WWE Raw 2
Large, recently shaven (with the exception of A-Train), sinewy men with a flamboyant dress sense--an apt description of the fashionista in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and the tight-spandex-trunk-wearing freak shows appearing every Monday on Spike "Lee" TV. With the all-new, all-cool Season mode in the Road to WrestleMania XIX portion of the game, we thought we'd check out just what evil machinations your sweaty man-beast can get up to during those hours between matches--aside from applying fake tans and various shiny oils.
1. Sweet Fanny Adams
Your Superstar takes absolutely no action during the match and neither gains nor loses anything.
Your Superstar hangs out backstage and relaxes. If he is not approached by another Superstar, he recovers 30 Vitality points. If he is approached by a Superstar and has a friendly conversation, his Popularity and Vitality increase by modest amounts. If your Superstar is approached by a hostile Superstar, however, the two behemoths have a short fight. If your Superstar loses, he loses a great deal of Vitality. Even if he wins, he loses a bit of Vitality.
3. Surprise Attack
To Surprise Attack another Superstar, instigate a backstage brawl with your target. If you win, you take out a great deal of his or her Vitality, which is the perfect way to soften up an opponent before a match. However, surprise attacks can backfire--if you lose the backstage brawl, you're the one on the short end of the Vitality stick. Sometimes you just won't be able to find your rival Superstar, and you'll suffer a very modest Vitality loss as a result.
When you choose to attempt Interference, you risk some ot your Vitality for the chance to interfere in a Superstar's match. This is a good way to help out an ally or just get some payback on a Superstar that you have a grudge against. A successful attempt costs 20 Vitality points but gains you two Popularity points, and you get to control your Superstar as he interferes in the match. Sometimes, however, pesky arena security keeps you from reaching the ring, in which case you accomplish nothing and lose five Vitality points for looking painfully silly.
During a match, you can choose to steal something from a Superstar's locker. A high Luck score helps your chances. If you're successful, however, you lose more Vitality and Popularity than if you had failed. Stealing is a great way to unlock hidden items, such as new options in Create a Superstar mode, Superstar entrance videos, and additional points for your created Superstars' parameters.
6. Set Trap
Setting a trap for a Superstar is the easiest way to deprive him of some Vitality, but even a successful attempt costs you half the Vitality that the attacked Superstar lost. You don't have to actually fight the Superstar, though, so it's a good way to take a big-name Superstar down a peg or two before a match.
Manipulate a Superstar to trick him or her into attacking another wrassler. You lose 10 points of Vitality on a successful attempt, but the attacked Superstar loses 20. The Superstar who does the attacking doesn't lose any Vitality.
Encouraging a Superstar risks a small amount of your own Vitality (five points) to increase theirs if you are successful. Sometimes, the Superstar blows you off, in which case you lose 10 Vitality points but increase the friendliness between the two Superstars. If you can't find the Superstar backstage, you lose five Vitality points.
9. Call Out
Question a Superstar's intestinal fortitude by calling him or her out. Standing in the middle of the ring, your Superstar challenges another Superstar to come on down. If the challenged Superstar comes out, you lose 10 Vitality points but earn five Popularity points; the Superstar you challenged also earns two Popularity points. Sometimes a different Superstar responds to the Call Out--this costs you 10 Vitality points but gives you two Popularity Points and your opponent one Popularity point, as well as increases the hostility between the two Superstars. It also gives you a "Call Out Card" that results in a match between you and the Superstar who responded to your challenge. If no one comes out, you lose five Vitality points and nothing else happens--aside from the yelling, the name calling, and the strutting.
Complaining to another Superstar costs you 10 Vitality points but increases the hostility between you and the other Superstar it you are successful. It you fail to find the Superstar backstage, you lose five Vitality points.
11. Select Manager
Choose Select Manager if you want to have an ally outside of the ring who can watch your back. Superstars with high Charisma who look for Superstars with compatible Alignments have more luck getting them to be managers. A successful attempt nets you a new manager. An unsuccessful attempt costs 10 Vitality points. If you can't find the Superstar backstage, you lose five Vitality points.
12. Break Up
If you're tired of your manager, show him or her the door. This sends the two of you on your separate ways, but be warned--many a WWE feud has been sparked by a jilted manager!
Download WWE Raw 2
Raw 2 suffers from so many problems, it's hard to know where to begin. Developer Anchor added a lot of potentially cool features to this visually polished game, but none of them really work. For example, ambushing a rival before a match doesn't help or hinder you in any tangible way. Same deal with a new feature allowing friendship or enmity with other superstars--they seem to attack or help you randomly no matter what. Raw 2 really stumbles inside the squared circle, though. At first, this feels like a decent, if conventional, wrestling title. But then you start noticing how slowly the action moves and how your opponents' body parts tend to pass right through your character during grapples and throws. Sloppy. But go for the pin and you'll really get pissed. The refs seem to stop and wonder what number comes after "two." It's the longest three count ever. Not to mention that it takes them an eternity to waddle across the ring and start the count whenever you've got a guy on his back. It gets even worse, with amateurish, dialogue-deprived cinemas rife with spelling mistakes. I mean, come on; when you can't even get the champion's name right ("Goldburg?"), are you really putting any effort into the game at all? Ring the damn bell; this one's done for.
Raw 2 has match types galore (Hell in the Cell, Street Fight, Ladder...just to name few) and even slicker graphics than before. Plus, it includes oodles of Create-a-Superstar options, right down to selecting the pyrotechnics for your grappler's entrance. But don't be fooled. Once again, this series arrives at the fight handicapped. The Season mode sorely lacks the soap-opera-like vignettes I've grown accustomed to seeing on television (isn't that why anybody watches wrestling in the first place?). And as Greg mentioned, problems from the first flaw carry over--matches plod on too long, and animations look unrealistic and robotic. Even diehard WWE fans should treat this as a rental.
Raw's developers listened to the people who demanded more match types and a Season mode--one dripping with cool options like the ability to waylay a foe as he's relaxing in the dressing room. Then, apparently, they all went out for pizza, forgetting such niceties as basic A.I. Tag-team matches are near impossible to win; the computer breaks up every pin while your partner does a Rain Man impersonation. Also, the computer has a tendency to make repeated pins, one after another. It doesn't matter if the wrassler being pinned has health aplenty, either. Each pin must be escaped by button mashing. Players can expect frustration to become their new personal valet.
With their bulging biceps, busty broads, and oiled-up physiques, the true-to-life wrasslers in the first Raw helped the game look the part of an Xbox megahit. Too bad it lacked the finer points, like an in-depth Story mode, multiple arenas, and the laundry list of match types present in today's popular wrestling games. Raw 2 attempts to fix those mistakes, which will hopefully make your ascent toward in-ring stardom more rewarding.
An innovative Season mode allows four human players to work together or compete head-to-head for various championship belts, and offers the soap opera-like atmosphere missing from the first game. Feel free to form alliances with your buds, and then at a later, crucial moment, to turn your back and cost them a title shot. Face or heel, it doesn't matter--as long as you make the right moves in and out of the ring, you're sure to rise to the top of the McMahon empire. Add to the mix new match types like TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs) and backstage brawls, along with a revamped Create-a-Superstar mode, and Raw 2 is lookin' fine like Trish Stratus. Our only gripe so far is thatTHQ didn't hit the mat with online bouts. Guess that feature has to wait until Raw 3.
Since WWF Raw got flack for its slow-as-molasses wrestlers and overall lack of features, Anchor (the developer) is busy creating all kinds of new options and match types for Raw 2. They include Fatal 4 Way, King of the Ring, Hell in a Cell and several more. Another feature allows up to four players to experience a full season of body-slamming, sack-punchin' fun.