Unbound , a group exhibition by 7 unknown Singapore artists, will be held at Black Earth Art Museum, 352 Joo Chiat Road from 6th November 2009 till 15th November 2009(Sunday), daily from 12.00pm to 9.00pm.
7 common folks, 7 different walks of life, 7 different take on their artworks, ideas and inspirations. "Unbound" showcases a group of 7 artists who wishes to express their individual thoughts and interpretations. Spanning from the realistic world that we live in, the emotions and occurring events that affect our courses in the life, to the surreal and imaginary realm that we choose to ease our mental states of minds.
The Unknown Artists: Chong Li Sze, Christine Ang, Ken Kua, Linzlang, Luo Qiaoqing, Ng Ling Tze, Terence Koh
Black Earth Art Museum
352 Joo Chiat Road Singapore 427599
6th November 2009 (Friday)
7.30pm to 10.30pm
6th November 2009 (Friday)
to 15th November 2009 (Sunday)
Monday to Sunday 12pm - 9pm
Unbound , a group exhibition by 7 unknown Singapore artists, will be held at Black Earth Art Museum, 352 Joo Chiat Road from 6th November 2009 till 15th November 2009(Sunday), daily from 12.00pm to 9.00pm.
Happy Halloween, fellow zombies!
Just in time for every fellow living undead's favourite holiday, Threadless, The Daily Zombie's favourite T-Shirt designer's line, is commemorating this day with, what else, a cool T-Shirt by Aled Lewis, depicting mankind's last stand against a seemingly endless hordes of zombies.
About the design, from the words of the artist:
"I'm totally stoked to win my first ever Loves competition. I've tried a bunch of times and had some good scores but never seemed to get the concept that was right for the comp. Here's the blurb I wrote for Threadless... "This design is an homage to a bunch of different zombie related influences: Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of The Dead, The Evil Dead, Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil and MJ's Thriller ..."
Internet, an integral part of the civilization by now, utilized by more than 1.6 billion people around the world daily, is 40-year-old today.
On this day 40 years ago, Leonard Kleinrock (pictured above), working for UCLA, sent the very first e-mail message (that is of course, before the term "e-mail", were coined) over the ARPANET system (before they called it DARPA) from Los Angeles to the Stanford Research Institute, more than 400 miles away.
What was the content in that fateful email, you must be wondering? lo. A message meant to read as "login", but the computer crashed almost immediately thereafter.
Today, as Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), amongst other major developers gathered to commemorate this day, the internet regulator has approved plans to allow non-Latin-script web addresses, in a move that is set to transform the online world.
The board of Icann had earlier voted at its annual meeting in Seoul to allow domain names in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts. For the uninitiated, as of now, more than half of the 1.6 billion people who use the internet speak languages with non-Latin scripts. The move is being described as the biggest change to the way the internet works since it was created 40 years ago and could be in use next year.
Paving the way for internet's Domain Name System (DNS) to be changed to recognize and translate non-Latin characters, the DNS, which is like a phonebook, turning easily understood domain names into strings of computer-readable numbers, known as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, will be further evolved to reflect its literal international status.
Icann said it would accept the first applications for IDNs by 16 November, with the first up and running by "mid-2010". Speculations indicated that Chinese and Arabic script, followed by Russian's, are likely to be the majority of early non-Latin net addresses to be approved. Naysayers, though, had expressed their concerns over potential danger that the internet - a tool for culture, information - sharing and dialog on a non-national level, may become irreversibly fragmented.
For those about to slay some gods...
Mark your calenders, would-be-god-slayers, as Sony had officially announced that the much-anticipated God of War Collection will make its debut on the PlayStation 3 on November 17th. As per earlier entry, the God of War Collection is a high-def compilation of the first two God of War games.
While both instalment of the Sony epic action fantasy had their own glories, gaining tremendous commercial success during their respective launch in 2005 and 2007, the PS3 remastered compilation are highly regarded and are expected to be performing well, despite its 2nd gen console origins.
The 720p visual overhaul being the main feature behind the collection, as per PS3's usual features, Sony will be including a full slate of trophies for each game while providing a code to download a demo of God of War III from the PlayStation Network months before its official release in March 2010.
For all the potential PS3 trophy hunters out there, Sony had also provided a list of trophies for both games, embedded below for your convenience.
GOD OF WAR Bronze PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy.
1.21 Gigawatts Acquire Poseidon’s Rage Rocking Out Acquire Medusa’s Gaze Bolt Action Acquire Zeus’ Fury Sword Man Acquire Blade of Artemis Soul Search Acquire Army of Hades Matador Win the first Minotaur fight Scape Goat Win the first Satyr fight Roll Over … and Die Win the first Cerberus fight Don’t They Ever Shut Up! Defeat the Desert Sirens Beat a Dead Horse Complete the Centaur sacrifice to Hades Kickboxer Complete the Spike Room Box Puzzle Rockin’ the Boat Complete the Sex Mini-Game Don’t Leave Her Hanging Rescue the Oracle with 10 seconds to spare Get the Ball Rolling Complete the Challenge of Atlas Totally Baked Complete the Human sacrifice Splash Kiss the Nyad Get Me a Beer Kid Free yourself from the depths of Hades Zero Health = Bronze Trophy Open a Health Chest when your health meter is already full Hitman Get a 100 Hits Combo Getting My Ass Kicked Die enough times to get offered Easy Mode
GOD OF WAR Silver PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy.
Kratos’ Marble Collection Collect all the Gorgon Eyes Stick it in Your Cap! Collect all the Phoenix Feathers It’s the HUGE One Retrieve the Captain’s Key Take the Bull by the Horns Defeat Pandora’s Guardian God Killer Kill Ares Head Hunter Obtain the head of the Architect’s wife The Power to Kill a God Retrieve Pandora’s Box Hitman 2 Get a 200 Hits Combo Legend of the Twins Watch the ‘Birth of the Beast’ Treasure Seeing Red Max out all Weapons and Magic
GOD OF WAR Gold PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy.
Prepare to be a God Beat the Game on any Difficulty You Got the Touch! Climb the Spiked Column in Hades without taking damage I’ll Take the Physical Challenge Complete the Challenge of the Gods Speed of Jason McDonald Beat the game in under 5 hours on any Difficulty Key to Success Collect all of the Muse Keys
GOD OF WAR Platinum PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy.
Trophy of Zeus Unlock all God of War Trophies
GOD OF WAR II Bronze PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy.
Breaking Wind Acquire Typhon’s Bane Big, Tuff, Buff and Rough Acquire Rage of the Titans Blue Balls Acquire Cronos’ Rage Shiner Acquire the Golden Fleece Rock their World Acquire the Head of Euryale Learning to Fly Acquire the Icarus Wings Shaky Ground Acquire Atlas Quake Death from Above 2009 Defeat the Dark Rider for the first time Resurrection Climb from the pit of Hades Rock Hard Defeat the Titan Minotaur inside Atlas Pick’n on the Little Guy Win the battle outside of the Palace of the Fates Watcha Got on the Hot Plate? Solve the riddle of the Fire Phoenix Statue Whip it Good Whip the Steeds of Time Lift with Your Knees Topple the Temple in the Bog of the Forgotten Swinger Cross the collapsing Grapple Bridge Stoner Stone and Shatter 30 Enemies Super Sized Get a 500 Hits Combo Hitting Your Stride Power up any item
GOD OF WAR II Silver PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy. Eye Can’t Believe it Collect all the Gorgon Eyes Go Make a Pillow! Collect all the Phoenix Feathers Eye Sore Collect 20 Cyclops Eyes Boss Batch 1 Kill the Colossus of Rhodes, the Dark Rider, and Theseus Boss Batch 2 Kill the Barbarian King, Euryale, and Perseus Boss Batch 3 Kill the Kraken and all three Sisters of Fate Daddy Issues Defeat Zeus Rise and SHINE Awaken the Phoenix Spread ‘Em Open the wings of the Temple of the Fates Shine King Open the door to the Temple of Euryale Blowin’ Your Wad Max out all Weapons and Magic
GOD OF WAR II Gold PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy. The End Begins Beat the Game on any Difficulty Feel the Urn Collect and use at least 2 Urns of Power Bleeding Thumbs Beat the Challenge of the Titans 15 Min Fight Scene Battle your way to the Loom Chamber in under 10 minutes You Know the Germans Make Good Stuff… Collect all Uber Chests
GOD OF WAR II Platinum PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy. Trophy of Gaia Unlock all God of War II Trophies
The "Haunted House Simulator", eh?
Will choppy controls, cheap shocks, crappy graphic scares the shit out of you?
Ju-on: The Grudge
Developed by: feelplus
Published by:Xseed Games
Platforms available on:Wii
Released Date: October 13th, 2009
Genre: Survivor Horror, Graphic Adventure
Rating content: ESRB: M (Mature 17+) / PEGI: 16+ Blood, Violence
While I will be the first to admit that Ju-on: The Grudge (呪怨), the 2003 Japanese "J-Horror" film, written and directed by Takashi Shimizu, had left an irreversible psychological scar on me, I am truly in anticipation of a game that can provide the very same experience with the film, thrusting the player into the maddening world of Japanese Onryō (怨霊), when the game was unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 by Xseed Games, who described it as a "haunted house simulator," rather than a traditional survival horror game.
Survivor Horror games had come a long way ever since the original Japanese release of Resident Evil in 1996. While the element of fear remains the core of the developers' focus, gaming in general had move on in leaps and bounds as elements such as gameplay control, camera angle and other technical stuffs are taken into account and thereby became inseparable from any bona fide Survivor Horror games. This provided a huge problem for the developers, as well-rounded inventory and gameplay excitement can actually takes the fear factor away significantly (players who experienced the latest Resident Evil outing will understand this point well). As a result, back-to-the-basic approaches are bound to be the next trend.
Released as Kyōfu Taikan: Juon (恐怖体感 呪怨, literally meaning, Sensation of Fear: Curse Grudge) in Japan on July 30th 2009, and released in North America this October by XSEED, Ju-On: The Grudge, intends to strip the gameplay element from the genre, focusing entirely on the horror of the Survival Horror genre, to create a "haunted house simulator,"with a singular goal: Scaring the shit out of you, the player. Meaning that there will be zero combat, as the gameplay consists of primarily, exploration. By being unable to defeat the antagonistic boss, the horror element is tremendously expanded (I'm sure any player ever played Silent Hill 2 cannot forget the invincible Pyramid Head). So how did the game actually fare, with such bold concept?
Badly, I'm afraid. Digging in deep the very remarkable source material, the game featured scenarios after scenarios of the player, finding themselves as several different characters with one similarity: Stuck in creepy environment with an atmosphere straight out from the J-Horror, accompanied with unwelcome visits from the naked White boy (not caucasian white or albino white, but ghostly freaking white) and, drum rolls, the boss enemy that will not die, Kayako Saeki, the ultimate creepy fuck Onryō clad in white, covered in blood, complete with long dark hair covering her face, crazy-ass movements with a crunching neckbone and her signature croaking sound. Being the cursed ghouls born of a violent death that consume all who enter their domain, the mother and son tag team had been an unstoppable force, establishing a pretty high body counts in both the original Japanese film series and its inferior American remake series. Sounded all good to go, isn't it?
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The scares came in early, and are remarkably effective... for the first dozen of times. Eventually, choppy controls, cheap shocks, crappy graphic and extremely shallow gameplay mechanics creeps up to butcher whatever good gaming elements that still survives by then. There are several creepy environment you will find yourself at, abandoned hospital, abandoned apartment, and pretty much abandoned anything, and there are no weapons, no healing items, no health bar and you'll be walking around opening doors and acting like you cared with the one item that you are going to hold on for your dear life throughout the entire game: A freaking flashlight.
Naturally, one concept lead to another and you can expect that the flashlight had limited battery and you sure wouldn't want to miss that last ray of light (The Wii-mote basically functions as a flashlight which is like a life bar in the way that once it run out of battery life, you die) given the break-neck speed the player is traveling at. Yes, this game is the number one contender to the title of "Slowest Game Of The Year" or worse still, ever. So how do you actually get the much relieved "Game Over" screen? By missing one of the QuickTime Wii-mote actions during the one-on-one encounters with Kayako. Indeed, you will get to ward off evil spirits by flailing your Wii-mote in the air, and yes, just the Wii-mote as nunchuk will not be utilized. The onscreen flashlight will shine where you point your Wii-mote at while slamming the device to a side has your character do a 180-degree turn for a hasty check on the back, while holding the B button thrust your character forward that tiny winy bit.
Several minutes into the game, you can briefly predict what's gonna happen next... One cheap thrill leads to another, for example, ghastly hands reaching out of nowhere to grab you or floating figures swirling pass the screen. These scare tactics soon turned monotonous, so much so that you can like, half expect what's gonna pop up next. Endless cycles of these second-rate chills almost single-handedly launched the game into a C-graded Horror flick emulator. The earlier mentioned attack sequences by Kayako will eventually get more frequent but are still relatively scarce in the earlier part of the game. This might be a smart move to avoid over-exposure of the Boss, though most of these encounters are notably more engaging and fun to play with, with the players having only seconds to shake her away with the Wii-mote.
While the crappy graphic are arguably intentional in order to achieve that much touted "Haunted House Experience", I'm pretty sure the choppy control is a result of shabby development. The aformentioned control of movement had, as a result, caused the already frustratingly slow game pace to achieve the impossible: Get even slower.
Fans of the movie series might be interested to find out more of the plot and its connection to the series. To those fans, it might serve you greatly to put away those thoughts. The characters portrayed in the game, despite being a family unit, had next-to-zero interaction with the other, let alone further connection to the movie.
To ensure that horrendous boredom can be contagious, much like the eponymous grudge, there's a laughable multiplayer mode called "Courage Test", thrown in for good measures. The second player's goal is to scare the first player by triggering "scares scenes". What lies in the player's arsenal of absolute fear and terrors? Blood emitting on the screen, a girl floats by, some insects flying by, etc. Point to note is that these silly interruptions does absolutely nothing to the character whatsoever. The second player has to wait 15 seconds after deploying a scare tactic before doing another one, so it is a tested and proven way to condemn both yourself and your friend in eternal hell.
A major contender for "Lame Game Of The Year" and "Biggest Disappointment", this game is a textbook example of franchise-adapting with a bright idea and straight-to-hell execution. Despite the original Ju-On's film director, Takashi Shimizu's supervision, the game wasted its connection to the source material, thereby severely undermining the player's experience into the world of terrifying Onryō.
- The mother-and-son tag team of Kayako and Toshio still sends spine-tingling fear to those who "enjoyed" the movies
- Atmosphere of the game has been greatly emulated into the game
- Just so you know, this game is FUCKING slow. It's so slow that you will think that you are practically crawling at top speed just like good old Kayako. A better game could probably be churned out of this train wreck having the player as Kayako, scaring the shit out of puny human and adding this element into the "Courage Test" mode just so that you can scare your friend silly.
- If the crappy camera is something they can blame on the "Haunted House Simulator" concept, then I supposed messy control and choppy graphic are too. Well, all that, in order to create an...
- ... Extraordinarily boring, singular gameplay.
- I was going to touch on the relatively short length. Then again, maybe it's a good thing.
And The Sequel?
No, not sequel for the game. The thought of that struck fear already. It's the long awaited sequel to the original series I'm talking about here. While the US remake series had gone Direct-to-DVD with The Grudge 3, and thereby for the first time not featuring the original team, Takashi Shimizu as the director, Takako Fuji as Kayako, talks of "The Final Grudge" were leaked early October, with it being the final entry of the original trilogy and an assembly of all the original players.
Nevertheless, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Ju-on series, two new Japanese Ju-on films titled Ju-on: Shiroi Roujo and Ju-on: Kuroi Shoujo premiered in simultaneous screenings in theaters in Japan on June 27th 2009 with Takashi Shimizu and Taka Ichise returning to supervise respective films with the two new directors at helm.
For more clarity on how the Game Reviews here works in The Daily Zombies, please check out "The Daily Zombie Rating System And Review Policy for Gaming".
Question: Why the name, "Bragging Rights"?
Answer: For the simple fact that "WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw, sponsored by WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010" will be downright weird, coming from the mouth of Jerry "The King" Lawler.
With the entire PPV (Pay-Per-View) seemingly inclined towards the idea that it is the ultimate promo/in-place advert for the multi-platform selling and almost guaranteed multi-million selling game, WWE Smackdown! VS Raw 2010 (reviewed earlier here), it is almost puzzling why they did not simply called it WWE Smackdown! VS Raw (hell they can even put that "2010" in), given the fact that WWE is so big on literal bullet-in-the-face PPV titles these days, with the previous PPV being called "Hell In A Cell" and the upcoming PPV in December titled WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs (which according to WWE, its concept was voted by fans via WWE's official website and was chosen over an event with street fight main events and an event featuring a single-elimination tournament).
So what is the big idea behind "Bragging Right"? It doesn't get even more literal than this: It's for the bragging rights between the wrestlers from Raw and Smackdown, which effectually means nothing. Those wrestling haters out there might be having the kind of "smart-ass holier-than-thou superior mankind" smirk to the above mentioned comments. Pro-wrestling, is in actuality, a series of staged shows featuring pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines involving different wrestlers. When everything is booked, what is the consequences of anything at all? If you are asking this question too, skip this article. It's not for you. Al these changing hands of championship belts functioning mainly as McGuffins as much as the next plot points in, TV Dramas like Fast Forward, Fringe or Lost. We here at The Daily Zombies, are not even remotely interested in converting new wrestling viewers. The point here is, the matches that you cared about, had to be of certain consequences, since, in defacto, everything in pro-wrestling is about bragging rights and we don't really need to be reminded of one in such literal ways. Subtler matches with similar idea held during Cyber Sunday where all three World Champions of the three weekly shows clashed and the fans voted for their desired title to be on the line, and the regular Survivor Series Elimination Matches between different brands served the purpose with enough interests generated as well. Speaking of Cyber Sunday, the PPV with the concept of having fans picking their choice of matches, opponents or stipulations has been finally scrapped and replaced with Bragging Rights. As weird as that would sound, the strange concept of Cyber Sunday actually worked better than its replacement. But then again, WWE of late, is fully capable of dishing out strange decisions (if you need an example, the ever-changing host manager concept in RAW). "Who will be the dominant brand?" Of course, the one being booked to win. TV ratings got nothing to do with in the storyline. And from the fact that the third brand, ECW, was not even mentioned, let alone involved in the PPV is telling of how WWE ranks them.
On to the matches itself...
SmackDown vs. Raw WWE Bragging Rights Tag Match
A 7 on 7 Tag Match, with a, if not stellar, then at least star-studded cast. Ready? Go.
Team Raw, featuring Triple H and Shawn Michaels as its captains, with The Big Show, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger & Cody Rhodes versus Team Smackdown, featuring Chris Jericho and Kane as co-captains, with Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth, David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd.
All wrestlers on both teams went through "rigorous" Qualifying Matches (perfect TV fillers) with the exceptions of four of its captains. They even had a confrontation on Raw, which probably led to an almost complete face-lift for Team Smackdown with only its two captains intact. And guessed what? It ended up better that way. The original five members, Eric Escobar, Drew McIntyre, JTG, Shad and Dolph Ziggler lost on the immediate next TV tapings of Smackdown, in a five-on-four tag match to new members Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth and The Hart Dynasty’s David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd. Which is weird in a funny way as the results of all five earlier Qualifying Matches were effectually reversed entirely, as all five suckers are now replaced with the guys they'd beaten in the first place. Awfully smells like a last-minute rewrite in reaction to the aforementioned confrontation between the two teams which exposed the lack of star power and credibility of Team Smackdown in its entirety. While midcarders like Matt Hardy, R-Truth and Finlay definitely had the basic showmanship and wrestling skill to pull a PPV main event as such off, it is a positive development to have The Hart Dynasty’s David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd to be involve in their first attempt in breaching the top tiers by playing with the key players as they had been pretty impressive in ECW till now.
As for the actual match, what do you expect from a 7 on 7 match, which is not running on elimination stipulation? An absolute train wreck, bound to be entertaining based on the sheer fact of the cast involved, but still, train wreck nonetheless.
Predicted Winners: Team Smackdown
In the very same vein of logic as what was mentioned earlier regarding the concept of bragging rights, we all know that Smackdown is absolutely, without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt, the B-show, but do we need WWE telling us straight in the face. Judging from the histories behind all these cross-brand clashes, Smackdown wins, like 75% of the time.
In the earlier mentioned 2006's Cyber Sunday's main event where all three champions met in a Triple Threat match where the fans voted for their desired title to be on the line, Smackdown's King Booker won and successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship. Likely a display of paternal love from WWE, Smackdown usually wins these kinds of matches to probably make up for their B-show status.
With the company seemingly inclined to be building a future confrontation between DX and the Unfied Tag Team Champions, Chris Jericho and the Big Show (presumably at the next show, thrown in some midcarders to make up the Survivor Series Team). it is quite likely for Big Show to turn on his teammates, igniting the feud for the build-up.
World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker vs. CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Rey Mysterio (Fatal Four Way Match)
There were online rumors earlier indicating that Cm Punk's loss in the strangely placed opening match (not taking the dark match between Matt Hardy and Mike Knox into account) in the last PPV, Hell In A Cell, was due to Punk's "problems" with the WWE Management. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine Taker losing in his trademark match to Punk, despite the fact that he almost always loses in them (the first ever HIAC, to Shawn Michael due to the debut of Kane, and the probably passing-of-torch HIAC to Brock Lesnar.)
The inclusion of Batista and Rey to enter the frays of Taker and Punk's feud comes off as a little abrupt to me, and especially at a time when Team Smackdown (in its original line-up) seemed to be in dire needs of additional star powers. On second thought, this arrangement might be to prevent fans from over-exposure of one-on-one matches between Taker and Punk (they had done Submission Match and HIAC, something a normal feud takes somethime to developed into) or, a lead-in to a probable major plot development (which I will touch on later).
Predicted Winner: CM Punk, or to a lesser extent, Batista
There had been various online rumors surrounding the health of Undertaker, which had accordingly affecting his work rate greatly (unable to be involved in weekly tapings, long matches, etc) and traditionally, WWE had always utilize Fatal Four Ways and Triple Threats whenever they wanted someone to lose their belt without getting pinned to minimize the impact on the reputation of the losing champion. Taker sure fitted in that role and especially so, since it is getting near to Wrestlemania and they can ill imagining the absense of Taker to injuries of any sorts. Especially when the PPV after the next (Survivor Series) being WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, where the gimmick will be Ladder Match with tables and chairs thrown in for fun.
One unwritten rule of pro-wrestling that might be applicable here would be the one that should wrestler A loses his match prior to the big main event coming up next, he will then win the big main event. All this is supposedly in the writer's effort in producing dramtic results. So Punk loses big last Smackdown taping, tapping frenetically to Taker's bore-inducing Hell's Gate. Even when not applying this unwritten rule, with three Baby Face and one Heel in one Fatal Four Way, it is quite telling of the results.
The probable major plot development which I mentioned earlier? Batista winning the match... by doing a heel turn, playing out the trust of Rey, and pinning him after after an unexpected Batista Bomb. The likelihood of this is actually quite high, considering the recent storyline placing Batista and Rey chasing the Unified Tag Titles (and losing it due to Rey being pinned) and the singles match where Rey pinned Batista clean. Smackdown is in desperate needs of major heel, with Punk being the only one in the role now. A Batista heel turn will greatly revitalize the show and open up many new possibilities of storylines and match-ups.
WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. John Cena (One Hour, Anything Goes WWE Iron Man Match)
Just when you thought the Hell In A Cell match earlier this month was the last straw you had of Cena and Orton? Tough luck. You shall relive every wrestling moves that you had known and familiar with from them (yes, all ten of them from the very limited library of moves shared by both) and get the opportunity of doing some kinda pro-wrestling historian impersonation, comparing pro-wrestling now and then. Witness how ten minutes (at most) of actions can be repeated, six-fold, into one freaking hour you will never ever get back.
While WWE ponders in their infinite wisdom and fans wallow in their infinite melancholy, one fact does indeed warrants clarification: Both Cena and Orton, are respectively the biggest Baby Face and Heel in their generation. Notwithstanding Batista's age gap, I still considered The Animal amongst the same generation as Cena and Orton, given the same period of their rise. Orton, with his misdemeanor and reportedly attitude problem, were earlier diagnosed of a false coming with his greatly-pushed status replaced by Batista. However, as Batista's fame wane after his feud with Undertaker and being repeatedly adsent due to nagging injuries, Orton had returned to where he truly belongs. The entertainment value and star power both Cena and Orton bring to their game are undisputedly, the best of their generation, with their showmanship, mic skills and all.
Ironman matches, one of the most tedious and toughest type of matches around, had been few and far in between. In the history of WWE, there had only been four. With all kudos to the mighty wikipedia, a brief history as below:
WrestleMania XII, Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship; 60 minutes. Neither man scored a fall in the first 60 minutes. Gorilla Monsoon ordered the match into overtime and Michaels scored a fall 2 minutes in to win the WWF title.
Judgement Day 2000, The Rock vs. Triple H for the WWF Championship; 60 minutes. Shawn Michaels is the Special Guest Referee. With the scores tied at 5-5 with only a minute or so remaining, The Undertaker makes his in ring return after an eight month absence. He went on to attack Triple H, X-Pac and Road Dogg but was spotted by Michaels who disqualified The Rock, making the score 6-5 in Triple H's favor. Thus making Triple H the new WWF Champion.
WWE SmackDown!, September 18, 2003, Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship; 60 minutes. First of three 60 minute Iron Man Matches on broadcast TV (in the other Chris Benoit defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Triple H). Lesnar had a huge lead 5-2 with 15 minutes remaining but Angle fights back with 2 more falls. Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock with 20 seconds remaining, but Lesnar didn't tap. Brock Lesnar won the WWE title.
Raw, July 26, 2004, World Champion Chris Benoit beat Triple H 4-3 in the first and only 60-minute Iron man match on RAW. Benoit got some help from his friend Eugene Dinsmore in the final minute of the match.
Noticed a trend here? More often than not, wrestlers participated in Ironman matches tends to be those of particularly talents in term of sheer wrestling skills (Bret, Shawn, Angle and Benoit, to name a few) or at least with enough experiences to pull off this match type (The Rock and HHH). Both, unfortunately are not amongst Cena and Orton's forte.
Predicted Winners: John Cena
Other than the simple fact that they can't be seriously relegating their real MVP (eat yer heart out, Montell Vontavious Porter) to the B-show, there's the aforementioned unwritten rule. Cena got pinned clean by HHH (the match was called by The King as a potential Wrestlemania main event but fans got it at Raw. What a moronic comment, as IT already was a Wrestlemania main event back in Wrestlemania 22 in 2006), amidst hypes that this is the final match of Cena in Raw. Cena will win so that Orton can move on in a temporal feud within his faction, Legacy (hint hint: The Marine 2, starring WWE superstar Ted DiBiase in the lead role will be released direct-to-DVD on December 29, 2009).
Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs. United States Champion The Miz
It's the battle of the Jannetty, or rather, the battle of who's not a Jannetty. Writing this itself already made me feel bad, I can't imagine how heartless both Morrison and The Miz are. And a real mean angle for the writers who scripted that trash talking Dirt Sheet reunion between Miz and Morrison two weeks ago meant to ridicule...strangely none of them but good ol' Marty Jannetty. It's almost tragic to see how honest-to-god Marty, earning a decent living being a former wrestler with great work rate and professionalism, not to mentioned adequate wrestling abilities (a feature at least half the current roster across all three weekly shows are seriously lacking), to be a point of ridicule. I will be surprised if twenty years from now, some rookie will be talking about not being "The Miz".
Back to the match on hand, Miz versus Morrison could just be the show-stealer of the night. Formerly a relatively successful tag team that had won several tag title run, both Miz and Morrison had went on with their solo endeavor with delightful results. Morrison is on Smackdown and holds the Intercontinental Title, while Miz is on Raw and has the US Title. The feud though, could have made more sense back when the tag team had a bitter split when Miz did a about-turn on Morrison (A premature split if you ask me despite their solo successes. WWE just isn't a big fan of the traditional tag team-turned-solo success story we had with The Rockers or The British Bulldogs anymore.). However, this feud, now being sold as another of those Smackdown Vs. Raw promo, is somehow cheapened by that gimmick. Nevertheless, Morrison is an excellent wrestler with the right balance of showmanship, wrestling skills and trash-talking ability (though the aforementioned Dirt Sheet kinda sucked for both Miz and Morrison) while The Miz, despite the inferior half of the tag team, is steadily picking up with his wrestling skills and his natural-born heel charisma.
Predicted Winners: John Morrison
This match is in fact, harder to predict, as both Miz and Morrison belonged to different brands, which makes any follow-up plot difficult to plan, unless the feud continues with both of them leading or following another Survivor Series team into the next PPV.
All things considered, the feud of Morrison and Miz has all the potential to go a long way.
Raw Divas vs. SmackDown Divas Tag Team Match
Uh, actually no. No preview for this one.
This might somewhat disappoint or even make you feel that we, here at The Daily Zombies, are sexist who discriminate Divas, Knock-outs or whatever these wrestling companies call their female wrestlers these days, but the fact remains that we don't do Divas Matches as pointless as this one here. Not for the reason that the titles (be it Diva or Woman Championship) are not at stakes, but for the reason that whichever brand wins this one won't even be bothered to "brag" about it. It is that inconsequential.
Okay, a good faith gesture since this is the inaugural wrestling PPV preview and all...
The Raw team, since we had already predicted that the Smackdown teams are practically sweeping everything else. And also the simple fact that the Raw team are filled with Faces. Another unwritten rule of Pro-wrestling: When in doubt, Face wins.
While readers might argue that predicting pre-booked, scripted match-ups are as redundant as they come, we would argue that it is probably as interesting as predicting last night's English Premier League's Man Utd versus Liverpool match-up (and probably just as "authentic" as well given the drama in club football these days).
"Cheaters never prospers"?
Who gives a shit about prospering, when you can maim, destroy, conquer, humiliate your way in the gaming world? Let the ends justifies the means here.
The inaugural entry for Cheaters Never Prospers is probably the hottest cheats in demand in the gaming world now. Available here is list of cheats and codes for all the multiple platforms carrying the title now, as well as methods to the unlockables. As more tactics to lie, cheat and steal will be gradually rearing its ugly and helpful head, we will be updating this entry regularly. Do check back here for updates.
Cheat Codes To Unlock Characters (For PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii and Xbox 360) These passwords are for unlocking the locked characters. Enter them at the Cheat Codes Screen in the Options Menu to unlock. Do note that the passwords are case-sensitive.
The Great One Unlocks The Rock BonusBrawl Unlocks THE DIRT SHEET and MR. McMAHON'S OFFICE as playable arenas ViperRKO Unlocks Randy Orton's alternate ring gear Bow Down Unlocks Shawn Michaels' DX ring gear Suck IT! Unlocks Triple H's DX ring gear
Road to WresteMania Unlockables (For PS3, PS2 and Xbox 360) The Road To WrestleMania holds many treacherous turns, and more importantly, unlockables. Here's the way to get them.
"The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase In "Randy Orton's RTWM", beat Ted DiBiase Jr. at Wrestlemania and KO "The Million Dollar Man" after the match Alternate Attire for Chris Jericho Week 6 of "HBK's RTWM", Make Jericho Bleed Alternate Attire for Edge Week 6 of "Edge's RTWM", Win in under 3 minutes Alternate Attire for JBL Week 8 of "HBK's RTWM", Win the match in under 4 minutes Alternate Attire for Mickie James Week 6 of "Mickie James' RTWM", beat Michelle McCool in under 3 minutes Alternate Attire for Mr. Kennedy In "Edge's RTWM", eliminate Mr. Kennedy from the Royal Rumble Match Alternate attire for Mr. McMahon (suit) Week 5 of "Create-A-Superstar's RTWM", Spend at least one minute of the match outside the ring Alternate Attire for Natalya Week 9 of "Mickie James' RTWM", Choose Kendrick over Natalya. Then at week 10, win the match suffering minimal damage Alternate Attire for Santino Marella (Street clothes) Week 12 of "Create-A-Superstar's RTWM", make a successful diving attack from the top of the ladder Alternate Attire for Shawn Michaels Week 4 of "HBK's RTWM", hit both opponents with Sweet CHIN Music Alternate Attire for Shawn Michaels (DX) (Option 1) Week 10 of "HBK's RTWM", Accept the Retirement Match, then at Week 11, have your partner be the legal man longer Alternate Attire for Shawn Michaels (DX) (Option 2) Week 10 of "HBK's RTWM", Decline the Retirement Match, then at Week 11, Execute 3 Double Team attacks Alternate Attire for The Brian Kendrick Week 9 of 'Mickie James' RTWM", choose Natalya over Kendrick. Then at week 12, win the match without using a signature move or finisher Alternate Attire for Vince McMahon (Chicken Head) Win the WrestleMania Match in "Create-A-Superstar's RTWM" Alternate Attires for Miz and Morrison (Street clothes) & Dirt Sheet area for Backstage Brawl Week 11 of "Brand Warfare's RTWM", win the handicap match as either Triple H or John Cena Champion of Champions title belt Win at Wrestlemania in "Brand Warfare's RTWM" Cowboy Bob Orton Week 9 of "Randy Orton's RTWM", dont use any strikes in your match Dusty Rhodes In "Randy Orton's RTWM", beat Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania and KO Dusty after the match Eve Week 2 of "Mickie James' RTWM", pin or submit Maryse
Ezekiel Jackson Week 3 of "Create-A-Superstar's RTWM", throw each opponent out of the ring at least once.
Green and Red Dummies as Playable Characters Week 3 of "Randy Orton's RTWM", refuse Codys help and then reverse three of Batista's attacks.
Interview Room for Backstage Complete Shawn Michaels RTW
Jesse Week 2 of "Edge's RTWM", hit every opponent with a finisher
John Cena Alternate Attire (Street Clothes) Week 4 of "Brand Warfare's RTWM", you must put Kane through a table in less than 2:30 as John Cena.
Locker Room Backstage area In "Edge's RTWM", at No Way Out, drag Mr. Kennedy on top of the Big Show and count the pinfall
Mr. McMahon (Playable Character) Week 11 of "Edge's RTWM", Put Triple H through an announce table
Randy Ortons Alternate Attire In "Randy Orton's RTWM", at No Way Out, RKO Dusty Rhodes
Road to Wrestlemania Event Skip Feature Week 12 of "Randy Orton's RTWM", Spend less than 2 minutes in the ring as the legal superstar
Santino Marella Story Designer story Week 11 of "Create-A-Superstar's RTWM", reach 500 degrees at least four times
The Hardys, DX, & Morrison and The Miz Tag Entrances Week 2 of "Brand Warfare's RTWM", you must win the battle royal as either Triple H or John Cena
The Rock Complete Edge's Road to Wrestlemania
Triple H Alternate Attire (DX) Week 6 of "Brand Warfare's RTWM", win your match in under 3 minutes as Triple H.
Trish Stratus Complete Mickies Road to Wrestlemania
Vince's Office in Backstage Brawl Week 6 of "Create-A-Superstar's RTWM", win your match
Unlockable Abilities (For PS3, PS2 and Xbox 360) Most abilities are available after you created your superstar/diva. Others will require you to increase stats in order to gain them. Once unlocked, they can be assignable through Create-A-Moveset under "Abilities".
Durability Must get Durability Attribute score of 85. Exploder Turnbuckle Attack Must get your speed attribute score of 75. Fan Favorite Must get charisma score of 80. Fired Up Must get your overall rating of a 90. Hardcore Ressurrection Must get hardcore score of 90. Kip Up Must get a Technical score of 85. Lock Pick Must get a submission score of 80. Object Specialist Must get a hardcore score of 70. Resiliency Must get an overall rating of 92. Strong Strike Must get a strike score of 75.
PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy.
2010 Hall of Fame Nominee (Gold) Induct a Superstar into the HALL OF FAME. A Grappling Machine (Silver) In one match, perform all 16 STRONG GRAPPLE moves on your opponent (single player only). A Showman Like No Other (Silver) Have a total of 20 or more 5-star rated matches in your overall history. Ahead of the Pack (Silver) Win as tentative Champion from start to end in CHAMPIONSHIP SCRAMBLE. (single player only). An Original Design (Bronze) Create an original image using the PAINT TOOL. And STILL Champion… (Gold) Defend a Title in a Championship Scramble match on Legend difficulty (single player only). Ask Him Ref! (Silver) Win 10 matches by submission (single player only). Brand Warfare Story (Silver) Complete the BRAND WARFARE story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode. Career Growth (Silver) Increase the overall rating of a CREATED SUPERSTAR to a 90 or above. Check Out the New Threads (Bronze) Create ALTERNATE ATTIRE for a CREATED SUPERSTAR and new THREADS for a WWE SUPERSTAR. Created Superstar Story (Silver) Complete the CREATE A SUPERSTAR story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode. Developmental Graduate (Silver) Complete the TRAINING CHECKLIST.
Edge Story (Silver) Complete the EDGE story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
Face on the Big Screen (Bronze) Convert a HIGHLIGHT REEL into an entrance movie.
Finisher of the Year Candidate (Silver) Create a dive finisher, in Create A Finisher mode, and use it in a match (single player only).
HBK Story (Silver) Complete the HBK story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
Intermediate Technician (Silver) Succeed at a cumulative total of 50 reversals (single player only).
Mickie James Story (Silver) Complete the MICKEY JAMES story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
New Superstar Initiative (Bronze) Create a SUPERSTAR in CREATE-A-SUPERSTAR Mode.
Nothing More to Collect (Gold) Unlock all the playable characters and bonus items.
Orton Story (Silver) Complete the ORTON story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
PLATINUM Obtain All Other trophies.
Royal Rumble Specialist (Gold) Win a 30-Man ROYAL RUMBLE as the first entrant without changing Superstars (single player only).
Shoulders to the Mat (Silver) Win 50 matches by pinfall (single player only).
Story Designer (Bronze) Create an original story using WWE STORY DESIGNER Mode.
Technical Wizardry (Gold) Succeed at a cumulative total of 100 reversals (single player only).
Xbox 360 Achievements Complete each achievement to receive the allotted gamerscore.
2010 Hall of Fame Nominee (100) Induct a Superstar into the HALL OF FAME. A Grappling Machine (20) In one match, perform all 16 STRONG GRAPPLE moves on your opponent (single player only). A Showman Like No Other (50) Have a total of 20 or more 5-star rated matches in your overall history. Ahead of the Pack (50) Win as tentative Champion from start to end in CHAMPIONSHIP SCRAMBLE. (single player only). An Original Design (15) Create an original image using the PAINT TOOL. And STILL Champion… (100) Defend a Title in a Championship Scramble match on Legend difficulty (single player only). Ask Him Ref! (20) Win 10 matches by submission (single player only). Brand Warfare Story (20) Complete the BRAND WARFARE story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode. Career Growth (50) Increase the overall rating of a CREATED SUPERSTAR to a 90 or above. Check Out the New Threads (15) Create ALTERNATE ATTIRE for a CREATED SUPERSTAR and new THREADS for a WWE SUPERSTAR. Created Superstar Story (20) Complete the CREATE A SUPERSTAR story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode. Developmental Graduate (50) Complete the TRAINING CHECKLIST.
Edge Story (20) Complete the EDGE story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
Face on the Big Screen (15) Convert a HIGHLIGHT REEL into an entrance movie.
Finisher of the Year Candidate (20) Create a dive finisher, in Create A Finisher mode, and use it in a match (single player only).
HBK Story (20) Complete the HBK story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
Intermediate Technician (20) Succeed at a cumulative total of 50 reversals (single player only).
Mickie James Story (20) Complete the MICKEY JAMES story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
New Superstar Initiative (15) Create a SUPERSTAR in CREATE-A-SUPERSTAR Mode.
Nothing More to Collect (100) Unlock all the playable characters and bonus items.
Orton Story (20) Complete the ORTON story in ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA mode.
Royal Rumble Specialist (100) Win a 30-Man ROYAL RUMBLE as the first entrant without changing Superstars (single player only).
Shoulders to the Mat (20) Win 50 matches by pinfall (single player only).
Story Designer (20) Create an original story using WWE STORY DESIGNER Mode.
Technical Wizardry (100) Succeed at a cumulative total of 100 reversals (single player only).
Ever bear the thought of lying and cheating your way to be the full-fledged Fab Four? Now you can, in "The Beatles: Rock Band".
Unlock Bonus Photos (For PS3 and Xbox 360) Enter quickly at the "The Beatles Rock Band" title screen (Press START button is at the bottom of the screen). Blue, Yellow, Orange, Orange, Orange, Blue, Blue, Blue, Yellow, Orange Unlocks set of bonus photos Unlock Bonus Photos (For Wii) At The Beatle Rock Band Title screen where is just says "Press Start +" on the bottom of the screen with the game logo on it, enter the code (push the buttons) and you will unlock bonus photos of the beatles as well as concept art. The code must be entered fairly quickly and without stopping. The bonus photos and concept art (all considered bonus photos) can be found under the "Photos" option of Story Mode Blue, Yellow, Red, Red, Red, Blue, Blue, Blue, Yellow, Red Unlock Bonus Photos and Concept Art (all listed as Bonus Photos in-game) Band Icons (For PS3, Wii and Xbox 360) New colored band icons will be unlocked after obtaining a certain amount of trophies within them game. Gold Band Icon Obtain 30 Trophies Silver Band Icon Obtain 15 Trophies PS3 Trophies Complete each requirement to get the specified Trophy. A Little Help From My Friends (Bronze) Start a Story with a four player band. Ace Bassist (Bronze) Earn a Bass Career score of 1,000,000. All the Children Sing (Silver) Get all possible Triple Fab ratings for every songs with 3 vocal parts. All Together Now (Bronze) Get a Guitar, Bass and Drum unison bonus on the songs listed on the Trophies screen. All You Need Is Love (Bronze) Five-star every song in The Beatles: Rock Band. And The Band Begins to Play (Silver) Earn Expert gold stars on the 4 songs listed on the Trophies screen. Are You Gonna Be in My Dreams? (Silver) Hit 100% of the notes in the solo of The End on Expert Drums. Authenticity (Bronze) Finish any song as a Bassist with Lefty Mode turned on, hitting at least 50% of the notes. Better Free Your Mind Instead (Silver) Earn Expert gold stars on the 4 songs listed on the Trophies screen. Day Tripper (Bronze) Start a new Story save file and reach the credits within 24 hours. Dazzling Drummer (Bronze) Earn a Drums Career score of 1,000,000. Do Right by Me (Bronze) Get a 350-note streak playing Ticket to Ride on Guitar. Doing the Best That You Can! (Bronze) Complete all the Drum Lessons. Don't Let Me Down (Bronze) You saved a bandmate from failing! Eight Days A Week (Bronze) Get an 8x Band Multiplayer. Elmore James Got Nothing on This (Bronze) Get 85% or better on all solos In The Beatles: Rock Band on Expert Guitar. Gear Guitarist (Bronze) Earn a Guitar Career score of 1,000,000. Goo Goo G’joob (Bronze) Get a 350-note streak playing I Am The Walrus on Drums. How Could I Dance with Another? (Bronze) Score 100% playing I Saw Her Standing There on Expert Bass. I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS! (Silver) Score 100% notes hit on Helter Skelter playing Expert Drums. I Saw the Photograph (Bronze) Get your first Beatles Photo. Images of Broken Light (Bronze) Get all of the Beatles Photos. In Penny Lane There is a Barber (Bronze) Get half of the Beatles Photos. In Seconds Flat (Bronze) Maintain Beatlemania for 60 seconds. In the Studio (Bronze) Play a song in Abbey Road, Studio 2 in Story. Let’s Get Some Levels (Bronze) Calibrate your system for optimal experience. Like a Million Suns (Bronze) Score 1,000,000 points in a single song. Liverpool Lads (Bronze) Play a song in the The Cavern ‘63 in Story. Mr. K Will Challenge the World (Bronze) Finish all 8 Chapter Challenges. No One’s Frightened of Playing (Silver) Earn Expert gold stars on the 4 songs listed on the Trophies screen. Oh Yeah, All Right! (Silver) Hit 100% of the notes in the solo of The End on Hard or Expert Guitar. Passed the Audition (Silver) Play all the songs on the Apple Corps Rooftop ‘69 in Story. Pick a Moon Dog (Silver) Play Dig A Pony on Expert Guitar, playing all hammer-ons and pull-offs without strumming. Really Big Show (Bronze) Play a song on The Ed Sullivan Show ‘64 in Story. Sensational Singers (Bronze) Earn a Vocal Harmonies Career score of 1,000,000. Shake It Up, Baby! (Bronze) Use Beatlemania at least 5 times in a single song using either Bass or Guitar. She Still Sings It with the Band (Bronze) Get all possible Double Fab ratings for every song with 2 vocal parts. Stadium Superstars (Bronze) Play a song in Shea Stadium ‘65 in Story. Still My Guitar Gently Weeps (Silver) Hit 100% of the notes in either of the solos in My Guitar Genty Weeps on Expert Guitar. Sun, Sun, Sun Here It Comes (Bronze) Get a 350-note streak playing Here Comes The Sun on Guitar. That’s It! You’ve Got It! (Bronze) Get a 350-note streak playing Hey Bulldog on Bass. The Complete Anthology (Platinum) Wow! You’ve gotten all the Trophies in The Beatles: Rock Band The Final Tour (Bronze) Play a song in Budokan ‘66 in Story. The Love You Make (Silver) Complete the Encore in Story. The Teachers Who Tought Me WERE Cool (Bronze) Complete the Beatle Beats. The Words You Long to Hear (Bronze) Earn a five-star rating for the songs on the Trophies screen as a Vocalist on Hard or Expert. Things That Money Just Can’t Buy (Silver) Earn Expert gold stars on the 4 songs listed on the Trophies screen. Toppermost of the Poppermost (Bronze) Finish all 8 Chapter Challenges with full star ratings. We Would Be So Happy, You and Me (Silver) Play Octopus’s Garden on Expert Guitar, playing all hammer-ons and pull-offs without strumming. What I Got I’ll Give You (Silver) Hit 100% of the notes in the solo of Can’t Buy Me Love on Hard or Expert Guitar. Won’t You Come Out to Play? (Silver) Play Dear Prudence on Expert Guitar, playing all hammer-ons and pull-offs without strumming.
So quoth the troll. A collection of quotes of not necessarily smart but quirky stuffs.
For the record, we are not in the business of what every online media are currently doing: promoting this media-loving family exactly the way they want it, even if it is derogatory.
"On the bizarre meter, this rates a 10."
- Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden on the Balloon Boy Hoax.
Due to the recent media circus surrounding the "Balloon Boy", Colorado veteran, Sheriff Jin Aldersen, had gotten unexpected fame through alll his public announcement. And boy is he good for quotes. Just the types of spokesperson the media would lapped up in no time.
Another of his great quotes, complete with his signature quirkiness.
"He may be nutty, but he's not a professor."
A return to form for the one true king of wrestling game in its eleventh coming. The King was never dead, just unchallenged, but what the hell, Long Live the King!
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010
Developed by: Yuke's (PS3/Xbox 360)/ TOSE (Wii)
Published by: THQ
Platforms available on: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360,
Released Date: October 20th, 2009
Genre: Wrestling, Fighting
Rating content: ESRB: T (Teen) / PEGI: 16+ Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence
Since the release of WWF Smackdown! for Playstation One in 2000, the WWE Smackdown series had grown into a surprise evergreen gaming series, not unlike EA's best-selling FIFA series or Nintendo's neverending Pokémon series in the way that you can always count on getting the latest version to hit the stores. "Surprise"? In retrospective, it is indeed surprising to see how professional wrestling had evolved from the nineties, along with its accompanying game, to a different cultural status in modern pop culture. And if you ever find yourself puzzled with the level of focus WWE had indulged towards the promotion of the game, you can probably better understand how the game series had actually benefited the parent company themselves in opening up newer and younger demographics.
Being the eleventh outing in nine years, WWE SmackDown Vs. Raw 2010, come bearing the unenviable responsibility of moving on with the same formula yet pressured with the game critic's call for evolution to the tried and very much true format. Over the years, we have seen "improvements" such as the introduction of Bras & Panty Match, the Road To Wrestlemania Story Mode and the strangely awkward General Manager Mode. Being big fans of the series since inception, it sure is a relief to state here that this latest incarnation is not just better than its predecessor, it is better than all its predecessors and stand proudly on the pinnacle of wrestling game, and right besides its fellow compatriots on the land of great fighting games. All the trials and tribulations testing out the new ideas had finally culminated into the ultimate wrestling game.
While I will be the first to admit that the main concerns over the standards of the series are mainly contributed to the roster, which in fact, is not a problem that only the game series experienced but what WWE had been trying to resolve. While a state of the wrestling world address will be prerequisite for the new gamers on this topic and we are obviously not touching on that here, the rationale behind the lack of star power has been a well-known fact, especially with the release of the WWE Legends Of Wrestlemania last year, which naturally further justified WWE's stance to prevent overexposure of the "Legends". However, the latest installment get to display the fact that well-executed gameplay can indeed save the day.
For the new comers, WWE SmackDown Vs. Raw 2010, the latest outing in THQ's long-running annual wrestling series will be spotting a roster of 67 in-game Superstars and Divas on each console with the exception of the Nintendo DS version which features 30 superstars. The roster is then segregated into six classifications: Raw, SmackDown, ECW, WCW, legends and free agents. (For the full roster, please check the previous entry.)
The Road to WrestleMania story mode, warmly received amongst the game critic last year, is back with a vengeance, bringing another six character-specific storyline featuring a special Diva-based story with Mickie James and one specifically for one of the created wrestlers. As for the co-operative storyline this time round, Triple H and John Cena will be sharing the limelight. The other three stories will be featuring Edge, Shawn Michaels, and Randy Orton respectively. Each stories will take you through an approximately twelve weeks worth of WWE matches and cutscenes. Some nice touches on this mode would be the additional features where the game provides you the optional and mandatory goals to meet (for example, in the case of HBK, ensuring that both Randy Orton and JBL gets their chance to "listen" to the tune of "Sweet Chin Music" will unlock his alternate outift) along the Road to WrestleMania. Goals such as breaking your opponent up, jumping off the top of the steel cage, echoes the type of goals hardcore WWE fan would want to do anyway, and increased replay value and additional challenges to unlock characters, costumes and areas. The fact that the standards of the storyline has also noticeably improved over last year's efforts also add up to a more realistic and exciting experience.
On the topic of story modes, before moving on to the ground-breaking revolutionary new stuffs that is changing the face of good ol' "Career Mode", allow me to touch on another slightly off-topic, yet inherently related topic. We all know that the Smackdown series had the Create-A-Wrestler mode since the inaugural title was released in 2000. But are you one of the millions, pause, and millions of internet forum-lurking, CAW (abbreviation for Create-A-Wrestler) formulas sharing, wrestling hero creating, jabroni? Well, I am. My signature character, Jin "Tekken" Kazama, (from the eponymous Tekken series) has been gracing every single incarnation of Smackdown and is currently into its eleventh edition. And this time round, it will no longer be necessary for you to painstakingly take down the CAW formulas. All you have to do is proceed to the SVR server, browse around for a decent CAW, download them, along with their created moves, created entrance and created Highlight Reel (an improved feature that will be touched on later). If you are a creator like me, just create your CAW and upload it to the server. This time round, the forum is the game! And I have not even touch on the altogether overhauled CAW mode. THQ had earlier place an additional emphasis on creating 3D models for all the clothing and parts that is available for the player to pick and thereby resulting in authentic looking created wrestler that can stand toe to toe with the real deal (the actual Superstar) without that cheap knock-off feel you always had but won't admit to. There is a layer limit system for the create-a-superstar mode whereby each item is given a point value and the player is able to attach up to 48 points of items, with hair, pants. coats and etc. Up to three alternate attires can be created for each created wrestler. A new feature called the Paint Tool is also introduced in which players can create their own design to use as a logo or a tattoo for the created wrestler. On top of that, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 versions also featured a new mode called Superstar Threads which allows the player to also create three alternate attires for existing wrestlers in the game by customizing the colors of their attire. If you had been turned off creating wrestlers due to the relatively time-consuming loading time during the process, you might want to note that loading time of the menus has been tremendously shortened as compared to the previous iterations.
Building your created wrestler's attributes is also significantly different now. Player can even enter their created wrestler into matches as a computer-controlled character against a computer-controlled opponent and get to bank the points at the end of the match without involvement at all. An improvement over last year's mode would be that the player will be having the absolute liberty to apply the points to any attribute category they desired.
Another much-touted new addition to the game is the WWE Rivals feature, which allows the player to set superstars' allies and enemies which can be used to their advantage or disadvantage in exhibition matches with the inferference option on. As expected, setting one superstar as an enemy will increase the chances of this enemy for some run-in interference. The enemy will do their usual routine, including standing by the ring and breaking up pinfalls, using his or her finisher, or bringing the weapon. Likewise for the allies.
Back to the heavily evolved Highlight Reel features mentioned earlier, it is now a feature where you are able to record match moments (which will be automatically recorded and display to you after every match) and edit them into a Highlight Reel. For what purpose, you ask, other than the usual narcissistic purpose? Well, you can convert these created Highlight Reels into entrance movies for your created wrestlers. Meanwhile, an additional incentive for PlayStation 3 players would be the capability to upload their highlight reel videos directly onto YouTube.
But that is just scraping the surface of the online utilities available this year. The real gem of this installment had to be the WWE Story Designer mode. Hated WWE's occasional (okay, I admit, most of the time) lame-ass, outrageous writing? Try your hand on it then. A further evolution to the General Manager mode last seen in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, the player can now create storylines featuring Superstar or Divas from the holy WWE trinity of weekly shows, Raw, SmackDown, or ECW and set up pay-per-views with storylines, scenarios, and matches of their creations on calendars that can last for up to 10 years. How do you pull this off? By using a variety of preset options, with over 100 different scene animations (from cutting a promo in the ring to someone getting hit by a car) and 25 different locations to design each scene. The players will get to select whoever they want for the animation roles and the camera angles and music they preferred for the scene. And there's more. Elaborate designing options for scenarios included the ability to input whatever words you would like the Superstars/Divas to speak from your created script with the text appearing as the subtitles. Both the PS3 and 360 support USB keyboards for crafting your tales but do note that there is a limit to the number of characters that can appear in a scenario. Likewise to the General Manager mode in the previous series, the player can create storylines but this time they get to decide the longevity of the the storylines, the championship titles involved, the amount of superstars or Divas involved, and what takes place in the storylines. Match-making feature allows the player to set the match type or any available stipulation (you get to set up the health for individual parts of the body of a Superstar who got himself jumped backstage in a scene before a match) and winning conditions (run-in interference is fully up to you).
Both created superstars and actual WWE superstars and Divas can be integrated into the player's created storylines, scenarios, or matches. On the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, each storyline can feature up to 500 segments including 450 matches and 50 scenarios, while the Wii, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable versions have a limit of 55 segments. One setback to the mode would be the fact that created wrestlers only gets to have a maximum of ten appearances for technical reason (which is somewhat mystifying as Blu-ray disc had up to 25 GB per single layered). And guess what, all this control in creations of a potential ten years worth of storyline of WWE programming can be uploaded and (duh) downloaded by all players for free. This mindboggling amount of free contents to keep you busy on a game of this nearly infinite lifespan is a tremendous improvement in gaming itself. Every aspiring WWE writers would be trying their hands on this (I can even imagine Paul Heyman or Stephanie McMahon (the chief writer of WWE) giving a go on this too, pitching their latest ideas to Vince).
As mentioned in "The Daily Zombie Rating System And Review Policy for Gaming", Presentation had always played a big yet unnoticed part in modern gaming. With the amped-up efforts that can be noticed from the minor (like all endings of WWE's production, the ending of any match will brings with it the WWE copyright disclaimer banner displaying on the side) to the mild (long-time viewer of WWE will dig the fact that you will be getting the screen with the belt flashing around before the referee holds up the title when you are on a title match) to the more significant (much-improved loading times in general), the real improvement would be the removal of the old school HUD meter and the implementation of replacing it with a halo by the Superstar's feet. The blood mechanism also functions in a new manner where it behaves in an semi-fluid manner. It will flow from the forehead to the neck then to the chest and also affecting the player as well. Although the flowing movement of the blood will not be displayed directly and only skip from one state to the other in the thick of the actions, it still makes busting your opponent up more justifiable (not that it needs further justifying about, though). The presentation in general, has been greatly enhanced with all these small yet nice touches.
I don't know is it just me or that the grapple system went through some major overhaul as well but the grappling sure seemed smoother when executed. This was not reported in the earlier previews, if my memories served well. The increased number of grappling scenarios to execute special grapples on the sides of downed opponents probably contributed to that fact. Finally, the good old four strong grapples also made its much anticipated return, with players now able to switch between each grapples.
New match types are mandatory for all the series' annual entries. This year, Championship Scramble makes its debut. Setting preset intervals with the varieties of 5, 10 and 20 minutes until all five wrestlers are in the ring, the clock starts ticking until it expires. The last wrestler to score a pinfall or submission wins the match and gets crowned the champion of the desired title at stake here. It's really a weird stipulation to begin with, back when it was introduced at WWE's Unforgiven 2008 event, and in gaming terms, the same can be said.
Another new match type would be the Mixed Tag match and the Backstage Brawl match. Mixed Tag featured "girl and guy on girl and guy" tag action with an enforced stipulation that will turn off any potential wifebeater: When the girl tags in, don't think you will be having a good time messing her up as you will have to follow suit or face DQ and the theory applies for the guys as well. On the other hand, Backstage Brawl provides five battlefields besides the ring, providing objects along the way for your good old hardcore fun. An additional incentive for Nintendo DS would be the platform exclusive Ambulance match (given that it is silly match type which I don't give a damn anyway).
Match type mainstay, The Royal Rumble, known as Royal Pain for its complicated gameplay since the launch of the series remained as convoluted as ever though this time, it is positively so due to the drastic revamp. The mini-games will be coming in hard and fast with varied method for playing so that you won't get bored easily. Hated these mini-games, just like me? The introduction of finisher in Royal Rumble will get you pumped up then. One-hit-wonder move that can knock your opponents out of the ring when they are on the corner, ropes, etc. works just like the usual finisher. With 18 of these finisher to choose from (when creating moveset, you will be prompted to choose a Royal Rumble Finisher), ranging from Sweet Chin Music to the several alternate Codebreakers to throw your opponent out from the top rope, the Royal Rumble has indeed up its game.
The regular matches with every installment of the series operates the same way with some additional touches. For example, in the First Blood match, there are some specific moves that you can apply on your opponent's head to hasten the process of drawing the eponymous first blood (though Divas are still unable to participate in it). Other minor touches included: Matches involving hardwares (in short, Tables, Ladders and Chairs, etc) have characters wearing down in a more realistic manner; an additonal lighting is provided in the Ladder Match so you know the right spot to climb on; referees will be following the player around in the Falls Count Anywhere match.
After nine years and eleven installments, it would seemed that THQ has finally gotten their hands on just the right formula to, for lack of a better word, layeth the Smacketh Down, on the videogames. And they can only achieved this with the assistance from, millions, pause, and millions of SVR fans, who had been lurking around the online message forums, whining and ranting on ways to improve the franchise. Thus, what better way for a payback to these fans, by implementing the format, allowing the fans to share their created wrestlers, storylines or finishers online.
While I'll be the first to admit that I would love to see TNA providing the challenge by coming out with a sequel to the reasonably decent TNA Impact, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 is undoubtedly the one wrestling game to rule them all. Without a shadow of a doubt.
- The WWE Story Designer mode is a godsend for any true wrestling game
- Significantly improved presentations with the shorter loading time, smart placement of the HUD, the emulation of the feel of the actual TV shows , etc
- The Road to WrestleMania remains a good play
- Great-looking characters, arenas, cut-scene and almost everything else
- Royal Rumble gameplay living up to the excitement of the source
- Solid creation tools for the CAS mode
- Created wrestlers only gets to have a maximum of ten appearances in the WWE Story Designer mode
- The actions still experience some minor hiccup with occasional clipping and animation issues
- The much-hyped revamped Create A Finisher mode is in fact slightly enhanced, with some updates and the inclusion of aerial finishers
And The Rock?
Yes, both The Rock and Stone Cold will be featured in the game, with more Legends to be announced. Though it has been rumoured that Vince McMahon, Dusty Rhodes, Bob Orton Jr. and Ted DiBiase Sr are also amongst the unlockables. Then again, there's always the DLC factor with third-gen consoles.
For a more transparent understanding on the Game Reviews here in The Daily Zombies, please check out "The Daily Zombie Rating System And Review Policy for Gaming".
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