One of the immediate things players should notice the first time they boot up CAW in their copy of SmackDown vs. RAW 2006 is that the interface is all-new this year and most more user-friendly. It's about as straight forward as you can get and consists pretty heavily of easy to read text menus and departmentalized manipulation windows. There are seven tabs to choose from: Profile, Head, Body, Outfit, Layer, Other, and Finalize.
- Name -- Select from two pages of alphabets and one page of symbols (18 slots).
- HUD Name -- Select from two pages of alphabets and one page of symbols (18 slots).
- Nickname -- Select from two pages of alphabets and one page of symbols (18 slots).
- Nickname Placement -- None, Prefix, Suffix
- Announcer Introduction -- 21 pages of name choices (181 names in all) which include familiar monikers like Alex, Brett, and Rachel as well as nicknames such as "The Saint, The Machine," and "The Immovable Object." The good news is, the announcer will say these as you walk to the ring.
- Hometown -- Eight pages of hometown locations (64 spots) with various sub-locations for each (for a grand total of 185 possible hometowns). For the first time ever, the ring announcer will say whichever hometown you choose.
- Gender -- Male or Female, "Unknown" is no longer a choice.
- Weight Class -- There are five different weight classes: Diva (100-149lbs), Cruiserweight (150-199lbs), Light Heavyweight (200-239lbs), Heavyweight (240lbs-279lbs), and Super Heavyweight (280-400lbs), and there is now a slider to select an exact weight instead of just a class.
- Match Tactic -- Fight Clean or Fight Dirty determines how the crowd reacts to you and what kind of super move you have. Of course, this is just a default setting; you can always switch it before an exhibition match like you always could.
- Show -- SmackDown! or RAW are the selections and it determines which show you start on during career mode.
- Voice -- (5) different voice types for male created wrestlers, but none for females since user-created women can't be used during season mode.
- Basic Faces -- (7) basic face types to serve as a template. An Eddie Guerrero look-alike is one of them.
- Morphing -- Head, Eyebrows, Nose, Cheek, Mouth, Jaw, Ear, Age, can all be adjusted. Attributes that can be manipulated include position, angle, depth, size, thickness, and height.
- Morphing-Continued -- Allows you to further develop your CAW. Hair (91), Eyes (26), Eyebrows (48), Facial Hair (11 Mustaches, 13 Goatees, 17 sideburns, 25 others), Lips (35), Face Skin (8), Eye Lids (22), and Teeth (3) can be give specific template types.
- Body Type -- Can be adjusted via slider from ripped to thick and also comes with advanced options that allows for individual manipulation of head, neck, chest, shoulders, abdomen, waist, arms, hands, legs, and feet.
- Body Skin -- Boasts (9) different types of skins for the character model which are similar, if not identical to those of previous years.
- Body Hair -- (32) kinds of body hair allows your CAW to become one of the furriest guys in history.
- Body Height -- Your typical slider allows a height adjustment of 5'2" to 7'2".
- Head -- A pretty extensive list of head goodies includes (28) hats and (22) masks with (45) patterns each, as well as (159) face paints, (135) make-up selections, (40) pairs of glasses, (46) kinds of horns, (33) piercings, and (35) other kinds of attachments. Even crazier, is the fact that there are (525) tattoos and logos and the ability to create custom words via letters in five different languages (Alphabet, Numerical, Chinese, Japanese, and signs).
- Torso -- This area has more choices than last year as players can select from both Men's (101) and Women's (43) clothing with (45) patterns each. Additionally, there are (17) different costumes, (32) jackets, (8) coats, (58) kinds of body paint, (38) various accessories, and the same (525) tattoos and logos available for the head.
- Arms -- The arms section boasts (16) elbow pads for both arms with (45) patterns each and the ability to wear only one or different types on each arm. Likewise, users can select from (20) different wristbands, (18) pairs of gloves, (50) arm accessories, (149) kinds of arm paint, and (525) tattoos and logos.
- Legs -- If your lower half is chilly, you can select from (25) kinds of underwear to keep you warm, and cover them with (20) types of tights, (62) pairs of pants, (41) kinds of skirts, (29) different belts, (15) kinds of assorted knee pads, (160) leg paints, and (525) tattoos and logos.
- Feet -- Proving that THQ didn't forget anything, players can also select from among (22) different pairs of socks, (48) pairs of shoes, and (18) accessories for keeping their feetsies covered.
One important thing to note this year is that 3D clothing elements have been added this year. Pants, shirts, jackets, and similar bits of clothing will have polygons to create a 3D look instead of the "painted-on" effect of the past. This allows the game to offer some baggy clothes options as well. Overall the addition of polygons to the clothing allowed the team to create much more realistic clothing items and gives players more options/items to create the character they want.
This feature allows players to edit what layers of their costume appear during their entrance, match, and backstage cutscenes, and also enables users to move, copy, or delete various aspects of their wardrobe. The maximum number of layers that a created wrestler can equip at a time is 32.
The "Other" section allows players to assign their CAW two different fighting styles, which are the same selections from previous years (Brawler, Grappler, Ground, Luchador, Striker, and Balanced). New to this season, however, is the ability to import the existing A.I. of an official WWE Superstar which will leave Fighting Style #1 and #2 blank as a result.
Of course, the advanced options for character A.I. has also been included, as you can adjust your movement (Clever, Aggressive), rate of Irish Whips (Less, Often), Diving Moves (Less, Often), and Taunts (Less, Often).
On the flashier side of things, players can also give themselves two different signs that audience members will hold to cheer them on. There are (200) signs to choose from in all.
This is where you save your character and can take a profile snapshot for use on the menu screen. You can also cycle between cutscene, match, and Entrance attires while doing so.
Located in a separate menu after you leave the edit screen, the customize attribute screen allows players to use their experience points from career mode to bulk up their CAW in (8) categories: Strength, Submission, Durability, Technique, Speed, Charisma, Hardcore, and Stamina.
If you messed around with last year's game, you should be happy to note that Name Engraving is a new feature this year -- players will also be able to read these engravings during entrances and when viewing the championships in the belt viewer. Also you can always re-engrave a belt once you've won it from an opponent.
What's more, you can use these newly created championship titles in PPV Mode or Title Match mode in Exhibition. Additionally, players also have the choice of putting their titles on the line against other titles or against WWE Cash. This means you can decide to wager WWE Cash you earn throughout the game against an opponent for their belt. You can also have WWE Cash vs. WWE Cash wagers in Title Match mode.
- Create Title -- There are multiple choices from the outset, as users can create either single or tag team titles from this menu. They can also choose to go back and engrave names on the titles they've accumulated, view the championship's history, or cash the belt in for additional money.
- Title Name -- Pretty self-explanatory, this allows you to enter the name of your title belt (12 characters max).
- Belt -- This option allows players to select (4) different belt materials and (5) different designs to lay out as the foundation for their new title.
- Center Plate -- Whether its platinum, gold, or steel, users can choose (7) different materials and (24) different designs for the center plate of their championship belt.
- Centerpiece -- Perhaps the most important part of a title, the centerpiece carries most of the personality of a title. There are (7) materials to select from and (69) different designs that fit snugly on top of the center plate.
- Side Plate -- For additional bling, (68) different side plate designs can be added to your championship in the usual (7) material flavors.
- Jewels -- If you're truly rich, you can add (15) different jewels to the faceplate of your belt. There is room for (8) of them if you can afford it.
- Name Engraving -- As mentioned earlier, you can engrave your name on the belt. If you're so inclined, select from the (7) different materials and (10) different plate designs before making the most of your (10) alphabet characters.
As you can see, the creation mode for superstars and title belts this year are pretty extensive, and there are plenty of other user-creation modes where that came from (Create-A-Moveset, Create-An-Entrance, Create-A-Stable, etc). Unfortunately, we'll have to save details on those bits for another time. But while you wait, be sure and check the media gallery below for some quick movies of the creation mode and how it works and an entrance video for a created wrestler of yours truly. We'll see you again soon with more.