Smackdown! Just Bring it

A disappointing trip down memory lane.

I used to be a huge wrestling fan when I was younger. All through the late 90’s, early 2000’s professional wrestling was all I thought about. I even went as far as trying out for the actual wrestling team at school. (That’s an entirely different story).

So to me and my nostalgia the name Smack Down! in gaming is synonymous with wrestling excellence. The first two Smack Down! titles for the PS1 were a revelation. A fast paced, neon lit, adrenaline fueled experience much more akin to its licensed television counterpart than the weighted down clunky body models they rolled out with WWF Warzone and WWF Attitude.

Quite frankly, Smack Down! was my motherfucking jam. So when I saw that my favorite used everything shop had not one but two different Smack Down! games on the shelf one weekend I knew I had hit the jackpot. A treasure trove of nostalgic characters, story arcs and entrance music was about to carry me through time back to high school bliss. But playing the first of those titles released for the PlayStation 2 – that wasn’t what had happened.

Before every event it shows you the intro (I.E: Raw and Smackdown! intros /Wrestlemania main event preview)

One of the most fun features of really, most games is creation mode. In this case, Create a Wrestler. But right off the bat it felt as though things were missing. It has loads of apparel and accessories but it was missing options to create your own Entrance or even pick your own Entrance music. A feature I fell in love with originally on the PlayStation 1 wrestling games. You could create a character easily enough but you could never give him or her character. No options of being a good guy or a heel which was disappointing as well.

A new feature that was added to Just Bring it! Was a backstage mode which is utterly useless. You have two minutes to walk around an arena and if you go to the wrong area of the game you get ambushed and nearly beat to death thus making your upcoming match much harder. So there really is no reason to explore what shitty and useless backstage area the game designers provided in the first place.

Mid Life Crisis about to power bomb some hoe

Instead of “Season Mode” that acts more as a pound for pound ranking system, JBI! uses an extremely small and short story mode. It takes about three, maybe four matches to win the WWF CHAMPIONSHIP. Granted you can go for different titles but they are almost identical stories each time. THQ completely shit the bed as far as their first chance at making an engaging storyline experience.

So much so that there are still message boards on display of Trent year old comments bitching about how upset they were about the short story mode. People even e-Mailed the company demanding answers.

For my readers under the age of 20 – message boards were the social media before social media.

The middle comment gets it right though because other then the story mode – it really is a great game. It’s fun and fast paced and most importantly super easy to pick up. Wrestling games before the Smackdown! series were notoriously difficult.

Mid Life Crisis aptly rides his motorcycle down to the ring

On top of that it has a pretty solid roster (courtesy of

Just your typical Thursday night. Burying my head into sweaty crotches.

The sound mix of the crowd is awful and the commentary (although the first time in the series) is painfully useless, the game offers up a ton of different match types for any hardcore nostalgic wresting fan. Overall, if the story had been longer this could have been a complete knockout.

Overall: 79%

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