Greetings and salutations to you all and welcome back to my little corner of the T4 website. This week’s review will be on THQ/Yuke’s WWE ’12. You can find this game for about $50-$60 depending on where you look for it. Keep in mind that if you buy it used and plan on going online, that’ll be an extra $10 for an online pass. As of yesterday, all of the DLC has been released. You can buy a DLC pass which gives you all the DLC for “Free” for $12, but I’d suggest looking through the DLC and deciding if it’s really worth it. Each wrestler is 99 cents on it’s own and you can probably find pretty decent CAW versions of the DLC on the Community Creations, assuming that the servers are working.
It’s time for the trophy rundown. There are 49 achievements/50 trophies that you can unlock. For the most part, the trophies are pretty easy to get. Most of them have to do with the various features of the game (Create a new Arena, Create a new finisher move, use the limb targeting system 10 times in one match). The only trophies I’ve had issues with are Executing finishers in all 44 areas on the Free Brawl backstage areas and playing through Road to Wrestlemania all over again after doing it on my review copy back in November. One time through RTWM was bad enough.
Getting into the criteria….
The Good: I really wish I had as much to say about the good things in this game as I do the bad, but like most games that come out on a yearly basis, not a whole lot has changed. Most of the wrestler character models this year look pretty life like. There are a few that don’t (i.e. Booker T) but you can’t win them all. One new thing that they did add in this year would be a new control scheme which is supposed to be similar to the control scheme we used to have back in the “Here Comes the Pain” and early Smackdown vs. RAW titles. The controls work pretty good once you get the hang of them, but there’s still some work and tweaking to be done to make them perfect. I still miss the ability to have 3 ground moves per location (3 head grapples, 3 side grapples, 3 leg grapples). They’ve also added in a limb targeting system for those of you who like to be more technical based when it comes to wrestling. Only negative about that would be that everyone has the same actions. “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show will attack your arm the same way as “The Real Man’s Man” William Regal. You’d think that a giant and a technical wrestler would have different ways to break your arm, but guess not. The only other good thing about WWE 12 is all the creation modes. Outside of Create A Logo, Create a Wrestler, Create a Story, Create a Finisher, you’ve also got the new additions of Create an Arena and Create an Entrance Video. Create an Arena is a pretty cool feature in the game. You can create the old and now gone ECW Arena, old WCW Pay Per View arenas, and whatever you can come up with in your mind. But like any positive in this game, there’s also a negative. Positive: Create any arena you want. Negative: You can’t use them online and the stage can’t be changed. So while the ring may look like WCW Nitro, you still got a generic looking stage for it.
The Bad: THQ/Yukes never seems to really fix their issues year after year. For example, yesterday, THQ released their Legends Pack DLC (Macho Man, Batista, Attitude Era Kane, Mick Foley, and Brodus Clay). If you were to download one of these characters and had your autosave on, all of your tag teams and stables in Universe Mode will be reset to default (7 teams I believe). Another bug that was around last year that hasn’t been fixed is the commentary. If for some reason you don’t care for Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler’s commentary, you can go into the options and turn off the commentary track. That’ll work great for your current session, but once you turn off your game, and come back in, you’ll have commentary again. You go to the options and sound menu to find out that the commentary is still turned all the way down. So you gotta turn it all the way up, back out & save, go back in, turn it all the way back down, back out and save again. And it just so happens that this issue is a PS3 exclusive. There’s also the bug/glitch where if you go to edit or make a new attire for your Create A Wrestler, your moveset will be reset to default. Then there’s the fun censoring issues when you try to upload a story or created character online. One of my characters on there is “The Hardcore Icon” Bill Parkman. “The Hardcore Icon” is one of the call names you can choose from in the list and it has audio attached to it, so the announcer will say it when my character is coming down to the ring, so you’d assume everything is fine cause THQ/Yukes put it in the game. WRONG! They censor it and give me a hard time with it when I try to upload him to their servers. I don’t get how you can censor something that your company put into the game. If it’s such a bad word or should be censored, why put it in the game?! There’s probably a few more repeat glitches that I can’t think of off the top of my head, but the list of bad things must go on.
For years, THQ/Yukes would have an outside company for their online servers and they were rather hit/miss. You’d get lag spikes or back in the earlier days when they had lobbies, you’d go to find a friend in a lobby to play a match with and the game would tell you that your friend is in lobby 12 and there’s only Lobbies 1-4 to choose from. For WWE 12, THQ/Yukes decided to go with their own servers, and what a bad move that was on their part. For over a month, the servers weren’t usable. If you were able to get on for a match, it would be full of lag. If you wanted to download a Community Creation (CAW, Custom Video, etc.), you’d be online to download 1 thing at a time if you were lucky. Most of the time you’d get the message “WWE 12 Servers are unavailable at this time. Please try again later.” This past Sunday/Monday, THQ/Yukes released a patch that was supposed to fix this problem. Now instead of quick disconnects, we have long drawn out ones. Feel like searching for a certain CAW, prepare to wait for a couple of minutes. Want to get online? That’ll take some time. And you can’t even cancel or disconnect to get back to the main menu. You gotta wait for it to do whatever it’s doing.
Another new addition to WWE 12 was the Predator physics system which is yet another thing I have to shake my head at. On paper, it sounds like a great thing to incorporate into the game. It allows realistic motions and reactions. If you want to break up a move between two opponents, you are now free to do so. Problem is that if you break it up, it looks like crap. Let’s say you are facing John Cena and The Miz and Cena has the Miz up for the Attitude Adjustment. You can come up and kick him to break up the finisher. What it will look like though is Cena got hit with a generic move and doesn’t really react to it and the Miz will just drop to the ground. You’ll get the same reaction from kicking Cena as you would running into him, punching him, grappling him, or whatever else you plan on doing. They didn’t think it through. Another negative part of the Predator technology is that it’s affected the weapon physics. Last year, you could drop someone onto a chair or ladder or table and your opponent would react to it. This year, if you get a reaction out of it, you’re lucky. It’s very rare to slam someone on a chair and get it to actually connect. Not sure why they changed it, but I’m not a fan.
Last thing on my short list would be the redone Road to Wrestlemania mode. Instead of the 5-6 individual stories that would start in January and lead up to Wrestlemania, this year, you’ve got three intertwined stories that take place over the span of a few years, and is broken down between three people, Sheamus (Villain), Triple H (Hero), and Jacob Cass (Outsider). The stories themselves are decent, but the way they play out is excruciating to play through. Most of what you’ll be doing is getting attacked in the back or having to play through a match up to a certain point just to press the Y/Triangle button to watch a cutscene finish up the events of that week’s show. It’s very rare that you get to play a match all the way through start to finish. Another negative thing about RTWM mode was the Jacob Cass portion. You can either choose to have one of your own CAWs get taken over (all that remains of the original CAW is the look. The name, moveset, entrance, and everything is overwritten) or you can make a new CAW just for story mode that will not be editable in any aspect once you start story mode. I would prefer to have the 5-6 individual stories that are 3-4 months a piece than have this version of RTWM that we were given this year.
With all that being said, thank you for reading my review. If anything in this review caught your interest, please check out this game. Feel free to leave comments and feedback. They are greatly appreciated. If you agree with what I have written, say so. If you don’t like the game or my review, say so. If there is a certain game you’d like to see me review out of my collection, once again, just say so, and I will do the best that I can to write one up for you.
My personal video game collection: http://www.icollectmedia.com/collection/game/wboyd31/?display=
My Xbox Live Gamertag: WBoyd31
My PSN Gamertag: LonesomeRaven