WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW (often shortened to WWE SvR and known as Exciting Pro Wrestling 6: SmackDown! vs. RAW (in Japan), is a professional wrestling video game released on the PlayStation 2 console by THQ and developed by Yuke's. It is part of the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series (the first under the SmackDown vs. Raw name) and is based on the professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). This game is the sequel to 2003's WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain and was succeeded in 2005 by WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006.
The game is largely similar to its predecessor, but adds some key features. The most heavily marketed ones were the game's improved graphics with an increased polygon count and the game's addition of voice overs in Season mode provided by actual WWE performers (previous WWE games had used sampled wrestler voices sparingly). The latter feature was somewhat controversial for several reasons. The voice overs supplied are only for wrestlers that are not being controlled - the player's controlled wrestler spoke through subtitles. The addition of voice overs was also linked to the Season Mode being more linear than Here Comes the Pain. The story lines encountered are generally the same for each wrestler, with the only differences being the difference in opponents encountered, depending on which wrestler is chosen. Several new gameplay features are introduced, including pre-match and in-match mini-games. The pre-match mini games are randomly chosen before every singles match:
- Test of strength - a certain button shows up on the screen and the first player to press the button overpowers the other one. Best two out of three wins.
- Stare down - the wrestlers talk trash to each other before the match and after a while, an "X" button picture appears. The first wrestler to press the button after that hits the other wrestler. Pressing the button too early will cause the wrestler to lose the stare down.
- Shoving match - a wrestler initiates the match by pressing the X button when prompted, causing the wrestler to gently shove his opponent. A semi-circular meter appears and the player must stop the arrow at certain points of the meter to shove again with full power. If the player doesn't time the first shove correctly, the other player gets a turn to shove. Best of three shoves wins.
Several in-game minigames were also introduced:
- Chop battle - initiated by pressing down and the "O" button simultaneously while the opponent is in the corner. The mechanics are similar to the shoving match mini-game, with chops replacing the shoves. The addition of this mini-game replaced one grapple in each wrestler's corner position move set.
- Spanking mini-game - in bra and panties, matchups, a female wrestler could enter a "spanking" mini-game. The meter mechanic from the chop battles are retained, but the player must perfectly time the button press three consecutive times to win. If the player does so, a cut scene of the two female wrestlers kissing is played.
The ability to sustain a submission till the count of 5 once a rope break had been reached was also implemented.
The game features several arenas that WWE held events at in 2003 and 2004; there are also arenas based on each WWE television show.
Also added to the game was the Clean/Dirty system, which influenced each wrestlers tactics. Players can choose if the wrestler is clean, dirty or neutral. A clean or dirty wrestler has a meter that can be filled up by performing special clean/dirty actions or moves. Once these meters are full, they will slowly drain. Clean wrestlers will have an adrenaline rush for the duration, which makes them hard to counter, immune to further damage and increase their chances of reversing an attack. Dirty wrestlers have a limited time to perform a Super Dirty Move. This move inflicts massive damage to an opponent's head and midsection, and can be repeated for as long as the bar isn't empty. Skills which benefit a clean wrestler will negatively affect a Dirty wrestler. In the same respect, Dirty tactics will have a negative affect on clean wrestlers. Neutral wrestlers have no bar at all, so they can do anything without an increase or decrease, but they also have no special move.
- Performing any of your character's 3 signature moves during a match.
- Performing a diving strike from a ladder or turnbuckle.
- Performing a taunt.
- Stealing a taunt or finisher from an opponent.
- Countering opponent's attacks.
- Performing any move that causes an announce table to break.
- Escaping a pin attempt at a '2' count.
- Escaping a submission without a rope break when the body part being targeted has already sustained critical damage.
- Performing a possum pin.
- Refusing to release a submission hold when the opponent earns a rope break.
- Performing "Dirty" moves.
- Performing taunts outside of the ring when the opponent is in the ring.
- Attacking the referee.
- Using a weapon.
- Releasing a pin attempt.
- Performing moves outside of the ring.
- Removing a turnbuckle pad from any corner.
- Performing any move in a corner with an exposed turnbuckle.
The game features a season mode where superstars play a season on their respective brand. Both brands' seasons have several brand crossovers and feature the ability to fight for divas to use as managers throughout the season if they are won. The divas include Sable, Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson, and Trish Stratus. The player earns money throughout the season to purchase unlockables and legends. They also fight for their brands respective championships (the World Heavyweight Championship as the main title and the Intercontinental Championship as the secondary title for RAW, the WWE Championship as SmackDown!'s main belt and the secondary being the United States Championship).
WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW also includes a redone WWE PPV (Pay-Per-View) mode from its past games where the player can play sample PPV's from 2004, or create a PPV of their own by booking matches choosing matchtypes and any superstar, legend or created superstar in the game. Created Championships could be waged in the created PPV's. Before playing the PPV the game would show a generic highlight reel featuring two of the superstars in the main event of the show. Commentary began to improve and sync up with the matches more.
Also, the game featured an all-new Create-a-Championship mode where the player can create and defend the title in their created PPV. The game also includes the Create-A-Wrestler mode from previous games where the created superstars movesets, attributes, entrances, and brand could be customized. The create mode was improved from the previous game. Stables could be created featuring any wrestler game and entrances could be customized.
All new challenge mode provides gamers with opportunities to challenge themselves at different difficulty levels. In addition, several challenges put gamers in memorable matches from past and beating these challenges will help unlock alternate attires, arenas.
This is the first WWE game on the PlayStation 2 to have the feature to play online. However, players can only choose between a singles and a Bra and Panties match.
- Chris Benoit
- Chris Jericho
- Chuck Palumbo
- Garrison Cade
- Matt Hardy
- Randy Orton
- Ric Flair
- Shawn Michaels
- Shelton Benjamin
- Triple H
- Big Show
- Booker T
- Bubba Ray Dudley
- Charlie Haas
- Chavo Guerrero
- D-Von Dudley
- Eddie Guerrero
- Hardcore Holly
- John Cena
- Kurt Angle
- Mark Jindrak
- Rene Dupree
- Rey Mysterio
- Rob Van Dam
- Scotty 2 Hotty
- Molly Holly
- Stacy Keibler
- Torrie Wilson
- Trish Stratus
- Andre The Giant
- Bret Hart
- Brutus Beefcake
- Jimmy Snuka
- Kane (Masked)
- Road Warrior Animal
- Road Warrior Hawk
- Roddy Piper
- The Rock
- Undertaker (Classic)
- Powerman 5000 - "When Worlds Collide"
- Powerman 5000 - "Powerman 5000"
- Powerman 5000 - "Riot Time"
- Powerman 5000 - "Last Night on Earth"
- Anthrax and Public Enemy - "Bring Tha Noise"
- Shocore - "Bonecracker"
- Styles of Beyond - "Superstars"
- Breaking Benjamin - "Polyamorous"
- Breaking Benjamin - "Firefly"
- Zebrahead - "Alone"
- Zebrahead - "Falling Apart"
- Core - "The Angle"
- Swollen Members - "Bottom Line"
- Tantric - "Chasing After"
- pre)Thing - "Can't Stop"
- WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw Official Site
- THQ.com: WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw Mini Site
- WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw at IGN
- WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw (PS2) at GameSpot