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Expectation were measured when I first decided to take a look at TNA Impact! Wrestling for the Wii, after all is it realistic for a young-buck just come to the show to compete with a title like WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 and a decade of refinement and improvements? Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling has always been #2 behind the WWE, they're late to arrive in the virtual world also, but hopefully they'll be able to show us a few moves that the WWE wrestling titles, just don't know or missed, in the rush to be the first.
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The best parts
The control scheme works well with the moves that have been included; you can just pick up the controller and play an intuitive game that works well and one that can be mastered with practice.
The location damage system works good, allowing you to focus on a body part with submissions, you get style points for varying your moves, and the whole thing works well to keep the action relatively new and energetic.
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The parts that need improvement
TNA Impact! Wrestling comes with 25 wrestling stars to play, but the depicted moves are the same for many of the three types of wrestlers; grapplers, brawlers or high-fliers. They all use the same DDTs, chin-breakers, and suplexes, applied the same way in the scenes, which means there is very little difference between playing Sting or Kurt Angle. What happened to the character specific moves that we have come to expect and love from each individual wrestler?
One usual thing about this title, I was unable to grapple another wrestler from behind, which was frustrating and made the game feel unfinished.
TNA Impact! Wrestling doesn't have a create-a-wrestler interface, so making your own character and developing him into a champion isn't possible with this title.
The Wii motion sensing ability hasn't been successfully implemented in a sports game for my money, yet, and the same can be said about this game, the controls just don't feel natural or intuitive and the scheme still needs development.
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The game graphics
The over all presentation of the game graphics is okay, nothing spectacular, but the wrestler animation are pretty good with the ones they did are smooth and transitioning well, they just didn't do individual animation for all the wrestlers.
The environmental details are good, the six-sided ring looks pretty good and it's easy to interact and move around the environments provided.
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Sounds in the game
The sound track isn't spectacular, certainly it tried to provide energy at the appropriate times and slow down when the action was a little less tense, but overall the track seemed disjointed and could have used a little more coordination with the action.
The cut scenes provided were only average, the voice acting was appropriately over the top as we have become use to from the wrestlers in the TNA Impact! Wrestling world, but often I found myself laughing at the language used and the voice acting depicted.
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The story line
The story mode puts you in the part of a new wrestler called Suicide, a wrestler who has shot to the top of the TNA world, taking down all the tough guys on his way. When he refuses to take a dive he is attacked and left in a bloody mess by his fellow wrestlers, who want him to play ball the way they say the game is to be played. You begin the game after these events have already transpired, back in costume and with all the moves and techniques you had to earn in the other modes. During this mode, instead of earning moves, you'll unlock the fictional characters meant to pad the roster of wrestlers, like Bruiser Bencia and Demonic DJ. All the matches are kind of boring and basic though, as you wrestle against uninteresting club fighters, none of the big name faces were use to.
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The bottom line
TNA Impact! Wrestling isn't going to be the successor to "Fire Pro Wrestling" or provide WWE wrestling titles with the competition we're hoping for, at least not yet. The developers did a good job making a barebones first title that plays good and is fun and entertaining, yet it's obvious this game was rushed to production. TNA Impact! Wrestling lacks depth in almost all aspects of design, if gamers take to the series they might even get time to put a few more pounds of muscle on the next TNA Impact! Wrestling title, and make it more of a contender for the title of best Wii wrestling title.