|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Yuke's Media||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 20, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Another year, another SmackDown vs. Raw title. Just like any other sports franchise, fans expect a quality yearly update, and over the years, Yuke's and THQ have certainly delivered. New roster updates, online modes, and deeper character customization have been hallmarks of previous iterations, making each title bigger and better than the last. However, this year's SvR has really outdone previous years, becoming the most immersive WWE title to date.
One of the biggest features of any wrestling title is the creation aspects. Character creation in particular has always been a lynchpin of games in the wrestling genre, and as fans have always enjoyed creating both original characters as well as re-creating WWE legends. But now, with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010, fans will be in for a real treat. In addition to creating new characters, players will now be able to tell their own stories.
Without question, the Story Designer feature is the biggest and best addition to the SmackDown vs. Raw series. Players can take complete creative control of the WWE universe and place any wrestler they want in any situation they want. The Story Designer allows players to create their own WWE storyline by placing events and matches on a calendar. This calendar is capable of handling stories that last up to ten years, so you can make your story as long and detailed as you want!
Adding events to the calendar is probably the most fun aspect of the Story Designer. You can choose any character from your roster (including unlocked wrestlers and created characters) and put them in cutscenes that you make. Choose the setting, the background, and the action, and the world of wrestling is at your fingertips. Want John Cena to propose marriage backstage to a created character who looks like Queen Latifah? Totally possible! Want Goldust to get in a fight with The Great Khali in a soft white dream sequence? Again, completely possible! After you set and create your scene, the scene editor also allows you to choose camera angles, character emotion, and even written text dialog to make your scenes as personalized as possible.
Although the cinema scenes are probably the most interesting and fun part of the WWE Story Designer, you can also create matchups to coincide with your story. These matches can be played or simulated, and you can give different wrestlers handicaps to make sure that one wrestler is guaranteed to come out victorious.
Once you have finished creating your story, you can upload it online and share it with the world. The sharing feature will certainly give the Story Designer plenty of replay value, and I can't wait to see what crazy plotlines WWE fans concoct and upload for the community.
The WWE Story Designer was easily my favorite part of SvR 2010. However, there are plenty of improvements made to some of the game's other modes as well. One of the most improved is the Create-a-Superstar mode. While last year's title featured deep customization options and plenty of characteristics to tweak, this year's character creation mode has upped the ante with more new parts and a much faster interface. Instead of selecting a part and then waiting 4-5 seconds for it to render, changes you make to your character are loaded almost immediately, which makes the process feel a lot more streamlined. While it used to take upwards of thirty minutes to create a character, I was able to create a fully featured wrestler, complete with new body dimensions, clothes, and entrance, in under fifteen minutes.