So, anyone who knows me knows I love video games. I always have ever since I can remember. I’ve gotten almost every Nintendo console imaginable at one point or another, and now every Playstation. I have a Sega Dreamcast and at one point I had an original Xbox. I had every Game Boy but I stopped when the DS came out, and I have a PSP. I used to play tons of different video games as a kid and as a teen/young adult. Back when games were a bit more fun, that is. The more realistic they’ve gotten over the years, the less fun they’ve become. I see this more and more in each yearly NHL game I’ve gotten. NHL 17 is very realistic, but it’s not nearly as fun as NHL 10.

These days, I normally only get a few games a year because of this, unless something catches my eye. I mainly stick to NHL and WWE – this has been the case for a while now, at least in terms of PS4. The only other game I have is Star Wars Battlefront.

So, obviously being a huge WWE fan, I’ve always gotten their games. I love them, usually. And while some are better than others, they’re usually pretty good.

The best/better versions being: Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, Smackdown Here Comes the Pain, SVR 2009, WWE 13, and WWE 2K’14. The worst being SVR ’07 and WWE 2K’15.

But, the recent string of games, ever since the next gen consoles came out, are going the complete wrong direction.

WWE 2K’14 may not have been my absolute favorite of the WWE games, but it’s a very solid, enjoyable game. It’s the last one that I had a very good time with. What they should have done with the games going into the PS4/XB One is just update roster, better graphics, and add in stuff that couldn’t be done in last gen. Instead they fucked everything up.

First with 2K’15, they clearly weren’t ready for next gen. I remember reading about so many things that weren’t even in the game, so I didn’t even bother buying it. So many matches weren’t there, and then you could only create male wrestlers. I had no reason to get it.

If you’ve followed my blog a while, you know my story about these games. Or at least you’ve heard it before, whether you remember I don’t know.

My main fun from these games has been creating tons of characters in create mode, mainly based off people I know, and creating my own stories and all of that. I have notebooks filled with these stories. I had six calendar years of stories written out. Granted the first year was pretty much irrelevant – just matches I wrote down I think. But the final four at least all had every show listed with all of the matches and their results. A year was the night after WrestleMania until WrestleMania. The final three years of it, I had written actual stories for the shows, too. I have those three written up and saved in a Word document and sometimes I read them. It’s pretty good, too. Some of the stories are more Lucha Underground-esque than WWE, but yea. I had one character who was a Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball Z, so stuff happened in my stories that were DBZ-like.

This was some of the most fun I’ve had with WWE games. The other would probably be SVR 06’s GM Mode. Do you know when that ended? 2009. It’s 2016, and the most fun I’ve had with these games are 6 years ago, already. I could have done them through 2K’14, because I created the characters I used up until then, but it wouldn’t have been the same. The problem is is that in my stories, everyone was equal, and the female characters I created fought against men all of the time. Some won the world title. So, when Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 came out and suddenly women couldn’t fight men anymore – something they didn’t say was going to happen – everything went up in flames. The game instantly became less fun because the only interaction they could have was a Mixed Tag which is some bullshit. No one gives a fuck about mixed tag matches.

So, my created stories went out the window, but the games were still enjoyable to play, at least. I did a created storyline in one of them that was fun. Universe mode was enjoyable. And WWE 13 and 2K’14 were both really fun. I’d at least play those.

So, after I decided I wasn’t getting 2K’15 because they took way too much out, I was pretty excited to get 2K’16. That was until I almost decided not to get it because the 4 Horsewomen weren’t in it. That was almost a dealbreaker for me, because I was looking forward to playing as them and whooping some Bella ass. But I only had two NHL games for PS4 so I needed some variety, and I bought it anyway.

I won’t say I regret purchasing it, but I won’t say I’m happy I did, either. The way they’ve changed the gameplay is completely ridiculous. What isn’t broken shouldn’t be messed with. 2k’14’s gameplay was just fine. There was stamina and weight detection and all that. I wasn’t happy when they changed from separate buttons to one button for reversals, but having to “build up” reversals is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen put into this game.

If I have one reversal stored, that means I can only reverse one move of my opponent’s until I build another one up – so I have to choose whether to try to counter or just decide to sit there and take the move? What kind of bullshit was that? Whomever thought that up should be fired. Thankfully in 2K’17 you can turn that off. That’s like, the one improvement from 2K’16.

Still, the gameplay isn’t as good as it used to be. I don’t know how to do particular moves besides finishers. Well, normal grapples, that is. I used to know that if I wanted to do a “Backbreaker #7” that I had to press Circle+Right, and then Circle+Up. (Or whatever combination I had it set to.) Now I just do whatever moves that I can. I just press the buttons and see what I end up with. The motions are also slower. Targeting never seems to work properly. The submission system is god awful. It was completely unusable in 2K’16. Thankfully in 2K’17 I was able to switch it from the dumb thing with the control stick to just button mashing the correct button. Still not easy, but better.

I didn’t really like the pin system where you have to press X when the meter gets in the marked area – I’m just now starting to get decent with it. But I would play against a friend and never be able to beat him because he could do it EVERY TIME. I only beat him with submissions. Or by pinning him after random moves – he would only pin after finishers. I don’t do that.

My friend had rented 16 but hated it. His also had some weird glitch in his where people glowed green. That didn’t happen to me.

The ONLY saving grace I found with 16 was that I could do a 6 man elimination tag and it would last forever and seem like really long, epic matches. That was the only fun I had. Still, after like a week when it came out, I stopped playing it and I didn’t play it for months. Now, I didn’t always have time to play games because work and life and so on, so that’s a part of it, but I would always try to play a game of NHL a day until I won the Cup. I never even bothered trying to create someone in it.

There was a LOT of lag in the first match I was playing in 17, but that could’ve been that I had played before I installed the first update. The other two matches didn’t do this and it was after the terrible 11+ GB first update. But I didn’t get past 4 wrestlers in it.

The commentary has always been terrible. Adding in JBL was a bad idea. At least add in Mauro and Graves so it doesn’t suck. Even then, it’s just scripted stuff that’s programmed at weird times. I had entrances for a six woman tag happening and King started talking about “the champion defending his title in this match.” No excuse for this kind of error to be happening.

Still, I tried to create someone in 17 for the first time since 14. I normally have like, 17 people I always make. (That’s an approximation, but it’s close.) And I would get annoyed until I finished them. Whatever they’ve done to creating people – it sucks. Again, what isn’t broken, don’t mess with it. Sure, you can add in the “Import photo of your face” thing, but don’t mess with the rest of it. I shouldn’t be picking the exact texture of each muscle group. It shouldn’t be impossible to find where I can find hair.

And the Create an Entrance is an absolute nightmare. Just awful. (Advanced creation.) It took forever to figure out and no one who hasn’t played this before could figure it out. Way too much micromanaging in it.

Another thing with PS4 that’s a huge problem for me – and this isn’t on the game itself, they can’t help it – is that you STILL can’t put music on the PS4 like you could the PS3. So I can’t give anyone custom music. Terrible that it hasn’t happened yet.

I haven’t even made the person a moveset and I don’t know if I’ll bother.

I assume the story mode is fine – I’m not sure how you could really fuck that up. Universe mode is still cool. Tons of other things you can create but I haven’t. Don’t ask about online because I don’t pay for PS4 online so I can’t play it.

The character models are not even that great, either. I haven’t used everyone yet, but I can tell you Sasha and Charlotte do not look like themselves, especially Sasha. Don’t know if the other girls do, either. Or the guys. Some of them look good, I guess.

Whomever decided that I can only play as Nakamura if I buy the more expensive NXT collector’s pack can fuck themselves. I didn’t know he was exclusive to that before I bought it so fuck you.

The menu screen is completely lifeless.

Still can’t play intergender matches, which is bullshit. But if we can’t play those kinds of matches, WWE, don’t make me scroll past dudes’ names in the character select before reaching other female names – just scroll between the women. Like, if I’m playing as Sasha Banks, the opponent character first shows Stephanie McMahon as a preset. Why, I don’t know – she’s not a wrestler. You’d think the automatic presets would be Sasha and Charlotte or something. Anyways, if I don’t want to use Stephanie, if I press up, it should immediately highlight Paige as my next option, it shouldn’t make me scroll up past every male wrestler between Paige and Stephanie. That’s a complete waste of my time.

Note: There might be a female name that’s in the game that would come between Paige and Stephanie that I forgot. Paige was the first one I thought of. You could assume that I was playing as Sasha which is why I didn’t mention her.

There’s A LOT of small, really cool little details in the game that you can edit to your liking. There’s tons of different titles. If you don’t like them, you can make one. There’s a meter in the top left that builds during a match and you get that star rating at the end of the match. Title match introductions and graphics are a thing. Among other things. They’ve added so many different things to try to make there be as much to it that’s close to real life as possible. The roster is about as close to the real one as possible. I fucked up and missed out on Nakamura. Aries is DLC. Roode is the only one missing. I’d like them to still have AJ and Punk in but that’s not going to happen. But in adding all of this stuff, they tried to do too much – they added all of this in but in the process didn’t make any of these things really, really good.

Sure, it’s cool that I can make the referee whatever race I want him to be. (Or possibly she. This was a feature I noticed for literally two seconds and barely looked at the options for more than two more, so there could have been female refs too.) Again, that’s a cool feature – I’m all for inclusion – but that’s really the last thing I’m thinking about when I’m playing a match. So before you add in this feature that I only even barely knew existed, how about you spend time refining the gameplay to something worth a damn? Because gameplay should be the first thing on the list.

Why are there still glitches that cause me to be doing something in an F-5 position but my opponent is ten feet in the air above me? The fuck is that? That’s been happening for years. How did you not fix that?

Honestly, WWE doesn’t even understand how to do their games properly. They should’ve made 2K’14 with better graphics and updated roster. After they put out a game that’s good, they don’t need to put out any more games AT ALL. Just add the new people that come into the company as DLC characters every now and then and that’s literally ALL they need to do. The gameplay wasn’t broken and shouldn’t have been messed with. All we need over the years is new characters as DLC – DLC can also include new moves, entrance themes, entrance moves, and so on. There’s no reason AT ALL to put out a game a year and charge people 60 for it. That model is just cash grabbing bullshit. Sure, maybe every three to five years put out a new game, but not every year. Get your act together. You really don’t know how to allocate your time well to this game. Stop tearing it down each year and remaking it and start just adding to the good ones.

I won’t be getting any more of these games until they drastically fix everything that they’ve ruined. It’s not a bad game, it’s not a good game, it’s just….the game.

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