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October 30, 2008
WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-62-4$99.95 Std. Edition
$129.95 Col. Edition
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Fighters look impressive in this PS3 game.
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A fight in the back stage area.

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Watch your neck in this deadly WWE move.
If you have been reading my site for a while now you would know exactly how I feel about wrestling. It's not a sport. It's not legit. But it can make a good video game. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 is the second game in the franchise to hit the Playstation 3 after the 2007 version was cancelled at the last minute, and last years 2008 title was released, to somewhat disappointing reviews. So here we are with the latest game in the series, and hopefully, finally, THQ and developers Yukes can bring us something very special.

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Smashing into the doors.
The main game mode in this title is the Road to Wrestlemania which replaces the 24/7 story mode which featured in previous titles. In this mode gamers can choose from five wrestlers to follow their story; Triple H, CM Punk, The Undertaker, John Cena, or Chris Jericho. For the first time ever the game will feature a co-op storyline. Also new to this game is a brand new tag team match. Build momentum and attributes as a team, destroy opponents with high-impact double teams, pull off new bone-crunching tag team finishers and get the "hot tag" for the win.

WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 boasts a wrestling roster of 66 characters in title including Batista, Candice, John Cena, Randy Orton, and Shawn Michaels from the Raw side, Edge, Triple H and The Undertaker from the Smackdown roster, and Big Daddy V, Chavo Guerrero, Finlay and The Miz from the ECW side.

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Check out the sweat on the wrestlers bodies.
Some of the other smaller details are also interesting; the loading time has apparently been cut in half over last years title, there are approximately 2 1/2 hours of cut scenes in the game with each of the wrestlers ensure the dialogue is accurate to what they would actually say in real life, the game will allow you to use music on your hard drive for player entrances, however only the XBox 360 version will allow you to play that music during matches too. As for why the PS3 version can't we don't know.

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The Create-a-Finisher mode.
One of the new additions to this game, and one which has us most excited is the Create-A-Finisher mode which allows you to construct your own set of moves for use in the game with your created fighter. A screenshot of this mode can be seen to the left here.

Multi-player gameplay will also be included with this title and this game includes support for 6-player offline matches and 4-player online tag matches, with support for voice comms. Providing the online gameplay is a lag-free event then this should be an wonderfully entertaining experience. The developers are also promising downloadable content for the game, the exact details of which remain under wraps although updates to match the current events on TV are likely. We also aren't sure if this will be free, or incur a small fee.

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Getting close to tagging him..
Graphically WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 certainly looks like being the strongest in the series to date. The wrestlers all look wonderful and their animation, from what we have seen to date, looks not only varied but also quite fluid. If we do have one complaint about the game from what we have seen, and from what you may have noticed about the surrounding screenshot it's that there is a a lack of colour and visual 'wow' factor. Perhaps it will be spruced up further with these screenshots a few weeks old now.

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Prepare for some major pain!
While wrestling games aren't really my 'thing', they can provide quite a few thrills and spills. Yukes look like pushing this PS3 version beyond anything seen in the past and if you're a fan of the sport/show then you'll likely want to check this out upon release in early November and, surprisingly, it looks like Australia will be the first territory to get the game on November 6, with Europe on November 7 and America on November 9. Japanese gamers will be waiting a little longer with a release scheduled for January 22, 2009 at this stage.