Man invented sports so he could stop fighting and start competing as a method to show off his skills. We went back to fighting in no time and so we have the violent sports we've come to know and appreciate: K1, wrestling, boxing, street fighting and many more. Well, some of them go beyond the "sport" concept and others are even illegal. Wrestling has become a phenomenon that's more important than American football in some regions of the USA. Keep a man at the office in a WWE night and you're bound to see strikes and people quitting their jobs. Once you've watched a wrestling show for the first time, it's in your blood and you'll want more and more each time. Stuck while playing the game? Check out the cheats
section if you want to unlock new characters and moves.Story
The only stories you'll hear in WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2007
are the rivalries between the hundreds of fighters and the reasons for those animosities. Basically, they don't even know each other, that's a reason good enough to smash someone's head with a chair and claim his championship belt. Concept
In this title, producers seem to have forgotten that we gamers are called that way because we transformed the noun "game" into a verb - "to game", creating the new noun "gamer" immediately afterwards. And what does that say? We love playing games, enjoying the graphics, analyzing gameplay, sharing experiences, listening to the soundtrack and watching cutscenes. In WWE 2007, we must take a patience test, because of the never-ending customization process. Here's the best example for that: the locker room mode. You'll be able to customize the fighter's chill out place, where he prepares for the great fight. Setup the room lighting, the wall pattern, choose a set of stairs, select some new furniture, just a lot of options that will give you nothing more than headaches.
Leaving the customization-related frustrations aside, you can select the Exhibition mode from the main menu if you're in a hurry and need to play a violent match badly. In this mode, you'll also have the option of picking one of the many sub-modes: Single, Tag Team, Triple Threat, Fatal 4 Way, Royal Rumble, Main Events or Title Match. You can select a manager or manage a fighter yourself, perhaps you'd like a certain player number 2 to be your manager by inserting a second joystick in the PS2 port. The many sub-modes you saw earlier are also divided into other sub-sub-modes, making a rushed gamer angry with all this choosing. You can play some sort of a versus match with the CPU, or make a party and start a three-on-three match or a 4-way fight. Also, if you're in for some tough challenges, choose a handicap to let the opponent start the fight with an advantage.
Royal Rumble is a massive battle that involves all the players available in WWE and it's practically a quick way to gather 30 people in a small perimeter and make them go berserk, throwing chairs at each other and breaking their bones. There's also a way to fight inside a steel cage and let me tell you that there's no escape once you enter that deadly trap. Prepare to be dismembered and I'm not using a metaphor as guys like Hulk Hogan will almost rip you apart by dragging your fainted body around and slamming it to the walls. There's no discrimination in WWE or RAW, as both sports allow men and women to compete, but in their separate categories, according to their weight or experience.
Back to the infernal main menu, you aren't safe yet as many options are to be customized and game modes to be selected. If you're a cerebral gamer (is there any such thing?) you might want to check out the season mode or the general manager mode. Seriously speaking, what's so fascinating about getting sponsors, making contracts and watching your fighter do his job. The messages will be delivered on a mobile phone screen and you'll be able to create rivalries through pre-match declarations and taunts. If your guy gets the golden belt, you're loaded! Thank God there's no manager room customizing, since this is no house decorating simulator.
Frustrated by all these modes and options? Create your own competition, name it, pick an arena, the number of matches and the guys to do the commentary. There's also an option called Create modes which allows you to make your own superstar, your own move set, championship and stable. You won't be able to create a Hulk Hogan right from the start, but you can use some of the samples that the producers offer you. You start out with a guy in his underwear and you'll tweak and customize every muscle of his body, inputing his name, nickname and introduction. Pick a home town, the gender, weight class, match tactic, voice type, so many options really remind me of Mortal Kombat Armageddon's Kreate a Fighter Mode or the endless customizing sessions that the latest FIFA games offered us. Even if the newborn fighter is a fat lady with spikes on her leather jacket or a slim guy with a red mask and horns, it all comes down to the fighting techniques.
Speaking of which, you should remember to create a move set, by using dashes, rope diving skills or special moves. The combos you make are the combos you'll do throughout the game with the character of your choice. 40% of a wrestling match you see on TV is the entrance of the fighter and his introduction. "Coming from Hell, this huge beast will rock this place with his cruelty and devastating blows!", that's how it all sounds accompanied by rock tunes and fireworks. You'll be able to create that special atmosphere that makes the arenas in the US get filled with fans. Setup fireworks, choose the lighting angle, set the music and the cameras, place a ramp and preview the whole thing to see the introduction of your fighter.
When you're playing a game that offers you tons of options and customizable aspects big loading times are exactly what you don't need. Well...guess what? Those loading times are pretty big and you'll get angry while mashing the buttons to skip the many entrances in a tag fight. Take it slow and watch the tutorial movies a bit before going into a real fight. You'll
learn new strategies, combat moves and see the new features of the 2007 installment of the best wrestling game on the market. WWE vs RAW 2007 offers some famous playgrounds for all of your wrestling fans out there: Velocity, Heat, Judgment Day or Armageddon being only the tip of the iceberg. Those names aren't only for fun, I can tell you that!Gameplay
Nobody cares about the game's many options when the lights are on and the show begins. Listen to the rock tunes, listen to the crowd screaming for blood and pain and you'll enjoy an experience that surpasses the adrenaline burst of televised WWE match. Enter the ring and smack your opponent, drag him on the floor and hold him down for 3 seconds to win. It's magnificent when the crowd, commentator and referee count to the end of the round, but your foe might get up at any time and kick you till you're down and getting a countdown. The analog sticks are extremely useful in WWE vs RAW 2007 since you won't be able to make a single combo without those two.
Pressing the left analog stick together with the triangle button, while you're near the edge of the ring will make your fighter jump on the opponent by using the ropes as support. Although there are game modes that don't allow you to descend from the ring and most of the times you'll get penalties for that, any fighter can do it with the sole purpose of finding objects to smash the other title contenders. There are hundreds of moves to perform in the game and some of them are so dirty that there's no reason to even think about a fair fight. Grab a wrestler's foot, while you're out of the ring, kick him below the belt or when he's down.... everything's allowed.
The referee is only a clown dressed in dark colors and he won't interfere much as he fears the enraged beasts called wrestling fighters. In WWE vs RAW 2007, the players can perform some of the strongest grapples I've seen and I must tell you that I've watched a lot of WWE on TV. Wrestling is based mostly on attacking and there's no point in defending since WWE is not some arcade fighting title. There's no parry concept and the only thing you can do is dodge the other fighter's killer moves. While doing this, keep your eye on the stamina meter and if you toss some overweight guy around, you'll be huffing and puffing worse than the wolf that destroyed the 3 piglets' houses. You can regain stamina by tapping the circle button and usually that will be a bad thing, because it will make your character stand still while he's being pounded by other wrestlers.
Finishing moves make the whole thing worthwhile and you'll be able to perform them by building your momentum that brings you enough fame to perform those cool ending combos. Hold the opponent in the air, twist his neck and humiliate him in front of the crowd by rubbing his face on the ropes. After you're done with the humiliation it's time for a kickass finishing move that would even make Bam-Bam Biggelow jealous. I mentioned before the lack of specific ring-out rules, but there is one fight mode that will have you eliminated if you step out: the royal rumble. It seems pretty logical since there are 20 men on a small ring at the same time.
There's a ring out meter that can get depleted if you grapple a fighter and tap any button quickly enough. Eliminate those guys to get points and get rid of them and fill your own ring-out meter. Finishing moves can be stored at any time and they're useful when you want to free yourself from an ultimate control move. With a single press of the start button you'll see (another) complex menu with the option of seeing camera cuts, targeting indicators, match tactics or match rules. Before starting the fight, you'd better select the clean or dirty version of the famous wrestlers if you want to play it tough or play by the unwritten rules of WWE. Video
The game's menu is very well done and you'll forget about the many options by watching the looping cutscene on the right side of the screen. It will show you some memorable moments from the WWE show or the best fights ever seen on the TV show. Beautiful women catch the eye and they alternate with bloody combos and deadly moves. What's more fascinating, a girl with very short bikini or a man that jumps on his foe's stomach from the top of a ladder? WWE vs RAW 2007 combines these two features into a brutal game with decent graphics and effect.
I have to say that the Xbox 360 is way better in the graphics field, but it's a next-gen console after all and PS2 has a natural handicap because of its age. Don't imagine that you'll see a crowd "a la FIFA", because those guys are more mobile than the fighters, showing banners that say " The Referee is Blind" or cheering for their favorite wrestlers. It's OK to watch the same scenes we see on the wrestling shows in a game, but when 4 fighter presentations precede the actual fight, you start losing your temper. Too many cutscenes can frustrate the gamer whose desire is to break as many bones as possible. If you have the time and patience to watch those fancy fighter presentations, you'll see fireworks and highlights from the wrestler's career. Cool stuff like blood stains on the ring's floor or fighters descending from the ring to grab a chair or an electrical wire to strangle the other wrestler make the gaming experience complete and look exactly like we would want a real fight to do. Sound
The commentators are pretty good, making jokes all the time and screaming at the top of their lungs when you grapple an opponent or do a finishing move. They're as crazy as the ones on the TV shows, but they can become distracted and talk about other fighters than the two guys battling it out in the ring. They encourage violent behavior and seem to want more blood than the public, so the commentary is rather maniacal and pretty good for such a game. The heavy rock music goes perfectly with the hardcore fights and the crowd fits in perfectly, too. They'll scream your name, ask for more violence or boo if one fighter is trying to escape his doom. Listen to punk, rock or techno while browsing the too complex menus and hear the countdown done directly by the crowd when you or the other guy are down on the floor in agony. Multiplayer
Up to 6 players can enlist in this deadly competition that awards the winner with a golden belt and the reputation of the best bone-breaker and wrestler in the world. 4 players can try a Tag team battle online and if you don't have an internet connection, you can bring some friends over to your house and turn a WWE-watching night into a WWE vs RAW playing one. Choose a competitive or a team competition and defend your teammate or stall the others as they try to crush him. Deadly trios and 4-way fights, together with total chaos brought by the lack of a proper referee and some standard rules. Twist, grab, grapple, hit, there will be so much violence in those multiplayer matches that any Die Hard movie will seem an episode from the Pokemon series. Conclusion
I have never seen a fighting game with such depth and atmosphere and the twenty years of violent entertainment called WWE are condensed into one fine PS2 title. Those who have never watched a wrestling match will be shocked and the fans will be screaming for more blood, while playing the game before and after the weekly WWE dose, available in the weekend nights.