|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 not just a movie, and not just a game; it's actually both. It's a combo pack that includes an HD remake of Tekken Tag Tournament, the movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance, and a preview build of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, all on one disk.
First of all, Tekken: Blood Vengeance isn't the best movie out there, and to be totally honest, I didn't expect much from it considering it's just another video-game-to-movie adaptation. The basic story is pretty bonkers. Set between the events of Tekken 5 and 6, the plot basically revolves around a kid who has had genetic experiments done on him, which somehow resulted in immortality. As a result, both Kazuya and Jin want to "obtain" him to claim his immortal genes for themselves. Then all the Tekken characters fight each other, with only vague and amorphous reasons. Face it; it's mostly just fan service.
On the other hand, as fan service flicks go, it's not that bad. The fight scenes are pretty awesome and the characters use all the moves they have access to in the games. The voice acting, though, is not so great. Nevertheless, it's fun to watch your favorite Tekken characters beat the crap out of each other, no matter how vague and pointless the reasons behind it. Besides, this movie is way better than any other Tekken movie that has come out to date, anime or live-action, so at least it has that going for it. Oh, and watch the movie in 3D. It's cheesy and throws a lot of "pop out of the screen" effects at you, but they occur so often and the movie is so flashy that it becomes that awesome type of camp that you just can't complain about.
The real meat of this package, though, is Tekken Tag Tournament HD. Now, I admit that reviewing HD remakes of games is odd, because if they are done right, the game won't be all that different than its low-definition version. This is especially true for fighting games. Thankfully NAMCO Bandai did it right, as Tekken Tag Tournament HD doesn't change a single mechanic from the original. All the combos are exactly the same as you remember them, right down to button timing. The roster is exactly the same. The cheap strategies you used in the arcade still work exactly the same. The whole thing is a delightfully nostalgic return to the Tekken Tag Tournament we all know and love.
As far as graphics go, Tekken Tag Tournament HD isn't exactly the best HD remix out there. Though the textures have been smoothed and the environments have gotten a major facelift, the characters themselves look kind of blocky and awkward. For those of you coming to this game right after Tekken 6, the graphics will actually be quite a shock. We view the past through rose-colored glasses, and in our minds Tekken Tag Tournament looked way better than it actually did. Even this HD upgrade doesn't compare to the fake perfect Tekken Tag Tournament we have in our memories.
However, as far as gameplay goes, you really can't beat Tekken Tag Tournament HD. NAMCO Bandai went all out to make sure that this was a worthwhile gaming experience. All the original modes return, right down to practice and demonstration mode. So if you are learning Tekken Tag Tournament for the first time, the game is more than happy to walk you through your first steps. Heck, even Tekken Bowl returns, and it's just as fun as ever. I don't really know why watching Tekken characters go bowling is so much fun; it just is. Heck, it may be even more fun than the actual game, especially now that it's in HD. If you've never played Tekken Bowl before, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a shot.
Unfortunately, the one feature I had hoped Tekken Tag Tournament HD would include is depressingly absent: online play. With remakes like Street Fighter HD Remix and Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition integrating online play, you have to wonder why Tekken Tag Tournament HD couldn't. With basically every other fighting game on the market offering comprehensive online suites, Tekken Tag Tournament HD struggles to keep itself relevant. Gaming in person with your friends is awesome, but requiring it when you could simply play Tekken 6 online is unfortunately a poor decision.