WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007 – 360 – Review

WWE SmackDown! Vs. Raw games has created some of the best titles to use the WWE
license to date.  Each one has offered successively more details and WWE
nuances, as well as solid gameplay and tons of features. This year’s WWE
SmackDown! Vs. Raw keeps this momentum going, offering even more wrestlers and
new additions to bring you into the game. While some of the previous issues that
plagued the series are still around, the game does get most of what it does
right, and is a solid wrestling game that worth a look from the Xbox 360 owner
who’s been waiting patiently for a WWE game for their system.


SmackDown! Vs. Raw 2007 carries on the series legacy by allowing you to play
through many different game modes as tons of WWE superstars and divas. You’re
not just limited to current wrestlers, but also classic stars from wrestling’s
past. This adds for some interesting matchups that could only happen in a
videogame (like Mick Foley versus Mankind, for example). You’ll have the choice
to play your matches clean or dirty, with dirty giving you a certain edge but
also opening you up to referee intervention if you get called on it.



One of
the cool new features in SmackDown! Vs. Raw is the new analog grappling system.
By pressing a direction on the right thumbstick, you’ll be able to grapple with
your opponent in different ways, either grabbing their shoulders or one arm,
depending on what you do. This opens the possibilities to different throws and
holds, and after the learning curve, feels like a very fluid move that adds to
the gameplay.


The out-of-the
-ring areas are also chalk-full with extra items that you can turn against
your opponents. Not only can you grab chairs and slam your opponent with them,
but in a move similar to Def Jam: Fight for NY, you can pound your foe into
staircases, against speakers, into announcer’s tables and so on, and the end
result adds a cool new dimension to matches.



However, there are still some problems to be found in SvR 2007. The AI still
leaves much to be desired. Opponents will act buggy and erratic at times, and
the tag-team AI is just plain dumb.


controls still feel generally stiff, as well. While the new grappling controls
feel pretty responsive, the rest of the controls don’t handle quite as well.
Your wrestler still lumbers around sluggishly, and there’s a delay in response
when throwing a punch. Also, when you get knocked on the ground, you are still
required to mash away at the buttons until your character gets back up, which
can be a very frustrating endeavor.


Graphically, the game looks pretty good, albeit lacking something to really make
it stand out among other next-gen offerings. Perhaps it’s the robotic animations
that seem to be ported straight over from the PS2 version of the game. Whatever
it is, it makes the game feel like a very good looking current-gen game bumped
up to 720p.



sound is also somewhat of a mixed bag. The power-chord rock anthems in the
soundtrack go well with the game’s format, and the fact that the developers were
able to secure the actual superstars to provide their own voices in the game is
quite impressive. However, the commentary is pretty lousy, never seeming on task
with the action on-screen or commenting on something a little too late.


SmackDown! Vs. Raw 2007 is a solid addition to the franchise, offering some nice
new features. While it’s certainly not perfect, it should make a fine addition
to any wrestling fan’s Xbox 360 game library.


Scoring Details


WWE SmackDown!
Vs. Raw 2007

Gameplay: 8.0
The new out-of-the-ring environments are very interactive, adding a new element to the gameplay, and the new analog grappling system works great. The rest of the
controls still feel a bit stiff, and there are still some AI issues.

Graphics: 7.5
SmackDown! Vs.
Raw looks pretty good in general with some nice sweat details and stuff, but
seems to lack the next-gen flair of other second year Xbox 360 titles. The
character models more like they’re from an Xbox game that was bumped up to

Sound: 8.0
Chugging metal
tunes fit the mood of the game, and the voice work by the actual superstars is a
great touch. The commentary is a bit off most of the time.

Difficulty: Medium

Multiplayer: 8.0
The game offers
several matching possibilities via Xbox Live or through one console.

Concept: 8.0
SmackDown! Vs.
Raw 2007 keeps the series’ tradition of tons of features and tons of wrestlers
from the past and present.

Overall: 8.0
WWE SmackDown!
Vs. Raw 2007 makes some nice additions and improvements to the SvR formula.
However, some of the more glaring issues, like stiff controls and poor AI, are
still present. Still, this is probably one of the best WWE wrestling games out
there, warts and all.