WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 is good. Very good. The latest outing in the franchise has arrived with 50 superstars from Raw, SmackDown, ECW and the WWE's past; the new ECW Extreme Rules Match; a new tournament mode; and an updated control scheme. Oh. You can light barbed wire 2X4s and tables on fire. Sweet. ECW was the promotion I called home in the late '90s, and that's probably why I love the ECW Extreme Rules Match so much. Following the tried-and-true Philly formula, you get to drag your opponent all around the ring, floor and crowd in a no-count out, no-DQ match where the pinfall or submission must happen in the ring.
What separate this match from the hardcore battles we've seen for the past few years are crowd interaction and the weapon wheel. As you take your Superstar and pound in faces around the barricade, fans will reach out to hand you crutches, championship belts, guitars and more. You can take the weapon and wail on the opponent or lockup with the opponent and drag him or her to the outstretched object for some nifty moves such as draping the bad guy over the barricade and going to town on his or her back with the crutch, having the fan hold the guitar steady while your opponent comes in headfirst and other craziness. You can even perform specialized taunts with the crowd where you lean back on the barrier and bask in their adoration or take one of their signs and celebrate with it. However, it's the weapon wheel that truly puts this match in its own league. In years past, we'd blindly reach under the ring for whatever foreign object we could get. Now, when you reach under the ECW ring -- this match type can only be played in the ECW arena -- you can use your left stick to select from a set of eight weapons such as chairs, mops, Singapore canes and more. You can even pick four weapons before the match that you want to see represented on the wheel more than once and don't have to worry about being attacked while picking your item -- the game focuses on you and your opponent is left in off-screen limbo
Preowned PlayStation 3 (WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 Featuring: ECW)
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