WWE SmackDown! vs RAW 08 - updated hands-on

Sept 17, 2007

Before you get your tights in a bunch over how much you think the motion controls in the Wii’s first attempt at beefcake-theater will disappoint, we’re here to say that the mechanics don’t suck. Really. WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 08 provides - we’re happy to say - action that is quick, accessible and fluid, with your movements being as intuitive as they possibly can be from flashy taunts to punishing powerbombs. Check here for all the new screens.

Unlike the other SmackDown games, the Wii version was built from the ground up and lends a more arcade-y feel, without having to worry about bothersome stamina meters and long matches. We already mentioned the controls in our earlier Pre-E3 preview, but we’ve got a more detailed run-down of how it all works. A simple flick in one of four directions performs a basic strike - left performs a punch, while right throws a backhanded chop. Swinging the Nunchuck performs an Irish whip, while tilting the analog stick tosses your opponent to a desired location like ropes or turnbuckle. Don’t fear how long it takes for your moves to register either - while there’s no 1-1 ratio of remote swinging and your wrestler punching, it still feels pretty immediate.

There’s no run button either. If you’re far away from your opponent, push the analog stick towards them and flick the remote for a running clothesline or dropkick. Holding A and flicking in a direction results in your quick grapple move, such as atomic drop or enzuguri, while holding B and flicking goes for your power grapple like chokeslam or powerbomb - although they allow for a little more control.


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