WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008
|WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008|
NTSC cover art featuring John Cena, The Undertaker and Bobby Lashley
|Series||SmackDown vs. Raw|
Nintendo DS card
Wii optical disc
Universal Media Disc
and THQ Mobile
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 is a professional wrestling video game developed by Yuke's and released on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS video game consoles by THQ in November 2007. Amaze Entertainment oversaw development for the Nintendo DS version.
The game is the ninth edition of the long-running WWE SmackDown vs. Raw (later renamed to simply WWE) video game series based on the professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It is the sequel to 2006's WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, succeeded by WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, and is the first WWE game to include the promotion's ECW brand. It is also the first WWE game to be available for all seventh generation game consoles.
Each wrestler now has two fighting style categories, one primary and one secondary. Each fighting style has its advantages and disadvantages in each particular match type. There are eight styles altogether: high-flyer, hardcore, submission artist, powerhouse, showman, brawler, dirty and technical. In addition, creative manager of THQ Cory Ledesma stated early in production that he planned on having numerous wrestler animations redone.
A new "struggle submission system" has been introduced, incorporating more analog control into the game. The player executing the submission can now decide how much pressure is applied by moving the analog stick in a particular direction. Similarly, the player locked in a submission hold will have to power out also by using the analog stick.
The game features the revived ECW brand, and it takes its place alongside the established Raw and SmackDown! brands. The official box art features the ECW logo prominently. The game's ECW branding has expanded the number of weapons available under the ring during gameplay. New weapons such as guitars are available and tables and barbed wire bats can be set on fire. Despite the inclusion of the brand, the video game franchise will keep its SmackDown! vs. Raw name, although an early logo included "ECW Invasion" in the title. It has been changed, however, to "Featuring ECW".
The game features several arenas that WWE held events at in 2006 and 2007. There are also arenas based on each WWE television show.
The game allows several different game modes to be played, each with different goals and options. The Season and General Manager Modes of previous games have been merged into the new "WWE 24/7" mode, which takes its name from WWE's video on demand service. Players can choose to play one of the game's included superstars or create a superstar, or as a general manager of one of the brand. Playing as a wrestler, the goal is to take that wrestler and achieve "legend" status. In order to do so, the player has to win matches, team with and feud with other wrestlers, and gain popularity. At the same time, they must choose whether to train, exercise, relax, or take part in other activities when not wrestling, all with their own positive and negative effects.(The player could only choose to be either on the Smackdown brand or the Raw brand, as the ECW brand was excluded).
Playing as a general manager is similar to the previous General Manager modes in the series, in which one has to choose a brand and act as its General Manager (Jonathan Coachman for Raw, Theodore Long for SmackDown!, Tommy Dreamer for ECW), draft a roster and make decisions to make it the most popular brand of the three. The General Manager is allowed to make staffing decisions, schedule workouts and events. This was also the last game in the Smackdown vs Raw series to have a General Manager mode. There is also an all-new Tournament Mode, which allows the player to control a superstar through the various stages of the WWE tournament, such as Beat The Clock Sprint and King of the Ring, as well as Money in the Bank tournament. The game also allows you to create your own tournament. (This is featured only on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Wii.) Like previous games in the series, the game also allows players to challenge for and defend championships. The game includes championships used by the WWE in 2007, bringing back the branded championships from the previous game and for the first time, the ECW Championship.
Fighting Style System
The game featured the Fighting Style System which would not appear in later games. With each style, the character would adopt a series of preset abilities. And, depending on primary ability, they would also be able to perform a unique move that can only be activated if the player has a stored finisher icon.
The fighting styles were Powerhouse, Showman, Hardcore, Dirty, Brawler, High-Flyer, Submission and Technical. This system was highly criticised as these pre-setting gave some wrestlers abilities which they cannot actually use, or stopped them from using common moves. For example, Carlito and Chavo Guerrero did not have the ability to perform any of their springboard attacks, and Mr. McMahon was as strong as some of the larger characters in the game. Also, the choice of fighting styles limited the variety of moves available in create-a-moveset.
Wrestlers with the powerhouse fighting style could break out of a pin attempt with just one button press, unless they had sustained a large amount of arm damage. They could also do a powerful Irish Whip (later named a 'Hammer Throw'), which could cause damage if the opponent hit the corner turnbuckles. A player (regardless of weight) could be sent reeling over the top rope with the force of this move. Their special ability was called 'Rampage', a temporary adrenaline rush in which their grapple moves could not be reversed or blocked.
Technical wrestlers automatically reversed all quick grapple moves until they had taken a good deal of arm damage. They also had the ability to perform diving attacks onto opponents outside of the ring. Their special ability was an adrenaline rush that allowed them to counter every attack for a limited time.
Showman is one of the more common kinds. Performing taunts or dives from higher positions caused a faster rise in momentum. They also had 2 special abilities. One allowed them to perform one of their opponent's taunts, and if uninterrupted, the opponent would be unable to gain any momentum for a limited time. They could alternatively copy their opponent's finishing move if in the correct position to do so. However, the copied move would be weaker than the original.
The most common kind is the Brawler. Brawlers can sit on a downed opponent and punch their opponent's head repeatedly. They also had a special combination of 3 to 5 strikes. If the first strike connects, the defending wrestler would not be able to block, avoid or counter the remainder of the strikes in the combination. Their special ability was called 'Wreck Shop', a limited adrenaline rush in which all opponent strikes would be countered and all strikes became unblockable.
High-flyers could perform springboard diving attacks to opponents inside or outside of the ring. Instead of countering or side-stepping attacks, they would perform an evasive roll. Their special ability was a possum pin. After recovering from being knocked down, a high-flyer can remain on the ground. If the attacker attempts a grapple move, the defending wrestler will go for a pin attempt which is difficult to break out of. However, if the opponent attempts a strike, then the pin attempt is lost.
Submission wrestlers can break out of Struggle Submissions with ease. They can also force an opponent to submit to any Struggle Submission, even if it is not a finisher or signature move.
Dirty wrestlers could perform dirty moves, which boosted their momentum faster. They could also remove turnbuckle covers and use weapons to build momentum. They could also use the referee as a human shield, making themselves immune to all attacks. When they release the referee, they shove him into the opponent. This is difficult to avoid and momentarily stuns the opponent and the referee. Their special move involves an eye-poke and a low blow which causes a lot of damage to the head and torso.
Hardcore wrestlers get momentum bonuses for using weapons. They could also perform grapple moves while holding a weapon. If they try to use a steel chair with full momentum, they automatically perform the Steel Chair DDT. If they are caused to bleed, they instantly get full momentum. Their special move can only be performed with a steel chair in hand. They strike themselves in the face repeated until they bleed. While this causes full momentum, it also causes critical head damage.
ECW made its first appearance in the series, as its superstars Tommy Dreamer, CM Punk, Elijah Burke and Kelly Kelly made their debuts. Cryme Tyme, MVP and Ashley made their first appearance as playable superstars and diva. Kenny Dykstra, Marcus Cor Von, Sandman and Sabu also made their only WWE game appearances. This is also Michelle McCool's first WWE game appearance since WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006. This is also Bobby Lashley, Gregory Helms, and Torrie Wilson's last WWE game, as well as Booker T and Ric Flair as active wrestlers, although Gregory Helms' alternative ego, "The Hurricane" is an unplayable character on the Road To WrestleMania storylines for Christian & Rey Mysterio in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011. Mick Foley is also a playable character in WWE '12 available as DLC in Early 2012. This was also the first time that Jeff Hardy was a playable character since Shut Your Mouth, the last time John Hennigan appeared as Johnny Nitro, he appears in games after this one as John Morrison. This is the last game to feature Randy Orton with his Legend Killer gimmick. This is also the first game to feature John Cena without his rapping character. This is also the last game to feature the trapizoid Raw Titantron Stage, the SmackDown! Fist Stage and the old ECW stage but now named as ECW One Night Stand.
This is the only game in the series to feature the 'ECW Legends' roster. By default, there are only three members of this roster: Sabu, Terry Funk, and Tommy Dreamer. Sandman, however, is on the RAW roster due to his final few WWE appearances being an official part of this brand. Although Tommy Dreamer appeared in the game as an ECW Legend, he was an active competitor in ECW for the next two years, but at the time had not established himself as the only ECW legend remaining in WWE.
Sergeant Slaughter, Eddie Guerrero and Jim Neidhart were all originally intended to be included as playable legend characters on the PlayStation 2 version of the game. Close to the release of the game, the decision was made to make them exclusive to PlayStation Portable. As a result, the character models for each character were removed from the game. All of their unique moves and entrance animations can still be assigned to other characters within the game. Complete moves sets, entrance videos and announcer introductions remain on the game disc, but can only be accessed via cheat devices.
This is the first game in the series not to feature Chris Benoit after his double murder and suicide in June 2007. All material related to Benoit were removed or made unavailable through normal means, including all versions of crossface and the diving headbutt. However, you could still find an entrance similar to his from WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007. An empty character space, known as "No Model 03" still has a complete moveset and attributes for Benoit, complete with many of Benoit's unique moves which still remain locked. Like the other removed characters, these can only be accessed via a cheat device.
|8Ball & MJG||"Stand Up"|
|AM Conspiracy||"Right on Time"|
|Chevelle||"Well Enough Alone"|
|Hellyeah||"You Wouldn't Know"|
|Nobody Famous||"Go Hard"|
|Project 86||"Evil (A Chorus of Resistance)"|
|Project 86||"Put Your Lips to the TV"|
|Puddle of Mudd||"Famous"|
²A different version of Everybody Down was used in this game.
Graphics and gameplay are similar to the previous years in the SvR series. It also includes the new 24/7 mode which includes Become a Legend or GM Mode where you can also train superstars and gain them popularity. It also includes the New Fighting Style System.
Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
The Xbox 360 and PS3 has the custom soundtrack feature which people can import their own music in superstars entrances. However, the PS3 also has a first person view in entrances where people can control where the superstar looks with the sixaxis controller.
The PS3 version also had a special "Collector's Edition" which came with a DVD detailing the game, a Kelly Kelly trading card, and a booklet featuring various superstars signature moves.
The Xbox 360 version also had special "High Flyer" and "Dirty" Editions which came with Special Edition Slipcase, "I'm a High Flyer" or "I Fight Dirty" T-shirts, 1 page Kelly Kelly calendar, 8 Numbered Limited Edition "Fighting Styles" Postcards, and a "Create a Superstar" Mini Guide.
Instead of featuring 24/7 mode, it features Main Event Mode, where you can play as a created superstar and rise to the top. The Wii version of the game features only chairs as the exclusive weapons. Also the Wii version only has 5 match types such as Singles Match, Hardcore Match, Tag Team Match, Triple Threat Match and Knockout Match.
This would be the last game to feature the Buried Alive Match, as it would not appear in its sequel SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, or any other games to follow.
This game received mostly mixed and negative reviews because of recycled gameplay and was highly criticized for not living up to the standards as previous games of the series. On GameRankings the game holds a score of 73.60%, 61.40%, 66.20%, 71.72%, 70.25% and 61.07% respectively for these versions. The Official Xbox Magazine gave the game an 8.5/10. The game received an 8/10 on Game Informer. Based on ratings, the game was the lowest rated in the series and was received as a disappointment by GameSpot.
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- IGN: WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 Image
- "WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008 Collector's Edition for PS3 at GameZone.com". GameZone.
- "WWE Smackdown Vs RAW 2008 High Flyer - XBOX 360". Game Head.
- WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 (NDS) | (PS2) | (PS3) | (PSP) | (Wii) | (Xbox 360) at GameSpot
- WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 (NDS) | (PS2) | (PS3) | (PSP) | (Wii) | (Xbox 360) at IGN
- WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 at the Internet Movie Database