WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 shows many of the signs of a series that has gone stale. The core game is still somewhat enjoyable, though still suffers many of the series' long term issues, like ridiculous gameplay pace, unrealistic match flow and low quality animations. Yuke's appears to be scraping the bottom of the barrel to get new features, while happily removing useful features from previous games.
Road to WrestleMania seems like a bit of a copout, while the career mode feels rather detached. There's still a bit of promise, particularly in the create modes, so let's hope that Yuke's and THQ can spend the next 12 months delivering some new features and gameplay upgrades that people are actually going to care about.