The original TNA game was released by Midway in September 2008 and with excellent graphics, easy access controls and a bevy of gameplay modes, it was a more than modest first attempt at a wrestling game.
Almost two years later however, Southpeak Games, rather than continue to build off of an already solid engine and add the missing pieces, has simply ported over what they could and leaving out the extras, resulting in a decent game in itself, but one that is all too familiar to fans that one the companies first effort.
The end result is a missed opportunity that fails to both take advantage of the PSP’s capabilities and captivate hungry fans that were looking for something different.
With essentially the same roster and gameplay modes as the last game, “TNA Impact: Cross the Line” doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Those who loved the first game, will still enjoy this one, doing everything from performing the signature moves of their favorite wrestlers like AJ Styles, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe and playing through the zany story mode featuring Suicide.
The same thing goes for the controls, which aren’t perfect, but get the job done on the handheld, despite problems with clipping and times when you’ll try to pin your character and end up leaving the ring entirely if you’re too close to the ropes. The lack of a real individual moveset too hurts the title as many of the wrestlers perform the same moves and you yourself will be such pulling off the same ones as well. These same problems detract from the fun, but don’t erase it entirely.
What does hurt the package is that none of the wrestlers featured have had any changes to their attires made since the last game, making the game feel incredibly dated to the hardcore wrestling fan. The graphics as well, away from the beautiful cinemas are a bit blurry and a far cry away from the breathtaking ones featured on the 360 version. However, again, in spite of these glitches along the way, the game is still competent. The excellent loading times and plethora of gameplay modes, such as the Super X Cup, Ultimate X, Falls Count Anywhere make this game more than playable and even extremely fun at times.
Nevertheless, at the same time, with all the changes the company has been experiencing over the past six months, with huge additions to their roster, the removal of the six-sided ring and a new championship, you can’t help but feel jipped a bit when playing this title.
There is absolutely no reason why Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan are not in the game, but miraculously, Petey Williams, Scott Steiner and Booker T, three athletes who haven’t been on TV in months, are. It’s almost like a bad joke.
In the end, it’s not fair at all to the gamers who were expecting something different almost two years after the game’s original release.
On the other hand, if you never played the first game and have a PSP, this is not a bad wrestling option at all, especially considering how the WWE games on the system are known notoriously for their horrendous loading times and lack of polish.
Just don’t expect to be blown away.
Serving more as the scoop slam before a five-star frog splash than the devastating finishing move itself, “TNA Impact: Cross the Line” on the PSP packs a punch just not enough for a three count.