To say that a wrestling company can get a video game made after only 5 1/2 years of existence is truly remarkable. When I first heard that TNA was getting a video game made for them by the same company that brought us Mortal Kombat, I was stoked. For those who don’t know what TNA is, it stands for Total Nonstop Action and at the time was considered to be the 2nd largest wrestling company in America behind WWE. The game itself is pretty amusing and exhibition mode is really good with the standard singles and tag matches. They also have some special matches such as the cage match, tables match, and the Ultimate X Match.
In the campaign, you play as a wrestler by the name of Suicide, who is TNA’s biggest superstar. He gets attacked by Jeff Jarret and the Latin American Exchange (LAX), where he is beaten to a bloody pulp and left in the middle of Tijuana , and you were so badly beaten up that Mexican plastic surgeons reconstruct your face and you work your way back up to the main event status. The game is decent. I do cut them some slack, especially since it is their very first video game. The things that I enjoy about this game are the arena’s you wrestle in, at the beginning of the game, have the atmosphere of the Independent circuit. The characters looked amazing since Midway was able to get everyone on the roster to do all the voice overs, scan their faces, and let them do some of there wrestling moves to make this game look as realistic as possible. There are also several combo moves for each wrestler.
There were several of things that I didn’t like about this game. Some things you will notice only if you are a wrestling fan and watch the show. First, before they do the entrances to the ring, they say that the Impact Zone is the loudest building in wrestling, yet at the time they had a maximum seating of 900 people. Second, some of the wrestlers you unlock as playable characters were released from their contracts while the game was still in production, like Senshi, who was released almost 5 months prior to the game’s release. Now as far the what a non-fan would notice, I had a problem with pinning my opponent, since they made the pin button the same as when you wanted to get out of the ring. In other words, when you pushed the ‘Y’ button and you were meaning to make a pin fall, you would often roll out of the ring. Another problem is once you beat the storyline with Suicide, that’s it, it’s game over. There aren’t any other storylines with any of the other wrestlers.
I would recommend this game to only wrestling fans and even that is a stretch. I beat the game after it came out on the Playstation 2 and now own it for the Xbox 360. It’s sad because I had hoped they would learn from their mistakes and create a TNA Impact! 2, but that really never happened. While in production Midway went out of business and was purchased by Time Warner Interactive Entertainment, but the license to TNA was not included in the sell. SouthPeek Games, the developers of Two Worlds and Section 8, did acquire the rights and released TNA Impact!” Cross The Line on PSP and DS, but it was just a mobile port of the same game.