WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It
|a game by||Yuke's Co. Ltd.|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.3/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||WWF Games|
When the WWF Smackdown series first made its way onto the PlayStation 1, it was considered groundbreaking at the time. The gameplay was fast and fun, all while having some of the most impressive graphics to that date. Once it came time to transition to the PlayStation 2, fans of the series expected big things for the next entry. Developer Yuke’s had to follow through, so they released WWF Smackdown Just Bring It in 2001 to appease their eager fans.
New Console, Who Dis?
The major upgrade fans were expecting for Just Bring It were the graphics. After all, the PlayStation 2 was the latest and greatest at the time this game was released. It was the PS5 of 2001. Luckily Yuke’s delivered on the graphics, although maybe not to the extent most of us were expecting.
The first thing we should talk about is the Superstars themselves. The 40+ Superstars look great on the PS2, showing more detail than ever before. You can easily tell each Superstar apart, although their animations can look a bit clunky during some parts.
Where the animations do look great is in the intros themselves. In fact, the intros are some of the best parts of the game. They are identical to their introductions back in 2001, but for the first time, they are actually animated with the in-game engine. On the PS1, you had to watch a recorded scene from the actual show in low quality.
This means when the Undertaker comes out, he’s rolling out on his iconic motorcycle and circling the stage. When Triple H comes onto the stage, the lights are strobing as he spits the water straight up into the air, just as he would in his actual intro. This really showcased the game’s engine at the time, although it's hard to appreciate it these days.
With the graphics being updated for the move to the PS2, it was expected that we’d see vast improvements to the gameplay as well. However, it’s not necessarily what we got in Just Bring It. The gameplay is very similar to the first two games, if not the same.
The gameplay of the Smackdown series has always been fast and loose. You attack, move, and recover extremely fast, making the game closer to an arcade game rather than a wrestling simulation. This really isn’t a critique, rather than an observation. Wrestling games should always put fun first, so it’s hard to complain about it too much.
One major complaint though is how hard it is to keep an opponent down. You can perform multiple finishers on them in one match and they will stay on the ground for maybe a second or two before hopping up off the mat to get right back at it. It makes finishers feel not as powerful as they should be.
Create-a-wrestler is back and better than ever. You’ll have a wealth of custom options for your wrestler’s face, as well as his gear. In case you were wondering, gear is unlocked after playing the game and performing certain feats, such as winning the WWF Championship. The best feature of this mode is the custom taunts and intros you can create. This feature alone helps showcase your wrestler’s personality.
Just Bring the Newness
A new feature that was introduced in Just Bring It is the ability to fight in the crowd. You can now jump into the crowd or throw your opponents over the gate into the spectators. The bad news is that the crowd is poorly created thin cardboard cutouts that slide back as you get close to them. You can tell little effort was put into this feature. You can also grab weapons from the crowd, which I always found a bit stilly, but fun. Why these fans have lethal weapons on them during a sporting event is beyond me, and apparently the security as well.
Just Bring It also introduces commentary for the first time in the series. Sadly, this could have been left out. Michael Cole and Tazz were brought from the TV show to add more immersion, but it just doesn’t work. They randomly spurt out things such as “Oh my” and “Can you believe it?” It’s jarring and the game may have been better with just the crowd noise.
Seasons mode was replaced by a new single player story mode. In this mode, you’ll control a Superstar as they try to advance to become the WWF Champion. The game allows you to make choices such as if you want to fight with a Superstar in a tag-team match or if you’d rather fight alone. These choices seem like they are giving you the opportunity to forge your own path, but you always end up in the same place: the Championship match.
An odd feature of this mode is the ability to walk backstage in first person mode. Back here, you can’t do much, to be honest. All you can do is walk around and talk to the wrestler you’re supposed to speak to so you can advance. The odd part of this is that you’re on a 2 minute time limit. Why a timer was implemented is beyond me as it’s not as if it’s a challenge to find the wrestlers.
Worst of all, this mode only lasts an hour or so. You could argue this is meant to be relayed with different Superstars, but I don’t see the allure other than unlocking new gear.
A lot of game series tend to disappoint going into the next generation of consoles. This is usually due to a lot of hype surrounding the possibilities, which not all are usually realized. In Just Bring It, that’s certainly the case. The graphics were updated and some new features were added, but there just wasn’t enough improvements regarding the gameplay, which is what gamers really wanted.
- Graphics and presentation are vast improvements from previous games
- Can now fight in the crowd
- Lots of game modes (nearly a dozen) and Superstars (40+) to choose from
- Gameplay didn’t update from previous years
- Commentary is jarring and sort of breaks your immersion
- Story mode is hollow and short
Download WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP