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WWE Raw 2


Robot Monkey
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I could not make myself like the first game, so I am also waiting for a few reviews and a rental to decide. I love the premise of the game, but making the grapple / counter actions too complicated to perform naturally is a definite downer.

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The game itself looks incredible and the characters and fireworks look gorgeous, but the gameplay is confusing and clunky. It's better than the previous version at least.

 

And to say the AI leaves much to be desired is an understatement. I started a 3 on 3 tornado match and Lita (who was on my team) immediately grabbed the friggin' referree and gave him a German suplex, getting my team disqualified only 19 seconds into the match. Way to go, Amy.

 

If this game doesn't start impressing me soon, it's going back for a refund.

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Character models as noted are fantastic. Good lighting, fireworks. Everything look stupendous. Animations are still as stilted as ever. Move transitions are fairly terrible and leave alot to be desired but to be honest it has the look of the old Aki games (and I love those) so it doesn't bother me much. Its very methodic, which leads to some of the clunkiness Anthony mentioned above. However, unlike Anthony I didn't have any problems picking up on the controls off the bat and am liking the gameplay.

 

Its too bad they got rid of the groggy grapples though. As of now you get two sets of grapples front and back by using the X and and A button. If they would have added a groggy set that would have doubled the moves set (more moves equals better better better). It seemed as though they preferred to take the easy way out by just removing them period instead of taking the time to balance the game properly and allow for opponents to groggy a tad easier and for a longer period of time (one of the biggest problems with the original Raw).

 

On that note they have really done some work on the grappling system. One of the most annoying points of the original Raw was the tackle back grapple. That is the name I gave when I attempted to grapple an opponent and the game would register the grapple as a strike, hence the opponent would go reeling back. The collision was really problematic in the first game and I'm pleased to say that has been for the most part fixed here. The wrestlers now consistently grapple when they should and the collision is much improved.

 

I do agree completely on the AI. Its absolutley TERRIBLE. Wrestled in two Hell in a Cell matches and while I climbed the cage my AI opponents sat outside looking up at me like a deer in headlights. Its even worse when there is a three way match since the computer is too stupid to switch and attack the wrestler that has german suplexed their ass for the 16th time. To be fair this is at the normal difficulty level and I will definitely try hard and see if this does in fact improve.

 

The create-a-wrestler is farking awesome. Thats as direct as I can put it. Very deep (though not as deep as the Smackdown series) though I prefer how they handle the stat distribution here. There are just a ton of options for you to create your soon to be superstar and the best of those are found in the entrance menus where you can manipulate every last light, special effect and pyro in the arena to your liking and best of all the custom soundtrack feature allows you to give your wrestler whatever music you want.

 

Thankfully Anchor was even smart enough to include a "clone" and "copy" option which does in fact allow you to copy any current superstar on the roster and edit him in the create a player mode. I have already ripped the "Real American" music and given Hogan and good old yellow T-shirt like in the old days. A beautiful thing! Currently I am creating Brett Hart and have his opening music already ripped onto the Xbox. Its amazing how much authenticity this adds to creating your grappler. Unfortunately you are not able to use the custom soundtrack feature while actually wrestling which is a disappointment. The music is about god awful and repetitive as as playing Superman 64 alone in a room with no one to let you out.

 

One last thing Iwanted to touch on was the Season mode which is really the bread and butter here. 4 players can go through a Season together and Anchor has really done some unique stuff. Before each show you can select what your character will do for each match. Say during a Ric Flair-Jericho match you want to suprise attack Hunter. Go ahead and do it. You may fail or succeed but it will affect the storyline. You can setup traps, rest, steal items from other wrestlers locker rooms, encourage other wrestlers and manipulate wrestlers to attack your enemies. This really allows you to mold the story because you can pick and choose your friends and enemies and depending on who you screw over and who you help they may come to your rescue or help to put you in the ground. One of most enjoyable story modes ever in a wrestling game. (though admittedly it can get a tad repititive after a Season or two).

 

Supposedly next year will see the addition of online play. How about some backstage fighting? (Yep no backstage rumbling in the traditional sense in Raw 2). Something thats been a de facto in wrestling games since the Playstation Smackdown titles. Wheres the blood? Wrestlemania XIX included the crimson this year why not Raw? Word is Microsoft would not allow it as the game was too "realistic" (Someone please take the glue away from MS :D ). More improvements to the grapple system are needed, smoother animations, move transitions,the addition of another set of grapple moves and for god sakes better AI will put this one in the running for a truly grand wrestling title.

 

As of right now Raw 2 is good. I personally like it. There is still much that needs to be improved as noted above and there is still alot of game to go through here before I make a final judgement. Anchor is really one more installment from making this one great. For now I'm pleased with what I've played so far.

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I'm kind of tempted to give the game a shot but the comments about the AI are giving me pause.

 

...and well they should. The AI is simply terrible. The computer opponents in some matches went for a pin 13 times in a row in a match, utterly frustrating. The AI is by far the biggest fumble in Raw 2.

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but does it still have value as a party/multiplayer game?

 

Most definitely. Two buddies of mine came over last night and we played 3 player Season mode for almost 3 hours straight. We had a great time talking smack and I can't stress how enjoyable the Season mode is. Also the create-a-wrestler is fantastic. The other half of the night we spent creating Bret Hart and a the DX crew. Top it all off by ripping thier original entrance music and well you have yourself one seriously good multiplayer title.

 

I suppose what I'm trying to convey here is that the game has a myriad of issues. AI problems are the most daunting and some niggling animation problems continue to rear thier head but I'm somewhat able to look around (cant say past :D ) these things and enjoy myself. (I thought the first Raw had potential as well minus the tackle grappling I mentioned and the utter lack of options.)

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Interesting. I got a lot of mileage out of the first one because of the CAW and multiplayer. I suppose if I wait a week or two I can pick up Raw 2 used.

 

You might be buying mine.

 

I had some wonderfully insulting CAWs for many friends. Right, Anthony?

 

Understatement of the year.

 

I guess this game does have some mileage in four player mode, but to be perfectly honest, this game still pales in comparison to Shut Your Mouth for the PlayStation 2. The AI was better, the ref didn't get in the way as much, switching opponents was easier, and multiplayer allowed for six people instead of just four.

 

As much as I liked blowing three hours of my life making a wrestler for myself in Raw 2, taking him into the ring and watching Triple H (my tag team partner) INTERRUPT MY PIN ATTEMPTS DURING SEASON MODE made it seem like a waste. That pretty much leaves multiplayer mode, which I suppose is fine, but to settle for this after having the time of my life doing ten-hour, six-player marathon sessions with people who would normally not even TOUCH this type of game is depressing. I've said it before, and apparently I'm going to be saying it 400,000 more times throughout the course of the next few years: I DON'T CARE HOW GOOD A GAME LOOKS OR SOUNDS; GAMES WERE MEANT TO BE PLAYED. There are times when Raw 2 is unplayable, and I didn't pay $50 to sit in front of my TV yelling at it in anger because Anchor spent more time on custom wrestler entrances than making their AI wrestlers smarter than paramecium.

 

I'm giving this game one more week and I'll decide whether or not I get rid of it so I can save the money for Here Comes the Pain.

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Interesting. I got a lot of mileage out of the first one because of the CAW and multiplayer.

 

Well thats a pre-requisite Jay. If you liked the first game and enjoyed the CAW and multiplayer then you'll enjoy this one IMHO. Though I do agree on many of Anthony's points. This is a flawed game (Most of the flaws lie soley in the AI) but with the experiences I've had I'm liking it a bit more than Anthony. Tastes are a bitch huh? ;)

 

For the record I absolutely despise the Smackdown series. Always have as IMO they are utter twitch based garbage that I could never get into with the exception of the last game (Shut your Mouth) which was actually pretty good. No Mercy and Wrestlemania 2000 remain the pinnacle of wrestling titles :D. I suppose Raw 2 is a guilty pleasure for me ;) .

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Does anyone know how to do submission moves(ie. Ankle lock, walles of Jericho, etc)?

 

I can't figure it out. I could do the other finishing moves where you have to grapple first, but can't figure out the ones where they're on the floor. I'm guessing you have to be at their feet with your voltage thing at red and flashing before you could attempt it, but it doesn't seem to work.

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I can't figure it out. I could do the other finishing moves where you have to grapple first, but can't figure out the ones where they're on the floor. I'm guessing you have to be at their feet with your voltage thing at red and flashing before you could attempt it, but it doesn't seem to work.

 

A good number of specials are done from "rope" grapples, as in hit your opponent until they are reeling on the rop (not the turnbuckle but the actual rope) then hit A+X after grappling from the ropes (thats how you do the Peoples Elbow for instance). You may also want to try a turnbucle grapple as well. Van Damm's frog splash is done as a turnbuckle grapple (a little wierd I know but you have to see it to understand :D ).

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Thanks.

 

I actually figured out Angle's submission mover last night...haven't tried the others.

 

For those who don't know, your opponent has to be face down on the mat, walk to his foot and grab a hold of it(A). That's it. The hard part is getting him to face down. The trick I use(when they're groggy), is to knock them down, walk to their feet and grab a hold of it, then hit a button to kick at their inner leg. If they're weak, then they'll flip over.

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