Smackdown! vs Raw 2011 is a part of the top selling wrestling video game series having sold more the fifty million copies worldwide. Before its official release, several superstars made multiple appearances endorsing the product. This group was lead by THQ's Creative Director Cory Ledesma.
Having said that, I was expecting Smackdown! vs Raw 2011 to be an extreme step up from last year's incredible game. Unfortunately for me, it wasn't. I was not content with many of the new changes they made with the game at all. They changed the original controls that people have gotten accustomed to for the past 3 years and I found myself frequently and unintentionally pressing the wrong button for a move that I wanted to do. They did revamp two major sectors which were 'Tables Ladders and Chairs' and 'Hell in a Cell'. I thoroughly enjoyed the new improvements and added physics of the TLC match, but found myself disappointed at the Hell in a Cell as it was too big and too boring, adding to the fact that it is difficult to break the cage open. The Road To Wrestlemania added the ability to free roam, although this was annoying as I wasted plenty of time running around backstage trying to find objectives. The story lines have the same feel to the previous ones; a bit corny and unrealistic. THQ also removed little options which do make a massive difference to game-play. The ability to step on the announcer's table was removed. The funny and enjoyable 'ground and pound' was removed. In the menus they removed the ability to skip songs and it was extremely tedious, as the songs that are supposed to be three minutes in length are repeated up to ten minutes long and some of the songs you just rip your hair out while listening to them because they are terrible. These little things frustrated me so much. A major option they removed from exhibition mode was the ability to create title matches. This absolutely ruined the game for me. I play this game for the multi-player and the fact that you can't compete for championships with your friends was just disheartening. The only way to compete for championships is through the new option of 'WWE Universe' mode, but you are not allowed to change participants in the championship match. This mode tracks all your matches and strings along matches for you to play. This mode seemed like a good idea to have as an option, but making it mandatory was a horrid thing to do. This mode is unavoidable and does not let you have freedom to fulfill your desires.
An extreme breaking point (Pay-per view reference not intended) for me was the move sets assigned to each character. The game's move-set history has been upgraded into a vast inventory of grapples and kicks, but in this game every wrestler has just one move per category. During the matches I found myself doing the same moves over and over and over and over and over and over. I'm trying to make myself clear. I checked the move-sets and discovered that every category has only the same move repeated in each slot. I threw a tantrum and wanted to smash my surroundings. How dare THQ preset the move-sets into just one move? Past years did not have this problem and I am horrified as to why 2011 encountered this problem. And the fact that they uploaded 'test' matches and did not detect this problem is just infuriating.
Having said all of that, I haven't had many problems with the game-play itself. It still is a good wrestling game with some good improvements, but all those defects in the game completely ruined it for me. Instead of tweaking some features of 2010, it seems as if THQ tried to outdo itself and along the way forgot all the little details that people actually enjoyed. I feel as if THQ wasn't making this game for the fans, but for themselves and a way to milk money from its loyal customers. Did they pay any attention to the changes they were making and consider the aftermath? Apparently not.
I sincerely beseech THQ to fix these problems with an update. If not, please acknowledge these faults and fix these problems in Smackdown! vs Raw 2012. Don't get me wrong, I am a massive WWE fan and have been buying the games since the first Smackdown! Vs Raw game. If my suggestions are just ignored, then THQ and Cory Ledesma lose a customer; ME.
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