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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
TNA: iMPACT!

Jobbing

In the glory days of the Playstation and N64 era, there were many scores of wrestling games, with the Smackdown series taking charge for Sony’s console, yet falling far behind in the eyes of many wrestling fans of Nintendo’s No Mercy title from Aki software. Although it had inferior visual design, with characters looking blocky and very disjointed, yet it contained a control scheme and design that to this day has been revered as the best ever for a wrestling game. Since Aki lost the rights to create wrestling titles, with licensing falling into the hands of THQ, the fan favourite developer has been unable to recreate the magic it so brilliantly created all those years ago. Since that time wrestling games have been dominated from the Smackdown franchise, which has seen yearly releases, with little more than longer loading screen times and a shiny new roster, and the inferior control scheme. It only seems natural that Midway’s TNA:iMPACT wrestling title, which has been noted as containing a control style similar to the now legendary Aki formula, but can Midway and this rapidly growing wrestling franchise manage to get the three count on the opposition, or fall victim to a ring out?

The world heavyweight champion of the world

After going against the norm in the locker room, pro wrestler Suicide becomes the world champion much to the chagrin of the budding no.1 contenders. After the title win Suicide is jumped by two wrestlers and beaten almost to death. After some Tijuana doctors repair his broken body it is his sole purpose to regain his wrestling ability, make it back to the United States, seek vengeance against those who wronged him and regain his world title. To achieve this goal, we must first go through the character creation screen to create our wrestling hero, from a limited amount of options on hand, and the most basic of move sets. As the story progresses, so does the options for the wrestlers moves and options for the character creation screen.


"But I don't want to go to fat camp!"

The story mode is the main focus of TNA and it must be completed in order to unlock not only the full set of move sets, but the whole wrestling roster. As the story progresses, new matches are opened up, such as tag team, ladder, weapon and the TNA exclusive X-match, where two cables lie above the ring and the wrestlers must climb along them to reach the X at the crossing point to claim victory, think of it as a horizontal ladder match, and a welcome addition to the now standard and well established rasslin’ foray of match types.

Hard bumps

If only the actual wrestling element would be as welcome as the new match type. Controls are relatively straight forward, with a punch and kick buttons, grab, block and attack modifier. To open up variations of moves, holding the directional stick in a set direction and pressing any of the buttons performs a different move. For example holding forward and grab opens up a standard slam attack, but holding the directional stick away and grabbing the opponent will whiplash him across the floor. Initially it is a rather cumbersome method for a wrestling game and is more akin to being a fighter, rather than a fighting game; however this is not where the issue with the wrestling aspect lies.


"An unflinching stare, my one true weakness....arrggg"

It is with the criminally short move sets for all the rasslers. Every character has virtually the same wrestling throws, punches and kicks, with only 4 or so different moves for each type of attack. Finishers may remain unique, but when matches are underway and with both the player and the opponent performing the exact same moves, it becomes tiresome and kills any sense of individuality. Sure there are high fliers, brawlers and wrestling types to choose from but the fact remains that the attacks on hand are criminally short. The other main issue comes with the ground attacks, or what I like to call, first guy to fall down loses! Basically slamming the opponent into the ground opens him up to an endless barrage of attacks that can only be broken with the counter system, failing to learn the counter system however means that you can be beaten within a few short and very frustrating minutes.

"Woah, hang on there tiger. A bulbs loose, let me get it"​

Spandex

It is not all doom and gloom though, as visually the game is mostly a visual treat. Using the ever so popular Unreal engine character models are without a doubt some of the best ever seen in a wrestling game. Some of the bigger names will look a little bit out of proportion or just plain wrong, but for the majority of the roster the character models look simply stunning. Sting for one looks about as real as a virtual man can be, with sweat beading down and with bruising and cuts showing as the match goes on Midway have done wonders with the models. Also utilising the Motion Capture technology use for the Mortal Kombat games, the movement for the entrances and wrestling attacks are silky smooth and look just incredible. This probably explains why the move sets are so low, as many of the wrestlers used their talents to personalize the entrances and some of the wrestling animations. Still, they would need to multiply the existing move set by a great deal to add more interest to the proceedings. The environments also look very photorealistic, with buzzing crowds and vivid lighting painting the arena a rainbow of light. Shadows are a bit troublesome however with heavy glitching on the earlier arenas which effectively kill the quite impressive impact the game initially provides.

Entrance music is loud and sharp and the voice acting from the wrestlers themselves is particularly hammy and perfectly fitting for a wrestling event. Sometimes you would swear that it would sound like a real wrestling match from the TV and by throwing the announcers into the mix adds a great deal to the realism. If only it didn’t become so repetitive over time. Smacking another wrestler with a chair however sounds delightfully bone crunchy and satisfying for the most part.


BEEFCAKE!

Kayfabe’s and Heels

On the surface TNA promised so much, but fell way behind expectations which is a real shame as this franchise has potential to provide such a great alternative to the over repeated Smackdown series. Ultimately the repetition, limited offensive moves, and lack of differentiation between characters mean that this game just comes up far too short. Should they take out the controls from Aki’s wrestling engine, and add it to the great visuals and fantastically cheesy story mode TNA could be a real winner. As it is though is a fighting game that just can’t meet expectations and in the end not a completely enjoyable experience. A second game that could address some of these issues would be welcome as there is such potential for this series that goes far beyond an alternative for Smackdown.

Gameplay – 67
Visuals – 87
Audio – 84
Overall – 70


Great potential marred by limitations and a rather hollow experience overall.

Game experience with 360, on Sony Bravia at 1080i over component with 7.2 audio
 

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Curiously Cheddar
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2,077 Posts
Wow snick, you're on a roll.

Too much of a good thing is brilliant :D Keep 'em coming.
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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28,630 Posts
Good review :)
 

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UnCool
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59 Posts
That's some great graphics, what console was the screenshot take from? XBOX 360 was it?
I got the ps2 version and it don't come close.
Oh yeah great review buy the way (damn almost forgot).
 

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Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
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7,828 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yep, those are indeed from the 360/PS3 version of the game.
 

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Registered
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2,982 Posts
this game is good only for action :) the commentary isn't that good unlike wwe games the commentators don't have actual conversation. Nice fighting game though.
 

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Google Moogle
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202 Posts
can anyone provide a memory card for tna impact with all things unlocked? please...
I seriously doubt anyone is going to do that. Real gamers play the game and unlock their own stuffs. But if you're serious about unlocking everything, just play the game instead of bother people with your requests that I'm sure no one really cares about.
 

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Pilgrim
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9,687 Posts
Take it easy man, just point him to gamefaqs or a google search, I'm sure a save file would appear.

There are many reasons why a gamer wouldn't want to spend a bunch of hours trying to get things unlocked, some people don't have the time.
 

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Google Moogle
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202 Posts
Gamer? Are you sick and tired of people talking about video games to your face? Are you mad because you are a gamer yourself and tell people to get a girl, a life. and a job when they just want to talk or play games with you? Do you often tell people you can't play a game with them because *I quote* (I'm busy with something else) even when you're a gamer yourself and you asked them to add you to your contact list because of a game you played with them? Do you get mad when some one beats you in a game and you don't want to play them anymore.

Then I have the perfect solution for you.
Don't play any more damn games!

And also, uhh nope no wrestling for me. Somehow I don't get a kick out of watching men roll on each other, but hey to each their own. Plus the sweat? Bleeeeeeaaaahhh!, with a big pile of vomit on the floor. Sorry, I just don't get a kick out of semi-nude guys nailing each other on the floor.
 

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Hackin 'n Slashin
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28,630 Posts
What it's with you and jumping into threads weeks later with some sort of rude/coarse reply...I suggest you stop it and just let the threads die
 

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Google Moogle
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202 Posts
I'm just trying to be funny about how some of the gamers I meet are. No big deal. Yes it does seem like I'm bashing a game. But many other gamers bash other games too. It just stems from the fact that I'm not a huge brawl around the ring fan. Something sort of pivots me away from any kind of boxing/wrestling/cage match fighting games because fighting is it's only based substance, that's all. I used to not like fighting games period until I played street fighter alpha 2. But the point is I just don't like to see men in tights, unless Zangief is going for a final atomic buster. By the way, good review; it's just that I'm not crazy about WWE, WWF, Smackdown or Raw or Smackdown vs Raw.
 
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