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Tuesday 26 September 2006
Though it's been cancelled for PS3, the good news is that SmackDown's forging ahead on every other format like an angry Viking - as shown when publisher THQ dropped by our office to demo the WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2007's new features.
With only one new match type - the six-man Money in the Bank ladder match that's stolen the show at the last two WrestleManias - the focus this time has shifted firmly towards SmackDown's control system.
For a start, all the grappling moves have shifted to the right analogue stick - flicking the stick in any direction performs a quick grapple, while holding down R1 prompts wrestlers to 'lock up' in a submission, technical, power or signature move. Once your opponent's aloft - in a fireman's carry, say - on-screen prompts allow for slams, backbreakers, or even throwing an opponent clear over the ropes.
Above: Get your opponent up in the air to perform a slam, backbreaker or to just toss them over the ropes
It's an interesting system, and a helpful side-effect is that there's no more fiddling about with awkward button combinations - X now works as a universal 'interact' button, prompting wrestlers to pick things up, climb in and out of the ring, or interact with scenery.