Hands-On Game Preview: TNA Impact! Cross the Line (PSP)

by Bill Jones on January 12, 2010 · 5 comments

in Nintendo DS, PSP, SouthPeak, TNA Wrestling, Video Game Previews

Just as World Wrestling Entertainment is finally getting a Monday Night challenge from Total Nonstop Action in the ring, the company got a challenge in the video game realm last year in the form of Midway’s TNA Impact! WWE’s Smackdown (vs Raw) series has long been the staple of wrestling video games, but many newcomers find its ever-complicated control scheme to be difficult to pick up and play. Enter Midway, with a title that was wrestling simplified, with both good and bad results.

tnaimpact_crossthelineReleased for Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and 3, and Nintendo Wii, TNA Impact’s graphics were solid enough, and its story was a different take on the usual wrestling arc – with a famed superstar getting mangled beyond belief, then working his way up through the ranks once again. Using the wrestling game classic No Mercy as a model (to a degree) TNA Impact! simplified controls for a more streamlined approach to in-ring competition. TNA Impact! even had a few lessons to teach the Smackdown series. But the commentary was terrible, and the real killer was the move set, in which many wrestlers shared a limited collection of moves, making them all feel the same, and matches unfolded nearly the same way every time. A few out of the ring cheap shots, roll back in for the pin, and it guaranteed victory over everyone but Jeff Jarrett, who fought like some kind of superhero.

Despite its flaws, competition is always a good thing, and TNA Impact! delivered some new ideas that would hopefully be expanded on it future iterations. Midway was working on a PSP port of the game, but that seemingly disappeared in the wake of Midway’s financial collapse.

Enter SouthPeak Games. The publisher acquired the rights to the franchise, and it setting out to published the PSP version of the game, titled TNA Impact! Cross the Line, this spring. Apparently the game was finished by Midway when it was acquired by SouthPeak, though, so fans can expect almost an identical game to its original iteration – the good and the bad – though it all seems more impressive as a handheld title.

SouthPeak sponsored a trip for us to come out to Orlando, Florida on Jan. 4 (also the day TNA Impact! went live on Spike TV) to check out TNA Impact! Cross the Line. From our hands-on time with the game, the menu screens, moves, character models and even the story mode are all nearly identical to the original release. I started story mode to find that, yes, once again I had been disfigured and was going to have to relaunch my career by fighting in some dirty ring against no-name combatants down in Mexico. SouthPeak VP of marketing Richard Iggo insists the AI of the chickens in Mexico have been improved, but this claim has not been verified.

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What we can verify is that the game plays just like the console version. This is impressive in the fact that it looks good as a PlayStation Portable game, so anyone who liked the original will be able to pick up what seems to be a faithful adaptation of the game and play it on the go. The in-ring motions are fluid, though still just as redundant, and the game looks almost as good as it did on console. Players will find no character creation mode in this iteration, though, but they do bring that awesome commentary to the portable world – if by awesome I mean bad. Still, there’s a lot packed into this for a handheld release, and though it’s more of the same it’s likely to impress a bit more on handheld than it did on Xbox.

The combat is carried out identically to the original, with the face buttons initiating grapples and strikes, the analog controlling the characters’ movement, with the shoulders taking care of reversals and blocks. Players fill the “Impact!” meter to acquire a finisher, while a health meter depletes from taking move, and ultimately hitting the circle button fast to fill a bar to kick out of pins. And the 25-character roster is the same one in place when Midway was working on the port, so don’t except the return of Hulk Hogan to be part of SouthPeak’s handheld release, this one at least.

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But it’s not all old news with Cross the Line. The portable version features three new modes – Full Metal Mayhem, the Super X Cup and Gauntlet. Full Metal Mayhem, by TNA rules, is an “anything metal goes” sort of match, so Cross the Line litters the outside of the ring with metal objects to pick up and use to abuse the opponent. Super X cup is a tournament mode, and Gauntlet lets the player take on the TNA Impact roster in succession. The game also utilizes the PSP’s ad-hoc capabilities for one-on-one multiplayer matches.

SouthPeak also has a TNA Impact! game in the works for Nintendo DS, according to Iggo, but only the PSP version was shown in Orlando and the publisher was coy about details about the DS. The DS version is being built from scratch and will be a completely different game, Iggo confirmed. But until more details on that emerge, TNA fans can expect more of the same from TNA Impact! Cross the Line, only on the go. The timing is definitely right to bring back the series with TNA’s television happenings, and if the price is too, TNA newcomers and old fans alike may embrace the chance to get in the six-sided ring and kick a little ass in a portable format.

Buy TNA Impact! Cross the Line on PSP:

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  • CHRISTIAN DANIELS

    TELL US THE ENTIRE ROSTER THE REAL ROSTER FOR TNA IMPACT CROSS THE LINE VIDEO GAME.

  • Connor

    TNA Impact the video game sucks, Thats why I was leaving those suggestions in my previous comments, The new TNA Impact game should be Called TNA Impact 2011 since 2011 is almost here or make it a 2010. SouthPeak just make a new one that’s good and make for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Psp,Ds but make it quick cause I’m very disapointed about how tna impact came out

  • Connor

    Also tna impact should include blood, and needs more matches and play at ever stadium like bound for glory, slammiversary, lockdown, sacrfice, victory road, hard justice , no surrender, genisis, against all odds, Destination X, Turning Point, Final Resolution, Impact Zone in Orlando. instead of Arenas Like Japan, Mexico,Vegas, Freedom Center.Also there should be knockouts in the game and a referee and better Commentary when I said better commentary I meen they need to say new lines instead of the same ones over again. Also more matches like Falls Count Anywhere where you fight anywhere in the arena. Also in lethal lockdown matches they should make it so you
    can climb to the top and fight on the ceiling of the lethal lockdown cage like they do in real life lethal lockdowns and when you get up there there should be weapons up there like a ladder and a table up there so you can set up a ladder and a table and jump off the ladder onto the opponet through the table, and be able to throw your opponet of the cage, there should also be steel asylum match. And more moves and every wrestler should be able to do ever finisher, on tna impact they only let you do one finisher, you should be able to do all of those wrestlers finishers, like Say that your fighting and you can do your signature move then after you did your signature move your bar will go up and do your finisher, for example AJ Styles: Signature 450 Splash, Finisher Styles Clash. Jeff Hardy: Signatures Twist of Fate, Whisper in the Wind, and finisher Swanton Bomb. RVD: Signature, Roll of Thunder, Finisher Frog Splash

  • Connor

    You guys made the same version of tna impact when you could of made a new one with More Matches like lethal lockdown, steel ayslum, king of the mountain, Ladder Match, Steel Cage, and more. Instead of arenas likes Japan, Mexico, Orlando why not put Arenas like bound for glory, slammiversary, lockdown,sacrfice, and more. Also need more weapons then just a steel chair. Also you should be able to put championships on the line. Also add the new roster, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, RVD, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Sting,ect. Also The Group EV2 (Hard Core Originals) Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, Sandman, Mick Foley, ect. Also playable Characters hulk hogan and Ric Flair.Also for story mode do something like smackdown vs raw did. They did road to wresltemania and they had five different wrestlers to chose from. Tna should have story modes like that but call it The Road to Bound For Glory. And the playable characters for this story mode could be Jeff Hardy, RVD, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, and have a tag team story line with the motor city machine guns. Their are alot of other changes to make. And call the game TNA Impact 2011, since 2011 is almost here in a couple of months Also there should be playable knockouts.

  • cedric rakestraw

    the game need to be more faster an better graphis a better story line have all the tna stars on the game have more type of matchs be able make your on wrestler an can take in to story mode makes the moves better more blood make own entrance pyro make your own music for your superstar have all kind outfits for your wresting he kind used all kind of weapons the have acess into crowd to fight can also go backstage to fight have old legends like subu jerrylynn steiner brothers nasty boys micky foley scott hall 6pac as a surprise an d the crowd react to whats going on the show an going backstage to see whats go on now this is a game rvd need be on the front cover jeff hardy an aj styles all so

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