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Tekken Hybrid
 

 
REVIEW
:  Tekken Hybrid is a 3-in-1 bundle that is quite unlike any other fighting game release to date. The single Blu-ray disc contains all of the following: A remastered HD edition of the hit Playstation 2 version of Tekken Tag Tournament, the full CG movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance (2011), and an early playable version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2... all for the budget price of $39.99. Tekken: Blood Vengeance and TTT2 Prologue have a "3D" option, for that small percentage of you who own a 3DTV. Both games also feature trophy support, and there are 48 to collect in all.

Tekken Tag Tournament HD presents noticeably updated textures and a
16:9 resolution that runs flawlessly at 60 fps. I actually never imagined Tekken Tag HD would end up looking quite this sharp in 1080p. Needless to say, it looks entirely different from the 1999 arcade version and is a noticeable step above the groundbreaking PS2 version. Even though the character models and animations are very outdated (11 years old), some of the upgraded hit sparks could actually pass in a current-gen fighting game. Excellent!
 

Tekken Tag Tournament in all of its former glory, and then some.

 
All of the PS2 version's modes and options are present, including the fan-favorite Tekken Bowl Mode, Pair Play Mode, Theater, and Music Player. The lack of an Online Mode for TTT HD is indeed disappointing, but at the same time, I can understand why Namco didn't go through the trouble (firstly, because we probably won't have to wait much longer for the console version of TTT2). Tekken is a unique kind of fighting game, in the sense that every sequel has upgraded the controls & gameplay system. While Tekken Tag's gameplay was amazing for its time, it can be compared to that of an "old" racing game. A superior sequel to a classic racing game obviously has the tighter controls, options, and variety... just like the later installments of Tekken.

With vastly smaller, less dynamic character movesets, TTT's gameplay is a simplified guessing game and certainly can be deemed "old school". Any legit Tekken player would tell you that TTT1 is a less technical gameplay experience than you'd get from any newer installment like Tekken 5: DR or Tekken 6 (both of which you can currently play online). Even though I still play it and consider it a fun game, I'd call TTT's gameplay a bit "stiff" by today's standards. (Don't get me wrong... I would've loved to rack up some win streaks with those easy 2- & 3-hit "half life" combos). I suppose Namco wouldn't want "returning players" to get too reacquainted with TTT's dated controls and combo system by playing online, since TTT2 is right around the corner and plays a lot more like Tekken 6. Alas, I think the lack of Online Mode is possibly by design. In any case, if you have some local friends that will still throw down in Tag, then there are surely some good, nostalgic times to be had with TTT HD. Getting together in the same room to play a fighting game? Now that's old school! 
 

An early playable version of Tekken Tag 2?  Sold.

 
Don't call it a demo. . . Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue is the title of the "early, fully playable version of TTT2". Prologue features 4 playable characters, including: Kazuya, Devil Jin, Ling Xiaoyu and Alisa Boskonovitch. Each character has two outfits, including one Tekken Hybrid exclusive outfit straight from Tekken: Blood Vengeance. There are also 4 stages to check out (chosen at random). A Character Model Viewer is also included, which allows you to view the in-game character models and stages using a free camera.

On that note, TTT2 Prologue's graphics seem unpolished and there is quite a bit of aliasing (jaggy edges), which is most noticeable on the darker stages. Motion blur is in full effect and looks decent, but there's also an occasional graphical "blurriness" during win sequences... and let's just say it's not very flattering to the visuals. Overall, I was hoping Prologue would look look a bit sharper, but hopefully Namco cleans up the rough edges before the home release of TTT2.

Besides the Character Model Viewer and a bare bones Options menu, there's nothing else unfortunately. A Practice Mode and a Command List would've been nice.... I guess Arcade Mode set on "Easy" will have to suffice as our Practice Mode for now (it works pretty well, actually). Anyhow, those of us that have been anxiously waiting to get our hands on TTT2 have been relieved... for the moment at least... since TTT2 Prologue is really a "tease" more than anything else.
 

Blood Vengeance contains its fair share of awkward & WTF moments. 

 
Now onto the final piece of this package, Tekken: Blood Vengeance. After the horribly disappointing live-action Hollywood Tekken movie (2010), Blood Vengeance seemed like it was going to finally redeem the series on the big screen. Unfortunately... "Alisa and Xiaoyu's Excellent Tekken Adventures" would've been a more appropriate title for the movie. The kooky, childish storyline revolving around the cute female duo took up way too much CG time. The visuals are downright beautiful, but arguably "wasted" due to the movie's lack of action scenes, cool "Tekken-esk" moments, and character variety. This movie had tons of potential, but due to the director's odd storyline direction, setting, and pacing, it didn't quite live up to the hype. Director Dai Sato claimed that he wanted to make the film "something that first-time viewers or people new to the Tekken franchise could relate to"... but seriously? Why not please the long-time Tekken fans first and foremost? Also, why introduce a new character (Shin) when there are already over 40 in the Tekken series that they could've used? And why build him up as a prominent character, just to have him die a melodramatic, pathetic death at the end? Bad storytelling. . . 

On the bright side, the Japanese scenery in the movie is beautiful; the fight scenes are entertaining; and the overall animation is excellent, especially those close-up facial expressions. The bonus features are decent, the highlight of which being a sit-down interview with producer Katsuhiro Harada and the director of Blood Vengeance, Dai Sato. A few interesting topics are brought up in the "Special Discussion," as Tekken producer Harada asks Dai Sato some of the questions that most Tekken fans would likely ask as well. And in a way, it almost seems like Dai Sato is making a sort of "excuse" for his odd angle on the Tekken storyline.

I definitely don't agree with the director's interpretation of Xiaoyu & Alisa as being "weaker" characters.... Xiaoyu has been kicking all kinds of ass since Tekken 3, and Alisa is a cyborg with chainsaw arms and cybernetic wings with jets. Yeah... "weak" isn't really the first word that comes to mind. I'm surprised Harada and the Tekken team didn't have more to do with the film... especially since it's apparently made by "Namco Pictures". In closing, the movie appears to be someone else's take on Tekken, and not from the perspective of an honest Tekken fan or someone who is familiar with prominent events in the Tekken storyline. I wouldn't call it a failure... but I could go on all day about how much better it could've been.


For those that want to spend a little extra on Tekken Hybrid, the Limited Edition contains an artbook featuring artwork from the game & Tekken: Blood Vengeance, 2 full length music CDs with fan-favorite tracks from TTT & TTT2, and PlayStation Home content such as Tekken themed costumes and accessories. Namco is even offering an Extreme Edition on their official store, which comes with an exclusive, top-quality Namco Fight Stick by Mad Catz, limited to 1000 copies.

 

Page Updated: July 3rd, 2014
Developer(s): Namco Bandai
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai
Platform(s): Playstation 3 
Release Date(s): Nov. 22nd, 2011    ()
Nov. 25th, 2011    
()
Dec. 1st, 2011      
()
Characters Jin, Kazuya, Heihachi, Law, Hwoarang, Eddy, Tiger, Jack-2, Lei, Xiaoyu, Jun, King, Nina, Michelle, Julia, Gun Jack, P. Jack, Bryan, Paul, Yoshimitsu, Lee, Armor King, Wang, Anna, Kuma, Panda, Bruce, Baek, Kunimitsu, Ganryu, Devil, Angel, Roger, Alex, Ogre, True Ogre, Unknown, Mokujin, Tetsujin, Alisa, Devil Jin

Featured Video:

Related Games: Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken Advance, Tekken 4, Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 6, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, Tekken 7, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Revolution, Street Fighter X Tekken
  
Innovation  8.0 / 10
Options / Extras  7.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.5 / 10
BOTTOM LINE  8.1 / 10
 

 

Final Words:

While Tekken Hybrid is a reasonable package and pretty much a must-buy for any Tekken fan, anyone who doesn't plan on putting some quality time into TTT2 Prologue or TTT HD may just want to wait for the upcoming console release of Tekken Tag 2. The full length CG movie is a generous add-on "bonus" to the package; but as a stand alone movie, it falls short.

Being able to play the TTT2 gameplay engine early is well worth the price of admission for most Tekken players. I find TTT2's combo system to be incredibly fluid and fun; Tag Assaults add an entirely new level of complexity and there are countless combos to be discovered (even with only 4 characters). There's no excuse not to be a master of Devil Jin, Devil Kazuya, Ling and Alisa before the official release of TTT2! On a side note, I'm not a fan of the "re-designs" of Devil Jin and Devil Kazuya from Blood Vengeance, but thankfully their TTT2 character models are selectable.

Overall, I was hoping for a bit more out of Hybrid, but all in all, it's a solid collection and also one of the most impressive uses of the spacious Blu-ray format to date. I'm actually pretty impressed with Namco for putting this out, especially since t
hey're already busy patching arcade TTT2, working on console version of TTT2, finishing up Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, planning Tekken X Street Fighter, and planning Tekken Wii-U. In any case, get ready for more Tekken! 
~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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