For those of you that don't know (probably every single one of you), I have been playing through every single WWE game (for some reason in a random order) and I'm ranking them.
The latest of these games was WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2006 on the PlayStation 2. I generally create a character and play my way through the career mode (or as far as I can stand in the case of WW2K16). In this game I went a step further. I did the usual career run. I also decided to do just over a year in the games GM mode.
The first thing that stood out to me with this game is the loading times, man are they long. I felt like I was waiting forever. Is this what life used to be like? Another thing I quickly realised that I really dislike is the reversal system. I'm used to a single button. Not one for strike and another for grapples. How am I supposed to anticipate what an AI controlled player will do next. With humans they have tells, patterns. A.I no. It is much better as a single button and it being solely based on your timing.
As for the career there are 4 branching paths, two for Smackdown and 2 for Raw. The whole career is voice acted by all the superstars. I wish there was a story like this in modern WWE games. The story I got started a little sexist but ultimately it was entertaining throughout and visited a cast of characters and left me fighting in many stipulations. It was just fun.
As for customisation modes. You can create a character with all the bells and whistles that comes with that, I think it's the first time you can create a belt and an entrance. This game is the first step in the great customisation tools you see today.
Finally GM mode. The highlight of this game. Drafting a roster, creating shows, managing their popularity, fitness levels and what rivalries they are part of. It's enthralling. Many a time I would start playing this mode when I got home from work, would look up and its 2a.m. I was addicted. Until I ultimately won GM of the year, went into another draft and lost Mankind. One of my star guys and got shit in trade. It's the way it goes and I guess I could have tried to mould a 64 rated Kane to becoming a fan draw but I...just didn't want to.
I really wish WWE games today were more like this. It is some of the most fun i have had with a WWE property in a long time. The game is snappy and plays well. GM mode in deep and addicting. It's just the best.
1. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2006
2. WWE 2K15
3. WWE 2K16