The pyrotechnics were ready and the six-sided ring of TNA Impact was set up–finally a wrestling game to challenge the stale Smackdown vs. Raw series.

TNA Impact allows you to enjoy a collection of exhibition matches, create a custom wrestler, and play through a story mode. The story mode begins with the background story that you are a successful wrestler named Suicide, and after winning your first championship title are brutally attacked and left for dead. You then awake to discover that you require facial surgery and can’t remember who you are! Yes, this is the most unnecessary story build-up imaginable, but it is this that leads you to create your own superstar and follow the path to stardom and success.

This is a slow and drawn out process. Throughout the story mode you keep facing created jobbers in singles and tag team combinations, only competing against TNA stars every few matches to unlock them for use in exhibition mode. Due to the continuing battles with the jobbers, no rivalries are built up to follow with the game mode until the season is more than 50% complete.

Throughout the story mode, every match you lose is followed merely by a rematch, meaning the story has no way of changing direction based on your created wrestler’s performance. This makes the gameplay even more boring and depressing. The story mode is clearly in the game only as a way to unlock wrestlers and moves to be used in create-a-wrestler. The child-like plot and slow development does not give you a chance to enjoy a full TNA Impact experience.

The create-a-wrestler mode doesn’t help to improve the game. It is exceptionally weak compared to the other wrestling games on the market. The whole mode compares most closely to that of the Legends of Wrestling franchise. The clothing is basic, and can only be changed in color or modified with a handful of decals. The layering of clothing cannot be changed, which takes away from the creating experience. Your selected pants will cover both your knee pads and boots, so there no point in even making those selections.

The move sets available for your created wrestler are minimal and basic until more moves are unlocked, and none of the moves can be previewed. There are 10 entrance ramp introductions to choose from, but again, none can be previewed to match your character’s image. Even then, you have no option for whether your character is a face (good guy) or heel (bad guy), or any adjustable attributes for his in-ring skills.

The most positive aspect of TNA Impact is its exhibition mode. There are nine different modes to choose from, from a standard one-on-one to tag team, falls count anywhere, submissions matches, and of course TNA’s best creation, Ultimate X.

The graphics in TNA Impact are amazing for a wrestling game, and the time and effort taken by Midway clearly show as the TNA wrestlers’ movement, looks and feel are perfect. As the matches play out, the camera angles help to create flow and make things more interesting. From the basic view, the camera adjusts during strong lock-ups to show the moves’ full impact.

The controls are basic easy to pick up, but the issue that this brings is that the move sets are very limited and don’t bring you all of the famous moves seen week-in and week-out on TNA Impact Live.

TNA Impact is designed for the lower age groups and those who are huge fans of TNA’s Ultimate X division. For these groups the game will easily meet the necessary requirements, but for those who seek the total wrestling experience (great storyline, detailed create-a-wrestler mode, etc.), unfortunately those standards won’t be met.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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