WWE SmackDown! Vs RAW 2008

But of course the actual fighting is a small part of the WWE experience. For every punch thrown, a word of testosterone-fueled trash talk is spat out, and half the fight time is spent on outlandish taunts. While we would certainly like to hear Ric Flair’s surreal “whoooo-ing” emitting from our remote speaker, it’s the heavy taunt-emphasis that Yuke’s have currently seen to.

With John Cena beaten to the floor, the player commanding Triple H seized the remote and nunchuk and thrust them towards his crotch in the formation of an X. Fans will recognize this as the “DX crotch chop” and lo and behold the digitized Triple H began performing the motion on screen. Just how much actual posturing was necessary to activate the gesture is questionable, but the concept of wrestler-specific taunts is enticing.

This is WWE for everybody. By moving the focus off of button presses, Yuke’s have created a simpler, if slightly watered down, move set. As a result, the Wii version feels more arcade-y than the other next-gen versions. Gone are complicated stamina bars, analog controlled submission battles and all those elements that have alienated newcomers to the series in the past.

As THQ Creative Director Bryan Williams said to us after the demonstration, “the Wii is a pick up and play console, and we want to take advantage of that and make a pick up and play game.” If anything, we’d go one step further and point out that WWE is itself of a similar ilk. There’s something instantly accessible and entertaining about a man being kicked through a ladder, or a 420lb giant being smacked with a metal chair - it’s the perfect “pick up and enjoy” sporting event, and it’s just waiting to be picked up and played on Wii.


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