Well, this is the core of the game. Like Know Your Role, Just Bring It comes with a multitude of gaming modes. There’s there Exhibition mode, which pretty mich is the place where you’ll end up the most. Under this mode, you have table matches, TLC. cage matches, submission matches, hardcore matches and much more. The increased power of the PS2 enabled the game to show more than 4 wrestlers on screen at the same time with no slowdown whatsoever. Great.
The Story mode also makes a comeback, but has been substantially changed. Instead of playing through endless seasons to unlock wrestlers, you now only have to endure up to 4 matches, and participate in the Roaming Mode. At this point, you’ll be exploring the arena in first person view to experience the story. While the plot and animation here leaves much to be desired, I find it a blessing compared to the torment of Know Your Role’s story mode.
On the most part, the controls remains the same. If you’ve played Know Your Role before, then you’ll enjoy laying the smackdown on your opponents here. For the uninitiated, you basically have the strike and grapple attacks, which are executed with the X and Circle buttons respectively. Pressing different directions on your directional pad together with either button will invoke different moves. It’s a simple and effective system really, where you don’t have to memorise button presses or combos. This makes it easier to pull off spectacular moves with minimal effort.
A new introduction to Just Bring It is the referee. These guys behave exactly the same way as their on-screen counterparts. Referees can be knocked out, and most importantly be distracted when in the tag team matches. Just like on the TV, your tag partner distracts the ref, while you proceed to use every trick in the book to bring a world of hate on your opponent. Sweet...
For those who have been waiting for audio commentaries in matches, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Although Just Bring It features the voices of Michael Cole and Tazz, they don’t correspond well to the action on stage. The scripting is very poor, which makes the commentaries irrelevant and downright annoying. Better get back on the drawing board, guys.
Graphically, Just Bring It is an updated version of the PlayStation hit. The presentation certainly look more professional, from the game menus to the wrestler’s authentic introductions. The character models range from great to very poor. It seems like Yukes! did not give equal attention to all wrestlers, with some looking far worst that their real-life counterparts. Big names such as Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock came off better than the rest, but long haired wrestlers like Chris Jericho look plain ridiculous.
One gripe that I have is the audience. They still look flat and dull. When the wrestlers’ take their fights to the crowd, they give way in a rather unnatural way. With the power that the PlayStation 2 has under its hood, you’d imagine that fully 3D crowd could have been shown to make the game more immersive.
Besides all the shortcomings and disappointments, Just Bring It is one fun game. The various match types and a selection of over 50 wrestlers will keep any wrestling nut glued to the screen for quite some time. If that’s not enough for you, you can also create your own wrestler in the aptly named Create-A-Wrestler mode.
Overall WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It will make a great addition to your gaming library. Granted the graphics and sound would disappoint some of you, but the sheer number of gaming modes and wrestlers makes this game the definitive console wrestling game.
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