WWE 2K19 Review

 

It is that time of the year again as WWE 2K19 is now in our hands. I got a review copy of the PS4 version of the game a few weeks ago, and now it is time for me to share my thoughts on this year’s installment of the game.

The cover star this year is the current WWE Champion AJ Styles as this year alone, he has proven to be “the face that runs the place” on the Smackdown brand. If you were to ask me 10 years ago when he was still wrestling for TNA if he would be on the cover, I would have said “not in a million years” but it happened this year as he is the MVP of Smackdown.

The roster this year is almost the same as last year with new additions to the 200 playable character roster such as The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’ Riley, and Bobby Fish), Andrade “Cien” Almas, The AOP, Bianca Belair, Riccochet, EC3, Tyler Bate, Pete Dunn, Lio Rush, Ronda Rousey, and Velveteen Dream. You can mix and match the current stars of today and from previous years in many matches to your desire. With the stacked roster this high, there is no reason for Tommaso Ciampa to be cut from the in game roster this year especially since he is the current NXT Champion.

This year, we got the return of 2K Showcase which was missing from the last two entries. 2K Showcase tells the story of the rise of Daniel Bryan in WWE. In between the matches, we are shown a video package along with narration of Daniel Bryan himself setting up what was going on storyline wise at the time before the match loaded up. It begins way back to his match with John Cena at Velocity from early 2003, all the way to his Wrestlemania return match from this year teaming with Shane McMahon going against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. All of those matches were great to play and I would have wished that we would have gotten to revisit the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/Aj Lee love triangle and matches from 2012 but I understood why they could not do it. My only other gripe with this mode is that many of the matches can last up to 30 minutes due to the objectives that you have to do during the match.

For the first time, MyCareer mode plays like a WWE storymode from the past games. You start off in an independent promotion and then work your way up to the WWE Performance Center and from there, it is NXT and then the main roster of Raw and Smackdown. I love that this time, the WWE Superstars and even your own character is voice acted during the scenes. In fact, the scenes with “Woken” Matt Hardy during this mode is quite funny but you will have to see that for yourself. The learning curve during this mode can be frustrating at times due to you starting with a very low set of moves and abilities and most of them you will have to unlock via randomized lootcrates and even those are very expensive when you purchase them by in game currency so it is good that there are no paid micro-transactions, but this system needs to go in the next game for good.

The gameplay is much more solid than the last two entries as I rarely encountered glitches or bugs even when there were 8 men in the ring during a Ladder Match. The Cage Match has been reworked so you can escape easier along with fighting on the top edge of the cage. I wanted this feature for many years since it adds more drama to the match itself. The custom match creator this year can be saved in the option that you create it even in Universe Mode. The lightning and the entrances are on point and the presentation looks like if you are watching it on TV. The commentary has improved a slight bit, but at times I can hear repeated words during matches.

Speaking of Universe Mode, this year, you can finally assign managers to any superstar on your Universe Mode roster. You can also have up to 6 championships per show now which is great news for anyone that wants to have two mid-card championships on each show. On this mode now as well is the ability to choose who will be the Money In The Bank holder and which championship that either he or she will target. I wanted this feature way back in Smackdown vs Raw 2011 and it is great to finally see it being used in this game. Also, you can finally pick who wins simulated matches in case if you do not want to play the match and that lifted a huge weight off my shoulder. Universe Mode always needed adjustments since it was first introduced 8 years ago, but I felt that this year the developers made more effort to tweak it than any other game.

The Creation Suite’s features can have you there for hours doing customized things such as Create A Superstar, Arena, and Entrance but also for the first time this year, you can create a MITB briefcase with your own design as you please and use it on Universe Mode. You can also create block versions of WWE superstars or your own characters as well.

There is also an towers mode where you can face different superstars in different match situations. It starts off easy, but it gets hard with each match that progresses. It is like WWE’s version of Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter with their towers mode.

This year’s game has been a massive improvement from the last two games. The last overall game that I loved was WWE 2k14 and every year since then, it has not matched up to how fun a WWE video game is supposed to be and I can say that the fun factor has returned in this game. It is so fun, that they even added (by Xavior Wood’s request) a big head mode. I have not used this yet, but I know it was added in for nostalgia of silliness of 90’s games. Despite the hard learning curve of MyCareer mode and their lootcrate system, I fully recommend this game to pick up.

My score is a 8.9/10

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Top 10 WWE Games Changes That Nobody Asked For

The WWE Games series has come a very long way. From the days of the NES to now the current generation of video game consoles and PC, it is not going away soon. I enjoyed WWE video games for years especially the early years of the Smackdown! and Smackdown vs. Raw series along with cult classics such as WWF No Mercy, WCW/NWO Revenge, and WCW World Tour. I loved them and at this time, each series improved over another in great ways, but there are some changes that i myself including many fans did not like. I am here to count down the top 10 changes in WWE video games that nobody asked for.

 

10. Ridiculous Camera Angles (Smackdown vs. Raw 2009)

I start this list with a decent entry to the series even though there were a few major flaws. Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 was built around the new tag team engine but that did not stop them for having a good idea with poor execution. One of those ideas were the outside the ring camera angles. This feature made the game play irritating on where to locate the superstars and even though I liked that they wanted to have a visual presentation to what it looks like in real life, the results were not the same when that feature was implemented into this game. Have they saw other games with poor camera angles before deciding to go with this?

9. Removing GM Mode for Career Mode (Smackdown vs. Raw 2009)

General Manager Mode is a popular mode among Smackdown vs. Raw veterans. Although today’s Universe Mode is good, it is not as in-depth as General Manager mode so when fans found out that this mode is going to be removed in Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, the entire community was very angry. What they did was added a Career Mode and trust me, it is very dull. You chose a brand, your superstar, your match of the week and try to build attribute points and repeat. This mode was so repetitive that you will get bored with this mode after one hour.

8. Promo Engine (WWE 2K17)

We all thought that this engine would change WWE Universe Mode in this game but we were so wrong. Want to have Bray Wyatt say something like “i will defeat you at the next show” or “me and my friend John Cena will team up tonight”? Well that is the promo engine for you. Every character has their own way of cutting promos on television in real life. In this game on the other hand, it is as robotic as a Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar match. There is no life to these promos and it was a huge waste of time trying to create segments with the superstars too. Did i forget to add that the promos are in on screen text instead of voice overs?

7. Fighting Styles (Smackdown vs. Raw 2008)

This game is considered the worst of the Smackdown vs. Raw era and it shows the moment you play this game. There was a new feature that included fighting styles and your superstar had a choice of having two out of eight different styles. This decision was very poorly received because this game had far too less moves and limited down how many moves a superstar can do. Good thing that this feature was removed in next year’s game and turned those styles into a variety of abilities that your superstar can have.

6. Removing 2K Showcase Mode (WWE 2K17)

The 2K Showcase mode goes way back to The Attitude Era mode way back in WWE ‘13 and to see it being removed in 2K17 is a huge mistake. The only way you can play this mode is by DLC but in 2K18, this mode was not brought back. You cannot sell a video game with no base story with it.

5. Not Including Many WCW/ECW Superstars (Smackdown! Just Bring It)

Lets keep this in mind that i said “many” because this game was released at the height of the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline. The likes of Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Hurricane Helms, Mike Awesome, Tommy Dreamer, DDP, Lance Storm and many more huge names were absent from this game. It is the first WWF game on the PlayStation 2, but it was a disappointment by fans despite the fact that the game actually looked great. The roster was extremely outdated and there was no excuse for this since Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role had a very stacked roster a year before.

4. Very Minimum Content (WWE 2K15)

2K15 was a graphical improvement since it was running on PS4/XBOX ONE hardware and that is all it was. Removing many content such as multiple match types, the ability to create custom soundtracks, Create a Superstar, Match Creator, Entrance Video and other content was just very jarring for a WWE Video Game. You would think that you would have multiple options and decisions in this game when it is first announced but I along with many other fans learned the hard way and that is, when there is not much announced before a release date, then there is something that they are hiding that does not want to come to light and this game is a prime example of that. The last WWE video game I have enjoyed was 2K14 and that is almost 5 years ago now.

3. Character Models (WWE ‘12)

This game has some of the worst modern character models for a WWE video game at the time and it was a shame to see the downgrade of graphics compared to the previous game’s graphics engine. I will say no more other than Look at Booker T in this game compared to others.

2. Merging GM Mode With Season Mode (Smackdown vs. Raw 2008)

“Why did they do this” comes to my mind when i first tried it out at a comic book store when i was still in high school back in 2007. This is another idea that sounded good on paper, but bad when you see it. The ratings system is extremely broken, your selected superstar burns out quick within a few matches, the ECW Brand would lose every time and so on. There is more to be said badly about this decision and I am glad that they never did this again. The last game to have a good GM mode was Smackdown vs. Raw 2007.

1. Adding Loot-crates (WWE 2K18)

In the age of Loot-crates and micro-transactions, this one takes my number one spot because when gamers hear those words, there is trouble to come. Of course you cannot use real world money to buy those crates in this game, but i have a bad feeling that it will happen in the next game since 2K Games did it to a few of their game lines such as NBA last year. Loot-crates are for My Career only, but nobody should have to rely on randomized boxes to increase stats and etc. We saw how this damaged EA’s and Bungie’s reputation and i have a bad feeling that 2K will get that reception too on this year’s game. This is a feature in every game that NOBODY asked for and that is my main reason why this takes the number 1 spot.

 

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