Excerpt: In recent years, THQ’s WWE Smackdown! series has provided some of the biggest selling titles on the PS2, and whilst the general quality of the games has been slowly improving, there was always a feeling from wrestling purists that they could be better. In one game, the season mode was useless, whilst another contained opponents that were always beaten far too easily. With WWE Smackdown!
Excerpt: The next addition in THQ's Smackdown! wrestling series comes into the squared circle at full force. Once again, player models look absolutely gorgeous (minus a few of the characters). Wrestlers like Brock Lesner, The Rock and The Undertaker (among others) all look so incredible, you'd think they could jump out of the screen and rip your head off. Also added into WWE Smackdown!
Excerpt: Outside of hardcore RPG fans, wrestling fanatics are probably the biggest sticklers when it comes to what they expect out of a videogame. The most current rosters, perfectly replicated entrances, and characters that are perfect right down to their tattoos are just a few of the litany of things any "Edgehead" or "Testicle" will look for before they even buy the game.
Excerpt: The WWE flavour of wrestling is an odd form of entertainment with an odd audience. More of a soap opera than an actual sport, the fixed bouts and shows attract a wide range of people of different ages. The first group who constitute the viewers are excitable pre-teens who have failed to realise the phony nature of the programs.
Excerpt: Like past Smackdown games, Here Comes The Pain is more arcade than simulation. It’s much faster than its competitors, but this year it has struck a balance between that fast-paced action and the ring psychology that adds that special touch to the best matches we’ve seen on TV. New to the game is limb-based damage, so that you can attack separate parts of the body in order to go for a submission hold or to weaken your opponent.
Excerpt: Of all of THQ's current WWE franchises, the SmackDown! series has been around the longest. Originally debuting on the PlayStation back in the year 2000, SmackDown! was the first wrestling venture from developer Yuke's. The game provided a faster pacing and style of wrestling gameplay than the other World Wrestling Federation developer, Aki Corporation, and, while some criticized the initial SmackDown!