Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tekken Hybrid Review

Having been a longstanding fan of all things Tekken, I am really looking forward to Tekken Tag Tournament 2.  I had not even heard about Tekken Hybrid until right after it released, but it is a nice little piece of fan service that probably appeals more to existing fans than bringing in newer ones.

This package comes with three parts, though they are not all equal in what they bring to the table.  A disclaimer - Tekken Hybrid heavily touts its 3D capability, but I do not have a 3D set.  While I have read that it looks pretty good, I cannot really comment on that aspect of the games or movie.

First up, you get Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Prologue, which is a demo with limited characters and features.  You can choose between one of our characters, and mix and match the teams however you like, but in the end you are restricted to those characters in the arcade 2 vs 2 mode and nothing more.  Prologue looks gorgeous and the controls handle really well.  It definitely gives fans of the series something to look forward to.

Next up is the blu-ray movie called Tekken: Blood Vengeance.  With a running time of 100 minutes, this entirely CGI production looks fantastic.  A lot of people have complained in the past that the story found in Tekken is pretty nonsensical, especially at this point, and I find it hard to disagree.  The movie is unfortunately more about character development than the fighting, and you only get a fraction of the Tekken cast who participate in it.  The movie is an okay one and a half hour diversion, but is probably the weakest overall link in this package.

While the movie will chew up a little under two hours, and prologue maybe stretches out for half an hour or so, when those two things are said and done you will find yourself spending the majority of your time in the HD remastered Tekken Tag Tournament.  By and large, that is a good thing as the combat is still fast and entertaining and presents you with a massive roster of characters.  There are quite a few modes as well, like Team Battle, Survival, Time Attack, Training, Arcade, Versus, Tekken Bowling and even a theater for viewing unlocked content.  That is a pretty robust collection of extras, even by today's fighting standards.

Unfortunately it does not play quite as smoothly as some of the more modern fighters out there, the music and voicework are okay but far from spectacular, and the new coat of paint makes this game look better than the PlayStation 2 original, but is not nearly as sharp as some of the other HD packages that we have seen released over the last year or so.

For me, there was a lot of nostalgic value in replaying this classic, but I wonder how newcomers would approach the overall package.  My son showed almost no interest in this, playing it for only about twenty minutes.  My oldest daughter raves about the graphics in the Tekken games every time a new one comes out, and while she thought Prologue was 'very pretty', she really did not care for the visual aesthetics found in HD remake of Tag.  Not a bad package if you can find it on discount, and if the reason for this release was to get me excited about Tekken Tag Tournament 2, then mission accomplished.



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