WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain
WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain (Known as Exciting Pro Wrestling 5 in Japan) is a professional wrestling video game developed by Yuke's and published by THQ for PlayStation 2. It is the sequel to WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, released in October 2002, and is part of the WWE SmackDown! series based on World Wrestling Entertainment's weekly TV show SmackDown. It was the first SmackDown! game to feature a catchphrase not linked back to The Rock in its title. It was also the final WWE game to solely use the SmackDown! name, as it was succeeded by WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw series in November 2004.
|WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain|
Alongside a new grappling system, body damage displays and submission meters (for both the person applying the move and the person breaking out of the move), as well as the ability to break the submission hold when touching the ropes, and individual character scales that consisted of statistics (such as strength, endurance and speed) were all introduced for the first time. Here Comes the Pain also marks the first time the Elimination Chamber and the Bra and Panties Match would be featured in a wrestling game.
Alongside a playable roster of over 50 Superstars who were active members of the WWE roster at the time of the game's release, legends were introduced for the first time, which included retired wrestlers like Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, as well as former iterations of current wrestlers, such as The Undertaker with his 90's gimmick. It also marks the final time that The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin would appear in a WWE game as non-legends, and is the first WWE game to feature future mainstays John Cena, Batista, and Rey Mysterio as playable characters. It is also the first game to depict Kane without his mask.
Additional updates came in Season Mode, with decisions (such as where you wanted to go and what you wanted to do next) being made on a new menu screen in your locker room, while players could enter the General Manager's room to ask for title shots and brand switches. There are multiple titles to go after depending on if you go to SmackDown! or RAW.
The game received "generally favorable" reviews from critics and “universal acclaim” from fans and gamers alike. With parts of the wrestling fanbase considering it one of the greatest wrestling videogames of all time.
The development version featured Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan (along with his alter-ego Mr. America and his 1980s appearance) and The Ultimate Warrior. Hogan and Hardy were removed from the game when they left WWE and Warrior was omitted due to a legal dispute with the company. Data for other omitted wrestlers, including Spike Dudley, Billy Kidman, Billy Gunn, William Regal, Bradshaw, Molly Holly and 3-Minute Warning remains on the final discs, with none of them having any finished character models. The concept of having multiple versions of Hogan in one game was finally included with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006. Johnny Stamboli, Nunzio, Hardcore Holly, Al Snow, Bill DeMott, and Scotty 2 Hotty were all pulled very early in development. Chief Morley was originally planned for the game, but was changed last minute to Val Venis.
WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
IGN called the game "one of the best wrestling games we've ever played...With its ultra-improved gameplay mechanics, enhanced visual engine, smarter career mode, and established create-a-character feature, Yuke's and THQ are definitely the track to success." GameSpot said, "What the game lacks in innovation, however, is more than made up for in sheer playability." Eurogamer called it "a superb blend of traditional and wrestling-specific fight mechanics, and there's so much variety here that it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say you could play this one from now until the next SmackDown without getting bored or running out of things to do." GMR said, "Submission moves finally makes [sic] sense, thanks to a logical location-based damage system, and wrestlers' weights are accurately presented."
Other reviews were more mixed. Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine called it "the first game in the series that tries to accommodate both sides by combining quick action with the technical elements of wrestling, and it works -- almost." In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 29 out of 40.
|1st British Academy Video Games Awards||Sports Game||Nominated|
|2003 Spike Video Game Awards||Best Sports Game|
|Best Fighting Game||Won|
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- "エキサイティングプロレス5". Famitsu. 789. 30 January 2004.
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- "ELSPA Sales Awards: Platinum". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- Caoili, Eric (26 November 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 18 September 2017.
- "WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain". GMR (12): 92. January 2004. Retrieved 12 February 2015.