Review: WWE ’12 (Sony PS3)

WWE ’12
Developer: Yukes
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Wrestling
Release Date: 11/22/2011

I’m a big fan of wrestling games. I have fond memories of Fire Pro Wrestling: Six Man Scramble for the Sega Saturn and Toukon Retsuden 4 for the Sega Dreamcast. I still occasionally pull out WWF Rage in the Cage for my Sega CD and I even listed WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2006 as one of my ten favorite games for the Playstation 2. Unfortunately there is a lot of bad with the good. I’ve sat through steaming piles of crap like TNA Impact! and Wrestlemania XXI. Hell, Wrestlemania XXI not only received the lowest score I’ve ever given a game (at the time), but it was unanimously elected into the Video Game Hall of Shame when it was nominated.

WWE video games have been especially hit or miss over the last few years. You never knew what you were getting with the Smackdown Vs. Raw series. 2006? Great game. 2007? GM mode wasn’t at good, controls had some issues compared to the year before and there were noticeable bugs that weren’t in 2006. It was noticeably worse and people complained. 2008? Well known for its terrible controls and design, along with a score of bugs. The Wii version in particular is cited as being near unplayable. 2009? We reviewed the PSP, PS3 and Wii versions of the game and found all of them to be the best the series has been since 2006. After a two year slump, Yukes got their act together once again. 2010 was not as good as 2009, but it still had its moments. Then came 2011. Wow was this game not good. Kennedy reviewed it and it nearly drove him to drink. I myself owned the PS3 version. While I couldn’t say my experiences were as bad as Kennedy’s with the Wii version – it still wasn’t a good game by any means. I mean, I was consistently in the Top Ten for the rankings and was well known for my CAWs for the game, but WWE Universe was horribly done (title matches only on the PPV and no control over the booking of them). The game was bug ridden and while I enjoyed all five versions of Road To Wrestlemania, I basically just made CAWs and found myself consistently shocked at the downturn in terms of control quality along with how insanely easy the game was.

Yukes seemed to take the massive amount of complaints 2011 got to heart and promised a lot of fixes. They also gave us Brock Lesnar, the Road Warriors, Vader and Demolition as playable legends. That’s a mark out moment for me. So, even though I was pretty disappointed with 2011, I decided to give the series one last chance. Now repackaged as WWE ’12, I was dismayed to learn that the game was just 2011 with some slight improvements and a LOT of new issues.

Let’s Review

1. Modes

In terms of modes – WWE ’12 is almost exactly the same as Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011. You have the same match types which is sad because it shows that Yukes didn’t even try to add any new matches. Casket and Buried Alive matches are still missing from the game. Table matches still have the same issue as last year where you can’t actually put guys on top of regular tables, and you can’t have more than six wrestlers in a ring at once. Why my Sega Genesis could handle a four on four Survivor Series match and Yukes has yet to be able to make this happen since they got the license during the Playstation ONE era is beyond me. Same with the Royal Rumble. I could have nine wrestlers in 2000 on my Dreamcast but Yukes hasn’t figured out how to make a quality game where I can have more than six on a PS3, Wii or 360? In the words of Shane Helms, “What’s up with that?” We get a decent example of WHY Yukes hasn’t tried in Road to Wrestlemania this year when the entire game culminated with WAR GAMES, the old NWA/WCW gimmick match supreme that older wrestling fans haven’t been able to see in over a decade. Well, Yukes tried but the end result was a massive train wreck plagued by more slowdown, frame rate issues and collision detection problems than at any other point in the game. It also doesn’t help that the match is scripted (more on that later) completely and they had to make it an elimination match simply because, once again, Yukes has yet to figure out how to make a four on four or five on five match after all these years of making NJPW, WWF and WWE games.

The game brings back a lot of the different “Create-A-” Modes where you can design your own wrestlers, logos, finishers, story lines and more. All of these are exactly the same as in SDvR2k11 however, meaning “Create a Finisher” is poorly done, especially when compared to something like Fire Pro Wrestling D. Again, how Yukes could make this mode worse than one we had a decade ago on the Dreamcast is beyond me. Creating your own wrestlers and storylines are very well done however and it’s a lot of fun to make those if you’re into replicating classic wrestlers from the past or soap operas such as, “Eddie Guerrero Vs. Edge Vs. Dolph Ziggler for the love of Vickie.” I personally created Dan “The Beast” Severn and Masahiro Chono for the game, and will end up making a few others. The new thing this year is “Create an Arena,” where I was able to make a replica of an AWA ring from the 1980s, complete with logo. That was pretty cool. Unfortunately the server has reset itself repeatedly since I received my review copy and I’ve had to upload my creations four times. Annoying. This is not the game’s fault as the server was being monkeyed on and off with before the game officially goes live. I strongly doubt this will be a problem past release date but JUST IN CASE, I’m letting you all know what happened.

WWE Universe is somewhat improved. You can have title matches whenever you want, which is a HUGE improvement from 2011 which was so badly designed I was shocked people were paid to make it. Unfortunately (there’s that word again), if you book a title match, it won’t count toward any trophies you are trying to earn, and you still can’t change the competitors in a #1 contendor’s match. If you try that, it resets to a regular match. The cinematics are almost exactly the same as last year save for the introduction of injuries or bits when you unlock a character, but unfortunately, injuries don’t work correctly at all. For example, Chono pretty much murdered Ted Dibiase and he has a “career ending injury”. He’s still not back months later and he is completely unselectable in WWE Universe. That’s how it should be, right? Well a few in-game weeks later, Chono injured Christian with another career ending injury. Well, oddly enough, I wrestling Christian for three straight weeks after that even though he wasn’t selectable anywhere else and he shows up as injured on the Superstar list. The fourth week WE WERE TAG TEAM PARTNERS, the fifth week we were tag partners again but he turned on me and the sixth week we had a triple threat match with Wade Barrett and after the match Christian and Chono hugged and then Christian was never seen again. What the hell? Once again, a Yukes game makes Bethesda or Obsidian title look bug free. This is just one of the MANY bugs in the game we’ll be looking at, but it’s specific to Universe so I thought I’d mention it here.

Finally, we have Road To Wrestlemania, which is not only scaled back from last year (down from five options to three AND it’s now completely linear instead of being able to choose from various paths at certain point like when Christian cashed in Money in the Bank and against who or if Rey was a heel or a face in last year’s version), but it is, without hyperbole, the worst this mode has ever been in the history of story modes for wrestling games going all the way back to the original Smackdown. The big problem is that this year, it’s basically an interactive novel instead of a wrestling game. Sure you play a little bit, but it’s only to get to the point where you press the triangle button and then a scripted ending happens. You don’t even get to have a full match, you just take your characters to specific spots, press triangle and then watch everything be decided for you. I think I was able to actually finish a match under my own control three times throughout the entire thing. I just found it utterly distasteful that I would dominate the computer, but then I’d have to drag them to a particular spot, press triangle and watch my guy lose for some reason. You know what would have been nice? Branching paths. It would have made the game flow better, offered more replay value and let the gamer feel more involved instead of just along for the ride. Last year’s mode did it and hell, it’s been done since the first Smackdown for the PSX. Yukes needs to be evolving, not backsliding and gamers need to hold them accountable – otherwise they’re just part of the problem as well.

There three stories in Road to Wrestlemania feature Sheamus, HHH and a made up wrestler voiced by TNA wrestler Austin Aries. With Sheamus you start off injuring John Cena then forming an all UK alliance with Wade Barrett, William Regal and Drew Mcintyre – eventually winning all the titles. Then you injure HHH and abruptly breakup without any real reason or sensibility and have a four way dance at Wrestlemania for all the titles. The idea of an all United Kingdom stable is awesome, but it’s implemented poorly through objective based bits rather than actual wrestling matches. What’s worse is that you lose the majority of matches in the Sheamus storyline and it’s not actually YOU losing but the cutscene deciding you lose. I’m sorry, but watching your character lose simply because the game wants it to is not only boring, but stupid. It’s basically the equivalent of the “DM vs PC” style of tabletop gaming that is almost universally criticized. I grew irritated and then completely lost interest after repeatedly jobbing throughout my storyline. Add in non nonsensical face/heel swerves throughout an a weird quasi feud with the Four Horsemen when only Arn Anderson is in the game, and you have a storyline that could have been GREAT, but simply ended up being insipid. This was TNA bad. This was “Lost in Cleveland,” “Katie Vick” or “Mae Young gives birth to a hand” bad.

The HHH storyline was equally dull as it was the same repeated storyline throughout. HHH gets injured. HHH comes back and squashes everyone to win the world title. Repeat three times but change who does the injury until Summerslam when HHH wins the title and retires. Yawn. The lack of forethought or any attempt to make anything of quality is most apparent here. I actually laughed out loud when HHH was randomly jackknifed by Kevin Nash, who had never shown up until that moment and then is never seen nor heard from again. Just terrible.

Finally, there is the hero storyline, where the game asks you to insert an already made CAW into the role of Jacob Cass. Unfortunately doing so will overwrite your already saved move-set and entrance. Why the game doesn’t have you make someone new instead of messing up an already made CAW is beyond me. I ended up making a gorilla and using that for Cass because it was just as ludicrous as the rest of the storyline which involves another WCW Invasion. This was as badly done as the alliance storyline with people constantly doing face/heel turns or swerving a heel turn only to not actually turn after all and then turn for real a week or two later in-game time. Seriously this was something that Vince Russo would lack and say, “Man, this is too screwy, even for me.” Much like the Sheamus story, get ready to have a lot of forced jobbing going on. Again, so much potential here, but this WCW based storyline is almost exactly parallel to why WCW eventually fell. The real WCW focused too much on the nWo and never had them lose until everyone, fans and wrestlers alike, burned out. This invasion is exactly the same way and it’s hard to enjoy. Again, a gamer wants to see the character they are playing as win – not job even when they do a really dominate job. That’s not fun.

The bottom line is that WWE’12 is several steps backwards from last year’s version, which in itself was steps back from the year before. Yukes and THQ should be improving with each passing game – not getting worse. That’s a sign of laziness, greed and sloppy programming. There should be new matches and notable improvements. Instead everything is worse aside from the ability to control title matches. I was really disappointed by the obvious lack of effort put into this thing and a lot of gamers will feel the same way. When things are the same as they were in the 16 and 32 bit eras of gaming, you know the dev team has no interest in actually making things better for the average gamer.

Modes Rating: Bad

2. Graphics

Graphics are a mixed bag here. Sure everything is in high definition but there are so many visual bugs and animation issues, it’s hard not to notice them all. For example, characters look a bit weird, especially compared to last year’s version. For the most part, the physical models are great but facial expressions, mouths and eyes look terrible. When a character is talking in some cutscenes, it looks like their jaw has been dislocated. You’ll also get exceptionally creepy facial expressions during moves like the head based attack from the limb target system. It’s hard to explain unless you see it firsthand, but that is not an expression that is physically possibly to make unless you are a Muppet. As well, arenas and backgrounds look fantastic, but there are tons of issues each time you start a new card. Yukes and THQ boasted about how you get an intro with pyro and music each time a card starts, but what they didn’t tell you is that this new intro has frame rate issues, speed up and massive slowdown, freezing for a few seconds and some severe animation clipping at times. Worse, there is no way to turn this intro off, so you have to deal with all of these visual eyesores each time you start a card. EVEN WORSE, every time you exit out of a card and come back, you’re still subject to this opening sequence which gets annoying quickly, especially when you can start to tell when the slowdown or freezing of the sequence is going to happen (it’s the same each time). The end result is a very jerky and terribly executed mess that starts off looking great but quickly becomes a technical nightmare. The good news is this sequence has only crashed my PS3 once. Of course, other bits of the game have crashed the system, but that’s for down the road in this review. Basically the new opening sequence was made with the best of intentions and with a nod towards emulating an actual Raw or Smackdown card, but the end result is a visual mess that you can’t skip. Why they didn’t include that option is beyond me.

Other visual issues involve frame of animation missing from some moves which creates a jerky mess, invisible walls sometimes showing up in the ring (You’ll be running and treated to the “collision with another wrestler” animation), or be in the middle of doing one move only to have the game jerk and suddenly it’s in the middle of another move altogether. There’s also an issue with blood. I’m noticed that if a wrestler bleeds in a match and you then try to save a moment from the match for your highlight reel or entrance video, the blood is missing. These are all somewhat amusing and minor in the scheme of things, but they can be quite annoying depending on when they happen.

The end result is that WWE ’12 has character models that are a step backwards from last year with some pretty bad facial animations going on and a score of visual bugs that range from the comical, to rendering a match unplayable (such as when I was Irish whipped and my character phased through the ropes like he was Kitty Pryde and then floated over the announce table, past the guard rail and through the crowd in one frozen character model frame, never to be seen again. The game crashed shortly thereafter…). The bugs aren’t serious ones, but there’s such a plethora of visual issues with the game a critical eye is going to be annoyed more often than not when playing WWE ’12. A less critical eye is simply going to make a drinking game out it.

Graphics Rating: Decent

3. Sound

You would think that this would be a solidly positive category for WWE ’12 considering how involved the WWE is with this game, lending its wrestlers and commentators to do voice acting and allowing THQ to have full access to its musical library. Unfortunately, it’s not. Some of the music isn’t quite right. For example, Jerry Lawler doesn’t have “The Great Gate of Kiev” as his entrance theme. It’s something generic. Yet American Dragon aka Daniel Bryan has “Ride of the Valkyries.” So it can’t be some sort of rights issue. There are a few other places where the music doesn’t match up with the character but since you have the ability to upload songs from your MP3 collection and use those instead, it’s a very minor issue.

The major issue is with the voice acting. A lot of the wrestlers just phone it in here. People like Hunter Hearst Helmsley mumble through their lines without any emotion or tone. He ends up sound more like Ben Stein then the guy we’ve seen wrestling for almost twenty years. Other wrestlers making this transgression are Kevin Nash, Wade Barrett and Randy Orton. You’d think these guys had never delivered dialogue before. Considering Nash has always been great on the stick (if not in the ring), this was a disappointment. On the positive side, Austin Aries does a great job as your generic cruiserweight wrestler, as do The Miz, Sheamus, William Regal, Rey Mysterio and Arn Anderson. These five put as much into their voice acting for the game as they do in the ring and as bitchy as I’ve been in this review, they definitely deserve their moment of praise here.

One odd thing that is new here is that the wrestlers trash talk when they do a reversal. This is only audible in a backstage brawl, but it caught me off guard and just seemed out of place. Perhaps it’s simply because there isn’t a lot of talking in an actual match that this stood out so much, but it is worth nothing here. Another odd thing is that in story mode, the voice acting would cut out from time to time. The scene would occur, but it would do so in silence. I’m glad I had subtitles turned on or I’d have no idea what was being said. This bug ends as soon as the cut scenes does and then things go back to normal. It happened to me half a dozen times in Road to Wrestlemania, so don’t be surprised if it happens to you too. A third auditory issue is that sometimes the default crowd cheering will be louder than the commentary. It’s as if the volume for both randomly swaps on very rare occurrences. Still, like the sound going out completely, it’s worth noting that this happens.

Finally, there is the commentating itself. This has been a regular source of scorn by reviewers over the years, although I’m happy to say it’s much improved this year. King and Cole do a pretty good job. The only downside is that there is very little recorded and you’ll hear the same things over and over again – often in the same match. Getting the “Thank You Edge” trophy was a real eye opener to this. With that, you have to win thirty-seven matches as Edge in one session (More on “session” later) and by the time I was done I knew exactly what comments would be made and when. This will happen to anyone going for this trophy, so it would have been nice to see more lines by the announce team. It was a treat to hear King and Cole talk about themselves while they wrestled, breaking the fourth wall on multiple levels though.

Much like the graphics, the audio aspects of WWE ’12 should have earned pretty high marks from me. Unfortunately, the shoddy programming, phoned in voice acting, recurring bugs and lack of commentary depth has me saying Yukes did a decent job with the audio, but things are nowhere as good as they could have (or should have) been. It’s something you can have fun with, but there are too many technical issues going awry here.

Sound Rating: Decent

4. Control and Gameplay

Now we’ve already talked about a lot of bugs in the game so far, but we haven’t even got to some of the big ones that plague gameplay from beginning to end. Because the rest of the bugs all effect gameplay to varying degrees, I’ll just going to do a big list of them here and get it out of my system. The good news is that it’s not as long as the bug list I did for TNA Impact!. The bad news is that it’s still pretty long.

A. Collision detection issues run rampart in this game. One example would be a wrestler with a longer reach not being able to grab a smaller wrestler, yet the smaller can grab him from the same distance apart.

B. Phasing. Occasionally wrestlers will move right through each other.

C. Reversal issue #1. Sometimes the R2 image (to let you know you can reverse) doesn’t come up. This will adversely affect younger or less skilled gamers, but veterans of wrestling games will know the correct timing by heart.

D. Reversal issue #2. Sometimes the animation severely messes up for a reversal, so the offensive character animation will continue doing the move as if the reversal didn’t go through, only to have it clip to halfway through the reversal animation.

E. Staggering is done in such a way that you can have an infinite attack on an opponent if you time things correctly. This is akin to the infamous double redizzy combo of Guile in the original Street Fighter II. This is going to aggravate some players big time.

F. Opponent detection is invariably broken as soon as you have more than two wrestlers in the ring. Even on auto detection, your wrestler will sometimes aim for the person farthest away from him instead of the one right next to him. If you turn on manual, the game doesn’t tell you how to actual switch between targets so you’re left to fend for yourself. (Hint: it’s not hard). The more opponents, the worse this gets.

G. The game has trouble detecting tags in six man tag matches. Instead of tagging one or the other, you’ll just sit there.

H. L1 is overused. For example it’s both the button for finding an item under the ring and trying to get back in the ring. More than once the game will choose the action that you didn’t want to do. It’s also used to climb the ladder or to pick it up. Again, watch the fun of trying to climb a perfectly placed ladder when everyone is down…and instead you pick it up.

I. There is noticeable slowdown and frame rate issues when you design your own match. The best example of this is in Road to Wrestlemania with its attempts at a “Bragging Rights” match or the weird version of War Games it uses. Things get jerky.

J. If you have springboard attacks and dives on the same character, the game will often choose the wrong one as they both use the same sequence (running + Square) to activate. So instead of diving out of the ring onto an opponent, you springboard onto the canvas and knock yourself out. This also becomes a problem in tag matches. Try to punch the opponent on the apron, and watch yourself springboard instead – even when standing still.

K. The Momentum meter occasionally disappears from the screen for stretches at a time. When this happens you can’t use special moves or signatures. As well, sometimes the meter will fill up signaling you have the option for one or the other, but then it will turn out to be a graphical error and your meter isn’t actually that full. Annoying.

L. Wrestlers stay down for a short but specific amount of time in a match. This leads to hilarity where your opponent never gets to do a move on you (it’s down until you do either two stomps, a submission, two limb targets or four flying moves) as pressing buttons doesn’t get you up any faster. The converse is true in something like a multi person ladder match or Money in the Bank where the wrestler is only down for a brief amount of time (a fraction of what they would be in a single or tag match) and so there is rarely a time where more than one person is on the mat. The rest are all clustered in the middle of the right pounding each other so you can’t do anything with the ladder.

M. I won the Royal Rumble with Masa Chono (coming it at #3!). However, I was never given the choice to face either world champion at Wrestlemania. In fact, Chono wasn’t on the card at all. Hell, the WWE Championship wasn’t on the card. The main event was Ezekiel Jackson Vs. Mark Henry, neither of which had titles. What the hell?

N. I won Money in the Bank with Chono. I was never given the option to cash it in at any point. Then, in a match where Dan Severn beat John Cena for the title, Chono came out and cashed it in on me and I was not allowed to play as him. That’s a pretty bad one to me – especially as a trophy revolves around you being able to cash in the Money in the Bank that you won. The only other option was to play through nearly a year of the game again. Who designed this crap?

O. Speaking of trophies, there are an inordinate amount of bugs around them. Some are not obtainable, meaning if you plan to platinum this game, you’re going to have to wait until Yukes severely patches this. Here’s a list of all the trophies with bugs and what exactly they are:

“The Birth of a Historic Tag Team” – this is based on winning or defending the tag titles with a CAW. This did not trigger when I won the tag titles (Severn and Lawler). It did not trigger on my first five defenses either. It only triggered at WM when I defended them.

“Wildman of the Ring” – this involves breaking twenty tables, ladders or chairs. This triggered after I did forty-three.

“Professional Material” – this involves winning twenty matches on hard or legend in one session. It triggered after 31.

“Submissions Specialist” – this involves winning twenty matches by submission in one session. It triggered after 32 matches won by submission.

“Berserker” – breaking fifty tables, ladders or chairs in one session. This triggered after 13.

“Legend Status” – win fifty matches on hard or legend in one session. This triggered after 21.

“Look At My Titantron” -use a movie created in Custom Entrance in an entrance scene. This NEVER triggered for me even though I wrestled literally hundreds of matches with my two CAWs.

“I’m Gonna be Champion” – win a #1 contender’s match with a CAW. This never triggered.

“I Like Titles” – win three titles with a CAW. Well, this too never triggered even though Severn held the World Heavyweight title, the IC title AND the tag titles all at once, also while Chono held WWE and US. All were won in WWE universe in matches the game set up rather than myself or just putting belts on them

“Grand Slam Champion” – win five titles with a caw. Never triggered even if I won all the titles with one CAW at the same time or if a CAW had five or more total reigns.

“A Successful Cash In” – Cash in Money in the Bank. It never let me even though I won it.

“My Target at Wrestlemania is…” In WWE Universe choose your opponent with the Royal Rumble Winner. I never even had the option to do so and as mentioned earlier, said winner didn’t even get to WRESTLE at WRESTLEMANIA.

“Holla” – create your own show in WWE Universe. I made two – one for ECW and one for the old AWA. I even played through a full show with each, not simming any matches. It never triggered.

That’s thirteen trophies that appear to have some sort of bug with them – some of which appear to make earning a platinum (or full gamerscore for those with a 360) impossible. Again, I could just have been unlucky that a big hit when these trophies should have been triggered, or it could even be that the condition for unlocking them isn’t actually what it says in the trophy list (I’ve seen that happen before), but for those gamers out there that actually care about trophies and/or achievements, you should know these things.

Whew. Still with me after all that? The good news is that bugs are all random and some of these might not hit you at all. That’s the problem with bugs – some gamers might never be hit with them, while others might be plagued. Hell, I have a friend who has never encountered a single bug in Fallout: New Vegas! Do you know what the odds are of that are? So just remember, WWE ’12 CAN be quite fun even while it’s a massive technical mess on all levels. Think of it like an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. It plays exactly like Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011 except for more bugs, flaming tables and a non-working injury system. It’s the same matches and same control scheme. Well, not exactly the same. The game tries to claim that a new “limb target system” has been implemented but these games have had this since All Japan Pro Wrestling Vs. Virtua Fighter. Now it’s just all the wrestlers have one guaranteed move to do to each of the limb regions (head, arms and legs) and everyone has the same move for each. Other than that it’s still the same game as it has been for years, complete with the usual collision/move detection issues and the occasional bit of lag or slowdown.

Without the massive amount of technical issues that plague WWE ’12, it would still only be a mediocre game compared to a lot of older, better wrestling games. The engine here just isn’t very interesting and matches tend to have the same flow, regardless of who you play or what difficulty setting you use for CPU opponents. Taking all the bugs into consideration, this is simply a badly done game – one that should have spent far more time in QA. Some of these bugs (most really) are minor to middling annoyances while a few are flat out unacceptable. It’s like seven years in, THQ and Yukes still have yet to figure out how to blend a wrestling video game with a universe/efed type system ala EWR or TNM and the end result is something that is charming on a superficial level, but a terrible train wreck the more you play it.

Control & Gameplay Rating: Bad

5. Replayability

This is the one positive aspect of the game. If you can get past the bugs, you can spend an insane amount of time with the game. Sure, you’ll only play through Road to Wrestlemania once as there aren’t diverging paths like last year and it’s so bad once is more than enough, but WWE Universe is technically never ending. Scenes may repeat, but they will be with different characters. You can also keep making new CAWs, play matches online, or even use the game to run an efed. Of course, the truth is you’ll get bored with the game eventually, but there is always the option to start a new fed or make some new guys. I know for the past few years, the majority of the fun I’ve had with WWE games was making odd wrestlers and seeing how many people enjoyed that someone took the time to make that character. I remember my Day One creations last year were Doink and Animal. This year it’s Masa Chono and Dan Severn. The difference is that this year, I won’t be making any more characters than that. I’m too burned out on bad WWE games. Plus I have things like Skyrim and Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 to play.

If you love professional wrestling enough to look past the myriad of issues that plague this game, you can (and will) get a lot of mileage out of this title. Even though I found the game to be somewhat dismal, I still had fun with it at times. It’s not well made by any means, but the fact they fixed the two big issues with WWE Universe (Titles matches only on PPVs and inability to pick who gets a title match) will go a long way with someone who wants to run an efed through this game or who just wants to watch their CAW of Jon Lovitz make John Cena tap out.

Replayability Rating: Good

6. Balance

The truly big problem with WWE ’12 is the difficulty. Or rather, the complete and utter lack of any challenge whatsoever. The game’s A.I. is abominable bad, even more so than in previous years. Most of the time the computer acts as little more than a punching bag, even on legend difficulty. I’ve gone through entire cards without the CPU getting a single blow in. It’s pathetic. Because of this matches are only about two to three minutes long and are little more than total squashes. When the enemy does do damage, it’s generally through a reversal. Then it will either stand around and wait for you to get up or grapple you and sit there without finishing the move. On rare occasions the game will follow up with a flurry of offense, but this tends to be only in multi-character matches, such as handicapped brawls. Even in something like Money in the Bank or the Royal Rumble, you pretty much can walk around picking people off at your leisure. In my first Royal Rumble, there was never more than myself and one CPU at a time. I just whipped them out as quickly as they came in. I was really shocked at how easy this game is against the computer and since online was spotty at best (Not the game’s fault. I was playing it before launch) that was 99% of my time with the game. It’s also easier than ever to get a tap out with “breaking point submissions” as it’s just button mashing.

Worst of all is the implementation of the “Momentum” meter. Basically the more matches a character wins, the better their stats get. The more they job, the worse their stats get. This mean it grows increasing harder to beat a human controlled character and easier to beat a CPU controlled one. Example: Dan Severn’s base stats are at an 87 overall. With a full momentum meter, I was in the upper 90s for overall stats. This made him better than every other possible character in the game. Considering I was dominating when I gave him slightly above average stats (I build my characters true to their peak years as a grappler), he was now unbeatable. I could sit there and let the CPU wail on me for a minute and then come back and still win. In fact I lost a total of three matches in WWE Universe. One purposely by countout, one six way when I was unable to move due to several bodies laying in front of me and one where I got DQ’d being all sneaky heel and failing miserably. Honestly, the only way to lose a match in this game is on purpose, because you are screwing around, or due to a bug. If you actually lose against the computer…well, you probably aren’t very good at video games. It’s that easy. Playing against a human is just as easy. Basically whoever gets the first blow in wins. From then on it’s just picking them off slowly but surely. Sure there are ways to get around it, but most of the time, it’s going to be “first punch wins.” The staggering and guaranteed time on the mat that is implemented in this game makes everything way too lopsided for PvP play. It’s still far better than playing the computer where you are guaranteed that even if there are two or three runs ins against you, you will still walk away with an easy win.

Balance Rating: Worthless

7. Originality

For all intents and purposes, WWE ’12 is a new game in name only. There’s a new version of Road to Wrestlemania, but it has less options and it’s far inferior to previous years. It’s also been done to death. WWE Universe has only been around for two years, but it’s the same as any season mode. There’s nothing really new here. Flaming tables? How often will those come up? Injuries? Been done before in other wrestling games and nowhere as buggy as it is here. Limb Target System? Been done before just under other names. No, the only real new thing here is are the options to create new arenas and/or shows, along with the Momentum Meter. The first two are merely fluff at best and the later is a horrible idea and it’s implemented so poorly that you have to wonder if anyone play tested it. Nope, WWE ’12 is pretty much devoid of any originality and innovation. It’s a half assed product put out to guarantee Yukes and THQ a yearly paycheck because they know people will blindly buy it the same way people buy some sports games even when there is just a roster update and nothing else. Honestly, Yukes either needs to be given the chance to start a game from square one without a yearly deadline, or the WWE needs to get someone else to make a game. Yukes has grown too complacent and they’ve shown they’re unwilling to actually do hard advances to the series. Until either of those things happen, you’re just going to get the same game with different legends and a slightly tweaked Road to Wrestlemania.

Originality Rating: Worthless

8. Addictiveness

Even in spite of all the bugs, WWE ’12 has its charm. Sure it’s the same exact charm as the past dozen or so games, but there’s something inherently fun about take a steel chair to someone’s head fifty or sixty times or seeing blood in a wrestling match again. It’s not a charm that last very long as after a few days or weeks, you see the game for what it really is – a buggy rehash of the same game that’s been put out for a decade. During the honeymoon period though, it’s exceptionally hard to put the game down. Sure a match might have a few bugs in it and you get annoyed by the start of the card animation problems, but you spend the entire match with a giant grin on your face as you beat your opponent down mercilessly. You have a warped sense of achievement when you cripple Mason Ryan after five straight choke slams or you finally make the Undertaker tap out at Wrestlemania on Legend difficulty. You spend a lot of time scouring the parts in the CAW system to see who you can make pretty easily and if it’s possible to actually make Hakushi this year with the noticeable lack of layers in recent Yukes games. It’s not by the way. Jinsei Shinzaki, yes but Hakushi, no. Come on Yukes! The guy was living out of his car after the tsunami this year. At least let us make him in all his forms.

Even when I knew the game was not something I could recommend to anyone but the most ardent of WWE fans, I still had fun with it and had a hard time turning my PS3 off. “Just one more match” was a common motif in my mind. I wanted to see if there were any new cut scenes particular to a pay-per-view or how many times Koslov would be a mystery opponent for C.M. Punk (This particular weirdness also happened in my version of 2K11). I’d say “Oh, I have to see if THIS trophy is buggy too” but the truth is I really couldn’t stop at times. WWE games, especially in a fully bookable season mode are crack to me. I loved efeds as a kid. Hell, my friends and I did efeds even before the internet with pen, paper and dice. It’s just something I love. So no matter how bad the game got, I still found reasons to keep playing. That’s a pretty big positive, because it means no matter how terrible this game gets, and trust me – it does get terrible, you can still have fun with it. Unless you know, you hate professional wrestling or video games, but then why are you reading this?

Bottom line, the critical side of me knows WWE ’12 is poorly made and has more bugs than the last few incarnations of the series, but the wrestling fan in me could still find ways to make the game fun. Because this is a review, the critical side needs to take center stage, but please believe me when I say that there is fun to be had here.

Addictiveness Rating: Good

9. Appeal Factor

Even though Yukes is infamous for buggy wrestling games these days, WWE titles sell a lot of copies. There are nearly 1.1 million fans of the official WWEgames Facebook page, many of which will happily part with sixty dollars for this game no matter how bad it is. It’s THQ’s best selling game ever year and without the license, the publisher would be hurting. The question is WHY? Why do these games sell even though it’s 90% the same game every year? Well, it’s the same reason that football titles sell. There is a very fanatically loyal core audience that doesn’t mind the same exact experience every year. An audience that wants just a roster change and feels that’s worth sixty bucks a year. An audience that wants new trophies or achievements. An audience that can look past sloppy programming and a multitude of minor bugs simply because THEY HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE. That’s the key right there. You have WWE ’12 or you have nothing. WWE has a monopoly on wrestling games. TNA tried, but their video game makes WWE ’12 look flawless by comparison. Midway had neither the talent nor skill to make a wrestling game. Konami and Slang/Immersion Software & Graphics gave us a decent title in Lucha Libre AAA: Heroes Del Ring and it was actually a better overall game than WWE ’12, especially when you consider that was their first video game ever and Yukes has been making wrestling games for almost two decades. That game doesn’t have WWE “SuperStars” though and so not too many people picked it up.

So where does that leave us? With Yukes making half assed wrestling games that sell simply due to the WWE license. Why doesn’t THQ or the WWE request someone else to make the games? Because they don’t need to. People will buy a WWE wrestling game (Although not something like Betrayal or Crush Hour) simply due to the license. It may sound sad, but it’s still a fact. That’s why Aki, makers of WCW vs. nWo, Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy are now known as Syn Sophia and make games that are only released in Japan now (including a Yakuza game for the PSP!). Sure everyone and their mother considers them the best wrestling development studio ever, but why aren’t they making wrestling games? Because WWE and THQ are happy with Yukes making the same exact mediocre affair each year and no one has a license to couple with an Aki engine so that they make their money back. In short, we are all screwed until people start to make a statement with their wallets. It’s never going to happen, so people are going to continue to buy these games, even know they know they could have better WWE game. Even though they know there are older games that play better than current gen ones. So yes, this is going to sell hundreds of thousands, if not a million+ copies, but only because gamers don’t have a choice anymore and younger gamers don’t know any better.

Appeal Factor: Above Average

10. Miscellaneous

Fourteen pages in and we’re almost done. Look, WWE ’12 is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with wrestling games. Yukes could do so much better than what we get in WWE games. Hell, play the New Japan Pro Wrestling games they have made. They are AWESOME. Why is there such a difference. Hmm. Maybe because Yukes is THE MAJORITY SHAREHOLDER in New Japan so they care more? Maybe because Japan still has other viable top feds that compete with New Japan like NOAH and All Japan so they have to try harder? Maybe because wrestling games aren’t released each year so they can take the time to make quality games instead of being rushed? Look at Wrestle Kingdom I. It was Yukes made game. It came out in 2006 for the 360 and PS2 and it still played better than this game. It had a HORRIBLE saving bug when it first came out and it sure doesn’t look as good as WWE ’12 since it’s six years old, but it was bug free compared to the last few WWE games. As well, when the save bug was discovered, they recalled the game to ensure quality. When is the last time something like that happened stateside? Also, Spike is doing will hopefully eventually make a new Fire Pro Wrestling for current gen systems besides the current 360 Avatar game. It too won’t look at good as this, but I guarantee it will play infinitely better and the CAW system will probably be light years ahead of what we have here.

Look, I know I’m lucky/experienced enough to know that Yukes can make better than this but also that they have a much better track record across the Pacific. I know Aki can make a better game than this in their sleep. I also know I might come off as a pretentious douche telling you to press Yukes, THQ and the WWE to gives you a less bug ridden experience, but guess what? If you’ve read this far now you too know there are better games out there, even if you’re not going to try them. You now know you have alternatives with better CAW systems so you can have a better gameplay experience and make your own WWE wrestlers for it. Don’t buy this game people. It’s just poorly designed. It’s not the worst wrestling game ever made. Not even close, but it’s nowhere near being a good game either. Save your money. Just because something is the newest rendition doesn’t make it the best.

Miscellaneous Rating: Worthless

The Scores:
Modes: Bad
Graphics: Decent
Sound: Decent
Control and Gameplay: Bad
Replayability: Good
Balance: Worthless
Originality: Worthless
Addictiveness: Good
Appeal Factor: Above Average
Miscellaneous: Worthless

Short Attention Span Summary
WWE ’12 isn’t even close to being the worst wrestling game ever made but it IS a sloppy bug ridden game mess. Road to Wrestlemania is the worst it’s ever been, but WWE Universe is slightly improved from last year. There are a ton of bugs this year that range from amusing to annoying but there is still fun to be had if you want the same basic experience you had last year with even stupider A.I. in your opponents. I honestly can’t recommend this to anyone but the most zealous of WWE fans, simply because there are better (albeit older) wrestling games that blow this away in all respects. The fact that over five pages of this review is just a list of bugs, gameplay errors and visual issues that plague the game should be warning enough, but for those that choose to pick it up anyway, there is something strangely satisfying about clubbing John Cena in the head with a mop until he is carted away on a stretcher.



, , ,




136 responses to “Review: WWE ’12 (Sony PS3)”

  1. Jeffreyamontgomery2011 Avatar

    Im sorry I totally disagree with this you are really being a nitpicky individual and alot of these things you’ve said have been proven false

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Oookay? Have you played the game? Can you actually cite what is nitpicking? A review is a critical analysis of a game – not fanboy rambling. Also, I’d love to know what was proven false here because I had more than one person witness the issues I talked about here.

      Again, bugs are hit or miss. You might get a lot of them or you might see very few of them. If a reviewer glosses over either the bad or good, a reader and potential purchaser of the product won’t get a full picture.

      1. Jaitsu Avatar

        I’m sorry but it is very much obvious you went in already knowing what you were going to say about the game. And before you ask, no, I don’t have the game, however i know many that do.

        By the way, calling someone who doesn’t agree with you a fanboy doesn’t automatically make you right.

        1. DHGFAshe Avatar

          He never said anyone was a fanboy, he said that his review wasn’t fanboy rambling.

          1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

            Ashe – I’m kind of amused at people that think I’m foaming at the mouth with rage for this game when I’m simply just disappointed that it’s the same game as last year but now with more glitches. Makes you wonder what they’d think of my TNA Impact review. SO MUCH HATE FOR THAT GAME.

          2.  Avatar

            Oh I know. Yours is probably the most in-depth review I’ve seen of this game and I hadn’t even planned on getting it until it was in the cheap bins anyway, but I’ll probably just stick with my old titles. Keep my sanity that way.

          3. Alexander Lucard Avatar

            Eh. It just depends on how well you handle a ton of bugs. I’ve very old school in that when I see a game make it to market with a ton of minor issues that should have been correct (and would have been before this console generation), I get pissed. It’s sloppy and lazy. Hell, I’d probably create a list of bugs for Skyrim if I ever reviewed that. :-P

          4.  Avatar

            I don’t mind bugs, as long as they’re not ones that make my job as a player harder. Skyrim’s User Interface and PC controls are HIGH on my list at the moment. I’ve taken to using a friends 360 controller to play that game because it actually works perfectly. THAT reeks of laziness. If you’re putting a PC game out at least make sure the damn controls work properly. I don’t mind if it occasionally doesn’t load something or a voice over is missing. That I can live with. If I have to fight the controls, they’ve done something wrong.

          5. Alexander Lucard Avatar

            heh, Remember when Bioware games were BEST on the PC? I fell for that with Mass Effect 2. It played SO much better with a controller for me. After that I knew I’d get a console version of Skyrim.

          6.  Avatar

            I didn’t really have a problem with the PC controls for Mass Effect 2, but I’ve also got a gaming keyboard which is set-up with the FPS or MMO in mind and worked REALLY well for ME2.

            From: Disqus
            Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:34 AM
            Subject: [diehardgamefan] Re: Review: WWE ’12 (Sony PS3)

            Disqus generic email template

            Alexander Lucard wrote, in response to DHGFAshe:
            heh, Remember when Bioware games were BEST on the PC? I fell for that with Mass Effect 2. It played SO much better with a controller for me. After that I knew I’d get a console version of Skyrim. Link to comment

          7. Alexander Lucard Avatar

            yeah, I rarely touch anything FPS related so that makes sense. I just had the normal keyboard and mouse setup for it and I was like, “What the hell?”

        2. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          Really? Because if you ask anyone who knows me, including other writers on this site, I was pretty much marking out for this. So it’s not very obvious at all unless you’re a) not reading the full review or b) just focusing on the negative points I make and ignore the positive.

          Calling someone that doesn’t agree with me doesn’t make them a fan boy. However, saying “you are wrong” when you haven’t played the game and can’t cite reasons why DOES. It means you’re the one that made up your mind before playing the game and you’re exceedingly defensive become someone point out the large amount of technical issues with the game. That’s completely and totally in fanboy territory. Since no one was actually CALLED a fanboy anywhere, I’m also going to assume you skim things rather than read them fully. ;-)

          Dude, it’s okay to like a game someone hates and to hate a game someone loves. If you’re the type of gamer who can easily look past bugs, glitches, and issues with a game, more power to you. As a critic, I need to focus on the technical aspects just as much as I do the entertainment aspects of a game. Look at Fallout 3. That’s an awesome game, but no one alive can deny how buggy that game can be. WWE ’12 may not be anywhere as good as that game, but as I say in my review “WWE ’12 CAN be quite fun even while it’s a massive technical mess on all levels.”

    2. Ewanmackay96 Avatar

      What a fucking shitty review.

      1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

        Wow. Mature and verbose!

  2. Avatar

    Awesome review! This is how a proper review should be! Analysing the game from every aspect without any fanboyism…I’m bookmarking this site in the hope that you will keep reviewing more games in such detail.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Thanks Killer. I am this detail oriented with each of my reviews, but I can definitely see why Jeff (the previous commentor) might take that level of detail as nitpicking. I really REALLY wanted to like this game but the bugs plus lack of any kind of challenge plus the terrible Road to Wrestlemania this year left me really disappointed with the overall product. I know some people are going to praise the game simply because it’s a WWE title and some are going to hate on it for the exact same reason.

  3. Anon Avatar

    The description of RTWM leads me to believe you’ve never actually played the game. All you did was tell us things we all could see in the trailers.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Considering I give some pretty big spoilers for RTWM in my review, this leads me to believe you never actually read the review. :-)

  4. Fireprolover Avatar

    “Also, Spike is doing a new Fire Pro Wrestling for current gen systems.”

    You talking about the avatar Xbox 360 game? or another classic Fire Pro game?
    Also you have any info on it, a link perhaps?

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Firepro – Spike announced a HD Fire Pro back in 2009 that would be a downloadable title only. Obviously it’s near the end of 2011, and there’s not much more to go on than that. However there’s been next to nothing about that game since around Sept of 2009.

      Because they mentioned it being for both the 360 AND the PS3, I don’t think it’s the same game as the Avatar game (which i’ve heard terrible things about, but as I haven’t played it I can’t comment on it,), simply because the PS3 doesn’t have avatars. I guess they could retool it for Home though?

      If it IS the same game then I’ll be disappointed by two different wrestling games this year.

      1. Fireprolover Avatar

        Ah this game turned out to be a April fools joke from some jerk.I am a member of fire pro club , and I remember the post , since then it has been deleted , since it was a hoax.

        Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

        1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          Well…poop. That’ll teach me to check in there more than once every few months. ;-)

          I’m sure Spike will make a new one eventually though. Japan doesn’t pump out yearly wrestling games like we do over here. It’s more sporadic but that ensures a higher level of quality.

          I’ve update the review to reflect that knowledge. I appreciate it! I guess I’ll have to stick to G on my PS3.

    2. Chadques Avatar

      I can’t help but laugh at you saying you based CAW stats on their peak years and made Dan Severn an 87 overall. I’m sorry but he was a fantastic grappler in amateur wrestling and mixed martial arts, but was the drizzling shits in a professional wrestling ring. He would’ve dominated if it were real, but it’s obviously not, so he managed to suck and blow at the same time. He had no showmanship or charisma.

      Oh, and by the way, your review sucked and had numerous screw-ups. This is coming from someone who isn’t really a fan of the series either, and also prefers Fire-Pro anytime.

      Have a nice day Asshat…

      1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

        Chadques – I’d love to know what the screw ups were. Because without any actual examples, that comment can’t be taken seriously, nor can I engage in a rebuttal. Criticism is only valid where there is substance behind it. :-)

        You’re right though that Dan Severn was MUCH better in UFC, Martial Arts and Grecko-Roman than he was a pro wrestling. Hell, I only made him because I found the perfect mustache for him. Remember though, he held the NWA title twice for extremely long stretches at a time though, so someone liked his sports entertainment style.. My Severn had next little charisma and tag team skills, but pretty high in strikes, submissions and grappling. Which is accurate, no? That ended up getting him an 87 overall. Now if I had made say…Tank Abbot, I think it’s safe to say his overall would be even lower.

        Good attempt with the angry comment though. It’s the most thought out and intelligently written so far!

        1. Chadques Avatar

          Well said. No angry comments, just expressing an opinion. I do have a problem with the attribute ratings on here influencing such a high overall rating. It’s misleading, although it doesn’t really mean anything. In their prime of WWF careers, I would have looked at Shamrock as an 87 and Severn as an 82-84.

          Severn did have a sweet stache and he did hold the NWA title for a very long time, but it seems like he rarely defended it because of still being active in the UFC.

          I’m in the same boat as you with this game as far as wanting to like it. I’m a wrestling fan, so I want wrestling related things to be good, when truthfully with WWE, they rarely are anymore. It’s unfortunate and makes me love Firepro even more each year.

          1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

            I guess because I enjoyed Severn’s NWA work and the fact he wasn’t in the WWF for long, Really the only things memorable about his time in the WWF were being the impetus behind D-Lo’s chest pad and the Owen Hart/Ken Shamrock triangle. I can definitely see an 84 based sheerly on the WWE time. it’s all subjective. No way I’d give him anything higher than an 87 though. My Chono had a 91 rating which NJPW fans would probably think is too low since he and Muta were the Rock/Austin of New Japan. At least it’s not the designing a character and giving them 100 in everything. That’s annoying when you download one of those. :-)

            I’m not sure how often he defended the NWA title when he had it. I got to see him defend live twice though. Once was against Tully Blanchard in a broadway which was really good from a technical standpoint. Man that makes feel old to think of how old both of those guys are these days.

            I agree with you man. I want to love the current product. I want everything wrestling related to be good. It’s why I was the staff member who was like “TNA Video game? Sure! I’ll try it!” “Lucha Libre? Does it have La Parka? Holy crap. I’m there!” “Brock Lesnar and Demolition in the same game! Sure, I’ll review it for you THQ!” But I was disappointed with the game in the same way I was disappointed Captiol Punishment when we saw it live. It was a flawed PPV but it was fun to see the WWE live (especially since we were in the first few rows). oddly enough, if I said “That wasn’t a very good PPV” people wouldn’t get angry if I broke the card down on a workrate level. Yet if I say, “WWE ’12 wasn’t good on a technical level” and list the reasons why in addition to saying “I still had fun with it” people act like I just said Flair/Steamboat matches were less entertaining than the Ding Dongs. I’m glad to see so many people still passionate about the WWE though.

            Sorry you didn’t like the review though man. It is what it is. I stand by my opinion and if you enjoy it more than I did, I’m honestly happy for you. It’s hard not to live Fire Pro though, isn’t it?

          2. Chadques Avatar

            Been playing for a few hours now, and while I really like the idea of slowing down the pace and going more methodical with the game, it just doesn’t feel right. RTWM is bad, but that’s such a small part of the game anymore that it can get away with it. The controls are a bit clunky and the AI is really bad. I feel as though it took several steps forward in some areas, while taking gigantic leaps back in others.

            Back to discussing current wrestling, it’s hard to watch anymore. I grew up with one of the current guys on Smackdown and have gotten to know a few of the guys pretty well and even had 2 in my wedding, so I mainly watch out of habit and to support them. I really want to be a fan but to listen to them talk and actually getting to hang out with some of my “former heroes” makes it really hard.

            You’re right, when you break apart what’s wrong people get upset, but if you use a generic overtone like “it was a flawed game” you wouldn’t have such a fanboy backlash. I made the mistake one time online of saying that while I loved the attitude era, the work for the most part was terrible. While I was absolutely right, people couldn’t grasp that honesty.

            Such is life…

          3. Alexander Lucard Avatar

            Well, on one hand, I’m glad to see you’ve experienced some of my problems with the game first hand. On the other, I’m sorry you had to. Hopefully you didn’t have to pay full price.

            Agreed that RTWM is such a small part of the game but at the same time, it’s like ten hours of gaming you have to go through if you want to unlock everything/see everything. That’s ten hours of PAIN. Overall your experience seems to be a lot like mine, which is unfortunate because it means it’s not just me that had these problems. It’s definitely did improve in some areas like WWE Universe and the announcing commentary but yeah, it’s a few steps back in others. Hopefully you’ll get your moneys worth out of it.

            That’s awesome that you know a couple of wrestlers and still stay in touch with them. I know a few people that have been in the WWE myself (although no one currently on the roster) and two guys that went on to be pro wrestlers were on the same college wrestling team as me. So I totally get what you’re saying. When you actually know some of these people, have broken bread with them, and called them buds, it’s hard not to have an emotional tie to wrestling or want to support it even when it’s “HHH rapes the corpse of Kane’s first girlfriend” type stuff. . At this point I’m more a fan of the DVD compilations or seeing it live than watching it on tv. Even when i am bored by the angles or who is in the main event, there’s something about seeing it live that makes one mark out. Or at least me. :-)

            Agreed about the Attitude era work rate. A perfect example are the NAO. Great on the stick, but not that great in the ring.

            I guess the way I think, I get more upset when someone says something is good or bad but then they don’t bother to cite examples. I prefer things broken down into multiple examples – not only so I can better understand the writer/reviewer but so if I still get the game, I know what I’m in for and I’ll be less likely to swear at the game for glitching up.

  5. Clouds_7th_heaven Avatar

    Wow this guy is a complete and utter moron

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Awesome rebuttal what with the lack of any actual constructive criticism coupled with the lack of any punctuation.

      1. Guest Avatar

        Do you always respond like a child to any negative responses?

        1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          A child would be the one slinging mud and calling names. Now who does that sound like? :-)

          It’s good manners to respond to every comment, be there negative or positive. I try to do that.

  6. What..the..hell Avatar

    “I’ve sat through steaming piles of crap like TNA Impact!”
    “Konami and Slang/Immersion Software & Graphics gave us a decent title in Lucha Libre AAA: Heroes Del Ring and it was actually a better overall game than WWE ’12”

    Lucha Libre AAA practically IS the TNA game…

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      No, it’s really not. Midway Studios LA made TNA. Lucha Libre was made by Slang/Immersion Software & Graphics. TNA used the unreal 3 engine. Lucha Libre doesn’t. TNA offered a single story mode, Lucha Libre had two versions: Rudos and technicos. Lucha Libre didn’t force you to unlock moves for your caw in the same horrible way TNA did, it didn’t too insane things like give you D-Von unlocked but Buh Buh Ray locked and there were a few more things to do (albeit no Ultimate X). TNA’s reversal system was notably different than AAA. The A.I. in Lucha Libre was smarter and the game was less buggy. Etc, etc. There are lots of difference between the games. A six sided ring and the ability to grapple is far from the same experience.

      Also I like how you take the Heroes Del Ring comment out of context. Look at the whole line “especially when you consider that was their first video game ever and Yukes has been making wrestling games for almost two decades.” You left out the most important part. You have an okay game by a team that has never made a video game before (Heroes Del RIng) and you have an okay game made by a company that has been making pro wrestling games since 1995 and is a majority stakeholder in a wrestling company. What is going to be more impressive on both a technical and critical level? The fact a bunch of new developers cranked out a decent game or that Yukes made a game that is mostly the same as last year but that the improvements to WWE Universe were counterbalanced by a lot of new bugs and glitches? It’s okay if you saw WWE ’12, but I’ll take fresh blood trying something new and different over the same old any day in hopes that the newbies get a second chance and can improve instead of something I feel I’ve played multiple times before.

  7.  Avatar

    Thanks for the review, helps bring my expectations back down to the ground after reading IGN’s review which was only praises, and seeing as how your’e a big wrestling video game fan i’m far more inclined to trust your review of wwe 12.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Dan – As much as I utterly disagree with IGN’s review on a lot of points, IGN’s review is equally as valid as mine. I mean, a review is simply an opinion. That guy f’n LOVED this game. I thought it was buggier than usual and I’ve seen Yukes do better so I was dissapointed. it could be anything from IGN had a complete WWE mark write that review to the fact I’ve playing basically every wrestling games put out since the 8 bit era and I want something more engrossing than what I had last console generation. Or the one before that. Hell, it could even be than the PS3 version is just super buggy and I had the unfortunate luck of getting that one.

      Thanks for the kind words and if you do get the game, I really do hope you enjoy it more than I did and that you don’t get hit with the same glitches I did.

      1.  Avatar

        Great to see that objectivity re: opinions.

        I’m in the same camp as you though, I grew up on alot of wrestling video games and even had the pleasure of playing the Fire Pro and Giant Gram series alot as a teen, so when I see videos of WWE 12 and then read the IGN review, the lack of polish/depth/shoddy animation bugs me and the disparity between what the review says and the video shows me confuses me.

        With all that said, keep up the good work, do you have a twitter handle I could follow?

        P.S. Did you guys review WWE All- Stars, i’m relatively new to the site and i’m having a hard time searching.


        1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          Yeah, objectivity is important with reviews. I can totally understand agreeing or disgreeing with them, but to have an emotional tantrum if the reviewer doesn’t agree with the reader. It’s a video game after all, not me shooting an endangered animal in the genitals.

          I have a twitter account but I’ve never used it. I’m on Facebook and Google+ though. As you can tell from this review I’m not really good at whittling my thoughts down to a few keystrokes. I’m a little too verbose for my own good some times.

          No one on staff reviewed WWE All-Stars unfortunately. Aaron did a quick ten thoughts on the demo, but that’s not quite the same thing. You can read that here: I thought it was this generation’s “Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game” for better or for worse.

          1.  Avatar

            Hahaha at the emotional tantrum comment, I had to scroll through a bit of that to read this.

            Thanks for the link, and once again keep up the good work.

          2. Alexander Lucard Avatar

            Any time man. Thanks for checking us out.

  8. guest Avatar

    The guy who wrote this review is a complete and utter douche…go read IGN’s review moron.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Anonymity AND name-calling? Now that’s a well thought out rebuttal full of actual points that have put me in my place. Congrats good sir (or madam), for I have been humbled.

      1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

        Isn’t it interesting how as more reviews come out, the more they are in agreement with me over IGNs? Gamepro, CVG, even my old Minnesotan nemesis Game Informer bashed the thing. Ah, it’s good to be me. ;-)

  9. guest Avatar

    He must be a TNA fan.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      You…obviously missed the cruel cruel remarks I gave TNA Impact. More importantly, you didn’t read the first few paragraphs of the review. Now, that is just a shameful attempt at trolling.

  10. guest Avatar

    this review is pure utter trash! the rock would smack this jabroni and put his boot up his ass.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Well, considering I’ve met the Rock and that’s never happened, I’m inclined to disagree. I’d love to hear what parts of the review are trash though. :-)

    2. MYeager Avatar

      The Rock tried to put his boot up his ass, only the ring glitched out, the ref ended up frozen, and then they both ended up in the crowd for some reason.

  11. Stevenova Avatar

    This bitch likes to remove comments!!! n00b!!! your skills suck go read IGN ass!!

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      That’s why…there’s all these angry comments by people who haven’t played the game showcasing both their inability to take me to task on specific comments and their problems with the shift key?

  12. […] away, our resident wrestling game expert Alex Lucard has played through the entire game Check out his exclusive review which is sure to bring the […]

  13. Eric Nusby Avatar
    Eric Nusby

    I suppose we just have different priorities in games (but weirdly similar in some ways). I loved SvR2006, but I thought 2009 was trash, due to the fact that we weren’t given anything to do with our CAWs other than an ill-thought out Career mode. Similarly, I understand your frustration with RtWM, but that’s never been an important part of the game for me anyway. I much preferred the old season modes, which allowed you to take anybody on the roster through a year or two’s worth of events. I especially got tired of all the backstage roaming in SvR2011. Thankfully, I had Universe mode–and I really like last year’s Universe mode, for that matter, and I’m hoping that this year’s is even better.

    As for five-on-five or more than six guys in a ring or Buried Alive matches–I just don’t care. Amp up the realism in basic singles and tag matches (which is where I spend most of my gameplay time) and I’m cool.

    But all of these are matters of subjective individual preference, and it’s not surprising that we’d disagree. I was hoping for an improved SvR2011–more options in Universe, better moveset options, better AI–and from what I’ve seen we’ve got that. I note that you claim the AI isn’t challenging, but I note that most other reviewers are disagreeing with you there. I guess I’ll see in a few hours if I’m one of them.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Eric – it’s all a matter of tastes. No two people are going to want the same thing. We both would love to have season mode or something that mikes the best of Yukes’ titles with the sim aspects of EWR. I thought 2009 was…okay. If you read the reviews, three other staffers reviewed it here and they were all positive. Like i said in my review, staff consenus was that it was the best game in the series since 2006.

      Honestly, if you spend most of your time in Universe and you can ignore the regular logical gaps and the glitches, you’ll be pretty happy with the game. It’s much better than last year (save the bugs) and it’s where I prefer to spend most of my time too. The fact you can book titles matches off PPVs and finally choose who gets titles goes a long way with me. So yeah, if you’re looking for more of the same and you liked 2K11, you’ll give this a thumb’s up, I’m sure. Hell, I had fun with it. I said so repeatedly in the review, but people seem to be ignoring the positive since there’s actually critcism in this review (GASP!!). However, when I review yearly sports titles, I look for two things: the technical side of the game and how much the dev team has pushed themselve from the previous game in the franchise. I think it’s safe to say that even if you like Raw ’12, Yukes really didn’t really go for innovation or pushing the boundaries they already set.

      Finally, as for difficulty, I don’t know how people think it’s harder. I started off on hard and quickly moved up to Legend, and per my review, I lost a total of three matches. I honestly am kind of scared/shocked/confused to hear that people find it remotely challenging because that either means I’m some weird wrestling game savant or my copy of the game is severely retarded. My girlfriend watched me play the game with my eyes closed and my back to the screen and I still won a match!

  14. Paul Laudun Avatar
    Paul Laudun

    Wow, there are a TON of WWE-THQ-Brainwashed morons here!

    Great review! Keep telling the truth! The funny thing is that these morons who are complaining at the reviewer are probably the same idiots who will buy Madden, after Madden, and claim that anyone else who complains otherwise “SUX” or is ignorant.

    Also, people, are you SURE you people want to quote IGN? Those people sold out to the money a LONG time ago. This is the same “company” who gave MW3 9+ stars! MW3 is EXACTLY like MW2. They, like most video game websites, will give these kinds of titles 8’s-10’s because it’s a valuable IP, NOT because it’s a good/great game!

    You have the various “Madden of” video games, that come out EVERY F’N YEAR, with the SAME bugs, the SAME issues, the SAME glitches, but you will buy the games like stupid little sheep…

    This goes to a quote that reminds me of these morons PERFECTLY:

    “Ignorance is doing, or saying, something stupid, but not knowing any better. Stupidity is the doing, or saying, something stupid but KNOWING better.”

    Guess where I’m putting all the sheep who gigged this reviewer (HINT: It’s not in the “ignorant” category).

    So, you guys can go play this glitchy, sub-par garbage, Madden of wrestling video games. I’ll be MORE than happy to play Fire Pro Returns (a game that is some 8-10 years older) and laugh at all your stupid asses for feeding in, like trained sheep.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Nice response Paul. You sound like a LOT of staffers here at Diehard GameFAN. Fire Pro Returns is a pretty awesome game. My favorites are D and Six Man Scramble.

      I actually don’t blame THQ or the WWE for the many issues I have with this game. WWE just gives them the license and THQ just publishes the game. I blame Yukes for backsliding. They had four on four for a while and then they slid back to three on three. WWE Universe is somewhat of a backslide to Smackdown 2: Know Your Role for the PSX. Etc, etc. I think Yukes has settled into a “we can half ass this and no one will care.” niche. THQ and the WWE are the companies to push as in return, they’ll either demand more innovation from Yukes or let Aki try their hand again.

      I’m also totally fine with people liking or even loving this game. Not everyone shares my tastes on things and if people disagree with this review, it’s totally cool. Hopefully they know not to read me in the future.I just wish the naysayers were a little more eloquent. it doesn’t really help their side at all they can say in return in “You suck.” If someone like you shows up and agrees with my long winded commentary, then awesome – I gain a reader who hopefully likes my past and future stuff. That’s all one can hope for.

      I also completely agee that the WWE games have fallen into the same trap as Madden titles. Some people want that though? I can’t fathom why, but it someone is happy with buying nearly the same exact game year after year – more power to ’em.

      1. Paul L Avatar
        Paul L

        Yeah, and slowly, but surely, it’s killing the video game market. You continue to languish in mediocrity and the product will suffer, and suffer, until people decide to spend their money (and time) elsewhere.

        That, to me, also plays into why MMO’s have taken off so much. Why buy, then re-buy, a carbon-copy of a game from the year prior when you can just play a never-ending game that doesn’t require $60 always being pissed down the drain?

        But, on a side note, did you hear anything coming from Spike about the hopeful predecessor of FPW? I would LOVE to get my hands on a US version of KoC (like, it would be like dying and going to heaven for me).

        Until Spike decides to show these idiots how a REAL wrestling game’s SUPPOSED to play. I’ll impatiently wait until PWX comes out (which seems to have a longer development period than Duke Nukem).

        1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          Oh man, I loved King of Coliseum. What a fun little game. I’d love to see that come stateside.

          I agree that the longer the same company makes the same game year after year, the quality will suffer. If you keep doing yearly updates, there’s never any time for real advances or innovations. But for every one of us who wants that, there seems to be two or three that are happy with getting the same old thing. I can’t understand that mindset, but as long as that’s the majority, we’ll keep getting yearly updates with just a roster change and new, different bugs.

          I’d love to see some fresh blood get a crack at the WWE license, but I’d also like to see Yukes have the chance to be as innovative and risk-taking as they were willing to be in the late 90s/early 00s.

  15. Devin_troy Avatar

    A new Fire Pro game?Not that stupid one that is supposed to come out for Live with Avatars and crap?That looked horrid.I do hope Spike sticks to a new FP though.Maybe a WCW AKI like looking game on the new consoles to hold more data and what not….or just stick to how they been doing it.Either way if this comes out i’d buy 10 copies over WWE’s crap anyday.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Devin – no, not the new Avatar one. I haven’t played it and it does look horrid, but you never know. There are a lot of fugly games with great engines out there. I try to stay optimistic.

  16. Adam_Copeland2 Avatar

    I am one of the minority in that I agree with your review. THQ WWE games should not be considered the standard by any means. Ppl should be aware that there are better games out there.

    I hope you know all these ppl blasting here don’t know any better, and I recommend you for writing this review. BTW…here’s a link from where I am Adam_Copeland2.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      I agree that a lot of the naysayers don’t know any better. A lot are probably younger gamers that only know the Smackdown Vs Raw series. Others are probably blindly loyal to the WWE franchise and will like the games simply because it is a WWE video game. At the same time I know there are people that will hate on WWE games simply because they are blindly loyal to something like RoH or TNA. I think both stem from ignorance.

      As always, I’m pleased as punch you like my review and agree with it, but I’m also totally cool with those that don’t. I can definitely see why other people would/shall enjoy this game and just because I disagree doesn’t make their enjoyment any less valid.

  17. Setzera Avatar

    This review.. well how can I put this.

    I’ve been screwed by North American released wrestling games many times, and I’m sure there will be something I’ll have a hard time overlooking in ’12, although I didn’t find ’11 to be as bad as some said it was. It wasn’t the greatest, but not the worst.

    I appreciate your heads up advice on some things, like in RTWM I should make a copy of my CAW to use just for it, since it’ll reset things much like Career Mode did a few years ago. But like even you said, the bugs occur at random, some will have it and some will not, this is a ‘bad burn’ and should be replaced for free by THQ. Bad installations can occur too, much easier fix since you have to reinstall the core game files, which doesn’t make you lose your game save.

    As for new things, nothing here is new, not even create an arena, WWF Attitude of N64/PS1 had this, the reason they can call it new is because it’s an improved version, and also Acclaim made the Attitude one, so it’s new from THQ. I like many of this years improved features, I say that because not much is actually a new invention here, but without it the disc would be blank.

    I agree, Yukes and THQ could do much better if it wasn’t a yearly release. Both have proven that. WWE are the ones who want to make it appear as a sports title, hence why we have the same bugs as sports titles do.

    I’m getting WWE ’12 regardless of what anyone says, because half the time I like things others don’t, and don’t like what others like, opinion is the reason for variety.

    Overall, I don’t agree or disagree with your review, but I do appreciate the fact some of your warnings and advice, may save me from future hassles if a bug is 100% going to occur. I thank you, and I figure you’ll appreciate that since I imagine your review will not get many (peoples frustration sometimes sprays in every direction).

    Anyways, cheers.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Setzera – that’s an excellent response. I agree 11 was neither the worst nor the best. It was a fun but flawed game. 12 is better in some areas and worse in others but as I say in the review, it’s a game that I could have fun with but between the bugs and the fact it’s almost exactly the same as last year, it’s not a game I could recommend to anyone but pretty big WWE fans.

      The thing to remember is that reviews aren’t things that should be agreed or disagreed with. They’re a critical analysis of ones experience with a product. Well, at least they’re supposed to be. I’d have been doing my readers and myself a disservice if i only focused on the good in a game and didn’t talk about the problems. Sure companies would be much happier if you ignored the bad as they’d sell more copies, but that’s irresponsible.

      Definitely purchase WWE ’12 if you think you’ll have fun with it. Experiencing the game is the only way you’ll know for sure. Hell, for all I know, there will be a patch tomorrow that negates most of the bugs I encountered.

  18. Mark B. Avatar
    Mark B.

    Wow Alex, you really pissed off the internet. Congratulations.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Eh, whenever a heavily marketed game has its flaws pointed out, people have a temper tantrum on the internet.

      1. Mark B. Avatar
        Mark B.

        I especially like the fact that a not insignificant amount of people on here have used homosexual slurs in describing you for writing this review, as if that wasn’t an indication that the commenter should go play “What can we drink under Mommy’s sink?”

        I bet they’re all Rock fans.

        1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          Well the majority of commentors agreed with the review. Also notice the name calling and the detractors dried up once a) the game came out and they had to experience themselves and b) other reviews started popping up saying the exact same thing about the game with only the IGN one being mostly positive. I find it interesting that the people who liked the review had proper writing and punctuation, along with the ability to create comments of substance. Those that didn’t were reduced to, “Shut up, fag!” which is generally a sign that they don’t have a leg to stand on but don’t want to be wrong either.

          I don’t keep deadly chemicals under my sink, just in case someone uses that line on me. Then I can say, “Organic non-toxic bunny stain remover and dryer sheets?”

  19. Alexdrolet Avatar

    Dude stop living in the past and enjoy what is beign done right now ! Fire pro was maybe good, like 10 years ago !!! For my part, like every one else is saying, you are a douche, and you lost about 3 hours of your time writing a review that no one cares about since you are a fag that still plays old wrestling games… BOOTS TO ASSES

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Wow, where to start here.

      1) Ah, homosexual slurs – the last vestige of those without an actual rebuttal. It’s good to know that retrogaming and/or having knowledge of older titles somehow makes people gay. Thanks for that.

      2) If I was living in the past, I’d be perfectly happy to play the same game I played last year now wouldn’t I? Oh wait, that’s someone else…

      3) If no one cares about the review, why are you commenting on it. :-)

      4) If you disagree with the review, that’s totally cool dude, but until you learn how to write something insightful or contribute actual commentary to a situation you disagree with, you’re just going to look silly. At least with my critique of the game I’m able to cite specific examples and issues with the game instead of saying, “This game sucks. Anyone who likes it sucks.” Good job on making the pro-WWE ’12 side look somewhat illiterate as well as homophobic. I’m sure they love being painted like that.

  20. Darin Urbine Avatar

    Hey Alex, good review. I can’t say I will agree with it until I play the game myself but this was one of the better reviews I’ve read lately. It makes me wonder what people are looking for when they read a review. You say something negative yet true about a game they are looking foward to and they get all upset. It kind of makes sense as to why interview sites like IGN are most notable…because they sugar coat everything and tell people what they want to hear instead of giving the truth about a game. Truth hurts I guess. Never read a review by you before this but will be coming back to read more!

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Thanks Darin! I can’t say you’ll agree with it either. For all either of us know, you won’t be hit with the sheer number of bugs I was. They’re a crap shoot. God knows if I didn’t have a bug in almost every match, I’d have been a lot nicer to this thing. Of course, as a reviewer I also probably played more of this in a week than any sane person should. :-)

      What most people look for in a review is something to back up their own opinion, so that when someone disagrees with them they can say “nu uh!” and point out a review as if it was gospel instead of just another opinion. That’s the thing – reviewers get the Madonna/Whore complex for what they write. If a person wants to agree with them, the review is AWESOME. If it’s something they don’t want to hear it’s a, “you didn’t play the game” or, “you just suck at it.” Of course those comments generally show that the reader is hyper defensive and doesn’t know what to do when confronted with a conflicting opinion so they resort to immature name calling. Personally I LOVE hearing from people who have a different experience than me with a game as long as they are well-written and have some sort of substance behind them.

      All a review should be is an critical analysis by someone who is able to keep emotion in check while writing and thus can discuss both the good and the bad. Sadly a lot of times we don’t get that. We get a person who write with their emotions on their sleeve. It is what it is.

      It is worth noting that a lot of the “disagreement” comments have problems with writing at an adult level or making substantive comments though.

  21. Guest Avatar

    “Yukes has grown too complacent and they’ve shown they’re unwilling to actually do hard advances to the series”.

    Totally agree.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      I think a lot of people do actually. ;-)

  22. Raunaqaman Avatar

    Modes: They already have 85% of the matches there.
    I know I get irritated with not being able to play 5 on 5 but they still have all the types
    as for RWTM , I know it has gone a step back and for Universe they did their best there
    Control and Gameplay: You may got a really buggy version
    just exchange it!!!
    Balance: You must be helluva gamer
    when i played at my best buy
    I got steamrolled!!
    Originality: MW3 isnt original so there you have it

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Raunaqaman –

      Re: Modes. Not really. I’d like to see: survivor series, a more realistic royal rumble, an actual War games, a return to both cage types (Blue bars and mesh), buried alive, coffin/casket match, round robin tournaments (they put this in their Touken Retsuden games), singles/ytag torunaments (Ditto) and so on. Basically, it’s that I’ve seen them do almost all of these and it makes no sense to take them out when they have them already designed.

      Agreed they did their best with Universe. If all you play is Universe and you can live with the glitches – it’s not a bad game.

      Re: Control and Gameplay.

      I couldn’t exchange it. THQ sent me a copy more than a week before the game’s release. I couldn’t sent it back as there wasn’t time, i couldn’t exchange it at a video game store as it wasn’t legally available yet and THQ didn’t answer my emails about the bugs and if I just happened to get the worst copy of the game out there or not.

      Balance: It’s exactly the same as it has been A.I. wise. If i confirmed I’m “a hellava gamer” that would be crazy egotistical on my part, but I will say the game was crazy easy for me even on Legend. Maybe I’ve just played so many wrestling games I know what to expect? It could also be that I used to play fighting games competitively.

      Originality: you’re right that MW3 isn’t very original at all and I have trashed it there as well. I am very…harsh when I see a game released that is 90-100% the same as the year before. it’s nothing against this game personally. Just read through other reviews I write and you’ll see it’s pretty uniform.

  23. Alex Picard Avatar
    Alex Picard

    The dude who wrote the review is some 15 year old crybaby. You can tell by his gay anime avatar and whining throughout the review. He never had any intention of giving this game a good review no matter how good or bad it was. I think it’s pretty obvious from the review he was just looking to nitpick any issue he could find. Hey Alex, I’m guessing your site isn’t included on metacritic?

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      You know, slurs and insults without any sort of substance behind them only further to strength my review. But hey, if you want to make people that like the game look trashy, by all means continue on. I’d love to hear what you thought was nitpicking or whining though. If you can’t back up your opinion with facts and substance, you just end up looking foolishand immature to everyone. I mean, unless that’s what you were going for. Then congrats! Awesome job!

  24. Matt Faul Avatar

    Two thing:

    1) The inarticulate, vulgar negative commentators are the exact reason I cancelled my Xbox Live subscription. Why would anyone want to game with these troglodytes?

    2) Why do gamers (both video or tabletop) feel this overwhelming need to have eveyone like the same things they do. It’s like the “edition wars” between the variants of D&D. They all offer a different gameplay experience, if you are having fun with your version, who bloody cares if other people think it sucks. The purpose of a review is help inform people about a game, that are undecided on a game. It’s not there to pass judgement and say you are a bad gamer if you like/don’t like a certain game. Now you need a review to validation you own feelings on a game then you have other more pressing issues then video games..

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Matt – agreed. I find it very telling that the people defending this game are unable to come up with a more compelling rebuttal than, “You suck, fag.” If that’s the best one can come up with, it leads me to believe the people disagreeing with me are either very young, very immature or extremely defensive.

      I’ve never understood the edition wars either. I prefer 2nd Ed, but I like 3rd and 4th may be my least favorite, but that doesn’t mean I’ll bash someone for it. A review is just a well informed written opinion with citations and substance to back it up. If someone is that upset that i didn’t like a specific game, they’ve got some serious deep seated emotional baggage to sort through.

  25. Anthony Avatar

    Well that was an illuminating review. I am pretty shocked to hear that so much of the programming is sloppily done from your feedback. I did take the time to read the review from IGN. It does seem curious that they don’t site as many examples and don’t convey the level of severity in your criticisms. That is to say they do echo your negative points, but IGN’s reviewer was not nearly as affected by the negative points as you were. It is rather curious that your and IGN’s review are diametrically opposed to one another. The only thing I can possibly conclude is that they reviewed 360’s version and you reviewed PS3’s. Perhaps the PS3’s version is the only one with such impediments. Again, thanks for the thorough review!

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Anthony – There are a lot of possibilities. One is that I’m possible a harsher reviewer than IGN’s dude. Another is that the PS3 version is a lot buggier than the 360 (You’re right that I review PS3 and UGN used the 360 for their review). A third is that since bugs are a crap shoot, I encountered them more often. A fourth could be I simply played more of the game and so was hit with more. A fifth is simply IGN writes shorter, less descriptive reviews than we do.

      It can be any of the above, a mix of them or more. All I know is I expected better from Yukes, I’ve played better from Yukes and this was far too buggy for my liking. Fun, but constantly annoying.

  26. Creed Avatar

    Thanks for taking the time to provide an in-depth review. I actually took the advice of some less-intelligent comments and read the IGN review, and all they hyped were the graphics and new features, glossing over playability. Now THERE’S a review that felt like they didn’t actually play the game, heh. Meanwhile, your review rings true toward what I’ve seen from the Smackdown series over the last decade. Why does SvR 10 feel like they’re still struggling with issues that date back to Smackdown: Just Bring It!, i.e. the major errors going from ladders to tables and such. I’m not interested in custom rings, making my own storyline, or changing the control system – I just want to feel like I’m playing a wrestling match, having a fun story, and playing with a minimum of glitches and errors. If WWE12 is just repackaged SvR games with the same issues, then I’ll pass, and just replay SvR 10 instead. Thanks for taking the time to write the review!

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Creed – different strokes for different folks I guess. Some gamers care about graphics more than gameplay. I can’t understand that myself, but if that’s what some people want most out of a video game, sure, why not?

      You’re right that a lot of this still feels like issues they had back in older Smackdown. Just bring It, Know Your Role. Many issues from those older games are still here coupled with new bugs. Like you, that doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll stick to something like 2K6, Fire pro or Touken Retsuden 4 where I can have a thirty minute broadway sometimes.

  27. Andrew Connell Avatar

    I guess what is most worry some for me is trying to figure out how many moves they removed this year/ added back.. I remember last years someone found 2-300 moves that were taken out of the game, yet left on the disc itself. Jericho’s Lionsault, pretty much all the Shining Wizards and The Rock/Great Muta’s Flashing Elbow are the ones that come to mind. Its not even like these are some obscure Japanese Indy wrestler moves, these were/are key moves by some of their biggest superstars.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Andrew – there are some Shining Wizards available for movesets in this game. I put one or two on Chono to act as his Shining Black before I found the actual Shining Black under a different name (Drive By I or 2 I think). Navigating through the moves was a bit odd this year too, as names have changed for some.

      1. Andrew Connell Avatar

        Good to know, may have to see if a Redbox in town has it to rent before the Target Sale ends..

        Loved your review by the way, probably the one reviewer online that has the wrestling game resume that matches mine.

        I know the difference between 2D/3D in terms of programing/space but it is amazing how THQ/Yukes year after year justifies taking so much out as ‘too time consuming’ or ‘taking too much space’ when Fire Pro Returns from 2005 has about 3 times the content on a simple DVD is just lazy.

        I just had some hopes for this year since my PS3s hard drive crashed last month and SvR 2010 was the only game that wouldn’t let me back up my save file, thus all that time spent building up the 50 CAWs I had was gone. So I was hoping I could just switch over to this year with the adjustable stats (The only thing I liked about last years) instead of starting all over again. Oh well.

        Again, great review.

        1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          Yeah, oddly enough you don’t see a lot of people who review wrestling games that have actually played more that Yukes’ North American releases. MAYBE an old Aki WCW game at best. Which makes no sense to me. if you’re going to review a game you should know what’s out there and more importantly, have played several of them. I remember when Fire Pro was a huge deal for a while, as was Giant Gram, AJPW vs Virtua Fighter, and even the sim games like EWR, TNM and so on. Yet you never see titles like those mentioned comparatively or even in passing by a reviewer these days. Of course we’re heavily affiliated with Inside Pulse, which is one of the bigger wrestling sites out there so it makes sense that we know our stuff here.

          Oh man, I’ve been there with a loss of all your CAWs. It’s why I started backing up my PS3 on an extrernal hard drive.

          You’re also right that Yukes is being lazy. It they could do four on four in previous games why scale back to three on three? Why cut out moves? etc etc. Newer should have everything the old games have and more unless it is a total remake of the engine.

          Glad you liked the review man! I appreciate it.

  28. […] And, finally, WWE 12 has become the most pre-ordered WWE game ever. You can read our (excellent) review of the game right here. […]

  29. jj Avatar

    Alot of focus on bugs and hickups here, that’s sure to trigger flaming from the fanboys and THQ apologetics (tons of them at ign boards)…
    However, the critisisms are more than legit/fair and the other reviews I’ve read so far are very shallow, anything but thorough. Reading this review I got the feeling the reviewer actually spend some time with the game, in addition to having references from OTHER wrestling games. Thumbs up from me!

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      JJ -whenever a big name heavily marketed title gets called out for technical issues, the fanboys come out in droves to scream at people who made them wake up to reality. I love Fallout 3, but guess what? The thing is buggy as hell. You can still have a lot of fun with it, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t sloppy programming. Save with Oblivion. It happens.

  30. Sean Madson Avatar

    This is why I stopped playing wrestling games, WWE in particular. I’ll try them every now and then, but I don’t think there has been one I’ve been truly wowed by since No Mercy on the N64. Now that game I played for HOURS.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      I liked No Mercy a lot myself. It’s not my favorite, but only because I wasn’t a fan of the N64 controller.

  31. Shawn Leonard Avatar

    You’re obviously very knowledgeable about the wrestling scene, but I’m very surprised your editor let you get away with publishing a review that’s over 8000 words long. There’s no reason you couldn’t have conveyed the same sentiments in half that word count.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Shawn – not really. Most reviews of video games aren’t detailed enough to me. The ones here at DHGF tend to be between 2-4,000 words long. It’s about as being as in-depth as you can without also being boring. With that in mind, this one is only as long as it is due to the sheer amount of bugs I detailed. It’d be a lot shorter without it, but then people wouldn’t know exactly what the bugs were. :-)

      Plus, it helps that I own the site.

  32. […] to Kane returning …WWE News: The 30 Biggest Scandals in Pro Wrestling HistoryBleacher ReportReview: WWE '12 (Sony PS3)diehard gamefanBreaking News On John Morrison's WWE ContractWrestling Inc.Patriot-News […]

  33. Zoid Spam Avatar
    Zoid Spam

    I’ll run down on the broken things (still and new)

    It’s so buggy it’s not even comical.

    RTWM is also worthless, you have no control over the outcomes other then losing which is often since the AI has Super Cena mode most of the time and atleast in the first one you don’t even decide who you are it’s Sheamus in a storyline that doesn’t really evolve just changes for no reason much like a TNA PPV series.

    Tag Matches you can’t tag in
    The Survivor Series and Bragging Rights PPV you can’t tag in. Those 2 are irrelevant though since it doesn’t matter what you do the outcome is predetermined, Elimination Chamber you only battle 2 out of the 4 competitors or you fail.

    Constant “objectives” popping up and nothing indicating if anything was unlocked.

    Far too many loading scenes interupt matches

    Entrances may or may not happen with Entrances selected it’s still completely random if the match doesn’t just start with everyone in the ring

    human controlled characters get stunned easily and even when not the CPU chain spam moves with no chance of blocking/reversing. Yet the other way around is not the case, the CPU can reverse anything.
    not saying it’s cheating just as usual the reversal system is highly borked.

    Turnbuckle moves that even if you hit you are grounded for a good 30seconds.

    no tutorial on the controls other then through the menu system.

    Graphics look crap compared to what they were hyping (grainy)

    Camera angles are pan in and out at the worst moments

    Backstage is a slow walk with no idea where you are headed

    No indication that people are being warn down or that you are building momentum, and in some instances you never get a signature or finisher. How in the hell you store finishers and signatures is beyond me, it just goes from sig to finisher and thats it, with some characters you get a second finisher if the first one lands.

    Tag is borked as usual, the AI partners are retarded and don’t even bother to come in and help anymore.

    Hit detection is way off, and far from the game feeling faster it feels like you are controlling a slug while the CPU controls a Ferrari.

    Weapons are harder to use since they did away with the being able to aim while performing a move on an opponent, sorry they altered it so you barely turn.

    Mind numbing music, and Smackdown has a new theme apparently one that’s never been used in the live product

    The goods i’ll give it the show openers for the PPV’s and Raw/Smackdown are authentic though in all cases the music just keeps going until you press X.

    Create a Mode is the best yet

    and the lineup of Superstars is extensive though there are some glaring omissions

    Cena is also the World Champion not the WWE Champion WTF lol he hasn’t been that for years.

    Overall i rate this 50/50 on being worse then SVR 10 and 11

  34. Zoid Spam Avatar
    Zoid Spam

    Just a rebuttal though to the All British stable
    Sheamus and McEntyre aren’t British.
    Last i checked Ireland and Scotland are independant they aren’t part of the United Kingdom as far as control goes.

    European yes, but not United Kingdom.

    might be wrong on that

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Zoid – United Kingdom is England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Not sure is Sheamus is Northern Irish or Irish though. Great Britain is Scotland, England and Wales. So it all really depends where in Ireland Sheamus was born.

  35. Jmuscia Avatar

    I have to say I have NEVER read a more honest and realistic review that focuses on the things that SHOULD and DO matter in a game. I haven’t played the game, but I already know I am going to agree with your review because it sounds like you care about the exact same things I do in a game. I’ve been wondering for years why my old SNES (just like the Sega) was able to handle classic Survivor Series matches but they still can’t figure it out on the games of today. I’ve also been wondering for years why they TOOK OUT the option of pressing select to change which character you are controlling during tag and 3 on 3 matches. That’s something that’s been missing for YEARS and I’m guessing they still left that out again, correct? In other words, the only way to change who you control during a tag match IS to actually tag? To this day I can’t understand why they took that feature out. Games like HCTP were awesome in tag matches when you could switch around and control any partner you wanted on your team!

    Anyway I haven’t played the game yet but my NUMBER ONE complaint about the last 4 years of SVR games has been the targeting. Your review left me very concerned and I just HAVE to ask point blank… please tell me there is a button that you can press that will change who your wrestler is looking at, the FIRST time you tap the button? If I’m in a 3 way match with Taker and HBK, and I’m looking at HBK, please tell me that there is a button that will switch me to looking at Undertaker instead. You said something about it being easy enough to guess when it comes to manual targeting? Well, my “guess” is that they forgot to assign it to ANY button. Please tell me my guess is wrong.

    Again, I appreciate an honest and REAL review. I don’t know why the hell someone like you isn’t put in place as the tester for games like this before they are allowed to be released. It’s absurd that something so fun should be made such a shitty experience by so many oversights and careless mistakes every year.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Yeah, it boggles my mind too how I can play Survivor Series matches correctly on 16 bit systems, or even on Acclaim made WWF titles, but Yukes can’t figure it out. The more power behind a system, the easier it should be. Hell, we’ve got MMORPGs that can handle hundreds of people at once but Yukes cann’t do eight or ten people, especially when they’ve done it before. It’s just lazy.

      They did leave out the tag option. In fact, it’s even worse. If you play a card straight through, you can’t control both people in a tag match. You are stuck with a single character for the entire match. If you want to change control both, you have to exit out of the card, choose edit from the match listings and then select control both. It’s terrible.

  36. Joseph777 Avatar

    I posted a comment a few minutes ago complimenting your review and also asking a question about the manual targeting… yet my post seems to be gone. I wonder if this one will actually stick, and if anyone can tell me why my longer post mysteriously vanished after a few minutes?

    ANYWAY – My question was regarding whether or not the manual targeting actually ‘works’ the way that it worked properly back in HCTP and SVR06. Is there a button that you can press that changes which opponent you are looking at, and if there is, does the button work the first time you press it like it did 5 years ago? Or do you have to just randomly keep tapping it until it feels like working, like 2010 and 2011?

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Joseph – it’s here. It just doesn’t appear instantly. The comments thing takes a second or two for something to show up. The longer the comment, the longer the time it takes for the system to check it for spam.

      Sadly if you set targeting to manual, it is like 2011 rather than the awesome 2006.

  37. […] All Stars(TM) for …MarketWatch (press release)Just Push Start -diehard gamefanall 108 news […]

  38. […] GameOn has some WWE game accessories, including an Undertaker Wii Charging Station and both Rock and CM Punk PS3 controllers. For more, click here. For our review of WWE 12 click here. […]

  39. John Hall Avatar

    Gotta love people with no intelligence bashing a review that they probably only read a few paragraphs or just the ratings.

    As always Alex, nice informative review that was very enjoyable to read, even if it was longer than all of my reviews combined LOL

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      John – basically a lot of people are immature and insecure. Those same people tend to be easily gulled by marketing and hype. So when someone comes along and *GASP* has a different opinion and can actually back it up instead of just listening to commericals, they have a temper tantrum. The internet makes this especially easy since it’s not face to face and it allows for anonymity.

      Basically the internet takes people that already have emotional issues and makes them worse.

  40. Wy'Jerell Lyons Avatar

    People are pathetic. This game is not the WWE game ever made, let alone wrestling game. It’s hard for people to accept the truth. The truth is the games will probably never be much better because of the idiots who keep buying this shit. I, for one, am glad that I did not spend 64 bucks on this mediocre ass game. Those 64 bucks are going to Skyrim. Oh and while I’m on that subject, Batman AC and Skyrim are examples of good games that are better than previous installments.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Good call on Skyrim > WWE ’12. Bethesda makes buggy titles but man, not like this.

  41. Devin_troy Avatar

    This review was terrible…..terrible in the fact that the game is way more glitched than what you said dude lol.I’ve played every WWE game under the sun….except Crush Hour….and this is the first game i’m thinking of returning back.WWE 12 is so glitched moded No Mercy roms are praising gaming heaven for finally being overlooked.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Wow, you got hit with more glitches then me? I’m so sorry Devin.

  42. daz88 Avatar

    While you may find the idea of a BRITISH stable to be awesome! Your geographical knowledge is not! Ireland [better yet, the Republic of Ireland] is not part of Great Britain or the United Kingdom… I stopped reading at that point, because I don’t respect you

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Daz – you do realize I used to live in England, right? The full name of the United Kingdom is “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” As I point out in my review and in the comments here, I’m not sure if Sheamus is Irish (LIke Fit Finlay) or Northern Irish .They bill him from Dublin, which would make him Irish Irish, but many wrestlers are billed from places they aren’t actually from. Good job on not being able to read.

      Also, you do realize that’s the name of the stable in the game, right? The United Kingdom? Which means if you’re bothered by me calling it that, you should be doubly so towards the video game. :-)

      1. Daz88 Avatar

        Sheamus is from Dublin [as am I], I’ve met once, before he was with the WWE when he worked IWW. You can easily tell from his accent which is quite different to a Northern Ireland accent. By the way I’m quite accomplished at reading.

        I do realise that is the name of the stable in the game too and I ain’t happy about that either. Same shit different year! We are not part of the Kingdom and never will be! The crown?? Bitch please, I’d rather she Póg mo thóin! :)

        1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

          Daz- in the game’s defense putting someone from the Republic into a UK stable actually is something I could see the WWE doing (like all non Americans are generally heels) but Yukes is a Japanese company and maybe somewhere along the line no one told them where Sheamus is from? Language barrier? I dunno. I’m just trying to think of plausible ways this happened, but like everything else in the game, it seems to be a case of not enough polish or thinking.

          You would think Sheamus would have said something himself though, eh?

  43. ncav3 Avatar

    Honestly this was the best, most in-depth review I’ve seen for this game so far. It seems most reviewers just played the game for a short time, didn’t go into much detail, had a little fun and gave it a 9. At least this guy has played numerous wrestling games besides the SvR series to compare this game to.

  44. Warren Avatar

    +WWE 12 was definitely not Bigger Badder and Better.
    It should have been renamed WWE 12 Bigger Badder and Baffling.

    Here is my reason behind my reasoning above:

    The latest WWE game, WWE 12, has a lot of glitches which is absolutely not a fun gaming experience. There were a few moments I was like “What the hell is going on?”. I was out side the ring and I did a Strong Irish Whip and the opponent ran through the barricade, I repeat ran THROUGH the barricade which resulted in me restarting the game. There was another part where I did the Strong Irish Whip outside the ring again and the opponent ran through the Barricade, and upon returning looks like he was flying for 30 seconds before falling back to the outside of the ring again. The Glitches are baffling, I am surprised they didn’t fix the situation and still sent out the game. There was another instant when I was using the limb targeting system for the arm, guess what there was a glitch again, I was doing the limb targeting in thin air, while the opponent still had his arm twisted even though we weren’t even touching each other. In conclusion the game has too many hassles, too many glitches and if I was the developers I would have delayed the release until all the bugs and glitches were fixed. This definitely was not Bigger Badder and Better, it was Baffling. Hopefully the next instalment will be better off and I will not have to complain again.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Warren – yeah, there were just too many glitches for me to recommend this.This is unacceptable to have this many issues in a game when it is released.

  45. Warren Avatar

    I cannot believe I wasted $89.95 on this game, I had it on pre order. The developers need to patch this game up pronto

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Agreed. $90 though? Holy crap, even with the difference between US and Aussie dollars, that seems like an insane price to ask for the game.

  46. […] I’ve been playing WWE ’12 this weekend and I have to say, despite Alex Lucard’s review, it’s not quite as bad as he makes it seem. I realize he spent WAY more time on it than I […]

  47. download mass effect 3 Avatar

    Yes as through the reviews and lots of other issue you have mentioned it is a poor game but at the time i’ve watched the trailer I found it interesting but somehow i can’t get it and now your suggestion I would think again for the game.

  48. Jeremiah Graves Avatar

    Thanks for the review! Clearly a TON of time and effort went into this.

    Definitely going to rent before I buy any WWE game nowadays as it is, but this definitely tips the scales.

  49. ALYEN GUEST Avatar

    First of all:


    Hi! Only want to say that I completely agree with Alex Lucard (this man know what he is talking about). If the creators of this game doesn’t make anything to repair it, there will be the last year buying WWE/THQ games.
    People who plays wrestling games and real love it don’t deserve this unrespectful way to do things.

  50. Monitor Avatar

    Interesting review. A little more harsh than I would have given it, but I have not run into as many bugs as you have.

    My biggest problem you didn’t mention at all, the horrible community creations servers. Not only are you kicked off half the time, but even when you stay on they do not always find what you are looking for….even your OWN things can mysteriously disappear into the void and not be recalled…even though when you go to re-upload the same CAW it tells you you will be overwriting your unfindable previous upload.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Monitor – you’re playing the game about a month into it, so some of these issues have been patched while I was playing it before release. Now, not MANY of these things have been patched, but a few.

      As for the server – I was literally the only person posting to it during the time I reviewed the game, so I never had any problems uploading to it. No one on meant no getting kicked off. ;-)

      1. Monitor Avatar

        Be thankful. The servers have gotten a little better, but they still are extremely lacking. At least now, a month in, you can occasionally search in prime time. It used to be the only time you could even think about it was at 3AM EST…and even then you considered yourself lucky to download ANYTHING.

        What is even worse, I have this game on both 360 and PS3. One I bought myself, one was a gift. So I can get frustrated on BOTH systems. Um. Yay?

        When is SPIKE going to do another wrestling game? Either Firepro or even King Of Collesseum.

  51. Aaron Sirois Avatar

    I’ve had better luck with the trophies. The Royal Rumble winner event takes place at the Raw following Elimination Chamber. If you want to cash in MITB, you need to go to a PPV championship match and press x, it will ask you if you want to cash it in. The Grand Slam trophy involves winning the WWE, World Heavyweight, IC, US, and Tag titles, at once not being required, the entrance video thing is poorly worded. It doesn’t want you to create an entrance video using a highlight reel footage, but rather create one using the generic customization options. (It shows your character posing and performing moves while images and text flashes by). Hope some of that helps, as I’ve earned all but three of the things already.

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      Aaron – you’re also playing this a month later after multiple patches. All of these things you’ve mentioned didn’t work without the patch.

  52. Rightbyfar Avatar

    I agree. Road to Wrestlemania was a complete disappointment. Too linear, too many cut scenes to end a match making them feel shorter. Like many other users, I am constantly experiencing online problems

    1. Alexander Lucard Avatar

      I find it funny that before the game came out you had gamers calling for my blood and now that it’s out the vast majority agree with me.

  53. J-Wrexx Avatar

    You’re spot on with the glitches. I was in a one-on-one match where I had removed the ring steps and tossed them into the ring. I then proceeded to use said steps on my opponent, only to get the steps dropkicked into me. And by into me, I mean I was EMBEDDED IN THE STEPS. I them proceeded to run out of the arena at top speed, backwards. There’s going to be a lot of patches for this game…

  54. […] the current roster to fiddle around with. There was only one problem. The game’s predecessor, WWE ’12 was a pretty crappy game. Everyone from Game Informer to myself panned the game’s massive […]

  55. […] of the current roster to fiddle around with. There was only one problem. The game’s predecessor, WWE ’12 was a pretty crappy game. Everyone from Game Informer to myself panned the game’s massive […]

  56. […] the current roster to fiddle around with. There was only one problem. The game’s predecessor, WWE ‘12 was a pretty crappy game. Everyone from Game Informer to myself panned the game’s massive […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *