The "Smackdown vs. RAW" has done justice for the WWE for many years but the WWE feels that they need to refresh their video game brand.
WWE '12 begins a new chapter in video gaming and will be released on Nov. 22 in the US and Canada.
It will also mark the end of WWE games for PlayStation 2. The system has served its purpose but it is about time we move forward, not look towards the past. The WWE will be doing that and it will be exciting to see what the end result will be on all three current generation platforms (XBox 360, PS3, Wii).
Looking into the matter, there are plenty of things to look forward to. Here are 12 of those things that I look forward to with a sprinkle of things I believe will make WWE '12 a successful game.
When I heard that WWE changed the name of their world-renowned video game franchise, I admit I was skeptical at first.
However, when I continued to think about it, the excitement grew. As you may have noticed, besides the draft, there hasn't been much talk about brand superiority as of late.
They have eliminated "Bragging Rights" from their PPV lineup and the world knows with RAW being live, houses John Cena and has been the show to make big company-related announcements, it is the A-show.
SmackDown is taped and as long as Undertaker is off the show, they will continue to be the B-show, despite housing Randy Orton.
Will it also mark a start to the brands becoming united for the first time since 2002? I don't believe so but it is worth a thought.
This will mean we will no longer have matches with our inexperienced friends who use the same move over and over and over again.
Three wrist locks are enough for me to go insane and the worst part about it was that as long as we lacked the ability of having a quick finger on the trigger buttons, it would just continue to happen.
The grappling maneuvers will be based upon the opponent's physical state so one can speculate on how much better matches are going to look in that regard, even from the beginning or months after when you are experienced and are showing the game off to your friends.
Watching the game play trailers, the graphics seemed a lot more real than in other games. The flow of the matches seemed more real and smooth. The thing about it too was that a lot of guys were getting up faster so that ties in with my previous point on how the flow of the match has changed.
This means even the guys with lower stats will be able to compete with the likes of John Cena, Undertaker and Triple H so anything is possible in this video game. Dare I say, Zach Ryder as WWE Champion? Bah, that won't happen, not on my game at least.
In SD vs. RAW 2011, the way you were able to use finishers was a pain in the rear end. Building enough momentum to get to use a signature move and then more for a finisher. If you get knocked down just after, you saw that finisher fall by the wayside and you had to start over.
Not this year.
Stored finishers are back and that means RKO's out of nowhere, having the ability to take your time to set a guy up on the announcer's table and use--one of my favourites--the elbow drop from the top rope through said table.
For those that are fans of the whole series, a big sigh of relief is to be had with this new development.
In previous games, once you deliver a finisher, that is all she wrote. Of course, I mean when a multi-man match is happening and when there is a finisher--or even a signature or any other strong move--to be performed, the two characters cannot be touched.
No throwing a punch to John Cena as he delivers an Attitude Adjustment on another guy, no knocking over Evan Bourne as he is in mid air, performing his Shooting Star Press (AKA Air Bourne), none of this was possible...until now.
It makes the game that much more real for me and is one of my favourite things on this list.
It is similar to what you have seen in the past and how a superstar--such as Shawn Michaels and John Cena--come back from their breaking point.
Essentially, you receive a boost in energy--I assume you build enough to get a finisher in or allowing you to store one for later--and get right back into the match. It should be interesting in how they re-introduce this feature and more information will be known once it is released.
In the previous games, to get out of submission, a mere roll of the right analog stick allowed you to get out of the Boston Crab or a Crossface. In an even earlier game, you had to hit the "A" or the "X" button at a point where a bar indicator landed in a green zone.
Button mashers, you are now saved from all this.
The new submission style tells you what buttons you need to mash as fast as possible to get out. Feel the sweat of button mashing, it will truly test your endurance, especially later in the match when you have a sore right knee and someone decides to perform a Sharpshooter.
I wish you the best of luck on that one.
Although not announced yet, WWE '12 Creative Director Cory Ledesma told GameSpot that this will be one of the deepest rosters you have ever seen and that includes both current Superstars, Divas and Legends.
I can't comment on this one too much due to how little we know on the subject but the anticipation is enough to make this list.
In the interview with GameSpot, Cory Ledesma stated that the crew was working on the actual game flow and not incorporating any of the new match types such as the 40-man Royal Rumble.
However, the good news coming out of it is that they didn't have to remove any of thee match types already established in previous games so modes such as "First Blood", "Hell in a Cell", and "Elimination Chamber" will remain.
Something new that you will see is a revamped "Backstage Brawls" mode. Again, not much is known but in Ledesma's interview, he states that you will notice it more in the "WWE Universe" mode, which makes its return.
Now that we are on the subject of the WWE Universe...
We have grown with Smackdown vs. RAW and have seen new developments on how you can customize your own character. The first was the character and his move set, the most basic but it let us become more interactive with the game.
Later on, we have been able to customize our entrances. At first, it was basic, copying our favourite superstars music and movies but now, we can use our own music from out computer, further allowing us to enjoy the uniqueness of our created character.
A custom finisher was introduced and allowed us to make some of the most unique, interesting and a lot of the time, unrealistic finishers that I have ever seen.
For WWE '12, a new way to customize the way we play in the WWE Universe will be introduced. It should be announced by August.
So, what are you looking forward to most in this new age of WWE video gaming?