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WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 Review (X360)

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WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 Review (X360)
THQ

Modes

Season mode allows you to take control of either a WWE superstar or a wrestler you created and chase after a WWE Championship. There are more than 40 storylines that you can participate in, and while most of them you are just along for the ride, there are a few that allow you to make choices to branch out from your predetermined path. The storylines are at around the same quality as what you see on TV each week (which is a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it) and there is a ton of recorded dialogue from the superstars, which really adds to the game.

GM mode places you in the role of the boss and it is up to you to create matches, start feuds, and make storylines so that your show is more popular than your competitor. This mode can be somewhat interesting, because it is nice to be in charge, but there are quite a few drawbacks such as the fact it is 100% menu driven, and the roster and storyline limitations in the game are a bit of a buzzkill.

The online play in SvsR07 is really the show stealer of this package. Only four players can compete at a time, but nearly every match type is available online so it will take you a long time before you get tired of it. You can also trade created superstars online, which is nice. One problem we have is that you can create custom belts and defend them online, but you can only do it in ranked matches and not custom matches with friends. It sort of defeats the purpose when you can’t swap belts back and forth with your friends.

Customization

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The beauty of the SmackDown series is that if you aren’t content with the included roster, you can make your own characters. The Create-A-Wrestler mode in SvsR07 is as deep as this feature gets, and you can make pretty much anyone you want. Want to see ECW or TNA wrestlers in the game? Go ahead and make them. You can also fully customize the move list for your character, and other than some of the more exotic and dangerous finishers you might see in TNA, you can make your character play just like the real thing. You can also create completely custom entrances, right down to camera movement, lighting, and pyro, but for whatever reason you can’t give your character a custom entrance theme using the music stored on your Xbox 360 hard drive. This is a massive oversight, and a mistake that shouldn’t have been made considering that it is such a “slap on the forehead” obvious feature to include. Instead, you have to choose from the included WWE themes and generic music. Not cool. Other customiztion options allow you to make your own WWE championship belts, as well as create tag teams and stables. The creation modes are what will keep you playing, and being able to constantly update your rosters to match the real life WWE is a very nice feature.

Graphics and Sound

Graphically, SvsR07 is a dramatic improvement over the PS2 versions of the series, but it is remarkably inconsistent. Main eventers such as Triple H, Undertaker, John Cena, Batista, Rey Mysterio, and Kurt Angle all look really amazing. But the midcard wrestlers all look like crap, like they are just high res versions of the PS2 models. This inconsistency was evident on the PS2 versions of the game in the past, but it is really, really, really obvious on the 360 when one character looks phenomenal while the others look so hideous.

The sound is only average. Most of the entrance music you see on WWE TV are present in the game, but not all of them. The licensed soundtrack that plays on the menus is okay, but not great. You could always play your custom soundtracks, but then you would mess up the entrances and those are one of the coolest parts of the game. The commentary is okay, but not spectacular, and at least the calls don’t repeat as often as they have in the past.

Bottom Line

THQ
Overall, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 is the first good wrestling game to ever grace an Xbox system. It plays amazingly well, and packs so many different modes and customization options and match types into the package that you really do get your moneys worth. It isn’t perfect, however, and the lack of custom entrance themes, outdated roster, long and frequent load times, and inconsistent graphics hurt it quite a bit, but it is still a very fun game that fans will really enjoy. If you are a wrestling fan, it is absolutely worth a purchase since you’ll be playing it a lot for many months to come.
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