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A little T' N' A'

Posted on Wednesday, October 17 @ 21:42:21 Eastern by Chris_Andrien
When Duke asked me to go to Atlanta to cover a TNA event my first thought was “Sure, what red blooded man doesn't love him some t'n'a?” As my mind raced, trying to come up with ways to sell the wife on covering a porno event, Duke went on to say something about wrestling. Ohhhhhhhhhhh, TNA wrestling. In that case ... sure, why not?

Well, I got back Monday but just finished recovering from a weekend of hardcore ... uh, reporting. In fact, I haven't engaged in this much ... uh, reporting since college, and I mean the first go 'round, when I flunked out. In fact, had I known being a journalist would involve so much ... uh, reporting I would have wanted to be one when I grew up. As it is, I'll have to make due with occasional press junkets to Atlanta for wrestling pay-per-views.
 
Being a cynic it would be easy for me to say that Midway flying a bunch or reporters to Atlanta to preview TNA iMPACT was an attempt to curry favor with said reporters, and that the company would have been better served spending their resources on the game itself. However, from all available evidence it would appear that Midway has, in fact, focused their energies on delivering a quality game. Let's put it this way, their stated goal of creating “the best wrestling game ever” went from eye roll right-inducing (there's that cynical thing again) Friday night at the hotel ... uh reporting center to me thinking “Oh, they were being serious” when I was actually allowed to put my hands on the sticks Saturday night.
 
What we were shown was an early build (okay real early: the game isn't due until Spring '08) but what was there looked potentially – as TNA star A.J. Styles would say – phenomenal. The game featured a nice responsiveness from the buttons to the screen, realistic character models (it looks REAL good on the 360), and crisp game play. Even at this early stage I was able to spend a couple of hours engaged in combat with various other reporters, and even a couple of the wrestlers, and it never got boring. The game, while true to its wrestling roots, has a nice fighting game aesthetic that makes it accessible for non-wrestling fans. Really though, that's just a fancy way of saying you'll be able to have a blast playing it with your boys, beating the shit out of each other, talking trash, etc. even if you have never watched a minute or pro wrestling in your life. 
 
However, due to the nature of this being such an early build, there are more questions about what the game WILL be as there are answers based on what it is. In talking to the people at Midway and the game developers, I was assured that the finished product would have all the the bells and whistles we expect from wrestling games (gimmick matches, build a wrestler, career mode, etc.) and fewer of the flaws (not all the wrestlers will have the same move set – usually the Achilles heel of wrestling games). The proof will be in the final product, obviously, but if the things we were being told the license is in good hands
 
Maybe I'm just drinking the Kool-Aid (okay, so it wasn't Kool-Aid) but TNA iMPACT game could be a spring board for the TNA wrestling promotion, which is sorely in need of something to widen their audience base. As gamers, we all know the power of a good title and it's cross promotion power and – though it's early – TNA iMPACT could potentially provide that sort of boost to TNA Wrestling, and I'm not just saying that because Midway knows how to show a guy a good time (though they do – thanks guys!), I promise.


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