|Dev: NAMCO Bandai|
|Pub: NAMCO Bandai|
|Release: November 22, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
Tekken Hybrid is essentially one of the first Blu-ray discs to include both a full-length feature movie and a game. The movie is Tekken: Blood Vengeance and the game is Tekken Tag Tournament HD. So this means you'll pay forty dollars for a game that is twelve years old and a movie totally made in CG. Is it worth it?
Let's start with Tekken: Blood Vengeance. Reviews for the movie are not particularly stellar, but then again, reviews for video game movies never really are. After watching the movie myself, I can confidently say that it is one of the better video game to movie adaptations out there, but that's not saying much. The plot of the movie is nothing spectacular. Everyone in the Tekken universe is looking for Shin Kamiya, inheritor of the M gene which could possibly grant humans immortality. Most characters' motivations are poorly defined at best, never being fully explained. In fact, the entire plot seems to be nothing more than an excuse to get a bunch of people with totally different fighting styles to beat the crap out of each other. So, at least it stays true to the traditional fighting game spirit, I guess.
The most enjoyable part of Tekken Blood Vengeance is seeing all of your favorite characters on the big screen. Since the movie is CG, all the characters looks pretty much exactly how they look in-game. They use the same fighting styles they use in the games, and during fight scenes they throw out special moves that are instantly recognizable. Plainly put, the fanboy in all of us loves to see iconic videogame characters hit a movie screen, even if the plot isn't that great.
Still, there are many flaws in Tekken Blood Vengeance. The lips aren't matched, for one, which makes it feel like a cheap B movie at best. The English localization is actually rather bad, and the dialogue just comes off as awkward. But I guess you could argue that the movie goes full circle and becomes so bad it's good, and you can even make a drinking game out of all the overly dramatic monologues the movie has. Pound your glass every time there are subtle homo-erotic undertones.
In the end, the movie is really nothing more than action porn, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's enjoyable enough to watch, even though the plot is horrible. The fight scenes are great and the movie really does benefit from stereoscopic 3D. I wouldn't buy the movie by itself, but considering you get it in Tekken Hybrid anyway, It's definitely worth gathering a few friends around to MST3K it.
Now for the game. Tekken Tag Tournament is widely regarded as one of the best Tekken titles to ever be released, and it looks glorious in HD. All of the textures have been redrawn and up-rezed, and the game has been converted to 16:9 widescreen. The models haven't changed, and that unfortunately makes some of the characters seem a little blocky. Strangely enough, though, they look a lot better than many of the models in games as recent as Tekken 4 or 5. Long story short, it doesn't look like it is designed for this generation of consoles because it wasn't.
The game isn't getting any balance changes, or any changes at all beyond graphical updates, but that's fine. Honestly, I'm just happy that the Tekken Bowl mode is coming back. Move over Wii Bowling, you have a competitor.
The final treat this package comes with is a preview of Tekken Tag Tournament 2. It's a barebones demo, with a limited selection of characters and maps, but it includes the full gameplay system and a 3D mode that will allow you to really test out the game's graphics. The demo only includes characters that take the spotlight in Tekken Blood Vengeance, but since the movie includes most of the headlining Tekken characters, the demo easily has a big enough roster to keep you held over until Tekken Tag Tournament 2 comes out.
Tekken Hybrid has a price point of forty dollars, which is pretty standard for budget fighting games these days. Is it worth your money? Under normal circumstances, yes, but there are a lot of new fighting games coming out in the near future. That forty bucks could go toward Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, Skullgirls, Mortal Kombat DLC, or even Tekken Tag Tournament 2 when it comes out. Though an awesome bundle in its own right, its value just pales in comparison to many of the other games coming out this year and next.
Then again, some people are willing to spend 40 bucks just to get a Tekken Tag Tournament 2 demo, and for that demographic, Tekken Hybrid is a magnificent value that is only made better by the presence of great friends. And alcohol.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer