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Midway TNA Impact! World Premiere

I'm down in Atlanta covering the world premiere of Midway's TNA Impact! video game. This is a very cool event focused on what looks to be a very cool game. We've rubbed elbows with TNA wrestlers, played the game against lead designers, drank an awful lot of bourbon, and enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. You might even say it's been "Total Non-stop Action".

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I'm going to follow this up with a post tonight about the actual wrestling match. They got us press passes so we can get right up front and hopefully we'll take some great photos. I've also got some interviews with wrestlers that I'm going to post. I had a great time talking to Samoan Joe. He and I both wrestled in high school and then played judo afterwards. And now I write this blog and he beats the crap out of people in an 18 month undefeated streak.

The game looked very good. The wrestlers worked closely with Midway on facial capture, mocap, and the dynamics of the game. The 6 sided ring is there - they're adding cages, glass, and barbed wire later. The version we saw was about 60% complete so it was a little buggy, ie you could throw guys through fences and stuff. It was really fun to play, not like other wrestling games which have traditionally been a mix of button mashing and really hard to memorize combos. I thought that even at this early stage it had a very good feel to it in terms of how satisfying it was to lay the smackdown on someone and the rhythm of counter-attacks and reversals. One thing that I like in particular is the way guys react to getting punched; if you punch a guy in the face he grabs his face, and if you kick him in the gut he grabs his gut.

There are a lot of grapples, reversals, alternate-grapples, and aerial moves. It's pretty fast paced for a wrestling game. There's the beloved Irish Whip, climbing the turnbuckles, and running around the ring. The ropes ripple when you run into them which is a nice touch.

We only played some one on one quick play. They're adding a story mode, create-a-player, tag team, and online play.

Oh yeah, and Samoan Joe says he's going to kill you.

Here's some info on the game itself, due out Spring 2008 on PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. We played it on Xbox 360.

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GAME DESCRIPTION
TNA Wrestling™ is the exclusive Total Nonstop Action wrestling game based on the top-rated weekly television show, TNA Impact! Choose the wrestling style, custom move set and clothing to construct the ultimate champion. TNA drenches the player in moves and match types that allow amazing acrobatic and aerial feats along with the bone-jarring crush of hard-hitting impacts. The game also features top wrestling talent such as Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Rhino, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Sting, Christian Cage, Abyss and more to deliver all of the excitement and action of the television show!
FEATURING MORE THAN 20 CUSTOMIZABLE TNA WRESTLERS- Take control of the top TNA wrestlers such as Kurt Angle, Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Christian Cage, Rhino, Samoa Joe, Abyss, AJ Styles and more!
BECOME A LEGEND- Build a lifetime of fame through story mode. From the poorhouse to the penthouse, choose a career path by making crucial decisions and teaming up with the right faction to get a shot at the belt.
STYLE, SHOWMANSHIP AND PRESTIGE- Get a shot at the top by pulling in the crowds and building up reputation. Over the top entrances and clothing are all ingredients that get the crowd involved and help humiliate and punish opponents in the ring.
GET IN WRESTLING SHAPE- Hiring the right manager makes all the difference. They specialize in different fighting styles, teaching special moves, and helping new wrestlers learn the ropes. Ringside or in the gym, a manager can change the momentum of the wrestler. A variety of training mini-games will allow players to build abilities, unlock new moves and enhance their appearance.
IN-DEPTH CREATE A WRESTLER- Choose wrestling style, custom move set and clothing to construct and personalize the ultimate champion!
THE VIRTUAL RING- Join in on two-player training games and exhibition fights with any unlocked TNA characters as well as any customized characters, or climb into the virtual ring with in Official Online Tournaments. Other online game modes include Custom Games like Tag Team Wrestling (two on two), Ultimate X, King of the Mountain, Fatal Four-Way and more!

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