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WWE Here Comes the Pain's a Cost-Effective Alternative to WWE 2K20

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WWE Here Comes the Pain's a Cost-Effective Alternative to WWE 2K20

2020 marks the 20-year anniversary of the console that many consider to be the single best ever created: the PlayStation 2. Think about that for a second. Thankfully, mostly due to the console’s proliferation and popularity, a fully complete PlayStation 2 console can be had for next-to-nothing at yard sales and thrift stores. Even better, a fully complete PlayStation 2 and WWE Here Comes the Pain can be had for much less than the cost of WWE 2K20.

A Game Better Than WWE 2K20

HCTP holds its ground even without WWE 2K20’s astoundingly turbulent release because the game is jam packed with features. I was a child of the Attitude Era, fell out of interest around 2003, and had my fandom reinvigorated 10 years later. As a result, I missed out on HCTP in its initial run, but I immediately felt at home revisiting it given the astounding collection of talent on the roster. The presence of a handful of WWE Legends further cements the roster to make it feel more like a “greatest hits” of WWE Superstars as opposed to a single entry in a perennial series.

An exceptional and deep create-a-wrestler system is easy to navigate and provides players with the tools they need to legitimately transform the game into their own dream WWE Universe. Even unique superstars like Velveteen Dream are remarkably easy to create thanks to a host of patterns and the simple layering system. The game’s age and following means that plenty of desired CAWs such as Samoa Joe, Scott Hall and Bret Hart already exist online. Whether you are filling out the CAW roster with ’90s legends, Attitude Era icons or current superstars, you’ll be up and running in no time.here come the pain promo

Most importantly, the gameplay is the perfect blend of absurdity, realism and excellence. The grappling system is deep enough to cater to both modern 2K fans, while No Mercy historians will feel neither overwhelmed or bored. Backstage areas border on arcade, including jumping off of a helicopter, riding a motorcycle and dragging your opponent around on the concrete.

Oh, and there’s no in-match commentary. Not a single pre-recorded line. Just music.

The game’s brightest spot comes in the form of its career mode, which allows players to take any superstar, created or in-game, and ascend the ranks of the promotion. The entire experience truly feels like a journey to top-star status. What’s even better is that the game allows for a complete editing of the career mode rosters and stables, giving players complete freedom to create their dream environment.

One of the last bastions of the pre-DLC unlockables, progress in career mode provides players with in-game money to spend on CAW moves, hidden Legends and other decadent treats.

Pacing feels like an actual show storyline. You work some weeks, and some weeks you don’t. You’ll get tossed into random matches until you latch onto a storyline, which is somewhat triggered by backstage interactions. You can choose to respect or attack your opponent after matches, fueling rivalries further. Unprovoked, the career mode AI chose the Shinsuke Nakamura CAW to attack my A.J. Styles right before the WWE went on an international tour.

here comes the pain triple h

This led to a back-and-forth of excellent, long matches that ended in Nakamura challenging me to a match of my choosing. I chose a Tables Match, hit him with a Styles Clash on top of the table and attacked him after the match. The entire narrative felt very genuine, and it was just a minor storyline over the course of my career. I was ready to jump into the next match instantly, which is high praise given how quickly wrestling games can grow repetitive and stale.

All told, the game makes for a phenomenal experience for both newcomers and those returning after all these years. Hunting down a functional, used PlayStation 2 is comically easy, and chances are your old fat launch one still works. Wrangling a copy of WWE Here Comes the Pain will likely be the more troublesome and expensive ordeal, but if time is on your side, it could still cost less combined than a discounted copy of WWE 2K20.

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  1. ?
    Still my favorite WWE/F wrestling game of all-time.  I prefer the speed of HCTP's gameplay to the slower AKI games, which could sometimes get frustrating with their responsiveness (and in the case of No Mercy, random cartridge wipes), and the SD games of the PS2 era just had an incredible wealth of content, from single-player to the sheer amount of match types. 
    What I love about HCTP is that it's a perfect blend of arcade gameplay with sim elements. It's lightning fast but you have plenty of options in terms of arsenal in a more thought-out control scheme than the current 2K games.  And the attribute system makes a clear hierarchy of talent, as it should be with wrestling. In the current games, everyone is bunched together stats-wise to the point of being interchangeable, but here, with a cranked difficulty, taking on Classic Undertaker or Brock Lesnar (whose power and durability stats secretly were coded beyond the maximum 10/10) with a jobberific guy would be overwhelming simply because he could wear you down in an eyelash while you had to throw the kitchen sink at him to faze him.  There's a real weight to who you pick and adds a nice layer of strategy.
    To anyone who hasn't made the HCTP jump but will in the future, this is very important: while the CAW creator is deep, you cannot freely assign attribute points to your created wrestler when you make them; you have to take them through the Season Mode to earn attribute points, which can take a while for even one individual wrestler to get them where you want to be, and there's no cheat to earn unlimited points. There is, however, a workaround if you're willing to spend some time in Season Mode; make a created wrestler and take them through the campaign, banking as much attribute points as you can (bank them, dont use them, you can't decrease a stat once you buff it; feel free to turn down the difficulty as well if your guy is too underpowered for you).  When you have stashed enough CAW points to spend on all the attributes you want, simply go to the create menu, and copy your Season Mode guy, their attribute points will carry over, copy to your heart's content until you hit the game's limit. That way, you only have to take one CAW through Season instead of all of them, and then you can edit their appearance, moves, entrance, etc after the face.
    There's also still plenty of active CAW guides out there if you want make a certain wrestler but dont want to figure it out from scratch.
    I spent a ton of time with HCTP in college when it first came out. And lately I have been on a bit of a retro sports game kick and finally got a PS2 working so decided to fire it up after reading this article. Fun game. I was amazed at the match types they have in that game.
    I plan to spend a bit more time with it if for no other reason than nostalgia. I will need to figure out the controls again, but from what I played it was really enjoyable. And the roster was rock solid too.
    Sent from my SM-N960U using Operation Sports mobile app
    HCTP is definitely one of my favorites and I pop it in every once and again. But Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 was a sight to behold far as the Smackdown series goes. And Smackdown 2: Know your Role.
    Yeah, still play it to this day but with altered rosters and attributes. Some talented modders out there (mods not caws) and I prefer the gameplay to be a touch slower so edit that myself but it's just fun pretty much. Season mode without voices means I can have anyone be apart of it too.
    A few screens.




    donkey33
    Yeah, still play it to this day but with altered rosters and attributes. Some talented modders out there (mods not caws) and I prefer the gameplay to be a touch slower so edit that myself but it's just fun pretty much. Season mode without voices means I can have anyone be apart of it too.
    A few screens.




    I assume this is all through PSCX2 (or whatever the PS2 emulators name is)?
    Sent from my SM-N960U using Operation Sports mobile app
    Yes and no.
    Yes it was designed that way but these are mods so part of the disc and I also use it on my PS2. But PCSX2 for HD graphics at least.
    Although I still use my original HCTP disc too from time to time just for the intended experience. I've got two copies in case one ever breaks as it's probably my favourite wrestling game.
    Did any of those older Smackdown versus Raw games allow you to play any matches like Universe does now or was it only a career type mode where you controlled one guy.
    I love the idea of Universe but it feels like there are only a couple different cutscenes that happen a lot and there isn't enough variation. But the way you can play any match any time is great.
    I feel like I vaguely remember one the old games letting you play as multiple superstars at the same time with different storylines and the season never ended but maybe it was a dream.
    donkey33
    Yeah, still play it to this day but with altered rosters and attributes. Some talented modders out there (mods not caws) and I prefer the gameplay to be a touch slower so edit that myself but it's just fun pretty much. Season mode without voices means I can have anyone be apart of it too.
    A few screens.





    Whoa whoa whoa...explain...
    cch99
    Did any of those older Smackdown versus Raw games allow you to play any matches like Universe does now or was it only a career type mode where you controlled one guy.
    I love the idea of Universe but it feels like there are only a couple different cutscenes that happen a lot and there isn't enough variation. But the way you can play any match any time is great.
    I feel like I vaguely remember one the old games letting you play as multiple superstars at the same time with different storylines and the season never ended but maybe it was a dream.
    There was a GM mode in 2006 or 07. You booked the matches. Could play them as well. You would get ranked based on matches and had salaries and a draft too if I believe.
    Sent from my LM-Q720 using Tapatalk
    Steven547
    Wish it was on PC!

    It is if you use PCSX2.
    This is my personal favourite list:
    SVR2006
    HCTP
    SYM
    SVR2010
    SVR2006 was the ultimate release in my opinion. The only two things that I don't like about that game are the standard backflip counters that even Andre The Giant would do and the sleeper mini game that was way too hard.
    SVR2010 is basically on my list because that was when we really started the modding community that lives to this day.
    I spent so much time programming svredit for 2010 - in the end it had support for all versions of 2010, PSP, PS2, 360 and PS3 - (and that actually resulted in kind of burning out my WWE modding interest), but it really got the WWE game modding off the floor.
    It's so cool to see how the games (also the new ones) are all modded to this day and how we can transfer wrestlers between games. This was something I wanted to do since the early Smackdown days, as an old fire Pro, NHL and PES fan where the editing capabilities had always been better.
    The work done by brienj on the mod that started it all, SVR2010 2.0, Tekken57 with the PAC editor, everyone researching and sharing info on how to mod the game, the thread we had on caws.ws... That was when the doors were opened for all the WWE modding we can see today on youtube. It was a really cool thing and time to be a part of. :)
    HCTP tops my list I think mainly because of the season mode. I can't remember exactly but I think voice overs might have started after that and I liked the customization season mode had (adding people, removing, stat tracking, etc).

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