Review by Robbie Kennedy

Reviewed: 10/14/05

2nd Game in the era and It is just as good

We all remember the original Smackdown. It is what started the magnificent series off. Well, this is the sequel to it and it is just as, if not, better than the original. Loads more characters, new match types and a improved season.

There are a ton of superstars and Al Snow in this game. Some new names include Viscera, Lita, The Mean Street Posse and the Stooges. This game has the most characters ever in a wrestling game at 75+ characters. That is a whole lot of characters which is great if you ask me. Oh, and there is also all three faces of Foley in the game.

Unfortunately, the full screen titantron entrances make a return in this game. I honestly do not know why they done this but I can get around it. All of the wrestlers have updated entrances and music in this game and you can hear the sounds of the pyrotechnics when X-Pac crotch chops so I am not complaining.

There is a better season mode in this game. You get loads more matches than before, and it can go on forever with lots of characters to unlock. And it is hard to unlock each character because you have to do certain things.

Create a wrestler mode has been improved. You now get a ton more options than before, and whereas in the first game there were sliders to set the face, body and legs, in this game, you get to select them from a list. And you can select any kind of thing, then customize it with whatever you want which is quite good if you ask me. But with create a move set, you do not get to name the moves anymore. It puzzles me as to why they took this feature out as it was very popular in the game’s predecessor. But, I can get around that as we now have 26 caw slots compared to Smackdown’s 4 caw slots.

This game has great graphics. The characters look fabulous, as does the settings and crowd. It seems to have used the same graphical processor as Smackdown did so it looks fabulous.

There is one new game mode in this game. The Casket Match. Fight until your opponent or you can fight no longer, then put them (or they put you) in the casket and the lid should close if they have been weakened enough and you do the correct strike or dive onto them.

Like the previous game, the characters and you get up quite quickly after a move early on in the matches but as they progress, you and your opponent will stay down for longer. Weak strikes and grapples throughout will not keep them down for long until after at least 30 minutes whereas stronger moves will get them to stay down for a long time much quicker.

There are new moves in this game. Moves such as the Osaka street cutter, The Last Ride, the double arm DDT and a lot more are featured in this game. And you can select them for your character(s) as you get a lot more places for moves in this game.

I mentioned that loads of characters were in the game but there are some old guys with new attires. And I respect THQ for that because it would have been easy to just port the characters from Smackdown as they were in that game but they went out of their way to update the wrestlers fully.

There are more factions in this game. Big ones such as The New Age Outlaws, DX, Mean Street Posse, The Brood and the Hardy Boyz are featured in this game and you have more variety on how to use them as there is a tag team match for pretty much every game mode.

The AI in this game is much better than it was before. Before, they would not try to pin after a big move, but in this game, they will try on loads of occasions to pin you after you connect with a big move so that is a very good thing about this game. And they will utilize the environment, such as chairs; tables; ladders etc. So it is much harder to win in this game which is good because it adds a realistic touch and I respect that.

I would say that this game is an improvement from the original. The biggest roster ever to be found in a wrestling game, updated people, 3 faces of Foley and loads more stuff make me fully enjoy this game. I would recommend you buy this as it is going for very cheap right now. Buy any other Smackdown game with it if you can because they are all great but this is one of the best Smackdown games available to buy. It is rivaled only by Here comes the pain.

The bottom line is that you should buy this game if you find it.

Graphics: 10/10
Game play: 10/10
Sounds: 8/10
Replayablity: 10/10

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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