Product Type: Midway PS3 games
Newest Review: ... Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarret looking perfect with their graphics. The gam was not a hit though because of the animation and game... more
Time for an IMPACT!
TNA Impact (PS3)
Member Name: shaneo632
TNA Impact (PS3)
Advantages: Nice graphics...
Disadvantages: Shallow and uninspired in almost every way...
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TNA Wrestling have began to establish themselves as the go-to alternative to the dominant WWE brand of "sports entertainment" in recent years. With this comes their attempt to rival WWE's lauded "Smackdown vs Raw" series, with recently released grappler "TNA Impact!".
It must be said that Impact is something of an empty-headed venture when compared to its rival counterpart - there is a severe poverty of wrestlers, game modes and other little nuances here that THQ so excellently capture with each WWE game. That said, the gameplay is a fairly agreeable experience (at least for a while) - the combat is smash-mouth and brutal, although the limited move set will likely find you rather bored after a few hours of play. Although the gameplay engine lacks the technical virtuosity of the Smackdown games, Midway have made a fairly decent attempt to differentiate themselves from their rivals, and it is somewhat admirable, although not always successful.
Some of these misgivings would be forgivable, or at least mitigated slightly if there were more to this rather shallow fighting game. An interview with Midway prior to the game's release revealed that a great abundance of features were removed from the game because they could not be completed in time for the September release date. To this effect, it feels as though Midway have delivered a title that is only half a game, with less than half a dozen different match types. Moreover, Impact is sorely in need of more product testing, because the game is chock full of glitches that undermine some of the game's more riveting features (such as the quality of the fighting animation).
Perhaps the most cardinal sin of Impact is the rather poor attempt at crafting a palatable story mode - ripping a plot from EA's body of work (such as Need for Speed, Def Jam etc), you play "Suicide" (a wrestler recently appearing on TNA episodes in an attempt to tie-in the game), a masked wrestler beaten up and left for dead in Mexico. From here, you must fight your way back up the independent territories to return to TNA. Whilst this has a certain kitschy enjoyment to it, where the game insults is with the accompanying Create-A-Wrestler mode. The customization here is incredibly baseless, offering little in way of choice or innovation, which is rather embarrassing when you consider that Midway managed to achieve this a decade ago with the game "WWF Attitude". In short, the story mode, along with most of the game's other tenets, never inspire you to really immerse yourself in the game, or care in any way about what's going on.
Impact's strongest suit is without doubt its production values - the visuals are impressive and exceedingly photo-realistic, certainly moreso than the Smackdown games. The aural aspect of the game befits the game's arcade style, and so in this sense, the game is certainly austere. Unfortunately, these remarkable aspects are mired by the game's plentiful irritating features.
To be fair, there is some promising groundwork lain for future TNA titles, but considering the game's superficial gameplay and overall lack of depth, TNA Impact is worth no more than a weekend rental, and certainly not paying full price for. The story mode may tide you over for a day or two, and playing with a friend may add another few days to the game's shelf life, but there is little to nothing here that hasn't been perfected elsewhere. Moreover, the online play, as with the Smackdown games, is ruined by cheaters or those who simply attempt the same move over and over again. Horribly dated, with a lack of newer wrestlers and a considerably lack of wrestlers in general, Impact aims low and doesn't miss, but hardly hits either. The visuals are rather dazzling, but beyond this, there is really nothing inside that can compete with the solid foundations of the Smackdown vs Raw titles.
Summary: A failed attempt at something different
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