I decided to make a new topic about the WWE game series instead of putting this stuff in the Wrestling thread. It's a long read, but informative. The Smackdown vs. RAW series has become the Madden of the WWE product. Introducing a new version yearly, the franchise has proven to be the biggest and best of the wrestling games to date. Despite disputes amongst the fans, it's undeniable that the series has given us some fresh moments mimicking that in which fans see on WWE programming every week. Soon this years edition will hit store shelves titled Smackdown vs. RAW 2007, obviously. This year's introduces a new innovative way to apply certain moves such as the suplex as well as a few "hot spots" around the arena from the turnbuckles to the crowd; Yukes has revamped a few areas to give a much more interactive experience to the player. As of right now, thanks to the X06 event and Microsoft's great idea to supply demos on it's Xbox Live Marketplace to parallel editor's previews, there is now a Smackdown vs. RAW 2007 demo up for download for free! The demo consists of only two wrestlers: Triple H and Kane. Included are a few tutorial videos along with the ability to play exhibition single matches in the RAW arena. The demo is 1.06GB. The confirmed roster can be found here as well as the legend/unlockable wrestlers here. I have personally reviewed the demo and here's what I have to say about it: The Xbox 360 version is going to come out swinging. If in fact the PS2 version (rumored to be a 360 port) is anything like what I played, fans shouldn't be disappointed. The demo is a bit frustrating to get used to--the new control scheme depends on more than simply tapping adirection plus face button. You now have to move the joystick in one of four directions to do a move. In order to do "stronger" moves, you have to hold down the right shoulder button while going through the routine of pulling off a standard move. This can take a while to get used to. I ended up losing my first match because I couldn't get ahold of them quickly enough. Nonetheless, the demo showcases a lot of hot spots in and out of the ring to use at your disposal. I haven't exactly found out how to use tables and other weapons to their full potential (I don't even know if it's all been included yet), but from what I experienced, it was still awesome to see how the wrestlers interacted with the environment and one another. Moves are less robotic in terms of reversals and such. In fact, it's a little too smooth for my taste as I found myself taking a reversal and not realizing it until I hit the mat. The computer reverses a lot in the demo. It almost reversed every move I threw at it, but after taking it outside the ring, I was able to get the upper hand. It felt good to see both Kane and Triple H beat each other to a bloody pulp. The blood seems to have been redone as well. It seems to work the same way the sweat system does, slowly spreading over the body as time goes on. By the time I pinned Triple H, Kane's face was covered in blood (not a crimson mask, but close) and it had dripped onto his chest area, continuing down a bit. I'm not sure if Yukes added other areas to bleed from, but I guess we can hope because it looked way better than 06's blood. The only problems I can see with the game so far is that it may not sit well with all players no matter veteran or newbie. I assume I'll be playing this on easy the first few matches so I can get the hang of it if I can't by playing the demo by itself, but the controls are promising nevertheless. The mapping to the joystick worked out much better than I anticipated and seems to be full of possibilities. The only other problem I have with the current build is I lose stamina way too fast. As I played with Kane, a simple throat strike knocked my stamina down about an eighth way or so. It doesn't sound like much, but when you're brawling or pulling off a lot of moves just to keep your opponent down long enough for you to catch your breath... well, it gets hectic. Graphics have been improved. The sweat system adds a lot of realism to the game and the crowd's been revamped. Not only can you tear their signs up, but they'll offer you weapons and react much more passionately than they did in SvR06. They boo, chant "you suck" to heels pulling off dirty moves and cheer when they see something awesome. If this is any indication of how SvR07 is going to be, I'd say we're looking at a whole new experience. I can't say whether it's a good one or not though. A few things still feel unpolished. Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? I'll do my best to answer anything I can from a gamer's standpoint/perspective. I'm following the progressive updates daily as well as I can. Smackdown vs. RAW 2006 brought me back into the franchise from about a three year absence. Upon playing the game, it began to peak my interest again and eventually I began to love the franchise again. With the additions and polish Yukes have done so far, I think SvR07 should shape up to be a new and fresh experience. It's slowly become one of the most anticipated games on my list.