WWE SmackDown vs RAW 08 - hands-on

Once you initiate a grapple, you'll be prompted with the same icons, giving you access to varying levels of power moves to pull off. Here's an example: say you're Triple H and you successfully initiated a grapple, tap one of the icons and you'll see a yellow arrow pointing downwards. Slide the stylus down and you'll DDT your opponent's head into the mat. Hit the red icon to rotate another circle successfully and you'll powerbomb his sorry ass. It's difficult to explain, yet handles fluidly once you begin to play.

Your opponent can reverse your moves at any time, meaning the longer it takes you to rotate that circle or repeatedly drag an arrow, the more likely you'll be hit with a basic strike by your enemy. The system is actually rather robust, even allowing run-in characters and weapon pummeling in the Hardcore mode we tried. As Triple H, we were getting destroyed, to the point where the crowd was cheering our name. Once this momentum swung in our favor, we were able to hit an icon that prompted Shawn Michaels to run in and make the save. One piledriver to Carlito later and we had the upper hand.

Each body part can take damage, increasing your likelihood of getting pinned, submitting or falling victim to a finisher. Since there's no stamina gauge to watch, matches are always a back-and-forth affair, so you'll never get too far behind. However, take too much damage and the game will take longer to recognize your screen-scrubbing reversal attempts, so try not to get your ass kicked too hard.