Nostalgia can't save this stripped down wrestling title.
* Video content before the matches is interesting to watch and probably holds a good deal of nostalgia value for you folk who know your classic wrestling.
* The ability to import the Smackdown vs Raw 09 roster is neat.
* It's simplified, but I think the folk playing this are probably the folk playing the more complicated Smackdown v Raw games so to most, as it does to me - it'll probably feel extremely stripped down.
* Character models are grossly exaggerated. If the game had a wacky cartoony art style to go with the models it might be okay, but as is it makes everyone look like freaks. Hulks big, but he doesn't look quite that grotesque.
I don't believe this game will attract anyone who found the SvR games to be too complicated.
I think if you like Wrestling then in the years they've been making them you've probably grown used to SvR's way of doing things. If you're used to SvR you'll initially feel right at home here, but after a while of playing you'll realize how incredibly stripped down it is, so stripped down I don't think it'll appeal to folk who are already into SvR and games prior and so stripped down that I don't think theres anything here to appeal to possible new players except the nostalgia of it all.
In game you've got your strike, you've got you're grapple which unlike SvR is assigned to a button rather then the right stick and you've got a block button which can also be used to reverse if your timings right.
Certain moves trigger quick time events, the buttons which you'll need to press are always random so when you go for the attack you'll be keeping your eyes open for next big, flashing button to appear on screen rather then the action. It really distracts from the action, much more so then any system in place in SvR 09.
Theres a few different modes to play in.
Wrestlemania Tour being the most varied.
You can relive certain Wrestlemania events, like Hogan vs Andre for instance and do your best to recreate the match. They give you a few objectives like reverse this many grapples, jump from the top rope, do three finishers and what have you.
It sounds good on paper but trying to accomplish these objectives in the middle of the match again distracts from the action.
You can rewrite history, playing as the loser of an event and attempting to come out on top.
And you can redefine it, which will let you play certain events but take control of the terms letting you change match types and you can play whatever Wrestler you want.
Both these last two also have objectives to fulfill within their matches but for the most part they seem less involved then the "relive" objectives. The objectives mostly seem to be stuff you'll probably do as you play anyway, so they don't get in the way quite so much.
Theres also a Legend killer mode where you can create your own legend and go through I guess a gauntlet of 10 other legends. Theres a few different tiers to play through, so it'll keep you occupied but the game quickly grows so repetitive that you won't want to make it even more repetitive by trying to force yourself through all the tiers.
So I don't think it's a great game.
It may well keep you amused for a little while due to the nostalgia of it all.
Watching the video content and seeing how Sports Entertainment used to be way back when is infinitely more interesting then the game.