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Midway TNA iMPACT video game media launch (part 2)
Saturday, August 9th 2008

You can read part one of this series by clicking here.

Let’s start this off by discussing the much-talked about storyline concept that is in the TNA iMPACT game. Basically we’re treated to a small mini-movie spotlighting the career of a wrestler named Suicide. This includes clips of Suicide battling in the Impact Zone with the voice over guy telling us how great his career is going. Before an upcoming title match, Suicide is confronted by LAX and they say in no uncertain terms that he is to throw the match. Suicide ain't down with that, and is subsequently beaten to a pulp by Homicide and Hernandez. Left for dead on the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, a team of doctors work to rebuild Suicide’s body, and this is where the game’s Create A Wrestler mode comes into play.

Like the best of wrestling’s CAW options, iMPACT gives the player a veritable treasure chest of tools to create a unique wrestler. Body type. Muscle tone. Flesh color. Wrestling style. Clothing. Tattoos. Etc. etc. etc. Each option contains a bunch of other options, such as over 20 different styles of pants (including a kilt if you want to create your own Robbie McAllister). Basically anything you want to do, you can do. After you nail down the look of your wrestler, it’s time to go on to the move-set and here is where things get really interesting. Getting to choose between all of the various moves, including the types of punches and kicks, is pretty cool, all the way up to the finisher. After that is finished, your wrestler gets thrown right back into the storyline mode as he starts his career at the bottom in Mexico and begins a journey that will ultimately end up back in TNA to exact his revenge. There's several twists and turns along the way to flesh out the story even more.

To check out the official trailer giving all the details on the storyline mode, CLICK HERE. They’ve even gone a little viral with a look-or-you’ll-miss-it spot on Impact this week which sent viewers to the Who is Suicide website.

Personally, I thought the storyline mode was pretty interesting, and a whole lot better than a “create-a-wrestler just for the hell of it” mentality that the wrestling games I grew up with had. Back in the day I would have totally marked out if my wrestlers could have had a backstory in the game and not just here’s another guy. I can’t imagine this feature not going over extremely well with younger fans.

Another option I got to see play out for the first time in New Jersey was the Ultimate X match game mode. One of TNA’s better concept matches, Ultimate X is wild to participate in and I was able to play while talking to Midway character artist Mark Lappin. I was relieved to find out that Mark was a wrestling fan going way back and was a huge fan of the original ECW like myself. Mark has worked on many video games over the years, most notably the Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks game, and couldn’t stop talking about how much he enjoyed the TNA project. Playing the Ultimate X match also reinforced one of iMPACT’s biggest strengths to me, and that is how easy it is just to pick up the game. I think the expression, "easy to learn, hard to master" would be accurate, and it reminded me of the first time I played the Wii system. I think there is a lot to say for a game you can just put in and play and not have to buy some sort of handbook just to figure out what’s going on.

It was time to interview some more wrestlers and I made my way towards Samoa Joe. I had talked to Joe about the game back in Orlando during WrestleMania weekend, but was surprised to find out that he and AJ Styles had been involved with this game from literally day one as Midway’s team approached both of them before production to pick their brains on what they would like to see in the game. Joe and I talked about possible future editions of iMPACT and what he would like to see in it. “Six Sides of Steel,” said Joe, and I couldn’t agree more. And thank God Midway went to Joe and AJ instead of Vince Russo, or we’d be seeing the first video game reverse battle royal.

Favorite game of all time: Street Fighter II (SNES).

I was excited to sit down with Christian Cage, as I have been a fan of his ever since I watched his debut as part of the Brood in WWE. I talked to Cage about his burgeoning movie career and I found out his first feature, Dark Rising, is available at Amazon.ca. Don’t worry, they ship to America. Here’s the trailer if you’re interested and, as a fan of B-movies, it looks like a lot of fun. Christian and I also have something in common; he’s from Canada, I spent the majority of my life in New Hampshire, and we both ended up moving to Florida. I asked Christian how he handled his first summer in Florida, which is basically as close as a human can get to being on the surface of the sun. Cage and I also discussed his TNA DVD The Instant Classic, specifically the five star bonus feature in which Christian gives a tour of his house. Cage said that the tour of his house is what he is asked about most from people who see the DVD, as it should be. It’s actually worth going out of your way to check out.

Favorite game of all time: EA’s NHL (Sega Genesis).

We’ll wrap this one up for now with a couple quick bits. AJ Styles' favorite game? Street Fighter II (SNES). Jay Lethal? THQ’s No Mercy. One of my favorite background features in the game are all the TNA PPV posters, and I remember back in Orlando that the game designers were rushing to take out one of the posters (“Genesis”) that had Jeff Hardy on it. I have to imagine that one of the necessary evils of wrestling video games, especially TNA, is that you can’t keep up with the actual company, which leads to things like Tomko being a spotlighted character in the game, but out of the company. The counter side of that is the great online option which will allow people to download characters, which will really help things if someone new, say Consequences Creed, catches fire. No word if we'll be able to download "Fire Russo," chants, but imagine the money Midway could make off that. Don West will be one of the unlockable characters in the game, which is a nice treat for long time fans. Release date is scheduled for a September, 9th release.

Midway's TNA iMPACT site
Official TNA Wrestling site
Where you can BUY THE GAME (including the special offers)
Bill Banks' announces Team 3D as playable characters!
A whole slew of great TNA iMPACT videos

Special Thanks to C&R's Mike Roe for his invaluable help with this article.

Derek Burgan has been reviewing wrestling DVDs, comics, books, and other miscellaneous crap for the Observer/F4Wonline Empire since October 2005. He also writes the world famous Wrestling Enjoyment Index, the Gimmick Table, Drawing Heat and is a contributing writer for Number1Contender.net. He even has a MySpace page! He can be reached at: Derek@gumgod.com

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).