Recently, Aileen Coe and I went to a conference call with SouthPeak to check out a few of their new games. They had two they wanted to show us: one, Aileen will be able to tell you more about, but the second one is the next Total Nonstop Action game, TNA iMPact Cross The Line for the PSP. I never played the initial TNA iMACT game for consoles, so I was able to go into my hands-on preview fresh.
The main crux of the game isn’t the 25 TNA wrestlers such as Kurt Angle or AJ Styles so much as it is the single player story mode. In this, you take the role of TNA wrestler Suicide, who is ordered to throw his championship match but refuses, which leads to him being beaten to the point where he wakes up in a Tijuana hospital with no memory of who he is or what he does, only knowing that he can win a professional wrestling tournament to be put onto a tournament at an American Air Force Base, with the ultimate goal of making it back to TNA to hold the belt that he once held, despite not knowing so. Don’t ask me why he can’t look at his chest – which says “SUICIDE” – to remember who he is, or how he ended up in Tijuana, or how someone with amnesia can remember how to perform a picture-perfect armbar, because the story serves as a vehicle for the story which goes across multiple countries, and was so successful that the actual TNA decided to put forth the character in its matches.
Gameplay wise, the control scheme seems very similar to the console versions, with a mix of strike and grapple moves being performed in a six-sided ring depending on the attacking wrestler’s position in reference to his opponent. There is also a power modifier in the L button that allows for more powerful strikes, grapples, and for finishers when the Impact! meter is filled up. Health is denoted in a colour code for different body parts, which allows Scott Keith fans to focus on one body part if they want an air of “psychology” to their matches. The game also looks pretty good for a PSP game, with everyone moving smoothly and looking good despite the fact that this was a preview build.
Fans of Total Nonstop Action itself or of the console versions of the first Impact game will be able to play the portable version when it releases in June. We’ll be able to see then if this is a good piece of fanservice for TNA fans, and if they fixed the issues with the console game that turned off both of our reviewers in 2008.