WWE SmackDown vs RAW 08 - hands-on

Sept 17, 2007

WWE's empire of brooding musclemen and wild theatrics has seen the light on most every console under the sun, generally with slight improvements considering the SmackDown franchise is released annually like other sports games. Not so for Nintendo's platforms, now seeing their first SmackDown outings. Keen on creating a separate, yet intuitive rasslin' experience for each console, THQ has crafted a peculiar fighting style for WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 08 on the DS, delivering something that's like brawling meets Elite Beat Agents.

It sounds a little strange, but bear with us. At no point will you use either the d-pad, the face or shoulder buttons: it's (boldly) all stylus. When the match starts, three icons appear on screen; 1) which is yellow, 2) orange and 3) red. These represent your attacks from easiest to strongest. Tap the yellow icon and you'll be prompted to slide the stylus along a yellow arrow. Doing it correctly results in a punch or basic strike. Tapping orange gives you access to your mid-range maneuvers, while tapping red will prompt you to rotate a circle in hopes of pulling off a grapple.