WWE SMACKDOWN! HERE COMES THE PAIN, you are probably thinking you can tell by the capitals there that this game is a big deal! and you’d be right.
On the 27th of October 2003, A spritely young Curtis at the tender age of 12 years old bored out of his mind after mindlessly playing WWF Smackdown! To absolute death with my brother, Here comes the pain that was unleashed. A game that holds a special place in my heart. And today. I’m going to tell you why…
As mentioned, before I remember being this antsy hyper twelve-year-old boy who was regularly elbowing dropping his brother to get out of bed in the mornings, it was great for us to finally have something to take that apparent pent-up aggression out on. The game in itself is a vast improvement over its predecessors WWF Smackdown! Released in Europe on the 14th April 2000, WWF Smackdown! 2 Know your role releasing in Europe on the 21st of November 2000, WWF Smackdown! Just Bring it which was released on the 16th of November 2001 the equally fantastic WWE Smackdown! Shut your mouth which Released in Europe on the 15th of November 2002. With an improved grappling system, 65 wrestlers and new match types this was enough to pull me in with both hands and spike me down with a piledriver of fun.
I remember just being blown away by the whole experience. Having so much to do and have so many different wrestlers to use was just so exciting for me, also noticeably a big leap in the animations, the manoeuvres looked super crisp and the sound design was fantastic. If we speak about the good stuff, we must also discuss the bad, and the bad was the bra and panties match which was included with the release of this game, the less said about this mode the better. But this game was the first to include the elimination chamber match, which was a regular game type for me. But also, the little things like damage display and submission meters really helped tie the bow on this already beautifully wrapped gift.
We also MUST discuss the fantastic season mode. You would make your character (Mine most likely called Curtis…or The Executioner) and take them through this story which spans from crazy to unintentionally hilarious. You would essentially end up in a feud with the big man, the biggest of the cheeses, Vince McMahon Jr. You can choose to face him by yourself or set up a stable and feud with Vince and the Corporation which consisted of wrestlers such as The Rock, Big show, Kane and more. There were also moments that resembled storylines that were occurring at the time on WWE-WWF programming whilst also creating new and organic stories just for the game.
Also, during WrestleMania, your superstar can imitate Shawn Michaels’ WrestleMania XII entrance if you choose a special entrance that is nuts and fantastic. But the season mode also allows you to walk around the arena and speak with other wrestlers which would give you certain bonuses which would either be money or rating for your wrestler.
WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain sold 1.585 million copies worldwide. IGN gave the game a rating of 9.1/10. While Game Spot gave the game a rating of 9.0/10. The game has a score of 85/100 on Metacritic, based on 27 critic reviews. I think just going by everything mentioned here and the reviews above should help you understand how fantastic a game it truly is. Here Comes The Pain Vs. No Mercy is an argument that will live on forever, but HCTP might edge it.
If you haven’t played or are looking to get into wrestling games id highly suggest this game to you, I find myself wandering back to it on occasion, recently I even found myself creating a new ridiculous wrestler under the name of Maverick Justice to have him win the heavyweight title, and you know what? It’s the most fun I’ve had in quite some time.
Upon Reflecting on this game, it made me realize that they should have named this HERE COMES THE FUN. Because that’s what this is. Pure unfiltered fun, well as much as you can whilst slamming someone through a table. But I also realized it might be as just as great as most of the good wrestling games released in recent times, So my advice to you? Buy a PS2, strap yourself in, and enjoy the ride. Trust me you’ll thank me for it.