WWE Smackdown!:  Here Comes the Pain
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  • THQ
  • THQ
  • Sports - Wrestling
  • 10/29/2003
  • 6
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  • $20.00
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9  |  Here Comes the Pain is Awesome. Tell 'em Hawk!
chick3_16 , 11/13/2003 11:44:30 AM

On the heels of the tragic deaths of Stu Hart, Mike Hegstrand (a.k.a. Hawk), and just after Crash Holly, we get a new WWE game for PS2. Here Comes the Pain uses the same type of engine as Shut Your Mouth, with a few tweaks here and there to make things interesting.

Season mode in this game is different in that there is somewhat of a random element to it. How you do depends on the wrestler, and what situation the game happens to come up with. Chris Benoit in a milk truck angle? Why not, it happened to me. Gone is the wandering around backstage, replaced by a simple menu (locker room) which cleans up season mode nicely. Of course you can still seek out WWE superstars backstage, but it's much less annoying.

In-ring action is made better (my opinion, your results may vary) by the absence of announcing. JR and the King appear in this game, but you won't hear good old JR trying to get you to visit the WWE Shopzone for great WWE merchandise. The music and SFX are adjustable to suit your tastes. Game play itself is very similar to Just Bring It, a slow, action based game (if that made no sense, I don't blame you, just play the game). It is a good system, and a few bugs have been taken out and moves (and wrestlers) added in. Some bugs still exist in this game, the most annoying one being that once you're on top of a ledge/cell, you can't just climb down like you climbed up. Stay up or fall are your options.

New in HCTP is the body damage indicator. Now your wrestler can wear down the arms, legs, head, and torso from blue to yellow to red. It makes for a clear indicator of when to pin, and when to hit your opponent with MAXIMUM CRIPPLER CROSSFACE (OK, so I'm a mark for Benoit, so sue me). Also fairly new is the button mashing system of submission holds. Simply get the meter over to one side to escape or submit. This isn't an issue in a single player match, but getting multiple players involved gets a bit tricky, so just kick the crap out of him, and then make him buy you a beer.

A new addition to HCTP is the bra and panties match. Digitized lingerie, digitized boobies, button mashing...
Whoever programmed this into the game is sick. Maybe fun, yes, but these females are no Lara Croft.

HCTP kept the create a wrestler feature similar to the one used in SYM, but with new appearance improvements and new moves. I can safely call this the most comprehensive create a wrestler yet, though it can still take a while to get a wrestler to "perfection". Once you start using the wrestler in season mode, you can earn stats to put towards his abilities.

Probably the biggest addition to this game was a bunch of legends. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, Hawk and Animal, George the Animal Steele, Old School Undertaker, and Superfly Jimmy Snuka grace the game as they were, and as I wish they always were. The only problem is that their entrance themes weren't recorded, so they all come down to the same generic music. Also, The Undertaker looks terrible coming down in that dinky little ring cart.

Overall, the product looks good, and season mode (one year timeframe this time around) is varied enough to keep your attention for a good long while. There are some bugs still (minor details), but it's better than watching the actual product. Seriously, have you seen WWE shows lately?

In short form, the ratings.

Graphics: 9 A couple of spots don't quite look right, and the wrestlers aren't quite as accurate as they used to be.

Sound: 10 About time they ditched JR's shilling voice.

Game play: 10 I like it, it works with a good bit of strategy involved.

Challenge: 10 3 levels, enough to keep you occupied.

Replay Value: 8 Building up a wrestler is fun, as is unlocking the legends and various other things.

Overall, I give this latest PS2 offering of WWE action a 9. It's more entertaining than a necrophilia angle, or watching David Arquette as WCW champion. I guarantee it.

Submit your own review!