Posted on: September 27, 2008 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

It has been quite a few years since there has been a challenger to the WWE series of games on the current generation of video game consoles. Midway and TNA wrestling have stepped up to create a contender that goes beyond the Backyard Wrestling and the Fire Pro Wrestling series, and in many ways, TNA Impact surpasses the Smackdown Vs. Raw series. The cast of characters – aside from some veterans such as Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, and Sting – is all new. Viewers of the TNA Impact show will have the possibility to play their favorite characters, whether it be the tag team of LAX (Homicide and Hernandez), Shark Boy, Senshi, or James Storm.

The number of different match styles are legion, whether it be the traditional one on one or tag team match. Some of TNA’s specialty matches, such as submission, falls count anywhere, and fatal four way matches are present. While some other match types didn’t make the final cut, the additional functionality and graphical quality are the two things that more than make up for these minor omissions. The graphics – whether it be AJ Styles’ chest hair or the freckles on Christian Cage – are stunning, even after the wrestlers’ entrances end and the match begins. As is the case with most current-gen wrestling games, TNA Impact has a single-player story mode that has a character build up their fame until that point where the TNA World Title is across their waste.

Unlike the other games, there is an otherworldly set-up to this story: individuals begin as a character that starts out literally as a tabula rasa. The different arenas that one plays in really speak to the “world” aspect of the game, placing players in Japan, Mexico, Las Vegas, and even England. The different set of moves that players can use – keyed in to specific wrestlers – surpasses that of the WWE’s efforts, and in many instances are completely different than what has been seen on the competition’s shows. While there are still some rough spots to be polished out I later iterations of the TNA Impact franchise, I see no reason why sales of TNA Impact 2 (or 3) would not surpass that of the Smackdown Vs. Raw game. TNA Impact has already surpassed that series in terms of graphics and overall game play. If you are a fan of wrestling in the slightest, make it a point to pick up this title.

Rating: 9.0/10

TNA Impact (Playstation 3) / 2008 Midway / / /

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