Systems: PS3, PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS
The year is 2008. Britney Spears has just made a huge comeback. The Twilight movies are angering and pleasing people all around the world. Randy Orton and HHH are feuding for the WWE Championship. And “TNA iMPACT!” the video game is released in North America for the PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360. Honestly, all of those things I stated are on par with each other right?…Right?
TNA’s step into the digital realm was made possible by Midway Studios Los Angeles. With years of WWE games on the market and a lackluster AAA game from Mexico, this game was surely a breath of fresh air. The questions we’re going to be looking at today are:
- If the game brought enough uniqueness to the table for competition
- What it gave us for our money
- Is it a game that you can revisit and still enjoy?
Looking at the lay of the land for this time period, WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2008 has been out for a year, and we were a month away from the release SmackDown vs RAW 2009. TNA introduced a new look to their game that hadn’t been seen before. The crew over at Midway used their resources to scan the entire roster from head to toe to try and recreate that realistic look that was seen on TV. Just by a glance, they nailed this down perfectly. Everything from their faces to their skin looked crisp. Their sweat and dirty look of the ring mat was nailed to the T. There are superstars in this game that look so realistic, that not even a PS4 wrestling game from 2019 can top their textures.
But who’s available for this roster?
The Roster includes some of the best names from TNA at this time.
- Abyss (Unlockable)
- AJ Styles
- Alex Shelley
- Booker T
- Brother Devon
- Brother Ray (Unlockable)
- Chris Sabin
- Christian Cage
- Christopher Daniels
- Curry Man (DLC)
- Don West (Unlockable)
- Eric Young (Unlockable)
- James Storm
- Jay Lethal
- Jeff Jarrett (Unlockable)
- Kevin Nash (Unlockable)
- Kurt Angle
- Mike Tenay (DLC)
- Petey Williams (DLC)
- Robert Roode
- Samoa Joe
- Scott Steiner
- Senshi (Unlockable)
- Shark Boy
- Sonjay Dutt (Unlockable)
- Tomko (Unlockable)
The team at Midway looked to bring new game modes to the table that were unique. The biggest selling point in this game that they pushed was the Ultimate X match. In this high wire match, you have to try and maneuver your way from one corner of the ring, drag yourself across the wire, and retrieve the X in the middle through a mini-game. This can be played as a single or multi-person match. This game mode is honestly so much fun with a friend as you race to the X and try to take off the wires any way that you can.
Besides that game mode, the game had your standard tag team, singles, and multi-man matches. The PSP version included the Full Metal Mayhem and Super X Cup tournament match options. Yes, different systems had exclusive matches and roster members. The PSP and PS2 included classic attires for AJ Styles and Chris Sabin from around the year 2006. As well as including Consequences Creed(Xavier Woods) and Petey Williams from the start. With a roster that was fairly fleshed out, what did this game bring to the table gameplay-wise? The meat and potatoes as they say.
Well, there isn’t a lot there, to be honest. The movesets in this game are pretty universal with every person based on what class they are. For example, high flyers all do similar flippy moves while heavyweights vary depending on size. But they are all pretty similar when all is said and done.
The animations in this game are done to perfection and the finishers look as realistic and smooth as they can get. If you’re looking for a wrestling simulation, this isn’t it. If you are looking for over-the-top sells for moves with an arcade feel then this is the game. This spills over into the create a superstar(only available on PS3 & Xbox 360). You are quite limited with who you can create and it is here where you see how limited the moves are. If you’re going to play as anyone, play as AJ Styles or any of the X Division.
The story is probably one of the most unique stories in a wrestling video game. You are Suicide. The most popular World Champion in TNA. Until one day you are brutally beaten down by LAX, sending you to Mexico with no memory, a new look, and a new journey back to TNA. This storyline has a lot of comedy and twists and turns as you fight your way through armories on the indies back to Orlando. It surely is a story mode that you need to play and the awesome guys over at newLEGACYinc have one of my favorite playthroughs of this mode. WATCH HERE!
OVERALL: 6/10 This game is my guilty pleasure. There was enough meat on the bones to keep you entertained, especially with friends. But there was a lot of room for improvement that they were planning before Midway was purchased by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. With the influx of mobile releases of this game, and many other TNA games, this is our only console release. The AI sometimes goes insano mode on you during the story mode and is quite unforgiving. Luckily, you soon learn the best way to go about winning matches, but it is a tough time for the first playthrough.
This game was re-released under Time Warner on the Nintendo DS and PSP. It included an updated roster, such as taking Christian Cage out of the game after he left. I enjoy this game so much to this day. It’s an easy to play game that can be enjoyed by everyone. It deserves more credit in my opinion. It gets a 6 out of 10 for me because while the game is above average, there is a lot left to the imagination of what this game could have been.
Do you have a wrestling game suggestion for me to review?
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Or watch me play all of these wrestling games with my buddies over on Twitch: twitch.tv/CFGstreams