Wrestling video games featured such moves as punch, kick and the occasional drop kick.
During the hey-day and popularity of wrestling, the games were lame, and now as wrestling lacks compared to the past, the games are better than ever.
Gaming company THQ recently released “WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007” for both the PS2 and Xbox 360.
Previous versions of Smackdown featured all of the same controls, and in the eighth installment of the franchise, THQ’s biggest change is the control system.
Instead of pounding the various buttons on the controller, players now control all grappling moves with the right analog stick. This allows players a lot more on the move list, and interactive spots around the ring let them customize the move choice even more.
A wide array of moves is a great addition, but any fan of a wrestling game likes it for the various gimmick matches.
The only new match in this Smackdown is the Money in the Bank ladder-match.
Six wrestlers fight in a ladder-filled ring, all attempting to climb to the top and grab a briefcase.
This new match is challenging and fun, and the ladders are more interactive than ever, featuring moves seen in actual matches and not available in previous games.
Other match highlights include the Buried Alive Match, the Hell in the Cell and the Elimination Chamber.
Matches are not everything though; you need a good wrestler to play with, and Smackdown 2007 has one of the best rosters to date.
You can play with current superstars like John Cena, The Undertaker, HHH and legends like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The improved graphics give the wrestlers a realistic look and facial expressions can even be seen mid-match.
The game does have some downfalls, however.
During menu screens there is awesome music from Non-Point and other rock bands, but once the match starts, players are forced to listen to the very repetitive and annoying announcers.
Sound bytes are used from past games, and the new ones are not much better. Sometimes they talk about wrestlers not even in the current match, and you are better off putting the TV on mute and playing music of your own.
Another downside that has been in every Smackdown game is not being able to interrupt moves. The Day of Reckoning series for Gamecube had this feature, and it made matches much more exciting.
There are a couple downsides, but overall this game is better than the previous game, and with many modes and matches, will give players hours of entertainment, and even the option of creating a childhood fantasy with Create-A-Wrestler.
While there are some glitches in the PS2 version, most of them are absent from the Xbox 360 version, but both ports of the game are basically the same.
In the end, like most wrestling games, the fans know what they want, and “WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007” will be sure to provide for them, even amidst the typical wrestling game issues.