PlayStation Retro Recap

Retro Recap – WWE Smackdown Here Comes The Pain

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Coming off the back of a rather disappointing WWE PPV, I thought I’d include probably the last really fun WWE game to hit the shelves, it’s WWE Smackdown Here Comes The Pain!

Do you guys remember a time where you could go backstage and fight through the various locations around the arena? Here Comes The Pain had that. Do you remember when the story mode was an actual storyline with your created wrestler? Here Comes The Pain had that. Do you remember when it actually took time to improve your stats on your created wrestler? You guessed it, Here Comes The Pain had that. I wouldn’t go as far to say that all WWE games since then have been terrible, but in terms of actual fun gameplay and somewhat storytelling, they haven’t exactly been spectacular either. I mean who wants to actually play the Universe mode when you could play the General Manager mode in previous titles? IT seems as though WWE (and THQ) has taken a backwards step with more recent titles, and I can only hope that 2K can bring around the franchise back to it’s Here Comes The Pain days.

Old school momentum meters were the best…

Here Comes The Pain marks the first in the series that contains one of the iconic matches of year; the Elimination Chamber. I definitely found this mode fun and still to this day throw on an WWE game and duke it out with the best of the best for the title. Along with this was the inclusion of a Bra and Panties match. A classic among all match types and nothing that the young PG era of WWE fans would not be privvy to. If I need to spell out the objective of this match type, you really shouldn’t be playing this sort of game now should you?

Onto my favourite part, the backstage fighting! Everyone who’s anyone would remember the treadmill room in this game, whereby you could us the machines to increase your momentum bar and get 5 finishers really quickly then unload them all on your very-much-suspecting opponent. Or what about that place where you could ride around on Takers motorcycle and drag your foe around the car park? Great times! Even through all of these, my all time favourite place was the streets. In the street, there was a helicopter that you could latch yourself onto and then throw caution to the win and dive from around 50 feet in the air. Naturally you missed every time, but still, it was a great feeling and one that I’ve missed ever since.

Here’s the delightful little fun facts bit that I know you all love:

  • It was known as Exciting Pro Wrestling 5 in Japan. In fact, up until the release of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2006, the entire series was known as Exciting Pro Wrestling in Japan.
  • 2 different versions of Hulk Hogan were supposed to appear in game, but were cut midway through development due to Hogan’s WWE contract being terminated. This was also the case for Jeff Hardy
  • Ultimate Warrior was also scheduled to appear in game, but was also cut due to Warrior threatening WWE with a lawsuit over the character


The referee’s having a whale of a time here!

The story mode in Here Comes The Pain was a great sight to see. Unlike the modern Road To WrestleMania modes, the story mode was a completely new career that your created superstar could embark on. Each month you would be involved in a storyline and eventually earn a high enough ranking to feud with Vince McMahon and the Corporation! How great was that? A feud that was ongoing for weeks, cumulating at the next PPV, or even WrestleMania. Now that was a story mode worth playing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always fun reliving the classics, but having your own set story? That’s what I’m all for in a WWE game,

What did you guys think of Here Comes The Pain? By far the best WWE game in a long time, in my opinion. I sincerely hope 2K don’t follow in the footsteps of THQ and end up making the WWE gaming franchise in the same monotonous direction EA has taken the Fifa series. Only time will tell, but I am anticipating big things from 2K this year.

What are your thoughts on this game and 2K’s involvement on the WWE gaming scene? Let us know in the comments below!

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