This is not a step forward from the last Raw game, instead it’s a big step sideways. Raw 2 is like the game makers perfected the original Raw game (it only took them 2 years). First off this is a wrestling game, the player may select from one of over sixty WWE “superstars” to compete in a match. During this match the player may use different strikes by pressing the directional pad and the X button and may grapple his opponent by pressing the A button. When performing a grapple, the player can do a weak maneuver by pressing X and the directional pad or a strong maneuver by pressing A and the directional pad. Each WWE “superstar” in the game has their own moves, taunts, strikes, grapple maneuvers, high risk maneuvers and even ways to get in and out of the ring. Unfortunately there are not many submissions in the game, so everyone has the same half Boston crab submission. The game uses a new “spirit” meter that tracks how well the wrestler is doing, when the spirit meter is green, they are doing fine, when it is red, they are ready to do a finishing maneuver, and when it blinks danger, that person is ready to be finished. The wrestlers are big, bold, and life-like chiseled versions of themselves in the game. Even with the great graphics of the game, six wrestlers are allowed to compete at once, and even a referee is in the ring! The matches players can compete in are Normal Singles Matches, Tag, Triple Threat, Fatal 4 Way, Battle Royal, King of the Ring Tournaments, Cage, Hall in a Cell, and Tables, “Ladders and Chairs” (TLC). Despite the game allowing six people in the ring at once there are no six-man tag team matches, however there are Hall in a Cell Matches that allow six people and a referee in them. There are four different referees who count at different speeds, it can be extremely difficult sometimes, because the referees can count so slow you can never get a pinfall! There are fourteen arenas to compete in, Raw, Smackdown and all twelve of the Pay-Per-View Arenas (unlike the original Raw game that just had one arena). Now for the big part of the game, the modes, there are so many modes in this game! You have a quick play mode, for people that just want to throw a match together, an exhibition mode, so you can make your own match to play in, a season mode, which is an ongoing story where you compete show after show in matches, a King of the Ring mode, where you set up a bracket style tournament, a “tournament” mode, where you set up a bracket style tournament, but you can also make the match types yourself. a Royal Rumble mode, where its your wrestler against up to 64 other wrestlers that come to the ring; the object is to throw everyone else over the top rope. There are also design modes like “create a superstar” where you create your own wrestler and save up to 64 of them! “Create a tag team” that allows players to create either a two man or three man tag teams and create their entrances and a movie mode so you can see all the WWE superstar’s entrance videos you have enabled. Now that you know all the modes, here are some in depth things about the Season mode and “create a superstar” mode. With the season mode, a month for the season consists of only one Raw, only one Smackdown, then that month’s pay per view! The season mode works on a popularity system, lets say you play as Brock Lesnar, he is popular, Rico is not. So what does this popularity do? There are titles, the WWE championship, the “World” championship, Women’s, Cruiserweight, Smackdown Tag, and Raw Tag. The popularity of the title-holder of the belt determines who can compete for that belt. World champion Triple would not let Spike Dudley compete for the belt, but he would let a popular superstar like Shawn Michaels go for the belt. So how do you get more popular? For each match of a TV show, you can do something to get more popular, you can win your match, interfere in someone else’s match, sneak attack a wrestler, set a trap for a wrestler, call out a wrestler, manipulate a wrestler to attack your enemy, encourage an ally, find a manager, steal something (this is how you enable outfits and entrance videos), or break up with a tag partner. Everything you do can either get you more popular or less popular, and there is a chance you could fail doing these things. Everything you do will cost you spirit for your match on that show, so you could go into your match in “danger.” You can also build alliances and enemies in the season mode. Create a superstar is extremely detailed, everything from their in ring attire, their out of ring attire, their name, alliances, attributes, and “character” to their wrestling moves, and an extremely detailed entrance where you can pick their lighting, pyrotechnics (you can even time the pyrotechnics!), their entrance video (you can even make their entrance video with the created superstar), you can also use music on your X-Box for your superstar’s entrance theme! Finally, there are over 60 wrestlers in the game, and here is a list: Austin, Goldberg, Batista, Big Show, Billy Gunn, Kidman, Booker T, Bradshaw, Lesnar, Bubba Ray, Chavo Guerrero, Val Venis, Benoit, Jericho, Christian, Chris Nowinski, Chuck Palumbo, Crash, D-Von, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Goldust, Hardcore Holly, Hogan, Hurricane, Jacqueline, Jamie Noble, Jazz, John Cena, Kane, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Lance Storm, Lita, Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Molly, Nidia, Orton, Mysterio, Rhyno, Flair, Rico, Rikishi, Rob Van Damn, Scott Steiner, Shannon Moore, Shawn Michaels, Spike, Stacey Keibler, Stephanie McMahon, Steven Richards, Tajiri, Terri, Test, The Rock, Undertaker, Dreamer, Torrie, HHH, Trish, Victoria, and William Regal.