WWE Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain
|a game by||Yuke's Co. Ltd.|
|Editor Rating:||7.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.1/10 - 20 votes|
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The SmackDown series adheres to the age-old philosophy of not fixing what isn't broken. Sure, you'll spot a few key tweaks each year, but in the end, each version offers the same level of quality as the last. And hey, that's not such a bad thing--Here Comes The Pain delivers solid thrills that'll please any WWE diehard. Returning players will definitely appreciate the revamped Story mode. This time around, forging alliances or rivalries really does affect your matches, and the conversations you'll have with other wrestlers sound pretty believable, as opposed to last year's stilted, poorly-written drivel. As always, the in-ring action is fast and responsive. You're always able to pull off the moves you want, and fluid animation makes 'em look downright painful. As far as your choice of match types and rosters, Pain can't be beat. For the first time ever, your dreams of forcibly disrobing opponents in a Bra and Panties Match or bustin' up fools in an Elimination Chamber can be realized. Of course, nearly every superstar you'd ever want is available from the outset--developer Yuke's added a bunch of classic wrestlers this year; now, you can pit guys like Sergeant Slaughter and George "The Animal" Steele against today's stars.
Of all the WWE game franchises, I've favored SmackDownthe least...until now.Thanks to its incredibly deep Season mode, Pain is easily the best wrasslin' title since the days of the Nintendo 64. Every week, events transpire in true soap-opera-like fashion, and the decisions you make throughout the ever-changing story lines keep the experience unique. The action inside the ring is great--the new grappling system not only improves match pacing, but, more important, also adds a bevy of moves to your wrestler's arsenal. Visually, however, minor problems exist: Some WWE superstars lack the polish of others, and everyone still walks like they have a stick up their butt. But neither of these complaints will stop wrestling nuts from enjoying Pain.
Fundamentally, Pain's a good title--the wrestlers look realistic, the gameplay's responsive and balanced, and there's no shortage of crazy modes. Plus, creating your own wrestlers is easy, breezy fun, with tons of wacky wardrobe options to outfit your friends/enemies with. Problem is, outside of a few tweaks and minor additions, this is just like last year's Shut Your Mouth. For example, the reworked Story mode may have ditched Mouth's boring hall-wandering, but Pain's barely animated, stone-silent chats between wrestlers are just as lame. (Should I give Rikishi a ride home after he's injured in a match? The drama!) And the wrestler entrances lack the excitement of the real thing, with crappy-looking spectators and embarrassing, one-sided signboards that mirror the front image on the back, but reversed. How hard is it to render a piece of poster board? Spruce up the presentation next year, please.