TNA iMPACT! Review
- Posted September 18th, 2008 at 07:53 EDT by
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TNA iMPACT! is a wasted opportunity in almost every conceivable manner.
- Great visuals
- Reversal system is fun initially
- Limited moves list
- Lack of diversity between players
- Very poor AI
TNA iMPACT! came running out of the gate swinging in early February of this year when Kurt Angle, who happens to be one of TNA’s biggest superstars, was quoted saying, “It's a no brainer. We're going to win the war definitely (against THQ’s upcoming title).” It’s been seven months since the claim was made and with the release of iMPACT!, it’s time to see whether or not Angle’s predictions ring true.
First and foremost, the game comes with a mandatory install of around the 17-minute mark. However, unlike Devil May Cry 4, which is more than worth the wait, TNA ultimately leaves a lot to be desired in almost every conceivable aspect. Kicking things off, wrestling enthusiasts are given the opportunity to take part in exhibition play with nine different modes that include: singles, tag team, Free for All (4-way), submission, Falls Count Anywhere, Falls Count Anywhere tag team and two-on-one handicap matches. Fortunately, outside of the standardized wrestling format, Midway has also included one of TNAs most unique match types -- Ultimate X.
Ultimate X can be played in two varieties, either one-on-one or a deadly 3-way battle for victory. For those of you who are unfamiliar with TNA wrestling, the ring is six-sided and contains six turnbuckles. This match-type involves placing four beams behind the turnbuckles in order to line a rope between each creating an X symbol. There is then a large red X hung from the very middle of this rope that must be untied by either wrestler in order to win the match. Once you’ve made your way to the X hanging above, you’re able to start a mini-game process in which you are required to match up a horizontally moving line to the middle of the meter to make progress. If you make a mistake, your wrestler will lose his grip and have to retry. Unfortunately, this is where TNA iMPACT! both excels and ultimately declines, as the title struggles to offer much in the way of entertainment value beyond this point.
Credit where it’s due, Midway has done an admirable job in implementing pick up and play-style controls in a new-age wrestling title. However, this approach also has its disadvantages. While a game like Smackdown features a robust moves list and a strong lineup of modes to play, TNA is limited to the same repetitive maneuvers due to a decidedly simple control scheme. This leads to a major problem as it causes every wrestler within the game to feel the same. As such, the game’s lack of diversity when it comes to moves combined with the inability to differentiate one combatant from the other leaves this wrestling romp feeling somewhat stale after just four of five bouts.
To further push the envelope of issues, Midway’s Create-A-Wrestler only makes matters worse. While the idea and logic behind creating your own wrestler to progress through a career mode is always a fun and unique way to play, Midway has ultimately gone and botched this component beyond recognition. While users will be given an adequate amount of customisable options to choose from, your wrestler’s repertoire of moves is somewhat limited. Despite the fact you can unlock better moves as you progress through career mode, chances are you’ll have given up on the game by the time you get the chance to do so. Although this doesn’t become an issue at the very start of your career when you’re pitted against other created wrestlers with the same dull moves as your own, once you get into the upper echelon of fighters within the TNA industry, your superstar is going to stand absolutely no chance.
One the few standout moments you’re going to experience when playing iMPACT! is the game’s stunning visual quality, providing fans of the show with authentic digital counterparts of their favorite superstars. On top of this, each superstar has his own entrance style, which is almost ruined completely due to the loading screens you have to endure before the match even begins. Once a match begins, though, you’ll bare witness to the game’s crowning achievement in the form of some meticulously crafted animation work. You’re able to seamlessly transition from one move to another ... (continued on next page)
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- 3:01am EDT - September 18th, 2008
Why read that when you can read my two word review below?
- 3:05am EDT - September 18th, 2008
and what a waste of post it is.
This game was always going to struggle against the smackdown brand - the lack of characters, the years of experience THQ/Yukes has with the wrestling genre. From all the reviews I've seen alongside this one there going to have to do a major overhaul of it if it wants to compete
- 3:05am EDT - September 18th, 2008
DOH Double post
- 3:28am EDT - September 18th, 2008
@ 2 - I agree it is **** and @ 3 - Accclaim Sports who i think Midway bought out was one of the first devs to create the WWE games for the Playstation 1, infact i still have my WWF Warzone and it still works, Im not sure what happened but somehow THQ/Yukes managed to get the rights* from Vince McMahon and WWE to create future Smackdon Vs games for all consoles, i know ill be picking up the PS3 smackdown vs raw 2009, now if i could find a roster set for it.
*Infact i think after Midway aquired the rights of Acclaim Sports they lost the deal and was given to THQ/Yukes.
- 4:44am EDT - September 18th, 2008
THQ and Yukes made some of the best wrestling games when they made the old WCW vs NWO games on the N64. they got the licence for the WWE games with the original "smackdown" game and have went on in leaps and bounds since.
as #3 said, the first iteration of TNA was alwasy going to struggle until it finds it's own identity and it'll need a push from the devs and the producers to ensure that it continues and can deliver a better experience...from the looks of it, it's not worth the money yet...
- 6:24am EDT - September 18th, 2008
Didn't look good anyway.
- 11:32am EDT - September 18th, 2008
the TNA iMPACT! game KICKS ASS- and future versions only going to get better!
to any haters- don't even waste your time commenting if it sucks.
- 12:19pm EDT - September 18th, 2008
smackdown vs. raw is the same game every year. somebody needs to tell them that we have next gen consoles now because their still making them with the last gen technology.
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