GIVEN just how unwatchable the WWE's output has been in the last year, the Smackdown vs Raw games have given a little glimmer of hope for grapple fans looking for respite from bad taste storylines and overinflated stiffs in the ring.
So it's sad to report the new game is as plodding, ponderous and off-putting as its real-life equivalent.
The new version of the game, which brings British stars Paul Burchill and Fit Finlay into the frame, has added some spit and polish to last year's game engine to offer more interactivity.
Brawls can spill out into the crowd and there's more hotspots to activate special moves, such as running your opponent's face across the ropes.
The graphics have also been beefed up and, especially on the 360 version, look incredible. In fact, in a few cases, the console characters look more three-dimensional than their real world counterparts.
But the price has been a new control system which is fiddly at best, wrist-breakingly bad at worse. The Create A Wrestler feature has degenerated once again to the most limited it's been since the days of the PSOne. And the commentary seems designed to put your teeth on edge.
There's a greater array of legends than ever on display, but yet again the main roster suffers - jabronis like Lance Cade or Vito make it, yet the Spirit Squad, or London and Kendrick don't.
In-ring action also feels clunkier and slower. There's more moves than ever, but making use of them is difficult.
As always, it's a game that's not going to please everyone.
The franchise has been running so long that it feels in need of an overhaul, and the move to the 360 should have been a catalyst.
But it feels like cosmetic changes - a new gimmick on a tired performer which isn't getting over with the crowd.