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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 Member Review for the PS2

GAME-QUEST-EX By:
GAME-QUEST-EX
10/21/12
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Sports 
PLAYERS 1- 6 
PUBLISHER THQ 
DEVELOPER Yukes 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Game Review for “WWE SMACKDOWN versus RAW 2006”

System: for the PlayStation 2

Developer: YUKES Media Interactive

Publisher: THQ

Year: 2005-2006

Genre: Professional Wrestling Simulator

Ports: Also available for the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)

Number of Players: 1 to 6 Players (simultaneous multi-player)

Online MultiPlayer: Yes (Ethernet Broadband required)

PS2 Network Adaptor: 4-Players

PS2 Memory Card: 1039 KB

Memory Card Icon: The Official 'WWE SmackDown versus RAW 2006' Logo

Media Format: DVD ROM


Analog Control: Yes

Vibration Function: Yes

ESRB Content Rating: 'T' for 'TEEN' (Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence)

Instruction Manual: 25 Pages in Black & White

Series Legacy: WWF SmackDown, WWF SmackDown 2: Know Your Role, WWF SmackDown: Just Bring It, WWE SmackDown: Shut Your Mouth, WWE SmackDown: Here Comes the Pain, WWE SmackDown vs. RAW, WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, WWE’12, WWE’13

PLEASE NOTE: This Review was UPDATED by the original author, “GAME-QUEST-EX,” in Fall of 2012

STORY

The extreme & often humorous “Wrestling Soap-Opera” plotlines that has been dubbed “Sports Entertainment” returns in this video game installment called “WWE SmackDown versus RAW 2006” (SD vs. RAW ’06). The storylines in this game can be divided into main plots and subplots, which one way or another, all involve the character you use.

Find out exactly why the General Manager of RAW, Eric Bischoff is up to no good, as he keeps sabotaging the career efforts of WWE SuperStars, by deliberately vacating the various WWE Championship Belts, thus preventing anyone from ever holding any WWE title. Also, uncover the mystery as to exactly who is responsible for using a car in the parking lot to run over and hospitalize SmackDown’s General Manager, Theodore Long. But that’s not all: don’t forget to survive long enough to find out who has stolen the Undertaker’s “mystical urn,” and is using it to somehow control the “deadman” to attack other wrestlers & why this is happening.

Throughout the course of the storylines in the Season Mode of SD vs. RAW ’06, you will either use a WWE RAW or SmackDown SuperStar, or a WWE Legend, or even an opportunity to use your very own Created-A-Wrestler (CAW: only the male version can be used in Season Mode), to fight to through a series of matches & pay-per-view events. No matter who you use, expect to make plenty of enemies and a few allies along the way, as you try to earn respect, get revenge, and ultimately to win and hold onto a coveted WWE ChampionShip Belt.

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been working closely with video game developers, to produce a variety of multi-player titles, which have been released over the years. This particular collaboration & partnership continued on the PlayStation 2 console, with SD Vs RAW '06.

SD Vs RAW 2006 was developed by Yukes, and published by THQ. This is the first title in the series which officially uses the Numerical Year listed in the title of the game.

Featuring Batista & John Cena on the front cover, it's actually the amount of quality content within this game disc, which is worth the players' time & money.

GRAPHICS & ANIMATIONS

SD Vs RAW'06 features some very nicely created 3D graphics, which still look impressive, even by today’s console standards. At the time of its initial release, the visuals must have really looked ground-breaking on the PS2.

The WWE SuperStars all look like their real-life counterparts, with practically all of their character animations, signature taunts, special attacks, and finishers. Basically, from SuperStar's Intro Sequence, their in-ring wrestling moves and up to their victory poses, the animations in this title look very well done.

The arenas all have their own themes, written, or visually represented on the ring, or in the surroundings. So, for example, the 'Great American Bash' will have more of a July 4th Independence Day Theme, while the 'No Mercy,' 'No Way Out,' & the 'Vengeance' Arenas, all have much darker visuals themes, to match the concepts of their names.

There are also backstage arenas, which are reserved for 'BackStage Brawls.' The matches in these arenas do not happen inside the rings, but in more 'realistic' environments, like a bar, in the loading dock area of the building, or the parking lot of the venue. The wrestling actions in these arenas are different from the typically in-ring match brawls. Even without the use of the ring ropes or turnbuckles, your character can still use the backstage arenas, or objects within these backstage arenas, as weapons against their opponents, for some devastating results.

Problems with the animations and graphics come in the form of “Clipping.” Basically, there will be some instances when the wrestler you use, has parts of their body, “pass through” other physical objects like the body parts of other SuperStars, as well as physical objects in the game world such as the ring ropes, turnbuckle, tables, ladders, chairs, steps, etc. All of these “Collision Detection” issues look awkward or funny at best, but it’s a typical problem found in wrestling games of this nature. Still, it’s really no excuse anymore, as developers can always do more to improve on these graphical and animation problems.

Other minor visual slip-ups involve your Created SuperStar as they move about on-screen. Essentially, once you are done making them, sometimes, some of them tend to look like they are floating slightly above the very ground/floor, which they are supposed to walking on. This slight graphics/animation bug/glitch makes your CAW look a bit goofy when they stand straight up, when they are running or even when they are just walking. Some adjustments can be made to the custom dials in the Create-A-SuperStar Mode, but this visual problem is not completely eliminated.

Also, compared to the already established WWE Superstars & Legends, many of the wrestlers you create in this title don’t always look as realistic as you may want. Some body parts may look a bit odd (like their hands & feet). This may be partly based on your personal skill in the Created Superstar Mode & based on your own personal style. The other side of this visual problem is based on how the developers set-up the Create-A-Superstar Mode. It’s a fantastic mode to play around in, to be honest, but it’s not quite perfect, and could have used a few more positive tweaks (including various more clothing & extra item parts) to improve the overall visual appearance of your Created Character on-screen.

AUDIO & SOUND

The game contains the usually assortment of sound effects to accompany each of the slaps, chops, punches, kicks, and body slams. They all sound appropriate & authentic, whenever they are executed, so it adds very well to the overall gameplay experience.

All characters, be them WWE Male SuperStars, WWE Divas, WWE Legends, or your own Created Wrestler (a.k.a C.A.W= Create-A-Wrestler), each have (or can each be given) their own Intro Theme Song, whenever they enter the arena, right before a match they fight in & after it ends. This adds to the personality of each character, and helps to differentiate them from one another.

The characters all have their signature voice-overs. These voices are obviously all done by the real-life WWE SuperStars, for their in-game 3D personas. So, for example, in SD Vs RAW'06, Triple-H's 3D avatar is voiced by the real-life Triple-H, and not by someone else who just happens to sound like him. That also adds the audio authenticity of this title, especially during the storyline cut-scenes, in which a lot of witty & funny smack-talking & taunting is done.

Since Female Characters are not allowed to be used in Season Mode, none of your own Female CAWs have any audio tracks in the game. Basically, only a few established WWE Divas have voice-overs, but only for certain cut-scenes during Season Mode. Don’t get your hopes up though: you are typically never allowed to play with any Female Characters in Season Mode. In other words, don’t expect to hear your Female CAW engage in any dialogue with anybody in the game. Aside from their ability to count to 3 or to count out wrestlers as a Special Referee in certain Match-types, talking for them is simply not possible. This may not sit well with some fans who are interested in using Female Characters to play through some sort of story modes.

There is also Ring-Side Commentary done by Tazz & Michael Cole (for the SmackDown! Arena Matches), as well as Jerry 'the King' Lawler and J.B (for the RAW Arena Matches). These guys also recorded all of the audio for their commentary, so their play-by play-remarks, all sound as close to the real thing as you're ever going to get to.

There are unfortunately, some audio bugs & glitches in SD Vs RAW'06. Whenever there is a female wrestler actively fighting in a match, the commentators do not seem to be able to identify, or recognize her as a female wrestler, for some odd reason. She will often be referred to as a 'he,' or a 'him,' with words like 'his' used to describe her, which is wrong. Only when the WWE Diva executes certain 'Finishing Moves,' like the 'Chick Kick,' will the commentators actually acknowledge that the character in the ring is a woman wrestler. It all sounds very out of place once you hear it for yourself.

Also, there are instances when both the ring-side commentators are in the middle of a conversation, when an action in the ring (like a counter-move, a submission applied or an executed finisher), will very abruptly end the commentators’ previous dialogue, and make them jump to commenting on the actions in the ring. The interruption is very sudden and unrealistic, and it can distract you from time to time. Ultimately, you get used to these abrupt audio cut-ins and cut-offs, but the developers might have come up with a better way to transition from the ring-side commentators having a heated debate, to them excitedly describing the action going on in the ring.

The music is filled with Rap & Rock inspired tracks, which all hint at some tough-guy, wrestling theme or concept. Depending on your personal taste in music, you may or may not like the selection of music available, since they are primarily tracks taken from just those two music genres: rap (with some hip hop), and rock (varying forms). The problem is that once you have heard all of the soundtracks, they do begin to sound very much alike, and that actually can get irritating to listen to. Luckily, you have the option to turn-off the music in the Options Menu, if you so choose.

GAMEPLAY

On the gameplay screen, there is a body icon. As you take damage from strikes, grapples, & weapon attacks, your character's body icon will flash, and begin to change color: from no color, to Yellow, to Orange, to Red. The more damage your character's body is subjected to, the body icon will eventually turn completely red. This indicates that severe damage has being inflicted, which means he or she can be pinned or forced to submit a bit more easily.

The arms, legs, body & head, can all be targeted individually, in regards to which grapples or strikes you want to use to damage them. As you successfully perform connecting attacks on your opponent, or as you successful counter your opponent's attacks, your own Momentum Meter fills up as a result.

If you are a CLEAN SuperStar/CAW, all your various clean fighting tactics, will fill up you Momentum Meter a lot faster. If you are a DIRTY SuperStar/CAW, then all your low-down, sneaky, cheating, weapon-based tactics, will fuel the rise of your Momentum Meter a lot quicker. Either way, once your Momentum Meter is full, or stored-up, or both stored-up & re-filled once again, your character can now perform a context-based 'FINISHING MOVE,' which does uber damage to your opponent, and can help to win you the match, provided that your foe is already sufficiently worn down.

The basic Control Configuration has been excellently tailor-made for the PS2 controller, and with a little practice, you will get used to executing strikes, grapples, dashes, counters, Irish-whips, taunts, and finishing moves.

Note that the following information, only applies to the use of the Control Pad, in basic/standard in-ring bouts. The functions of each button, and analog stick, changes depending on the context, situation, or location, you try to use them within.

LEFT ANALOG STICK/ CONTROL PAD: Move your WWE SuperStar (note: you can only use one or the other: either the Left Analog Stick, OR the Control Pad, NOT both at the same time. This feature is altered in the OPTIONS Menu).

X-BUTTON: Strikes Attacks (Punches, Kicks, Slaps, Chops, Throat Thrusts, Elbows, Knees, Kicks, e.t.c).
O-BUTTON: Grapple Attacks (Body Slams, Suplexes, PowerBombs, BackDrops, Atomic Drops, Submissions, e.t.c).

TRIANGLE BUTTON: Run or Dash.

SQUARE BUTTON: Action Button (note: this button is context sensitive; it will change depending on what you are attempting to do or on where you are inside or outside of the ring).

CIRCLE and TRIANGLE BUTTONS pressed together: Irish Whip (note: Press & Hold Down the Circle & Triangle Buttons, to perform a Strong Irish Whip).

L2 BUTTON: Counter Strike Attacks.
R2 BUTTON: Counter Grapple Attacks.

L1 BUTTON: Execute FINISHING MOVE (only with the appropriate amount of energy inside of your MOMENTUM METER).

L1 plus L2 BUTTONS pressed together: Store the Momentum Energy of your Finishing Move.

L2 plus R2 BUTTONS pressed together: Counter your Opponents Finishing Move.

RIGHT ANALOG STICK: Taunts (Press up, down, left or right for 4 different taunts per character).

SELECT BUTTON: To regain lost STAMINA, press & hold down the SELECT BUTTON.

DOWN plus CIRCLE BUTTON (only when your Opponent is lying on the Ring/Mat/Floor/Ground): Pin to win the Match.

NOTE: Pressing the Left Analog Stick in different directions together with most of the Buttons, will produce more variations in attacks, grapples, finishers, & a whole host of other wrestling functions, both inside & outside the ring.


The controls all respond very beautifully. Strikes & Grapples respond on-screen appropriately, once you press the corresponding buttons on the control pad. Counters require a bit more timing to execute, but they can prevent your character from being destroyed by their opposition.

ALL physical activity within the ring or during any matches (running, striking, grappling, e.t.c), will deplete your STAMINA meter, and cause you to become very tired. Remember to replenish you STAMINA Gauge, every once in a while, by pressing & holding down the SELECT Button. If you don't do this, your character will become exhausted, and they will not be able to wrestle against their opponents effectively.

Aside from some inexplicable pauses, and predictable patterns, the A.I Opposition is adequate, and responds based on how you alter the OPTION Settings. Basically, you can make the game as difficult, or as easy as you want to, using the various A.I Slider Bars, to increase, or decrease the CPU's aggressive, and or, defensive responsiveness.

There are some cool little “Mini-Games” you can play right before a match starts or during the course of a particular match. For example, you can engage in an angry “Stare Down” contest with your foe, right before a bout begins. In this very brief Mini-Game, all you have to do is pay attention to the on-screen button prompt, and press the correct button to punch your opponent. This hard strike will add damage to their body right away, and will also knock them down, giving you an almost instant ground-based grappling/striking advantage over your foe. Oddly enough, this pre-bout mini-game only occurs before a match between two male wrestlers and not for any Divas or Female CAWs.

Another worthwhile Mini-Game is a Sleeper Hold mini-game. During the course of a match, once you have physically worn down your opponent, until their head icon turns red, you can initiate a Sleeper Hold Submission Move, which in turn automatically activates a “Sleeper Hold” Mini-Game. The point of this exercise is actually for the loser on the receiving end, to press the correct button shown on the screen as the gauge indicator drops into a particular zone on the vertical colored bar. If the losing fighter accurately presses the correct button in the right colored zone of the vertical bar, they can either revive from the Sleeper Hold applied against them, or they can even completely reverse the Sleeper Hold, and execute it right back on their attacker. The cut-scene for this mini-scene even involves the referee lifting up the arm of the wrestler who is being put to sleep, to see if they are conscious or not. It’s a very cool feature for single match types, and both Male & Female Wrestlers can engage in this mini-game.

Other Mini-Games involve a “Test of Strength,” in which your male wrestler engages in a hand-to-hand, wrist-wrangling grapple, against their foe, where pressing the right buttons at the right time, will force your opponent down to the mat, and you automatically kick them while they are down, again giving you the pre-fight advantage over your now fallen foe.

Steel Cage Matches & Buried Alive Matches also have Mini-Games, in which you have to watch Fluctuating Gauges carefully, and you are prompted to press the correct button at the appropriate time, before you are able to escape from the Steel Cage (by climbing out of it, or crawling out the door), or before you can Bury your Opponent Alive, or before you can prevent them from burying you alive.

These particular Mini-Games are trickier and more difficult, because succeeding usually means you win the match. Thus, the developers made winning such mini-games needlessly difficult in some cases. In other words, these mini-games can honestly end up becoming very frustrating, because trying to get the timing of the fluctuating meter correct & button pressing timing just right, is not always a comfortable thing to accomplish.

For example, towards the end of the “Buried Alive” Match, you are required to VERY RAPIDLY press the indicated button, in order to force your beaten-down foe into the coffin. If you can’t press the button fast enough, you lose that mini-game, and your foe escapes your grasp, forcing you to attempt at repeating the entire process again. Just hope your finger doesn't fall off with all that fast button mashing! These kinds of mini-gameplay frustrations tend to make playing these match types an unpleasant chore to complete and you may be forced to re-play them more than once, just so that you can get a definitive win.

There are a few other gameplay-related bugs/glitches. For example, there are some Wrestling Moves which do not fully connect with their intended target. One of these instances occurs when you try to execute certain charging moves on your opponent that is slumped over in the corner turnbuckle. Another instance of this is when your character tries to perform a running charge at a standing foe. For some reason, these particular attacks (of which there are about 2 or so) fail to completely connect. There seems to be no correct collision detection for the impact, which never registers on-screen after you have done the move. You see the whole attack animation, but you get no connecting attack, and you do no damage to your target as a result.

CREATE-A-WRESTLER (CAW) Modes

This is the BEST Mode in SD Vs RAW'06. And, it goes way beyond just naming your character, and changing their clothes.

You are given about 5 different looking Male, or Female 3D Models, to work with. From there, you can add, erase, combine, or edit a whole host of features, to create your own ideal Wrestler.

And, you are allowed to Create & Save up to 30 Original CAWs in this title!

The CAW mode allows you to alter your characters overall height, weight, muscular structure, hands, arms, legs, feet, & facial structures, down to the smallest detail, like your character's eyebrows, and eyelashes! If you can think about it, chances are that this CAW Mode will let you edit it.

Do you like realistic character creation? Sure: go for it. Do you prefer more unrealistic, extreme, or downright silly & outrageous character designs? It's all possible here in SD Vs RAW '06.

Not only can you make your own original Wrestler, you can also Create Striking & Grappling Moves in the 'CREATE-A-MOVELIST' Mode. In here, you can edit ALL of your Created-Character's Animations, from their Walking Stances, to their Taunts, Attacks, Finishing Moves, and EVERYTHING else in-between all that.

Still want more? Fine: you can go even further than that by customizing your Created-Character's Entrance Animation, in the 'CREATE-AN-ENTRANCE' Mode. In this mode, you can change, alter, or combine a wide variety character animations, as they enter the arena, walk down the ramp, and as they enter the ring itself. Don't forget to also customize the Entrance Song for your Created-Character!

Expect to spend hours making & editing all aspects of just one CAW of yours! Don't worry, because it's 100% worth all the time & effort you spend on it. Plus, you can always go back & change, or edit ANY aspect of your CAW, anyway you see fit. You can also choose to delete a CAW, and start over if you want to.

To be fair, when compared to some of the other WWE Wrestling games out there (like the 'Day of Reckoning' series), SD Vs RAW'06 lacks just a few unique parts in the CAW Mode. However, those differences will only be noticed, and missed by the really diehard CAW fans, who collect practically all WWE titles, across multiple game consoles. Newer WWE fans, or casual wrestling gamers, will have PLENTY of material to work with, within the CAW Mode of this very title.

The biggest draw-back for the CAW Mode is the limitations placed on Female Characters. There are Voice-Overs for your Male CAWs only, but none for your Female CAWs. Also, you can't use your Female CAWs in the Season/Story Mode, at all. Your Female CAWs and the original WWE Divas are simply excluded from this, and some of the other gameplay modes in SD Vs RAW'06. This may be due to the violent nature of some of the match-types which only allow male wrestlers to participate in. This restriction is reflected in the real-life WWE matches, in which Male Superstars are allowed to fight in match-types that women are excluded from. Divas are female wrestlers, and they are not allowed to engage in dangerous bouts like “Steel Cage,” “Backstage Brawls” and “Ladder Matches.” Still, SD vs. RAW ’06 is a fictional video game where no real human being ever really gets hurt. This means that the game fans should be given the choice of what matches they want to see Divas fight in, or excluded from.

MORE 'CREATE' MODES

Aside from 'Create-A-Wrester,' and 'Create-An-Entrance,' you can also make a 100% original WWE Single, or Tag Team Championship Belt, in the 'Create-A-Belt' Mode. You use the money which you earn in Season Mode & Exhibition Mode, to buy the various parts, needed to construct your very own custom Championship Belt. You can make several different belts, as well.

Don't forget to assemble your favorite WWE SuperStars, or your own Male or Female CAWs, within the 'Create-A-Stable' Mode. Members of your stable can run interference during a Single's Match, on your behalf, against your opponent. They can do everything from attacking your foe, to distracting them, so that you get the advantage in the match.

Also, if you continually build up a good stable with the Experience Points you earn in Tag Team only matches in the Exhibition Mode, your assigned Wrestling Partners within the stable, will get better at assisting you within Tag-Team situations (that is: their A.I will improve, giving you the advantage).

GAME CONTENT

There are a wide variety of different game modes and match types to capture & keep your wrestling interests.

EXHIBITION MODE:

You can consider this the 'Just-Jump-In-And-Play' Mode. It contains the Singles, Tag Teams, Handicaps, Triple Threats, Fatal Fourways, & Main Event Modes. No special requirements or set-ups needed: just select this mode & start playing right away.

MAIN EVENTS:

Pick from a LONG list of Match types. WWE Divas and original Female CAWs are excluded from some of the Male-only Match types. This unfortunate drawback in SD vs. RAW ’06 is most likely done, due to WWE’s real-life policy of not wanting Female Wrestlers to be depicted or hurt in extremely violent Match Types, like “Hell in a Cell,” “Steel Cage,” and “First Blood.” On the flip-side of this equation, “Fulfill Your Fantasy” is a Divas-Only Match-Type, which is very similar to the “Bra & Panties” Matches, where Divas try to humiliate one another by stripping off their opponent’s clothing, down to their underwear.

3 Stages of Hell
Submission
Ultimate Submission
IronMan
Tables, Ladders & Chairs
BackStage Brawls
Hell in the Cell
Steel Cage
Special Referee
Battle Royal
Royal Rumble
Elimination Chamber
HardCore
First Blood
Fulfill Your Fantasy
Buried Alive
Last Man Standing
....and a lot more.


There are a TON more other Single & Tag Team Match Types; more than is listed here in this Review, so don't panic if you don't see your favorite match type listed above. Chances are that they are still in the game.

PAY-PER-VIEW MODE:

Customize the different Match Types you like, and arrange them in whichever order you see fit, using whichever WWE SuperStars, or CAWs you want to use. You also get to pick which Arenas the PPV occurs within, as well as which two Commentators you want giving the play-by-play remarks of the match. You get to choose the name of your PPV, as well. Don't forget to SAVE the PPV, so as to return and play it whenever you like. You also get to create more than one PPV Event, if you wish.

SEASON MODE:

Basically, the 'Story' Mode of SD Vs RAW'06. Pick any male WWE SuperStar, or any male CAW, and fight your way through a season of matches, rivalries, tag-team events, specialty matches, and championship bouts. Your story changes, depending on whether you pick a character from the 'SmackDown', 'RAW' or the 'WWE Legends' Roster. All of the original voice-over lines (for the WWE SuperStars, WWE Legends, & your male CAWs), are recorded in their entirety, by the real-life wrestlers (or voice actors for the male CAWs), in this Season Mode. They help to flesh out the various storyline plots, rivalries, & events.

All storylines eventually lead right back to the WWE 'Royal Rumble,' before concluding in the WWE 'WrestleMania' finale, which will be Championship Bout involving the character which you started out with.

GENERAL MANAGER MODE:

This is like playing a very detailed version of the 'Season Mode,' but without any of the in-depth storylines. Instead, you play the role of a General Manager, either for the RAW brand, or the SmackDown brand.

Your goal in this GM Mode is to gain as many new fans as possible, while keeping the ones you already have. You can get into ratings rivalries with the other WWE show (either RAW or SmackDown, depending on which brand you have picked already).

As a GM, you get to pick which WWE SuperStars (or one of your CAWs, male or female) you want to put within any of the match types you want to select. You do this on a weekly basis, so you have to be careful that you don't overwork your characters, or they will suffer a serious injury, and become unavailable for a period of time. Don’t forget to give your SuperStars & Divas a title shot whenever they demand it, or help them to break a losing streak with a much needed victory. These actions on your part will boost their morale, and encourage them to stay on with your WWE Brand, and not defect to the other show.

Your ultimate goal at the end of the entire season (one full year of matches, with the signature PPV Events each month), is the 'GM of the Year' Trophy. The Show Brand with the highest ratings at the end of the year will win the trophy.

LOCKER ROOM:

This area of the game, you also get to customize your backstage room, by decorating the interior, the walls, and placing furniture within it. In this Locker Room, you get to also keep track of all of your gameplay statistics, and all of your various unlockables, including a large variety of WWE Championship Belts, and WWE Trophies.

You also get to access the various 'Challenge Modes' from the Locker Room. Plus, it is through the WWE Shop, located within in the Locker Room, that you also get to spend the money you earn from successfully completing each Challenge Mode. The money you spend helps you to unlock a whole host of extra costumes, furniture, decorations, posters, and new characters like the different WWE Legends.

CONCLUSION

Overall, SD Vs RAW'06 has very high replayability.

The basic gameplay works wonderfully, so this WWE title is very approachable, by both veterans & beginners alike. Once you get completely used to the controls, you will be having a blast playing SD vs. RAW'06, whether it is on your own, or with friends. Be it Single Versus, or Tag Team matches, this title is definitely fun to play.

Also, consider that this is the last 'WWE SD Vs RAW' Wrestling title, to feature both button & analog control functions, used together during active gameplay, before the series began to emphasis the whole 'Total Analog Control' Grappling System, introduced in the 2007 edition.

Plus in this 2006 version, with a ton of unlockable content (which you buy out in the Locker Room, with the money you earn completing the various Challenges), including new moves, new WWE Legends, Belts, Trophies, Furniture, Alternate Costumes, Posters, e.t.c, you will be coming back to play this game more than once, just to see everything it have to offer.

Some visual clipping and collision detection issues can hurt the visual presentation a bit. Some of the Mini-Games associated with match-types like “Buried Alive” & “Steel Cage” can be tricky & frustrating to successfully complete. Other audio bugs/glitches hurt the overall quality of the audio presentation of the title. Divas & your Female CAWs are sadly discriminated against, essentially being excluded from numerous Violent Match Types and are not allowed to be used in Season Mode. Also, your Female CAW has almost not vocal words assigned to her throughout the entire game.

However, the main thing than will keep you returning to this title, over & over again, will be the CAW Modes. Your freedom to edit virtually EVERY aspect of your CAW means that the replay value of the SD Vs RAW'06 is nearly infinite, considering you can make up to 30 original CAWs. Add in Create-A-Movelist, Create-An-Entrance, Create-A-Belt & Create-A-Stable Modes and you have more than enough Creative Tools to enjoy playing with for many hours to come!

Wrestling Fans or casual gamers new to WWE Titles should please take note: 'WWE SmackDown! Versus RAW 2006' for the Sony PlayStation 2 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! As part of the inexpensive 'Greatest Hits' Collection, this is now an affordable game you should definitely own!

Score: an "A"
Reviewed by “GameQuestEx.”


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