WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain
|WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain|
North American cover art featuring Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, The Undertaker, and Torrie Wilson
WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain (Known as Exciting Pro Wrestling 5 in Japan) is a video game released on the PlayStation 2 console by THQ on October 27, 2003. It is a sequel to WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth and is part of the WWE SmackDown! series based on World Wrestling Entertainment's weekly TV show of the same name. It was the first SmackDown! game to feature a catchphrase not linked back to The Rock in its title. It was also the final WWE game to solely use the SmackDown! name. It was succeeded by WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw.
The game introduced a more traditional grappling system while retaining the series’ fast gameplay. In this new grappling system also included were body damage meters, individual character scales that consisted of stats such as strength, endurance and speed, and submission meters for both the person applying the move and the person breaking out of the move. As well as the ability to break the submission hold when being close to the ropes. This game marks the first time the Elimination Chamber and the Bra and Panties Match would be featured in a wrestling game.
The game features a number of wrestlers who were members of the WWE roster at the time, but for the first time in a Smackdown game, this featured legends such as Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and The Undertaker (with his 90s gimmick), and more. Hulk Hogan, and Ultimate Warrior were in the game, but then removed before the game was released. This would be the final SmackDown!-branded game to feature Brock Lesnar, Val Venis, and Rikishi until WWE '13 (By that time Lesnar already returned to the main roster, Rikishi and Venis were downloadable content), as well as the only WWE licensed game to feature Ultimo Dragon and Sean O'Haire as playable characters. It is also the first game in the SmackDown! series to have John Cena, Batista, Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio as playable characters. This also marks the final time that Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock would appear in a SmackDown! game as non-legends until The Rock returned in 2011 and became exclusive downloadable content in WWE '12. This game also marked Goldberg's last appearance in a WWE game, until WWE 2K14. This is the last WWE game to feature Test. This game is the last appearance of Goldust until WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010. Also it is the last game to feature Undertaker with his biker gimmick until WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 and the first game to depict Kane without his mask.
The development version featured Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan (along with his alter-ego Mr. America and his 1980s appearance) and Ultimate Warrior. Hogan and Hardy were removed from the game when they left WWE and Warrior was omitted due to a legal dispute with the company. Data for other omitted wrestlers, including Spike Dudley, Billy Kidman, Billy Gunn, William Regal, Bradshaw, Molly Holly and 3-Minute Warning remains on the final discs, with none of them having any finished character models. The concept of having multiple versions of Hogan in one game was finally realized with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006.
Unlike its predecessors WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It and WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, no in-game commentary or ring entrance announcements were included. The only voice is the ref's voice, which is the same for both Earl Hebner and Mike Chioda. Its successor, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw would have extensive voice overs.
The game received favourable reviews and high scores from the critics. It gained an aggregate score of 86.46% from GameRankings based on 50 reviews, and an aggregate score of 85/100 from Metacritic based on 27 critics.
IGN rated the game a 9.1/10, calling it: "One of the best wrestling games we've ever played...With its ultra-improved gameplay mechanics, enhanced visual engine, smarter career mode, and established create-a-character feature, Yuke's and THQ are definitely the track to success." GameSpot rated it a 9/10, stating: "What the game lacks in innovation, however, is more than made up for in sheer playability." Eurogamer gave the game a rating of 9/10, calling it: "A superb blend of traditional and wrestling-specific fight mechanics, and there's so much variety here that it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say you could play this one from now until the next SmackDown without getting bored or running out of things to do."
Other reviews were more mixed. 1UP.com gave the game a B+ grade, stating: "The total package is solid, and while it's not the holy grail fans have hoped for since the N64's "No Mercy," it's light-years beyond what THQ used to try and sell under the SmackDown! name." The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine called it: "The first game in the series that tries to accommodate both sides by combining quick action with the technical elements of wrestling, and it works -- almost."
|1st British Academy Video Games Awards||Sports Game||Nominated|
|2003 Spike Video Game Awards||Best Sports Game|
|Best Fighting Game||Won|
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain for PlayStation 2 - GameRankings
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain Critic Reviews for PlayStation 2 at Metacritic.com
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain Review for PS2 from 1UP.com
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain - Overview - allgame
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain PlayStation 2 Review - GameSpot.com
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain Review - PlayStation 2 - Page 1 | Eurogamer.net
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain - PlayStation 2 Review at IGN
- Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Jan 2004, p.132.