Thursday, June 1, 2017

TNA Impact (Playstation 2, 2008)

Today I'm going to take a look at Impact Wrestling's one console game. It really surprises me that this game hasn't gotten any kind of follow-up in the six years since. The sales weren't terrible and while it got bad reviews, that has never stopped game companies from releasing follow-ups before. Besides, they could make more of these on the cheap by just copying and pasting all of the assets like game engine and crowd graphics and so forth. In any case, I don't know what to expect from this game, so let's jump in. NOTE: Now with video footage added in.

This is one of those games that I always see on store shelves for like $8 and have always been curious about, but never enough to actually buy it. Maybe if the cover of the game were a little more exciting...

...YEAH! The European version of the game is IN YO FACE! I like how AJ Styles and Samoa Joe are giving the cameraman a beatdown while Kurt Angle cheers them on.

"Do you have what it takes to evolve to the next generation of TNA superstars?"

...that's weird phrasing. "Do you have what it takes to become a TNA superstar" might have been better. This phrasing reminds me of those Kiducation clothing donation boxes that say "Turning clothes into new kids through education" on the side. What the hell does that even mean?

From playing a lot of wrestling games earlier this week, I'm now hip to how their difficulty levels work. They don't have your standard Easy/Normal/Hard, they have wrestling terminology representing those tiers. This one has Backyard/Indie/Pro.

AJ Styles is front-and-center as the top character on the select screen. There are a TON of locked characters (probably around 50% of the overall total) and I presume they contain guys like Jeff Jarrett and Abyss who are missing from the available selections at the start.

This game has Christian Cage, the TNA persona of Christian who was a top-tier, world title level wrestler. I kinda wish WWE had kept him at that level when he went back, but ah well.

Notably absent are personae who came along later, like Bully Ray and his Twittahmachine.

And Brittany, seen here being a goddess. This is why we need a post-2008 update! Get on it, TNA!

More selectable wrestlers include "Stone Cold" Shark Boy and "Booty Pump" Scott Steiner.


Yes, we know, thank you sir.

Also notably absent is Rebel, seen here being a goddess as well.

Now we know why 50 Cent wanted to go to the candy shop so much: Rebel's hips.

Oh myyyyy

Okay, I'll stop now.

So uh...anyway, there are a bunch of selectable arenas for exhibition matches, but at this point only the Impact Zone is unlocked. As much as I despise that place, it has become somewhat iconic, and it's actually cooler than I thought it'd be to see it in a game. I'm curious as to what the other unlockable arenas are.

We get the sexiest loading screens ever in this game. Redheads are the breast.

Speaking of the best, I choose "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels because he's one of the best wrestlers on the planet. I can finally make the Daniels/Sting match that I've always wanted to see happen. Unfortunately, all of these things apply only to exhibition matches, and thus you aren't really fighting for anything. My kingdom for a story mode!

Actually, I'm going to go with Daniels Vs. Steiner. Just because.

The Impact Zone is faithfully recreated, though this is Impact Zone 1.0 and doesn't look like the later, bigger revision.

This is the TNA version of Scott Steiner, who for whatever reason was far more athletic than he was in WWE.

The game is easier to control than most of the other wrestling games that I've played lately, with commands snapping off crisply and responsively. Unfortunately, the game isn't very good otherwise.

For one thing, if you attack while a character is doing an animation for a move, your attacks have no effect. That's a big issue. Still, my expectations are so low for wrestling games at this point that this one seems passable to me. If you're a big fan of the company it's worth checking out.

Time for the meat of the game: Story Mode, which for some inexplicable reason doesn't have a character select. Nope, this is a full-on story, and it involves a wrestler who they created specifically for this game: Suicide (now TJ Perkins in WWE). In addition to having the most ill-advised wrestling name ever, Suicide is a masked superhero. He's also evidently the TNA World Champion. That never happened. Regardless, it seems fair to say that story mode will be me defending the belt against all comers, right?

NOPE. As soon as he wins the title, he gets beaten down by Homicide and Hernandez (two wrestlers known for being ruthless) and left for dead somewhere.

He wakes up in a Tijuana clinic with his face demolished beyond recognition and no memory of who he is. Is he going to start a Vicodin business with the pills he gets from these surgeons? There's a reason Tijuana is the happiest place on Earth.

After getting his face reconstructed by surgeons (which turns him into your Create-a-Wrestler in the PS3 version...not sure if it does here or if it just defaulted to Suicide since I didn't create a character), our hero sets out. First, he does what comes naturally and starts wrestling for backyard federations in Mexico. Which have six-sided rings for some reason, and lots of chickens in the audience. No, literally, there's a flock of chickens in the stands somewhere. In theory, the company could make a little extra scratch by selling their eggs. Finally, TNA is letting their fans bring in some revenue!

SLAM! Bruiser Bencia doesn't have a chance! Though I'm very distracted by the ring ropes, which are an odd mix of green, green, red. I'm all for green ring ropes and wish a company would use them in reality, but...why the one red rope?

Editor's Note: I've been told that TNA actually did use this rope configuration for a little while in the mid-2000s. It's different, at least.

A stiff kick to the neussen! Take that!

In any case, it looks like Story Mode involves Suicide (or as he is known in Mexico, "El Suicida") fighting his way up through the ranks to somehow end up back in TNA and regain the world title, even though he has amnesia. By God his heart tells him what he must do!

Just bizarre. Though I gotta admit that Suicide is actually pretty badass to play as and has a sweet combination of lucha and power moves. I still wish the game just had a regular story mode with a character select, mainly because it's such a rare chance to play as these guys.

Time to look at the Playstation 3 version a little. This one has a number of additions, like character profiles on the select screen.

Christian Cage. Captain Charisma. Lord of the Peeps.

The graphics are a bit better in this one. See below for some in-action video.

Shark Boy (who evidently got super buff in this game) dishes out a vicious dropkick! The Impact Zone is going crazy!

Sting Vs. Jeff Jarrett in The Marquee Match For Everyone Non-WWE After 1999!

Motor City Machineguns! Whoa, this game really was a while ago. Letting Alex Shelley go was one of the company's worse mistakes. Sabin was never quite as cool after that and they eventually let HIM go too.

There's Bubba Ray Dudley. Their team is a thing in this game since Bubba had yet to break out on his own as fearsome jerk-extraordinaire Bully Ray.

Weird thing about this tandem is that Devon is playable from the get-go while Bubba is unlocked. Odd.

Kevin Nash, seen here in Father Time form. Hopefully he has multiple outfits besides "Outfit I Wear To Meet With The Principal".

 There are also DLC characters for the game. One is Petey Williams, seen here in Little Petey Pump form. He has the craziest finisher in wrestling history, pretty much. The other DLC character that I know of? Curry Man. There's nowhere else on the planet to get Playable Curry Man Action.


There's also a cellphone version of this game. Let's take a quick look at that one.

::throws up a little::

At least this one has life meters, but this... this is too much.

Well, it looks like Rob Van Dam finally aged.

This was the actual reaction of the wrestlers when the cell-phone version was unveiled.

Back to the PS3 version, here's footage of me playing the game:

It's pretty cool, but I'm not too great at it. Behold Generalissimo Slim Fantastico!

Other Wrestling Games

WCW/NWO Revenge


  1. Fitting that even the game presentation is more exciting for TNA in Europe. Their continental popularity split is so interesting.

    "Turning clothes into new kids through education" made me literally LOL.

    Looks like the ropes in this surreal story mode are supposed to be red, white, and green like the Mexican flag, but covered in dirt so not as bright as the official hues. If Story Mode were as Curry Man, though...

    1. Yeah, it really is. Europe loves them some Impact Wrestling.

      I'll see if those Kiducation boxes still exist, and if so maybe I can take a picture of that nonsensical line. There were a few of them parked outside a mall in my hometown for a very long time.

      I hope TNA Bound For Glory in October has white, red, white for the ropes, since it'll be in Tokyo. Doubt they'll think of that, though.

  2. So.... Manik was created for this game, then became real later?

    DLC CURRY MAN? ................................................................That's just EVIL, why would they lock the best one out behind a money wall...