REVIEW: Tekken Hybrid [PS3]

Tekken Hybrid for PS3 is a real treat for collectors and fans of the franchise. You get a revamped version of the very popular Tekken Tag Tournament, a CG Tekken movie and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue, which, is basically a 4 character demo of the upcoming Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Though there isn’t a full new Tekken game to whip up the fanfare and unbridled enthusiasm associated with Tekken releases, Tekken Hybrid will still offer Tekken fans more Tekken than they can Tekken Tekken.

Tekken Tag Tournament
Tekken Tag Tournament was a hit. It springboarded off the huge success of Tekken 2 and elbow-dropped in more gameplay, moves and Tekken’s spin on Team Battles. This revamped version adds slicker graphics and unlocks every single character, costume and extra for you. While it was a touch disappointing to have it all available from the start, once I’d started playing, I’d forgotten what I was complaining about and started really enjoying the game. While the graphics aren’t quite up there with more recent Tekken games, they’re cleaned up just enough to let you feel like you’re not playing a dirty, pixelly port of an old PS2 game. Unfortunately, where the screens were scrubbed up to help the transition, I couldn’t help but notice the seemingly unaltered robot-y, static-y noise coming through in character voices. While I’m sure it does hold an old school familiarity with a core demographic, it feels quite strange to play something with nicely rendered graphics but using sound that wouldn’t feel too out of place on a Super Nintendo.

However, that particular core demographic would probably be among the minority of people that actually care about Tekken game sounds. The game itself is still the excellent, ’tactical button masher’ we all remember, and it’s still very fun. Everything that was right about the game is still right, it just looks a little prettier. Nothing has been altered other than the top aesthetic level and because the gameplay was damn good when it came out, it’s still damn good now and doesn’t really feel too much like an ‘older’ game.

Tekken Blood Vengeance
As a bit of a manga fan, I’m no stranger to mis-paced plots, nonsensical twists and the worst jokes known to humanity. Tekken Blood Vengeance has it all. It’s still … watchable, in the way that nothing crawled out of the screen and eyebeamed me into toast, but it’s still a difficult one to sit still for. That is, until they start fighting. The fight scenes are excellent, the graphics are excellent AND there’s a panda. Blood Vengeance delves into the Mishima/Devil storyline, but approaches it from the perspective of a Japanese schoolgirl, the owner of aforementioned panda. A bunch of things happen in between the fight scenes for some ridiculously irrelevant reason, which unfortunately makes it a pretty average movie, but by gaining the grade of ‘pretty average’, Blood Vengeance is up there as one of the better CG game-movies around.

[img_big]center,8100,2011-11-02/19329TEKKEN_Blood_Vengeance.jpg,Tekken Blood Vengeance[/img_big]

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue
In Prologue, you are given 4 characters to choose from, each one is a big slice of the cheese that is the Blood Vengeance movie, though having this knowledge adds very little to the demo. However, it does help make a little more sense as to why Namco would select two stunningly evil looking Devils, a robot designed to look like a schoolgirl and an actual schoolgirl as the four characters they’d showcase for the demo from the huge, diverse lineup that makes up the Tekken universe.

Prologue has gorgeous graphics, fast paced action and, of course, incorporates the team elements which made its predecessor so damn popular. Though it’s always a bit jackassy to nitpick at a demo, as man who is quite comfortable with being a jerk, I can say I was pretty infuriated that there was no command list. Having never really been a fan of the Mishima lads or the excessively kawaii, I didn’t know any decent combos or moves to get through the tournament. I mashed buttons in like a giant monkey would mash a biplane and found myself winning somehow. The only other gripe I could come up with was that because it’s merely a preview of things to come, the rewards for getting through the six fight tournament are quite boring and the trophies are a little uninspiring, but the game shows excellent promise.

[img_big]center,8100,2011-11-02/19330TEKKEN_Tag_Tournament_2_Prologue.jpg,Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue[/img_big]

I had a lot of fun with this pack, though once I started thinking about it, I realised the pack itself is a massive bastard tease. In re-releasing a classic that’s excellent fun and showing how its solid gameplay will stand the test of time, then backing it up with a gorgeous demo that uses the same solid core gives just a taste of things to come. And it tastes fucking delicious.

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