackDown shows as well as a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the game.

ReceptionEdit

The game has received generally positive reviews from gaming critics. Critics generally praised the Road to WrestleMania. IGN were however more critical of the game, calling the gameplay "noticeably stale" from previous games and citing the Highlight Reel and Create-A-Finisher modes as limited.

GameSpot gave the console versions a 7.5 out of 10, lauding the game's graphics and the large number of moves, match types, single player modes and improved AI. Some aspects of the game's presentation were criticized, particularly movement animations, clipping issues and weak sound effects.

While the reception for the Nintendo DS version was varied between critics, both IGN and GamesMaster gave criticism for its touch-screen control scheme, suggesting that button-based control would have been more ideal.

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