It seems that WWF Raw
's graphical prowess may come at a price. Even on the powerful Xbox hardware, Raw
is absolutely way too slow. When gamers find out a game has been delayed, they get upset. But releasing a game that is far from the quality expected is a greater shame, and THQ's latest effort fails to deliver. Inevitably, WWF Raw
must be compared to it's counterpart on the PlayStation 2, Smackdown!
. And while Raw
does have some unique features, for the most part, it is inferior in every way that actually matters... namely gameplay.
It is incredibly unfortunate that WWF Raw lacks all of the modes of play that we have all come to love. In reality, Raw is a bare-bones fighter that takes place in the squared circle. It contains your typical Exhibition modes (including Singles, Tag Teams, and Handicap Matches). The only real specialty match available in Raw is the King of the Ring tournament, where you work your way through a playoff tree style ranking system for all of the glory. Also included is a sad excuse for a Battle Royal. What? I said the Battle Royal is essentially a four-player free-for-all. What? I said only four players total get to wrestle, not 30. What? I said the Battle Royal sucks fat Rikishi @ss!!!
Of course, there is also the Title Match mode. Here you'll compete against tons of WWF Superstars in an effort to gain possession of the most respected titles in all of wrestling. The six championship belts available are the Woman's, Light Heavyweight, European, Intercontinental, Hardcore, and the coveted WWF (Heavyweight) Championship. Take your Superstar or Created Player through the ranks, and declare yourself champion. Once again, however, Raw gets the Smackdown! on the Create-A-Player feature. As far back as the feature has been in games, you have always been able to create even a crude resemblance of legends like Hulk Hogan and 'Macho Man' Randy Savage. But not in WWF Raw. Instead of having normal create-a-player features, developers felt the need to include garbage like the ability to create a robot wrestler. Thanks for playing, but NO!
On the plus side, WWF Raw does actually make some great innovations for the genre. For the first time ever, you have the ability to open a can of Whoop Ass on your opponent before he/she ever enters the ring. During player entrances, you will have a moment when you can interfere by running from the ring or backstage area (depending on where you are) to get a quick cheap shot in. And with the new voltage meter that measures crowd reactions, it may not be a bad idea to attack your rival before he/she pumps up the fans. Another great feature is the stamina meter. Just as in real life, you sometimes have to pace yourself when kicking some candy-ass. Go too fast, and you'll have nothing left to pin your opponent. But perhaps the best feature in Raw is that for the first time ever, wrestlers are able to interrupt moves and interact with other wrestlers like never before. Now you don't have to just stand there watching the other two go at it in a Three Way Dance. So bust on in and take control at any time you want to.