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WWE SMACKDOWN vs. RAW 2007 ( XBOX 360 ) 
Fight Night Round 3
91%
Great Visuals
Fun Scripted Events
Tricky Controls

Its been a while since we've seen a decent wrestling game, so I was pleased to take a look at the latest WWE franchise to hit the XBox360 system.

Straight to the action.. The the first thing you’ll notice is that the controls are very different from previous Smackdown games. Grapples are now controlled with the right analog stick. Up, down, left, and right each correspond to a different grapple and once you get into a grapple you push another direction to perform a move. This took a lot of getting used to and I’m not really convinced that it is better, just different. The upside of this is that there an enormous variety of moves and combos available to your wrestler. The basic punches, running, and searching around the ring for weapons are handled just like before.

The Graphics, as you would expect on a next-generation system are very impressive. The character models are insanely detailed and look great. The arenas and crowd also look better than ever. A nice touch is that the wrestlers sweat as the match goes on and it looks very realistic. This isn’t the nasty thick looking sweat like in the Xbox RAW games, this is entirely realistic. Once you see the Undertakers entrance, you'll know where I'm coming from. The detail right down to his tattoos and the smoke filled ring makes you believe your watching the show itself on a Friday night.

All the usual match types are back TLC, Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble, and more – along with new stuff like the WrestleMania Money in the Bank match. You’ll be able to enter exhibition matches, a career mode, and the GM mode where you are in charge of one of the shows. It also, of course, includes the full suite of customization modes and options that the Smackdown series is known for. However, sadly one massive let down, at least on the Xbox 360 version is that you will not be able to use your own custom music for character entrances. This, for me was a kick in the teeth and will no doubt infuriate many WWE gamers out there.

This oversight however, cannot take away what Smackdown vs RAW 2007 is: A very entertaining and well polished game. The new controls definately need getting used to but once familiar, the whole Wrestling world and scenarios that THQ have put together is both immersive and brilliant. If you are a regular to the WWE scene you are going to love the genuine entrance music, videos and likeness of the wrestlers. Throw in a fully customizable locker room and unlockable arenas, belts and legends like Hulk Hogan and Mr Perfect and you literally have the best wrestling game to grace an Xbox system to date.

 

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