WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It
The illustrious WWF series has made its way onto the PS2 with WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It. The WWF series has always been a successful recreation of the real life sport and Just Bring It, is no exception. Following on from the Playstation and Nintendo 64 games Just Bring It offers exceptional variety.
The game comes with 30+ wrestlers. Some of the wrestlers included are The Rock, Steve Austin, Lita and Molly Holly. If the wrestler you want is not there then it is possible to create him/her with the create a wrestler option. This wrestler editor allows you to fully customise the look and ability of the wrestler. Fancy creating Hulk Hogan? no problem just find the appropriate features and apply his abilities and you have the wrestler who you wanted. This feature is probably the best part of the game.
Graphically Just Bring It is a mixed bag. The wrestler models have been well done but look at odds with the ugliness of the crowd graphics. In the story mode when you stroll around the reception area it also looks very basic and disappointing considering that the game is on the PS2. Some of the wrestler animations also look a little wooden.
The exhibition mode is where this game really shines. Multiple configurations are possible and match types range from Royal Rumble to King of the Ring. A mass of options exist to configure these matches to your heart's content. The game also has a story mode in which you pick a wrestler and attempt to guide him/her through a series of fights. This really should have been a career mode but it seldom lasts more than a few fights. You usually begin this mode, after selecting your wrestler, by being offered an opportunity to take part in a tag match. In the one instance I refused the offer and I was surprised to find that it was game over. If you lose a fight you get the opportunity to have a rematch. If you say no then it usually means game over but sometimes you get offered another fight. The disappointing thing though is that the story mode is practically identical no matter what wrestler you pick, which is a shame.
The presentation of the game is excellent. The look of the game is very authentic and the wrestler entrances, before a fight, look great and it is a shame that they are not subtitled. The main problem though is that the commentary is not subtitled so the deaf gamer is cut off from this 'colourful' part of the game. The story mode part of the game has interactive sections that are subtitled. The conversations are text only and contain no voices so maybe text has been used because there was no vocal input.
The niggles with the game are primarily to do with the control system. Instead of using the analogue sticks you are stuck with the directional buttons. This would'nt be too bad if the movement of the wrestlers was nice and smooth, but it isn't. You find yourself disorientated all too often. Your wrestler seems to find it too easy to end up facing in the wrong direction and it takes too long to turn him around. This doesn't make the experience unbearable but it does take the shine of an excellent representation of the sport.
Saving your game may prove a problem unless you have at least half of your memory card free. Over 4MB is required to save a game. This may not seem to be a big a problem but when you consider that a memory card costs £28 and this game requires half of that, then it becomes an insult. So the game costs £40 and to save it is going to cost you £14. Every other PS2 game to date (to my knowledge) has only used, at the most, around ½MB so why does have the save have to be so large?
Overall Game Rating: 7.2/10 A decent addition to the WWF Smackdown series but not the masterpiece that WWF fans would have hoped for. The presentation, for the most part, is excellent. However the story mode is a let down when compared to earlier games and should have been a full and varied career mode instead. Having said this though it is still a recommended purchase for WWF fans with a PS2.
Deaf Gamers comment: The lack of subtitles in the game is a disappointment but does not really damage the gameplay. Some subtitles do exist in the story mode but this is the worst part of the game and you are unlikely to spend a lot of your time there.