WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2008 is a professional wrestling video game developed by YUKE's and released on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo GameBoy video game consoles by THQ in November 2007.
The game allows several different game modes to be played, each with different goals and options. The Season and General Manager Modes of previous games have been merged into the new \"WWE 24/7\" mode, which takes its name from WWE's video on demand service. Players can choose to play one of the game's included superstars or create a superstar, or as a general manager of one of the brand. Playing as a wrestler, the goal is to take that wrestler and achieve \"legend\" status. In order to do so, the player has to win matches, team with and feud with other wrestlers, and gain popularity. At the same time, they must choose whether to train, exercise, relax, or take part in other activities when not wrestling, all with their own positive and negative effects.(The player could only choose to be either on the Smackdown brand or the Raw brand, as the ECW brand was excluded).
The most common kind is the Brawler. Brawlers can sit on a downed opponent and punch their opponent's head repeatedly. They also had a special combination of 3 to 5 strikes. If the first strike connects, the defending wrestler would not be able to block, avoid or counter the remainder of the strikes in the combination. Their special ability was called 'Wreck Shop', a limited adrenaline rush in which all opponent strikes would be countered and all strikes became unblockable.
High-flyers could perform springboard diving attacks to opponents inside or outside of the ring. Instead of countering or side-stepping attacks, they would perform an evasive roll. Their special ability was a possum pin. After recovering from being knocked down, a high-flyer can remain on the ground. If the attacker attempts a grapple move, the defending wrestler will go for a pin attempt which is difficult to break out of. However, if the opponent attempts a strike, then the pin attempt is lost.
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 introduced General Manager mode to the franchise, allowing fans to live out their WWE fantasy booking dreams by booking their own WWE shows. The mode returned in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 with some improvements, though the best version of it appeared in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008. Unfortunately, General Manager mode disappeared after that, with subsequent entries in the series abandoning it entirely.
General Manager mode was left out of WWE video games until it finally returned in WWE 2K22 as MyGM mode. WWE 2K22's MyGM has been appreciated by fans for the simple fact that it brings General Manager mode back at all, but many have also felt let down by what it brings to the table. Fans have been waiting 15 years for General Manager mode to make a comeback, only for it to be a relatively shallow and undercooked experience.
The nature of these WWE video games likely means that fans won't be able to expect Visual Concepts to release any substantial updates for MyGM to change how it functions now, but if the developer gets the chance to make WWE 2K23, next year's entry should take inspiration from WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 to deliver a more well-rounded and entertaining take on MyGM than what's present in WWE 2K22.
In contrast, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 lets players book all kinds of different matches, allowing them to build up to Triple Threat and Fatal-4-Way matches as well as other unique match types. This gave WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 General Manager players more freedom than those playing MyGM in WWE 2K22, who are limited to booking tag team and singles feuds with no options for other match types. These limitations extend to championships, as each brand only has two singles titles to work with, one for women and one for men, with no tag team or midcard titles to speak of.
In WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, some of the pay-per-views were treated as big-time special events that allowed for unique booking opportunities. For example, whenever the Royal Rumble rolled around, players were able to throw in some of the superstars from their roster to participate in the match. There were similar gimmicks with other pay-per-views like WrestleMania that allowed for cross-brand action and made these pay-per-views feel special. Every pay-per-view in WWE 2K22 MyGM is handled exactly the same, and so none of them stand apart or are memorable in the slightest.
When WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 released, the landscape of the world's largest wrestling company was quite different. At the time, WWE had three brands in Raw, SmackDown, and ECW, and this was reflected by the General Manager mode. Up to three players were able to duke it out for ratings supremacy across the three brands, which made for quite the fun time. In modern day WWE, there are even more brands available, with WWE 2K22 offering Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and NXT UK to players, but the mode is limited to just two people. It would be great if WWE 2K23 took some inspiration from SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 and upped the number of players to match the number of brands.
In WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, the General Manager mode did not end after one season. Instead, players were able to draft superstars again and continue playing after WrestleMania and indefinitely. There are modes like WWE 2K22 Universe Mode that allow for this kind of endless replayability, so it's a shame that it doesn't apply to MyGM.
WWE 2K22 nails the in-ring action, but there are modes, like MyGM, that need a little work before they can reach their full potential. Assuming WWE decides to stick with 2K Sports for WWE 2K23, then next year's game could make the necessary changes to take modes like MyGM to the next level. Imagine if WWE 2K23 MyGM allows for multiple match types, lets players play beyond their initial season, and looks to WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 for inspiration to deliver the proper General Manager mode that fans have been waiting years to play.
This was also the first game that allowed players to brawl in the crowd (WWE Smackdown Just Bring It technically had it, but it was absolutely pointless). For whatever reason, this one is just a little more forgettable than other games but still enjoyed by hardcore fans. With names like Umaga and Mr. Perfect, this title will always be highly cherished by wrestling game fans. This was the first WWE game released on the Xbox 360, but the planned PS3 version was canceled.
SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 is a forgotten entry by many fans, but it is far from a bad game. This was the entry which introduced the concept of fighting styles, which gave a primary and a host of secondary abilities to a wrestler who had those styles. For example, a \"showman\" could steal an opponent's taunt to drain all their foe's momentum and a \"brawler\" can make all their strikes stronger and unblockable for a time.
The gameplay in 2008 was strong and the game's 24/7 mode had some good ideas but suffered from half-baked execution. The soundtrack was killer as well, and you could actually use songs from artists such as Chevelle as the entrance theme for your CAW. This was also the first WWE game to include the ECW brand.
Ask most wrestling fans what their favorite SmackDown vs. Raw game was and they will most likely point to 2006. Whether it was the fast-paced gameplay or considerable roster depth, SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 holds a special place in the hearts of fans. Graphics-wise, this was the most impressive wrestling game to date. With new features like Season Mode you could take a large percentage of the game's roster through various storylines across the Raw & Smackdown brands. This game introduced a stamina system which brought the game all the way into a simulation-based system, making it more strategic than previous entries. SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 is the preferred choice among all other entries in the series. It was just that good. Plus, it was the very first game to include GM Mode.
And, despite the tinkering, SmackDown! 2008 feels like the same old game we've been playing for years. It's entertaining, no doubt, but still suffers from the little flaws that have plagued it for years - depth perception, for instance, remains poor, so that if you step off a ringside table your wrestler will hang in mid-air for a second while the game works out where he should be standing. And, as ever, if there's more than one person in the ring, you're likely to find your blows aimed at the one you didn't want to hit. It's also oddly easy, and we rarely found ourselves in danger of losing against the AI.
For the most part, each of the abilities assigned to these different archetypes fit nicely into each wrestler's general moveset, but some have a tendency to appear overmuch over the course of a match, and in some cases, they also feel a little overpowered. The powerhouse's ability to just grapple at will tends to be a lot more effective at ending a match quickly than the high-flyer's ability to do surprise pins. Granted, there's always been that difference in effectiveness between wrestlers of this type, but these fighting styles just make those differences all the more pronounced. Not to suggest that you can't win with smaller, less powerful guys, but if you get caught in a flurry of punches from a brawler or a series of hard slams from a powerhouse, you're down for the count. 59ce067264