IGN review US, November 8, 2008 – For as long as there have been videogame systems, there have been classic wrestling videogames. The Nintendo Entertainment System had Pro Wrestling, the SEGA Genesis had WWF Royal Rumble, the Nintendo 64 had a string of grappling hits that many believe peaked with WWF No Mercy, and the PlayStation 2 had WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain. Since the release of the Xbox 360 in 2005, the videogame nation has waited for the defining “next-gen” squared-circle title to show up, and THQ and Yuke’s are taking another shot at the championship this year with WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009.
On paper, it seems like SVR 09 should cruise to wrestling game greatness. The title packs more than 60 wrestlers, 14 one-on-one match types including the new Inferno option, the promise of downloadable content before the holidays, a new story mode, better AI, a focus on tag teams and the ability to save replays and create/share your own Highlights Reels. However, when you get into the punching, grappling, and slamming that make up the game, the world begins to feel like well worn territory. In the end, we have a game that improves on last year’s outing in a number of ways but falls short of putting on the five-star bout many were expecting thanks to a noticeably stale feeling. Read the full IGN review