TNA is a wrestling promotion hoping to go places in 2010. An influx of new (well, old, but you see what we mean) talent including such names as Hulk Hogan, The Outsiders, Ric Flair and Jeff Hardy has left the company dreaming of one day usurping the WWE as the King of the Ring.
Not that you’ll be playing as any of these newcomers here, of course. It would have been unrealistic to expect that. But it might have been nice if it were set in the year 2009. Or even 2008. This must be the most out-of-date wrestling title we’ve ever seen. It’s a wonder Kurt Angle doesn’t turn up pedaling his way down to the ring on a penny-farthing.
It doesn’t affect the roster too badly, as perennial championship contenders AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and so on are all TNA mainstays, but it does feel a bit odd when the story mode kicks off with Hernandez, one of TNA’s biggest fan favourites, kicking your skull in. If that storyline sounds familiar, that’s because it is – this is an almost direct port of the PS2 version of 2008’s TNA iMPACT, which flagged badly behind the mediocre HD console version.
The storyline (charting a wrestler’s fall and subsequent rise from the shady Mexico scene to the indies to TNA) is clever and initially quite gripping. But you can’t create your own dude on the PSP, and you spend much of the time beating up on fictional no-names, which eventually gets very tiresome. But not as tiresome as the actual wrestling action, because that would be quite some feat. The controls are okay, but each man-hugger has a move-set of only four or five moves, a point rammed down your throat by the beyond-repetitive commentary team.
Too few moves means that the scope for variation is almost non-existent. There are a few slick context-sensitive moves and a good reversal system, but that aside it’s all punch, punch, punch and then a choice of two slams, until you win, lose or your tears short-circuit the PSP. Stick with SmackDown vs Raw 2010 – or even SmackDown Vs Raw 2006 – at least Hulk Hogan’s in that one.
Jun 30, 2010