I had high expectations of this game for many reasons. After playing through a season of season mode, and countless matches online, as well as doing many challenges I have come to the opinion that while Smackdown vs Raw is a good game, it could have, and should have been better. First lets start with what should have been one of the bright spots of the game, Online mode. I will give THQ and company credit just for finally putting it in, but that's as far as I will extend the praise. The problem is that it has many little things that I can pick apart about the Online mode. There are only 2 match types to choose from, Single and Bra and Panties. I was hoping to have more variety with online mode. The next problem with it was that for a considerable amount of the time, the matches were very laggy and had poor frame rate, at times making play unbearable. This did not happen all of the time, but enough for me to become angry and take notice. The Online mode also has no ranking system, which while it is not a crucial part of an Online game, I still like to have one. I must say that the soundtrack to the game was just awesome, and easily beat any of the soundtracks to previous Smackdowns. CAB and CAPPV were also added for the first time since Smackdown 2 and it is a feature that I and many others really enjoy having. You do need a substantial amount of money to make a belt, but I still feel it is worth it. The story lines in season mode are very interesting so far. I have only played one complete season, but I must say that with the past two Smackdowns the season mode has greatly improved as far as the story lines are concerned. You are sure to find original stories that are not stolen from the real life WWE broadcasts, although there bound to be some real ones thrown in for fun, no harm there. I also like the improvement of the weapon damage because it is now as close to realistic as has been reached in any of the other Smackdown games. I should also mention the addition of the dirty/clean meters that will reflect how you work the match. You fill up either bar and each one gives you something special to do as a result. You can also elect to be 'neutral' and work the match any way you want, you just don't get any special thing to do for it. I will now move on to my other big gripe with the game, besides online play, which was the the new 'ringout meter'. The point of this meter is when you are in a Royal Rumble instead of being punched or kicked out of the ring so quickly like in previous games, this bar must be emptied before you can be knocked out. It is very simple, you engage in a grapple when the opponent is on the ring apron, and the bar starts to go down, when the bar empties you are knocked off. The problem with this is it doesn't work like it is supposed to. I have played in two royal Rumbles so far and each time I have been punched off of the ring apron when my bar is at full. This angers me because the point of this bar was to prevent these quick exits from occurring any more. I would not be angry in the previous games because this kind of thing in Royal Rumbles was common, but this 'ring-out meter' was supposed to change all of that, and it failed. Oh, if I have not mentioned it earlier in this review, the graphics are the best yet in this game and really deserve praise. In conclusion, I really like this game but I feel that it could have been better than it was. Here is my scoring on this game:
Story (in this case season mode): 9.0
Fun Factor: 10.0
Tilt (my personal feeling): 8.5
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