It’s been a few days, not much to report really. I’m not very exciting and my entries were all starting to sound the same. So I’ve worked on cutting back on writing same sounding entries. So, yeah.
I haven’t exercised in a couple days, but I also haven’t eaten much in the last couple days so I haven’t gained much weight. I’ve been mildly under the weather, and I’ve been playing a lot of the new Smackdown vs. Raw game, which is actually the point of this entry some early thoughts on the game, my progress, and all of that.
In the days leading up to the release of Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, I was really excited looking forward to playing as some of my favorite WWE superstars (such as The Miz and Zack Ryder) in WWE Universe Mode which takes the place of the very linear career mode in previous games. I’ve mostly been playing my created wrestler (who happens to be a idealized version of myself) and taking on a few matches with other characters to get other wrestlers unlocked (such as Zack Ryder). Universe mode has held my attention, particularly when guys like David Hart Smith is challenging for the US title while holding the Unified Tag titles. That’s interesting. As well as the various tag teams that form in the game, Edge & Primo and Christian & Matt Hardy are two teams that have formed since I started into Universe mode, and I had turned down the opportunity to team with Chavo Guerrero (I’m holding out for Zack Ryder), I’ve also seen the team of MVP and Mark Henry split during a match I was playing as my CAW against MVP. Lots of interesting things so far, and I haven’t even gotten to the best time of the year in WWE (January to March/April or the Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania for those who follow WWE). So the game has that going for it. The new control scheme is a little more intuitive in my opinion but if you’ve been playing the last few games the controls do take some getting used to.
Unlike last year’s game, this year’s game really seems more challenging. Last year, I didn’t feel I’d lose matches until I got to World or WWE title level (and that was pushing it), this year the matches seem a little more balanced and there have been close calls in matches with top level WWE superstars (such as Kane or Triple H). That may partially be my adjustment to the new controls, but still it’s a nice change. I’m also enjoying seeing enemy wrestlers watching the match at ringside (by purchasing a ticket, apparently) as well as pre-match attacks that can lead to easy wins. For example, in a match against Matt Hardy, my CAW came from the crowd behind Matt, took him down and then once the bell rang, hit his finisher and pinned Matt. Lot’s of good stuff going on in Universe Mode.
The Creation process hasn’t changed much, but does seem to load a little faster. Which should save some frustration while creating your favorite performers who didn’t make the cut for the game (or are in other companies). Of course, you could always download CAWs other players have created. Which saves a lot of work, and now there’s the option of editing downloaded CAWs, which means if you don’t completely like the downloaded wrestler’s nose, you can tweak it, instead doing the whole thing yourself.
There are still parts of the game I haven’t tried, such as the online Royal Rumble, and the Road to Wrestlemania stories. Still, what I’ve done so far has really captivated me. This is the best WWE game ever released, hopefully they fix some remaining issues for next year’s iteration, such as the way clothing interacts with boots and belts and the like. If they get those issues taken care of, and smooth out the rough edges in Universe Mode, they could have a contender for best wrestling game ever.