In the end, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 is a good game but one that falls short of its potential. The Roster Editor is a welcome addition, Create-A-Finisher could be deeper but is a great first effort, the Inferno Match is over-the-top but fun, and Road to WrestleMania is one of the best story modes I've seen in a wrestling game in years. However, I can't shake the feeling that I'm playing last year's game when we get down to the nitty gritty match mechanics.
SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 successfully returns to the fundamentals of realistic WWE action and impressive creation tools.
Cheat Code Central
A perfect title for wrestling fans. It has tons of different match types, plenty of customization options, and provides some new and interesting ways to interact with other fans. This is definitely the most complete-feeling WWE title to come down in a long time, and it is great that the series has wrestled itself back into the spotlight.
SvR’s great right stick grapple system hasn’t changed much in the last few years, so it’s hard to say the series has evolved much on the mat. I’d still love to see a tutorial system to help newcomers ease into play.
SDvR09 is better than last year's effort, no question, and it's a better game than TNA Impact! on account of it being yet another iteration of a tried and trusted game engine and packed full to bursting with features old and new. So yes, on the whole it has met the challenge.