WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 Preview for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3WiiDSPS2PSP
Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
Back to game info
Tag-team play is set to be one the key areas of improvement
Tag-team play is set to be one the key areas of improvement

Tag-team play is set to be one the key areas of improvement

When I interviewed TNA wrestling star Kurt Angle in February about upcoming wrestling game TNA Impact!, in which he appears, he had some interesting things to say about rival series WWE Smackdown VS Raw. Here's a summary: "Smackdown's game is going to look like all the other games in the past. I've been there. I know how much effort they put behind it. For each wrestler they usually take about two-and-a-half minutes and that's it. They (Midway) have actually spent hours with wrestlers to make this happen with TNA Impact! You're going to see it's so much more authentic. It's a no brainer. We're going to win the war, definitely." Fighting talk.

Or, as THQ, publisher of the upcoming 2009 edition in the long running WWE series, tells me at their recent Gamers Day in San Francisco, "trash talking". But that's OK. This is the world of professional wrestling after all. It's all about trash talking.

But then I dig a little deeper and find that THQ, and developer Yuke's, have a little bit more to say about what will be the first genuine alternative to WWE in years. "We monitor, we see whatever they release," Mitchell Cameron, associate brand manager for WWE says over the Gamers Day din. "Whenever a new trailer comes out we're dying to see it. I know that our creative team and our developers are itching to see what comes out. We really haven't had a competitive wrestling game on the market in quite a few years. Competition is always good. Yuke's are dying to see where it puts our game."

The bell has well and truly rung and the match is under way - a match that's shaping up to be one of the most bitter video game rivalries in recent times. Fans of each show - WWE features regularly on Sky One and Sky Sports and TNA is currently on Bravo - have already come out in force to either defend or attack Angle's outspoken comments. But right now the two opponents are just circling each other, sizing each other up. The next move will be the most crucial, and Cameron isn't afraid to make it.

'Tag team fights have, of course, always been in WWE games, but this time it's different. This time you'll be able to play the story mode as one of two as well as off the cuff matches...'

"He's an outspoken guy," he says. "As far as our expectations for the product, from what I've seen the visual aspect of it looks really nice, but our game's been around for so long that the depth of the game, I mean we're adding on it over and over, it's like layer over layer, tonnes (30) of different match types, that I don't believe they'll be able to match us this year."

While it's easy to get wrapped up in the TNA! VS WWE video game face-off, since it's just as strangely compelling to watch as semi-naked grown men who pretend to knock lumps out of each other, I'm here to find out whether the next WWE game will be any good. Tom thought last year's effort felt dated, and gave it a disappointing six out of 10. So, the pressure's on this time around to turn the series around. What's Yuke's got up its sleeve?

2009's big hook will be tag team battles. While hands-on wasn't available at Gamers Day an extended trailer showing off the tag team fighting was. Tag team fights have, of course, always been in WWE games, but this time it's different. This time you'll be able to play the story mode as one of two as well as off the cuff matches, and your options as part of a team match have been expanded, too. Now it's more than simply a case of waiting by the ropes for your turn in the ring. There will be special tag team moves and spectacular tag team finishers, you'll be able to hold your opponent against the ropes from behind, jump in at the last minute to stop pins, distract the ref and even pump up the crowd. Hot tags, when a wrestler who's being pounded into oblivion crawls to the ropes and just about manages to touch the fingertips of his partner, who then steams in and beats the living crap out of everyone, are designed to allow drastic changes in momentum and dramatic back from the brink moments. Everything you see when there's more than two wrestlers in a match on the TV show, you'll be able to do in the game. And it actually sounds quite fun.

Visually it looked great, but we are yet to play it.

Visually it looked great, but we are yet to play it.

SVR09's other headline feature is the create a finisher mode, where you'll be able to make your own move by incorporating bits of all the moves in the game. In this mode, a wire frame image on the right of the screen shows you what the move will look like, and on the left you have a list of all the moves in the game, from which you can string together 10 parts to form your custom finisher. Whenever you chose one part, the game opens up a sub set of moves that can follow on from that, ensuring there shouldn't be too much wasted time. You can change the speed type, integrate taunts, name it and apply it to your own superstar or any of the pre-existing ones. And, once you've done that, you'll be able to take them online so you can lay down the smackdown with moves opponents will never have seen before.

Without getting our sweaty hands on with Smackdown VS Raw 2009, we have no way of knowing if the animations have improved, or whether the clunky combat has been tweaked. The WWE games have always been hard to get into if you're new to the series, so we don't know whether any moves have been made in this area either. These all important questions, as well as others (the final roster is still unconfirmed - "we've a lot of stuff we're keeping back" says Cameron"), will have to wait to be answered. But we do know that the pressure is on Yuke's to deliver, especially now that TNA Impact! is on the scene.

Does Yuke's feel any added pressure "Sure!" says Cameron. "You know we passed your article around our office, we've got that printed out and hung up with paper-clips. Just because, Kurt Angle was... I mean he was talking trash! We put it on the wall and it's like, let's look at this, this is motivation for us! He's a competitor in the field, we're taking notice of what he's got to say and we're going to try to respond in our game. We threw that around!"

Has Kurt's comments bothered the development team? "We welcome the competition," says Cameron. "We're very curious to see the product, I'm dying to play it myself just to see how their game stacks up. Hopefully it will raise our game! Hopefully it will be inferior so we'll be OK, but whatever they bring to the table will help push us."

Soon enough we'll see just how much this competition has helped the game.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

Hunting R.K.O's Avatar
Delete Post

Hunting R.K.O

How to create brock lesnar at smackdown vs raw 2009
Posted 04:25 on 29 December 2008
gregurs's Avatar
Delete Post


i like know if have a general manager mode in wwe smackdown vs raw 2009 ?
Posted 16:28 on 09 November 2008
1cnpegjm's Avatar


Cool info m8.
Posted 23:31 on 07 September 2008
Delete Post


Smackdown looks ace, it is gonna be BETTER BY MILES than all the other franchises attempts to re-create the WWE Squared Circle. The attack - after the bell system looks really fun, you could be undertaker beating the sh*t out of The Miz, and then continue after the bell and tombstone the self proclaimed Chick Magnet. THQ are also gonna beat TNA with the affect with CM Punk and Kennedy coming to the ring in their gear. 10 out of 10!!!!!!!!!
Posted 22:03 on 07 September 2008
eric's Avatar
Delete Post


i dont like the ds version
Posted 17:38 on 23 August 2008
josh's Avatar
Delete Post


in 2009 i would really like it if the wwe titles were a lot more detailed and the superstars were alot better detailed also the general manager mode and story mode alot more complex.
Posted 18:43 on 19 August 2008
D.D.P's Avatar
Delete Post


I would have liked to seen the midget wrestling, would have been a fun way to beat someone up. I think that legends should have had categories, tag team or group, then single competitors e.g group hart foundation which would encorporate several singular legends aswell, also ultimate warrior or yokazuno would also be great if there were loveable legends like donk the clown gilberg blue meanie.
Posted 14:40 on 31 July 2008
marcus wills's Avatar
Delete Post

marcus wills

i reckon ya shud ave tha NWO as legands like team legands and single legands like edge and christian and dudleys and road dogg and billy gunn and tha tha holly,APA. and single legands like xpac,chyna,lita,trish,owen hart,razor ramon,DEFO BROCK LESNAR,sting,diseal,big bad vader,yokzuna,rikishi,chris benoit,tazz,jim ross,gilberg,goldberg,booker.t
g.m of raw
Posted 15:19 on 26 July 2008
prodigy's Avatar
Delete Post


This game better have general manager mode and better legends like we need the old kane,Goldberg,Ultamiate Warrior etc.
Posted 22:27 on 26 May 2008
$$HYPZ$$'s Avatar
Delete Post


looks good cant wait 4 it to com out
Posted 18:14 on 26 May 2008
dale's Avatar
Delete Post


they really good
Posted 18:55 on 23 May 2008
hulk penny's Avatar
Delete Post

hulk penny

why haven't u put sting or lex luger on the games as legends or a wrestler for that matter or arren anderson or oly anderson or the anderson brothers or hacksaw butch reed went by the name natural butch reed or owen hart or tony atlas and rocky mavia or some old wrestlers besides the ones that we have beaten up on the last 4 games that my dad has bought put some others on the next game ok
Posted 14:45 on 22 May 2008
kulk penny's Avatar
Delete Post

kulk penny

why haven't u put sting or lex luger in or on the wwe smackdown vs raw games as ledgens why
Posted 14:31 on 22 May 2008
Ejay's Avatar
Delete Post


Because i want wrestling
Posted 09:16 on 19 May 2008
AwanY0's Avatar


what r u up 2
Posted 04:26 on 12 April 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 07/11/2008
Developer: THQ
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Wrestling
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 2,232 13
View Full Site