WWE Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth

Review

posted 12/16/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
When THQ and Yukes released Just Bring It! last year it was received with some pretty mixed results. While Know Your Role! was an excellent PSOne title, starved gamers were looking for something that would advance the genre to the next level. What they received, however, was a slight improvement that failed to deliver to expectations. How would THQ regain their audience? What could they possible do to captivate the thousands of gamers that were yearning for an amazing WWE experience? Nothing short of excellence would satisfy this famished audience. Enter Shut Your Mouth.

Shut Your Mouth isn’t so much as a reinvention as it is a revelation. It doesn’t try too hard to push the barrier to provide something unique and unseen. Instead it decides to focus on refining and tuning the existing aspects so that they’re as polished as can be. What you get is a game that doesn’t just do things but does them right. Thus you have WWE Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth, a title that not only accurately captures the look and feel of the WWE, but is also a whole lot of fun to play.

Don’t come here looking for a serious simulation full of counters and strategy because you’re just not going to find it. If you’ve ever played a Smackdown! title before you’ll know that the emphasis is heavily placed on action as to not disrupt the flow of the title. Pulling off grappling maneuvers such as Dragon Sleepers and DDTs are as simple as pushing circle button along with a direction on the d-pad. Striking maneuvers are done with the X button while square handles the counters. Furthermore, a meter gradually fills as you perform strikes and grapples, when it becomes full you will have access to your wrestler’s specific finisher.

The roster is comprised of about 60 WWE Superstars including some of the more popular stars such as HHH and The Rock and perennial jobbers like Shawn Stasiak and Raven. Interestingly enough the roster features X-Pac (who has since departed) but opts to leave out Scott Hall and Steve Austin who departed in about the same time frame. You’ll also get some up to date stars like Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton but sadly there’s no Rey Mysterio or Batista. Overall you have a pretty well-rounded cast that features plenty of WWE wrestlers including some of the more popular ladies.

While each wrestler plays and handles in the same fashion they each have a move set that is very faithful to their real life counterparts. This means that Benoit has awesome arsenal of suplexes and holds while Jeff Hardy has a high flying arsenal. Some wrestlers such as the Rock have moves such as the DDT which are similar to others but have been modified to fit with the wrestler’s personality. It’s cool to see that the designers took the time to craft new animations to tailor to specific wrestlers.
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