|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Midway Studios Los Angeles||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Midway Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 9, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There is also a noticeable lack of match types. Aside from career mode, you have the standard one-on-one, Tag, Free For All four-way bouts, Submission, Falls Count Anywhere, and FCA Tag, Handicap, and TNAs own Ultimate X and Ulitimate X Free For All. Ultimate X matches require you to be the first to climb along a rope that hangs above the ring and retrieve the hanging X. It is reminiscent of a WWE Ladder Match in which you have to retrieve a hanging belt from above the ring.
The create-a-player is also disappointing. When starting a career mode, you will have the opportunity to create your own player for the starring role. The protagonist in the story is a wrestler by the name of Suicide, who, in the opening stages, is beaten until unrecognizable by team LAX. With his face in bandages and no recollection of his past, you are then given the task of creating Suicide to look however you wish. Whereas one of the most fun elements of any SDvR was the ability to create in-depth character models and personalize everything from their ring entrance to a complete moves list, TNAs create-a-player is extremely limited. Suicide will have to keep the same height and weight, though you can change his skin tone, hairstyles, clothing, masks, tattoos, and even choose the type of wrestler you want him to be. However, you cant customize his moves at all, and you wont be able to save more than five created characters at any given time from the main menu. This is definitely something developers will have to improve in the future.
The game also has framerate issues, especially with multiple people in and around the ring. It is especially frustrating when playing a tag team match, as four characters executing different moves causes some shuttering and players move in slow motion. In other exhibition matches, I noticed my opponent trying to climb the ropes then start floating in mid-air as he shutters and flickers about in moments of extreme glitchy-ness. Framerate issues are evident in almost any match-up, though the ones with the most onscreen activity tend to be the worst. You may notice players gliding through each other and your fists swinging directly through your opponent as he picks himself up off the canvas. Issues such as these should have been worked out before the games release.
TNA iMPACT! isnt a bad game, but it does need a lot of work to reach the top in a gaming genre dominated by WWE for far too long. What it does is offer an alternative for wrestling fans who miss the variety that used to exist. Its long overdue that another promotion has gained enough popularity to earn its own video game, and I hope enough people support this one to garner sequels in the years to come. TNA iMPACT! can only improve as it makes a decent outing thats certainly not without its flaws.
CCC Freelance Writer