WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It - PS2

Also known as: WWF SmackDown! 3

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Wrestling
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Yuke's Soft. Co.: Jakks Interactive
Publishers: THQ (GB/GB)
Released: 9 Aug 2002 (GB)
16 Nov 2001 (GB)
Ratings: 15+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Multitap adaptable
Accessories: Memory Card, Dual Shock Joypad


With the release of WWF Smackdown 3: Just Bring It for PlayStation 2, the wrestling game grows up. In a break from wrestling games of the past, even the Smackdown series if truth be told, Just Bring It is a game proper, not a loose-fitting beat-em-up, based around licensed wrestlers.

The first WWF game was manufactured by Tecmo for the JAMMA arcade system, way back in 1989, and was an accomplished, balanced and generally awesome game. It rode in on the back of the initial wave of popularity the brand achieved at that time, and featured the likes of Ultimate Warrior, Randy 'Macho Man' Savage and Andre The Giant.

WWF games languished in a state of flux for many years, with half-hearted titles such as Rage in the Cage and Raw being offered to a less than impressed fanbase.

Then THQ stepped in. Employing demographic reasoning available to all but the most anti-social of hermits, it worked out that the people paying millions each year for mulleted figurines with interchangeable plastic chairs were also the people pumping money into the games industry. THQ snapped up the license and nothing was heard for more than a year.

Rumour started to spread in mid ’99, that THQ had farmed out the development of a new WWF game to Yukes. It was said that something revolutionary was in the works, a new type of wrestling game that would, it was alleged, finally define the genre. As WWF reached the height of its fame, THQ released WWF Smackdown to an expectant world. The genre was indeed defined!

Smackdown delivered everything that was missing from wrestling games for all those years. It was a mix of action, strategy and graphical sensibility, combined with humour and accessible, mainstream game mechanics. The industry went mad for it. The sequel was released late last year and sniffed at almost every European release record. Only a lack of printed, mastered copies stopped Know Your Role for the PSone from etching its rowdy name across the history books.

The Smackdown series’ success comes from the balance it was able to achieve in pleasing both wrestling fans and casual gamers. This third instalment has excelled in this and would appear to be tailorable to your unique tastes. 35 man mountains from the WWF are included for grapple fans, including The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H and Perfume Boy...erm, we mean The Undertaker.

There is a full career mode included, and the strategy and management aspects of the previous game have been enhanced considerably, making the game much deeper and more of a challenge to hardened fans.

For any true gamer worth his salt, there is the pure fun of playing an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek, violent and funny game. You can have up to four people playing at any one time, with a total of nine characters in the ring at any one time. You can also create and name a wrestler in your own likeness and take on the big boys. Surely even the most hardened of hardcore gamers cannot resist such temptation?