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TNA iMPACT! Two-On-One

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Play talked to two of TNA Wrestling’s biggest stars, Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles about their involvement in the first game from the TNA stable, TNA iMPACT!. For more from Joe and A.J., and for our hands-on preview of the game, check out the next issue of Play, on sale 7 August…

Play: Is there a real culture of gaming within the TNA organisation?
Joe: For the most part TNA’s real fortunate because we have a lot of gamers that play regularly. We have weekly online gaming sessions that are kind of company only – it’s a lot of fun. We’ve all been long-time game fans. We’ve played everything and we have every system in the world. So it was very, very important for us that this game be something special.

Play: How would you compare TNA iMPACT! to its biggest rival, Smackdown! vs Raw?
Joe: I’ve never been a fan of the Smackdown! series, ever, to be honest. And it’s not just me saying that because they’re the competition. The gameplay feels very pedestrian, it feels like you’re playing a giant mini-game the entire time. That was the main thing with TNA – when you’re punching and kicking and grappling it’s right off the cuff. There’s no delay, it’s in real-time.
AJ: You tap a button you get your punch, your kick, your grapple – it’s immediate. It happens just like that. The last game I played from the WWE… it was actually WWF, when it was actually… good. It was the No Mercy game.

Play: So you made a point of not drawing influence from the Smackdown! games then? Where did you draw influence from?
Joe: We sat down with the programmers at Midway and they said, “Give us an idea of wrestling games that you enjoy.” They took our input and what they thought would be great in a wrestling game, and that was how this synergy came together. A lot of the wrestling games that influenced us are from Japan. We’ve thought about what we enjoyed about those games, and put that into TNA.

Play: Do you think the TNA gaming brand could expand beyond just wrestling games?
Joe: I mean, it would be infinitely awesome if we could branch out but at the same time how many of those cross platform games have ultimately been successful or any good?

Play: How did you enjoy the motion capture sessions? How do the mo-cap suits compare to your regular costumes?
Joe: The suits actually aren’t that uncomfortable, the technology’s come a long way since the tennis ball and scuba suits of yore.




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