Tekken Revolution: Is It Worth Your Time?
Tekken originally released in arcades way back in 1994. The series has come a long way since then, spawning 18 games, a comic, and three movies. Tekken’s main titles have supported each subsequent release in the arcades with ports to Playstation. Namco, coming to be Namco Bandai since those days, has come to form a strong bond between the Playstation and the Tekken series continuing with their latest release, Tekken Revolution, which is an exclusive title for the PS3. The best part? It’s free to play, so hop on the Playstation Store and get your copy.
The King of Iron Fist
The game follows the same gameplay as predecessors sans story mode, but still gives the player the options of an arcade mode and player matches. Revolution allows the player to earn coins to either player or arcade matches respectively. Player matches are divided into ranked or unranked matches. Ranked matches do as stated, allowing you to rank up the selected fighter’s skills like Power, Endurance (Health), or Vigor (chance to deal a critical blow). The game suffers from the coin system, giving you a max of two arcade and five player tokens at a time. Tokens regenerate every 60 min and around 15 min, respectively, increasing the wait time the more you play. You can earn premium tickets for leveling up or if you shell out the cash on the store you can buy Battle Coins which can be used in any mode. A few other minor tweaks, such as certain moves being reinforced to deliver critical hits, a stat system, and a bigger focus on levels that can extend through walls, floors, or both, have been added. If you’re familiar with the series then you can jump in with your favorite character, that is if they are on the roster. Namco Bandai is currently adding characters all the time, but the roster only started out with a few fan favorites like Paul, Kazuya, and Law. I tended to use JACK-6 when I played, but once they release Hwoarang it’ll be back into the frying pan for me.
The game delivers on the sleek and clean presentation with its menus and music that have been holding down our screens for years. The title screen always starts off with a log telling players of the happenings in the community, then awards gift points (to unlock characters) and money (buying skill points) for signing in. The game also adds some very nice background artwork of its iconic characters throughout the menus. Gameplay has the same graphics as The music has changed as it does with time, this title having a soundtrack more reminiscent of the previous entry Tekken Tag 2 with thumping EDM beats. Unfortunately it doesn’t allow the player to play his/her own music via XMB which was a nice touch that was included in the last few entries. While I’m by no means discouraging the soundtrack, I rather liked playing my favorite tunes during my fights. It added a comfort that the soundtrack rarely provides. The English voice acting is cringe worthy (I’m looking at you, Law…), but that’s not integral to the gameplay so I brushed it off.
A Different Kind of Fight
One of Tekken’s charms (and what some will call its downfall) is its pick up and play style. One can spot a Tekken vet vs. a button masher, the latter being a majority of players I met online. That is one of the problems with this free to play iteration; the skill level variance of players was all over the map. I went from fighting an obvious newbie who spammed buttons to what had to be the Tekken Master General. This guy must have been someone on the dev team. Needless to say, I got my ass handed to me more than once. One feature that I thought was a cool idea is the ability to perform a small number of hard-to-block attacks which can get you out of a sticky situation, like getting away from a player who likes to juggle or someone who spams moves. I was wrong. The community seems to have turned it into just another way to ensure victories, using it mercilessly at the thought of putting together a decent combo. Another thing that can be seen as unfair is the ability to earn XP to level up your characters traits. This lead to my JACK-6 becoming an even more powerful killing machine than designed, chopping half of people’s health bars off with one swipe of his robotic arm. My critical hits we’re so devastating I could end a fight in two throws, but with such a difference in player levels I couldn’t afford not to take the handicap. I’m not bad at Tekken, I’ve played the series since Tekken 3, but don’t expect the real Tekken experience from this free to play version. (Spoiler Alert! Every player that uses Kazuya WILL spam his lazer eyes. You have been warned.)
And the Winner Is…
Although Tekken has long been one of my favorite fighting series, Revolution doesn’t quite hit the mark set by the series. With the game being free to play it feels like it is trying to cater to a wider audience while giving an almost bare bones version of the fighter. It’s not all bad however. I did find myself getting sucked into the silent player matches, losing all my player coins and coasting by on one premium ticket until I inevitably lose. Player matches left me on top of the world or devastated when they were over. The game just came out in the past month or so, so Namco’s support for the title is strong as of now. If you’re bored waiting for the next AAA blockbuster, TKR is worth at least a little of your time. Whether you’re new to the series or a seasoned veteran, it’s a great way way to get in some practice before Tekken 7.
Written by Tyler Peeples