Gadling's resident pilot explains what life in the cockpit is like

PSP-exclusive wrestling legends on view

The PSP version of the upcoming WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw features a few classic wrestlers you won't find in the console versions of the game. The three included for Sony's handheld are: Jim Neidhart, Sgt. Slaughter and Eddie Guerrero. IGN has the profiles of these wrestling legends, and a few videos too. Hopefully, the inclusion of these additional characters isn't meant to make up for what the series has become notorious for: infamously long load times.

SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 improves on predecessors

Last year's iteration of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2007 was hindered by long load times, lack of commentary and some embarrassingly small crowds. Well, according to IGN, developer Yukes has fixed two of those problems with loading times that are similar to its console counterparts and stadium-filled crowds that show a lot more excitement than previous years.

Not only will gamers finally be able to play as their favorite ECW wrestlers, PSP owners will be treated to extra wrestlers Eddie Guerrero, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Sgt. Slaughter that consoles owners aren't getting. SVR '08 hits the PSP Nov. 13.

Exclusive wrestlers in PSP SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008

THQ has revealed the SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 rosters on IGN, and the best roster of all might just be found on the Playstation Portable. While there are the same 42 current stars and 8 legends as the home console versions, the PSP version of is getting 3 more legends of wrestling that no one else has. Those 3 are:
  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Sgt. Slaughter
  • Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
Why are there 3 more wrestlers on the Sony handheld than any other? Who cares! You know what they say about looking a gift horse in the mouth, so we'll follow suit, and hope that the promised improvements to the game make this a worthy addition to the PSP wrestling library.

Yuke's chats up improvements in next Smackdown!

Knowing the number of WWE fans that read PSP Fanboy, I'd feel wrong not sharing some details from Gamespot's recent interview with Yuke's. Here's what fans can expect in Smackdown! vs Raw 2008:
  • A big focus this year is making more differentiated, and complex fighting styles
  • A vastly improved and more realistic animation system, with more animations than ever before, and a motion blending system
  • The motion blending system also allows for better controls of your wrestlers
  • ECW's inclusion means lots more weapons in the game
  • 24/7 mode will allow the gamer to experience the ECW invasion and as always work their way through the ranks to become WWE champ
Yuke's wants Smackdown! to be one of the premier fighting games on all the systems. We'll have to wait for the title's release to see how they do.

Fans get their wish: ECW coming to SmackDown vs Raw 2008

A while back, I asked what readers wanted to see from SmackDown vs Raw 2008. One of the most requested additions was that of ECW wrestlers. Well, either someone was listening or they think just like PSP Fanboy readers. THQ is saying ECW will have a "significant" presence in this year's wrestler. ECW superstars, arenas and luckily weapons will be in the game. On the gameplay front, THQ said "realism and strategy are at the forefront". There will be a new submission system, new rosters, more interaction areas, more outside the ring action, new online community additions, and finally a combined season and general manager mode.

Sounds like this will be the best WWE game yet!

[Via Gamespot]

Top 5 on PSP: Fighting

The PSP has been selling quite well recently and I figured some new PSP owners may not know what great games the system has to offer. With that in mind, every day this week we'll feature a new genre and list the top 5 games (according to metareviews), so no matter what you're into, you'll have some idea of what games you should own. Today the focus is on Fighting games, a genre that used to be one of the biggest things in gaming, but has lost some popularity with time. I'm still a big fighting game fan though, so I had to make this list.

Top 5 Fighting games on PSP

  1. Tekken: Dark Ressurrection
  2. WWE Smackdown! vs. RAW 2006
  3. Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX
  4. Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover
  5. Guilty Gear Judgement

This list doesn't include import games like Bleach or Naruto, so my personal list of best fighting games would be different. But what do you think about these 5 games? What fighting games aren't on this list that you think every PSP owner should have?

If you missed it, you can check out our previous top 5 game lists:




[Data Via Metacritic]

PSP Fanboy readers Smackdown vs Raw 2008 demands

With the last article I wrote about Smackdown vs Raw 2008 still getting comments, it's obvious that a lot of PSP fans are also WWE fans. Because of this, I decided to highlight what PSP Fanboy readers demanded or wanted to see in the next iteration. Let's hope THQ is reading this.

Wanted wrestlers:

  • Add all of Raw, Smackdown and ECW wrestlers and include classic wrestlers from the WWF days

Wanted features:

  • Create an arena, create a match, all match types available, every PPV included, controllable entrances, playable classic story lines, being able to run out of a match, deeper GM mode, in-crowd fighting, new counter system, more women's wrestling inclusion

And make it available for 20 bucks. Okay, no one said that, but wouldn't that be cool?

Memorable Smackdown! fantasy fights

Ronald McDonald versus Hamburglar.
Strider versus Spider-Man.
Jill Valentine versus Nemesis.
Jason versus Freddy.

These dream fights have been created in WWE Smackdown's extensive character creation mode, and can be seen in their full glory at Siliconera. For those of you with the game, have you been able to create any truly special characters?

Smackdown returns, do the load times still suck?

Smackdown is out today. I was originally going to do a Metareview for this game, but I decided: why not focus on the one crucial flaw of last year's game? The load times. As you may remember, WWE SmackDown! 2006 got smacked down by the gaming community by having quite possibly the worst load times of any game in recent memory. Is this year's iteration of the popular wrestling franchise any better? Let's find out:
  • Gamespot (79/100) - "Load times are still a big issue, as well, though not quite as humongous an issue as they were last year. Prematch load times are still long and annoying, especially when you have entrances set to on; menu transitions, especially in season mode, take longer than they ought to; and creating a wrestler can still be a time-consuming process, thanks to the loading. Again, Yuke's did improve this aspect somewhat this year, but load times continue to get in the way of the game."
  • Games Radar (80/100) - "The developers remembered this, too; they made a focused effort to drastically reduce loading. And it worked: the loads aren't lightning quick, but they are far faster, now measuring in double-digit seconds instead of minutes."
  • GameZone (85/100) - "On to the bad news, the game suffers from heavy lag that just doesn't pertain to the Ad Hoc multiplayer mode but throughout the single-player mode as well. This, of course, is a major annoyance that often leads to missed punches or choke slams. Secondly, the long load times are back, although - on a lighter note -they're not as frequent as the first game."
The critics say the load times have improved, but are they tolerable yet? I'm placing an open challenge to all readers: if you own this game, please make a similar video, for PSP Fanboy fame, and maybe even a little swag, or something.

Continue reading Smackdown returns, do the load times still suck?

Smackdown wrestlers' intro videos

It only feels like yesterday when we were making fun of WWE Smackdown (it was, in fact, two days ago). So, maybe, we'll be a little bit nicer this time. A new year means the developers have a chance to get things right. Get rid of the load times. GamesRadar has been nice enough to grab all the wrestler intro videos from the upcoming Smackdown game, and convert it into iPod PSP format. Simply download their files, and dump it into your 2.80 PSP's VIDEO folder.

The new year of Smackdown hits stores November 1st.

WWE SmackDown 2006 to frustrate even more players at new budget price

A press release from THQ today proudly proclaimed that their wrestling title, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, is now available in the low-budget Greatest Hits lineup. According to the press release the game "includes updated fighting and stamina systems, impressive graphics, integrated motion capture technology and authentic SuperStar voiceovers, bringing game play to life with unprecedented levels of realism and strategy during matches." They forgot to mention that the game also features some of the worst load times... ever.

Those of you with great patience may want to give this a shot, though. If you can ignore horrendous load times, you'll see that $20 will net you a pretty solid wrestling game.

[Via PSP World]

Texas hold 'em plus wrestling equals minigame goodness

We've heard about game unlockables, but this may need categorizing in a whole 'nother department altogether. It's long been known that the PSP version of WWE Smackdown! Vs. Raw 2006 would feature a range of minigames, but Texas Hold 'Em poker being one of them was an interesting, if unexpected, revelation. Don't get us wrong; minigames and hidden gems are always welcome, no matter what they are. Heck, Project Gotham Racing 2 dropped off our radar sooner than Geometry Wars did, and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude was...well, okay, that sucked.

This news comes on the heels of other goodies from the game, most prominently its planned connectivity with the PS2 version. Owners of both copies (don't you just love commercialism?) will be able to share season data between both platforms, giving players the ability to continue their fight for wrestling greatness while on the road. Also planned is the ability to share characters and other unlockables between the consoles, and the option to share characters between players.

Poker and wrestling may seem like a strange mix, but if it adds more value to yet another annual wrestling update, we say bring it on. Incidentally, what kinds of  minigames are you hoping will see daylight in THQ's coming title? Wrestler Spandex Dress 'Em Up? How about a Bra and Panties Mix and Match bonus game?

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