Powered by LiquidWeb Search all of OO for news, columnists, and articles about your favorites!
News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

TEW '08: Be the Ball, Danny 

June 13, 2008

by Matt Hocking    
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


With every passing year, the world of professional wrestling seems to get a little smaller. I donít just mean in terms of TV ratings and buy rates, but the whole scope of the industry has kind of turned on edge. Things like the Chris Benoit situation, the steroid scandals, and the aftermath can sometimes suck the passion for the business right out of you. Iím pleased to say, however, that Total Extreme Wrestling 2008 has managed to find a little light on an otherwise pretty bleak horizon.
The actual gameplay hasnít changed much in any of (T)EWís 15 iterations, youíre still the head booker (or owner) of a wrestling promotion which you then struggle to make competitive or keep on top. The way TEW has been altered over the years comes mostly in fleshing out your virtual universe and making players deal with more and more sophisticated and intricate systems. In as much 

as theExtreme Wrestling series has ever changed, the leap from TEW 07 to TEW 08 is the biggest itís made since the jump from EWR. The changes that have been made are almost all improvements and everything has been handled with a clear intelligence and care.

Specifically, one of my biggest complaints about the series after EWR was that the games seemed to lack personality, something I know Adam Ryland has in spades. Before you start crying to me about how much charisma the virtual Cornellverse has, it still felt like everything in the games lived in a vacuum. Wrestling events didnít feel like wrestling events and characters didnít feel like characters. Often, after a few days playtime, it felt more like moving numbers around on a spreadsheet. It took a particularly strong imagination or a great love for hard stats to really appreciate lengthy TEW campaigns. To this end, TEW 08 has mostly succeeded. Running cards still loses a little sheen after the first 50 or so, but the underlying game has quite a bit more personality. The inclusion of an in-game website with articles about various promotions or workers along with personality scales that determine the level of asshole in each individual worker give the game world a bit more lived in feel.

The biggest weakness of TEW 08 is also arguably its greatest strength. The game is vast. Mindbogglingly so, at times. Even using one of my old converted data files from TEW 07, it took me several hours of tinkering just to make sure the new features in the editor were being used, and I donít envy anyone planning a full-on mod of the game. The main promotion menu itself features 27 different buttons with hundreds more sub-buttons underneath those. Theyíre all divided fairly intelligently, but sometimes I found it a bit difficult to focus and find the button I was looking for. Additionally, not every screen has all the information youíre looking for, which can be a hassle when youíre trying to juggle multiple things at once.


The editor is as deep and varied as ever. I cannot fathom making up my own database from scratch with all the sliders and options that need to be set before it starts to take shape. The angle and storyline editors are about 1/3 bigger just by themselves, and with the addition of the Australia region, thereís a good deal of tweaking that needs to be done before even an old database becomes usable in the game. The upshot of this is that it allows for unparalleled customization, to the point where you can literally create any game world you wish. On the other hand, I canít imagine that a lot of people are going to want to spend ten hours not playing the game they just bought. Thankfully, there are people in the TEW community more dedicated to this than I.

Incidentally, the editor you can use while the game is running is almost exactly the same as last year, which works just fine. I enjoy the ability to play around with different variables while Iím playing the game. Not everything is editable, of course, but enough things are that youíll probably find whatever it is youíre looking for. In fact, one of the nicest features is that you can edit and add angles directly from the booking screen, which is nice if you suddenly find you donít have any way to advance your latest storyline or if inspiration suddenly strikes.


The game is remarkably stable, especially given that the version I was playing was barely post-beta. Other than one minor in game error, a few grammar and spelling mistakes, and one crash that wiped out a save game I was pretty deep into, I didnít encounter any of the problems I expected. I will say that Iím not a big fan of the fact that I had to shrink the text size on my monitor just to get the gameís layout to format properly.

One of the more highly touted features was the faster loading times from TEW 2007, and for the most part, the game comes through. However, the ability to sim through multiple days at once, which was a very welcome feature for those who like to run smaller promotions with almost no dates, comes up a bit short. This is mostly due to the gameís insistence on creating a new webpage for each day that you sim, whether you read it or not, causing things to chug along considerably if youíre simming weeks at a time.


Everything looks clean and well organized. The default settings for most graphics are pretty well done. The website has a tendancy to look a little ďbusyĒ at times, but itís not too bad. I had to use my old picture set, so I canít really comment on the character images, but apparently they will be sharper as well. Some of the Poseur heads from last yearís game look pretty good and some of them are a littleÖoff, and I fully expect that that will be the same this year.

A Few Minor Notes

-While the new creative and website screens add a lot of personality to the game, thereís quite a bit of repetition there, which means youíll probably kind of just gloss over at it most of the time.

-The new roster screen provides a surprisingly great amount of information within a few sentences. You can find out what style a person works, whether or not theyíre jerks, and how popular they are without leaving a single paragraph, which is pretty nice.

-While booking really hasnít changed from TEW 07, the look and feel of the booking screen is much improved. The sortable match options are a nice addition, and overall it looks much cleaner than it has in the past.

Final Score: 9/10

TEW 08 is not a perfect game, and itís not going to be everybodyís favorite. But it is definitely a huge step forward for the series. While there hasnít been any area thatís received a clear and massive upgrade, the whole game just feels much more personable and well put together than TEW 05 and 07. From the booking screen to the roster editor, everything just feels clean and efficient, but it never loses that feeling that everyone and everything in the game world is a living breathing entity with a personality of its own.

Even more than that, however, is that the challenge and entertainment afforded by creating and running your own wrestling promotions and competing with the titans of the industry (both real and fictional) brings a bit of joy back to an otherwise dreary industry. If you find a bit of joy in juggling numbers and tracking statistics, TEW 08 is an excellent management sim with a lot of personality. No longer is it a spreadsheet with a nice bit of makeup, TEW 08 takes that last wobbly step from TEWís past as an engaging wrestling simulator into the realm of an engrossing game.


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.