One thing I take pride in when it comes to contributing to the Operation Sports community is knowing that the OS voice is heard in the game-development community. Once again, that voice is being called upon.
The following details a couple things that can be drawn from the new survey initiative put forth by THQ regarding its Smackdown vs. Raw series.
Something Has Caught the Attention of THQ
A staple of the SvR series has been simple, bland repetitiveness. This year the company rocked the boat by adding the WWE Universe mode -- a very welcome addition that is a few tweaks away from being one of series’ all-time defining features.
The sudden want for consumer input is slightly out of character, and it would suggest that something is catching the eye of THQ. It could be sales, it could be competition, or it could be pressure from higher powers unhappy with how the product is being digitally represented. But one would assume that there is something happening that, as everyone’s favorite Nexus leader would say, is forcing the winds of change to blow.
THQ May Not Feel 100 Percent satisfied With Any One Area
The surveys do not deal with just one specific part of the game, but rather span everything from chain-wrestling to the difficulty of the AI. This stays in line with what THQ has done for nearly a decade now, which is to change features and controls year after year. This is not modifying or adding improvements, but annually overhauling systems.
It is encouraging that THQ is leaving no rock unturned, and it will be interesting to see if the developers release a survey covering graphics, rosters and downloadable content -- a couple more surveys are on the way.
THQ Understands There Is a Want for More Sim Elements
One question released on the most recent survey was preceded by the statement below; it was a statement that got me thinking that maybe these guys do know what they are doing after all.
"The state based grapple system (wherein strong grapples are performed on groggy opponents and chain grapples are engaged on non-groggy opponents) was implemented in an attempt to better replicate the feel/flow of an actual wrestling match. During actual wrestling matches, strong moves (brainbusters, DDTs, piledrivers, etc) are very rarely performed out of chain holds. Moves performed out of chain holds usually tend to be the weaker set of moves in a wrestler’s move-set. It was our intention to replicate this via the state based grapple system."
In the same way that it worries me to see sitcom writers drafting storylines for the WWE, it has been in my mind in the past that perhaps these THQ fellows are not as concerned about the wrestling as much the presentation of the superstars and other aesthetic features. Point being, it does not seem like the folks at THQ just want to put on an act and appear like they care about what the fans want. The people running these surveys have left sizable comment boxes for more fleshed-out answers.
Take advantage of this opportunity. If you have ever complained or suggested something the series could do better with your buddies or on the OS forums, you owe it to yourself to take a minute and fill out these quick surveys for THQ.