4 Ways SmackDown! 09 destroys competitors

With TNA iMPACT! hitting shelves last week, we thought we’d remind you of the other colossal wrasslin’ game this fall, the lengthily titled WWE SmackDown! vs RAW 09. This year’s annual (don’t call it an update) installment celebrates ten years of SmackDown-iness.

THQ “conveniently” happened by the GR tower last week to give us a better look before Smackdown! hits shelves this November. Not only were we incredibly impressed, but our expectations were subverted as well. Read on for why you should give a damn about this season’s three-count.

1) Road to Wrestlemania mode

Let’s get the big one out of the way: season/career mode has been revamped and replaced with six individual (and non-overlapping) story modes featuring specific World Wrestling Entertainment grapplers. Everybody - THQ included - was disappointed with last year’s ho-hum season mode. Now, Road to Wrestlemania enables you to play through the three months leading to Wrestlemania as either Triple H, CM Punk, Undertaker, John Cena, Chris Jericho and, in either single or co-op play, Batista and Rey Mysterio.

We were disappointed to hear this at first, considering we were just recently underwhelmed by TNA’s non-branching story mode and the idea that we wouldn’t be able to take our created wrestlers through the mode. THQ calmed our fears on the latter, cryptically alluding to a new unannounced feature. On the other hand, once we got a good look at Jericho’s story in action, our fears were alleviated.

After a hilarious introduction to Jericho, RAW started with all the fireworks, credits and camera angles we’ve been accustomed to seeing on TV. After winning a quick match against Jeff Hardy, Jericho’s “Save_Us” TitanTron entrance video went on the fritz, displaying the message “Terminate Jericho.” This completely shocked us, as this type of storytelling is usually reserved for television.

Immediately, we began to warm to this character-specific storyline, rather than an all-encompassing and ultimately boring regular season mode. THQ promises 5-6 hours of gameplay per story, ultimately creating about 30 hours of gameplay just from Road to Wrestlemania alone.

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  • Scotty2Naughty - September 17, 2008 3:03 p.m.

    Why does every screen look like the match is in a poorly lit bingo hall? The spectacle known as WWE is much more bright and colorful. Boo!!
  • LilBompie17 - September 16, 2008 8:51 p.m.

  • ELpork - September 15, 2008 11 p.m.

    Ohhh, Man p**n
  • CuddlyBomber - September 15, 2008 10:18 p.m.

    Hmmm a vidoe game about a fake sport...
  • qoyman - October 13, 2008 2:23 a.m.

    wait.. so theres not goin a GM mode?
  • chrisat928 - September 20, 2008 1:47 a.m.

    @ anduin1 You can only take 7 suoerstars through Road to Wrestlemania mode. There is a seperate season mode for all other wrestlers and CAWs.
  • anduin1 - September 17, 2008 5:49 a.m.

    can only take 6 different wrestlers through the storyline ? uhhh WEAK, I want to play a wrestling game not an rpg
  • RadicalVoodoo - September 16, 2008 8:50 p.m.

    I can't wait for this to come out. I can just imagine the fun of lighting your opponent on fire or nailing a move I made. Can't wait.
  • skyguy343 - September 15, 2008 7:21 p.m.

    first!!! this is gonna be sweet