WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is the tenth video game in the WWE SmackDown professional wrestling series. It is a direct sequel to its predecessor, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 and succeeded by WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010.
The video game is based on the professional wrestling promotion, World Wrestling Entertainment, and is named after two of the promotion's three brands, Raw and SmackDown. The game has been developed by YUKE's Future Media Creators and will be published by THQ, the same developer and producer for all WWE SmackDown series video games so far. TOSE will oversee development for the Nintendo DS version.
One of the game's most prominent features is the enhanced tag team match. Additions in the match include new ways of tagging the player's tag team partner such as the reversible hot tag, which can help save the player in the match if they are in trouble, and the forced blind tag, where the partner tags themself into the ring. The player's tag team partner has more of a part to play in this match and will aid the player by holding an opponent by the ropes while on the apron, and the pulling down the ropes for an opponent dashing towards them, sending them out of the ring. Teams will now share their own momentum meter, attributes and double team finishers.
SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 will be the first WWE video game to include the Inferno match, a match where the player has to set their opponent on fire. Unlike the real life match which takes place with the ring surrounded by fire coming from gas fed pipes, the ring ropes themselves will be on fire. To win the player must increase the temperature of the ring by performing more devastating moves. As soon as the temperature reaches 500 °F, the player can then begin to set their opponent on fire.
Both the Wii and DS versions will now include new matches, such as the steel cage and ladder match, with the DS version in addition also featuring tables and TLC matches.
Fighting styles, a major feature from the previous version, will be removed but the fighting abilities used there will be kept and enhanced with each wrestler possessing six out of twenty different abilities that would aid the player in specific areas.
The in-game commentary will feature three announcing teams like the previous version but will have more of a play-by-play aspect this time. According to THQ, 50% of loading times for the game has been reduced, affecting such areas as wrestler entrances. Artificial intelligence, hit detection and animation have also been worked on.
Japanese company TOSE will take over from Amaze Entertainment in development for the Nintendo DS version. Unlike the previous year's game whose gameplay was focused exclusively on the handheld's stylus, this year's edition will instead use the D-pad for movement and the left shoulder button for finishing moves. The DS version's gameplay is now similar to that from the other consoles with full movement control around the ring for the wrestler and a stamina meter to build up for a finishing move. Grappling, attacks and submissions will still be controlled by the stylus.
Road to Wrestlemania
Smackdown VS Raw 2009 incoporates short storymodes apart from the occasional Career Mode. There are six different storylines, each leading up to Wrestlemania, known as "Road to Wrestlemania". These storylines involve John Cena, Triple H, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker and for the first time a tag team storyline with Batista and Rey Mysterio.
•Batista •Big Daddy V •Big Show •Boogeyman •Carlito •Chris Jericho •CM Punk •Elijah Burke •John Cena •John Morrison •Kane •The Great Khali •Randy Orton •Ric Flair •Ted Dibiase •"Triple H" •Undertaker
•World Heavyweight Championship
•United States Championship
•WCW World Championship