2011 Beat ‘Em Up Roundup!

Posted in Arcade, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 5, DLC, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Mobile Games, PC Gaming, PS3, PSP Vita, Skullgirls, Soul Calibur, Soulcalibur 5, Streetfighter, Streetfighter X Tekken, Super Streetfighter IV, Tekken, Tekken 3D, Tekken 3D Prime Edition, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue, Tekken X Streetfighter, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Xbox360 on December 13th, 2011 by thelonegamer

With just a few weeks left before we end 2011, the big fighting games have made their mark and are set for our very near future. I think it’s a good time to just look back and forth at what came, what’s coming and what we have to look forward to.

Namco-Bandai’s flagship fighting franchise had a pretty interesting year, with titles being announced en masse. The Iron Fist crew made or will make an appearance pretty much on every platform- from PS3 to Xbox360 to Wii and 3DS, PSP and even a presence on iOS via the cute free Tekken Bowl app. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 hit arcades in Japan and Korea, and is primed to head off for international venues later on. A Holiday 2012 release for TTT2 on console has just been announced during the Spike TV Videogame Awards, although details are still pretty vague.

Tekken X Streetfighter, the Tekken Team-produced crossover fighter we know pretty much nothing about, is supposedly underway in development. We’ve seen some art of Ryu and Chun-Li rendered by Tekken’s official artist, and they look pretty good. Harada and company are apparently still deciding whether the game will be tag or single play-centered; I’m hoping for single… Tag Team is a bit overdone by now. I’m really much more intrigued and excited for this than the Capcom equivalent, due to the conceivably much more radical change of seeing the cartoony World Warriors in the semi-photorealistic Tekken style.

On the portable side, Tekken 3D Prime Edition hits the Nintendo 3DS in early 2012. What this package seems to be is a straight port of Tekken 6, with the full lineup of characters. Disappointingly, the game apparently has no customization feature, and touts only new stages and card collection as it’s extra activity. Yeah, I’m buying this but it looks pretty meh.
For now though, fans have the Tekken Hybrid package to chew on- while the visually impressive Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie will entertain for a while, it’s probably the Tekken Tag 2 Prologue demo which will occupy players for the duration. At just four characters available it seems kinda slim, but it’s a pretty good way to dip your toes into the game’s initially intimidating Tag mechanics, as well as a tantalizing glimpse of the fighting game awesomeness destined for consoles in late 2012.

Soul Calibur V
The return of this classic fighting series happens in late January or early February, with new fighters and old in the lineup. With a few slots still unrevealed, we may see some character surprises very soon. Really something to look forward to, thanks to the new gameplay mechanics, the truly impressive Character Creation mode and an intriguing storyline in a Story Mode apparently influenced by the impressive Mortal Kombat in-game narrative.

Surprisingly, we’ll also be seeing the Tale of Souls and Swords on Apple gadgets, as Soul Calibur will be released soon on iOS. Looks cool- if it plays great, it should be pretty awesome. With Streetfighter IV Volt and King of Fighters already on iOS, this makes the appstore a force to be reckoned with in terms of fighting games. What’s next? How about a real Tekken on my iPad?

The past couple of months have seen a lull in the previous steamroller of a marketing train for Capcom’s current baby, Streetfighter X Tekken. This came after a pretty controversial reveal of the game’s Gem System- a way for upgrading or augmenting characters that has raised the hackles of many players. We’ve gone quite a while without any new character reveals, but Ono has given teases that there may be announcements made in January and perhaps late December- still many fighters to be unveiled, apparently. The game is supposedly in the home stretch of development, and should be ready for release in March 2012.

Released last month on PSN and Xboxlive was Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, with new characters like Dr. Strange and Phoenix Wright joining the chaos. UMVC2 will join Streetfighter X Tekken among Capcom’s offerings on PS Vita. Upcoming is a new mode called Heroes and Heralds which will have players either becoming the world’s embattled defenders or throwing their lot with Galactus as his silver-skinned servants.

Super Streetfighter IV Arcade Edition just saw a free update that further tweaks the gameplay and character balancing.

I’m really intrigued at this gorgeous 2D fighter. The last couple of months have shown off two more character reveals in the dismember-happy Miss Fortune and the thuggish Painwheel. This looks promising and should be a hardcore beat ‘em up fan’s fave once it actually launches next year.

Dead or Alive 5
Got mixed feelings about this. The game visually has gotten upgrades, and Team Ninja is promising a lot- some of it not totally appealing. The game may become a QTE-fest, with flashy stunts in place of actual technique. Still, an upgraded, refreshed DOA is surely something to look forward to. I just hope it’s a real change and revision from the last game, and not just a slight inch-forward. The game’s currently at 15 percent completion, but is supposedly set for release in 2012. I say late 2012, if at all.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
Since the announcement several months ago for this humongous DLC fighting upgrade, we’ve heard little, if anything at all. Hoping that the silence means that the Sega devs are hard at work making this as complete a package as possible. Meanwhile, a new revision adding more costumes has debuted in arcades, which I hope makes it into the console release as well. I can’t wait for this- hoping it arrives sooner than later. Look for this on PSN or Xboxlive in Summer 2012.

So many fighters, so little time left in 2011. This year I think saw the fighting genre finally back in the limelight and basking in fans’ appreciation. Next year looks to be a banner year for the Beat ‘Em Up, with titles aplenty coming and hopefully more will be announced. I think we’re all going to be busy blogging and brawling all year in 2012. Awesome!

BLOODY! The Lone Gamer’s Tekken: Blood Vengeance Movie Review

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, My Stuff, PS3, Tekken, Tekken 6, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid on December 2nd, 2011 by thelonegamer

About a year or so ago, I reviewed the live-action Tekken movie, and it was, pretty much, what it was… a pretty straightforward martial arts revenge-action flick with elements of Tekken. As expected, it took many liberties with the beloved franchise, and things didn’t quite appear or turn out as fans wanted, thus provoking the usual storm of reactions, from outright hatred to measured satisfaction.
In the end though, the Hollywood Tekken was given the ultimate facepalm- rejection and disownment by the actual makers of the Tekken games themselves.

As if to make up for that debacle, Namco-Bandai announced a new and more authentic Tekken movie in production: an all-CG full-length feature, directed by the same director of Tekken’s lush cinematic cutscenes. There was no question that Tekken: Blood Vengeance was the REAL deal- this was truly a film adaptation true to the source material, done for the fans at the behest of the Tekken Project. But in this day and age when videogame movies have a questionable level of quality, how does this ‘true’ Tekken movie fare as a narrative experience?

Gorgeous visuals are on offer in Tekken: Blood Vengeance.

It’s already been demonstrated that even CG movies pretty much lifted directly from the actual game source don’t always guarantee an awesome flick- take Resident Evil Degeneration, which starred fan favorites Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. RED garnered lackluster reviews, and I myself found it dragging and less than spectacular. So how does this CG Tekken flick stand (given that it was also produced by the same production house as Degeneration..?). Let’s see.

Warning: Mild Spoilers may lie ahead.

Basically, TBV retains the general storyline of the series, and is set between Tekken 5 and 6. Resident emo-boy and anti-hero Jin Kazama is now head of the Mishima Zaibatsu with Nina Williams as his right hand woman. His old man, Kazuya Mishima is his mirror over at G-Corporation, being serviced by Anna Williams. Meanwhile, former Zaibatsu boss Heihachi Mishima is as yet MIA and presumed dead.

Both of these sides are now deep into the search for something or someone, which eventually has them each recruiting an unlikely catspaw to act as their investigator. Thus kung-fu kitten Ling Xiaoyu and adorable android Alisa Bosconovitch (talk about Random Select!) are thrown into each other’s path at some Japanese high school, each looking for a student named Shin Kamiya. As the two reluctant heroines meet and sometimes clash, they find friendship along the way- perhaps the only thing that can save them in the inevitable crossfire between the Mishima Bloodline that inevitably explodes by the end.

Finally, this is an Authentic Tekken Movie. Like it or not, kids, THIS is it. You can’t get any more real, official or Tekken-ish than this. The characters look, act and feel for the most part like they do in the games. In fact, they look better, as if the movie took and animated the models used in the game’s gorgeous portrait artworks.
That said, this is a movie made for Tekken fans, and Tekken fans ONLY… just the same caveat as it was with Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. Only those well-versed in Tekken lore, and updated Tekken lore at that, will fully understand what’s going on. Everyone not knowing who these characters are will probably be watching only for the pretty, shiny CG, and just letting things run along whatever happens.

That said, there are still odd inconsistencies that will leave even Tekken fans (like me) bewildered- like WHY Lee Chaolan, a dubious, double-playing combatant in the series’ central conspiracies and secret wars, is being portrayed as a seemingly benign Daddy Warbucks-esque professor? Why isn’t he recognized by Anna? Why do Kazuya and Jin suddenly have Stage 2 Devil Transformations? Whe did that happen? The series’ weirdness apparently wasn’t enough for scriptwriter Dai Sato, so he had to make up his own oddness to add to the kit and caboodle.

Kinky or cute? You decide.

And what an IFFY script it is. No, that would be kinda kind. I have to say Tekken: Blood Vengeance has a pretty bad script running through it, surprising from a writer with such credentials like Sato.

For starters, the storyline- that of the Tekken Powers-That-Be (Jin and Kazuya) searching for a student named Shin Kamiya- is ridiculously over-complicated. Why was there ever any need to recruit Ling and Alisa to infiltrate a school, when the resident hatchet women, Nina and Anna are ready, willing and able to storm in and just grab the pipsqueak? There’s no law enforcement to speak of, there’s no question where Shin is- it’s as if the reluctant heroines were thrown in just for the hell of it- just because the writer said so. If you think about it, the majority of the film is just about Xiao and Alisa running around in circles, ecchi fan service-esque views and some quasi-funny or kinda-touching moments. In most anime, seeing two cute babes’ antics would be entertaining but here, it seems off. The humor just isn’t as funny, the dialogue not that snappy, the heartwarming moments not that touching. There’s a lot of lines about being human and being a robot and being a robot yet being more than human thrown around, but it just comes off as random. Furthermore, the pivotal moment where Xiaoyu sides with Alisa is jarring and awkwardly done- I don’t know if it’s a bad translation or just something the script just glosses over intentionally.

All this combines with the sad fact that the film often drags. After the promising start with a Nina/Anna fight scene, the movie loses momentum and stays there until the next fight scene, between Xiaoyu and Alisa. THEN there’s that long nothing stretch before the finale, with the final extended fight scene/battles. So many seconds wasted with little action or pay-off. A rematch between the Williams could have been squeezed in, but the script deemed it better to be left offscreen. Like, WHAT? Also, while Ling and Alisa are the main characters for the better part of the movie, once the finale kicks in they’re demoted to the scenery for the most part as the Big Mishima Boys duke it out.
Oh, and Shin Kamiya? Was he ever necessary? Not really. Did he matter? Nope. Will we miss him? Not at all.

That all said, Tekken: Blood Vengeance does have good points. It looks gorgeous, as I’ve probably mentioned earlier. The music is pretty good, particularly the first song, ‘Highway Battle’. The fight scenes and action are pretty amazing- I really wish there was more action with the ladies though- the girlfights are beautiful and graceful to watch, while the Mishima 3-way bout, while epic, is just a bit too over-the-top for me.

And, eh, what the hell, it’s a TEKKEN movie. It’s great to just see the characters we know and love, outside the arena and just doing stuff. It’s all still quite entertaining, despite the silliness and the iffy script. It still charms the the hell out of me and is a grand, if a bit messy, spectacle to watch, particularly in 3D on my big screen Plasma. Blissful, that’s what it is.

So even if I have many gripes, I can’t dislike Blood Vengeance. It’s a gift for the fans, and certainly that’s never a bad thing. Who knows- maybe they’ll learn from this and make another one, hopefully starring more characters, having a much better script and more of the awesome action and visuals we know and love. No, this isn’t a great movie- but it IS a Tekken movie, and heck, I guess that’s enough for now. Now, how ’bout a sequel starring Asuka and Lili, Harada-san?

Tekken: Blood Vengeance First 7 Minutes!

Posted in Action Adventure, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid on November 18th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

The Williams Sisters get it on.

Just about four days left till the release of Tekken Hybrid in the US, we now get a nice taste of the CG action from the included Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie- specifically, the opening of the film which includes the entire Nina-Anna brawl and their respective reports to their bosses, Jin and Kazuya respectively. Funny though that this part is probably the ‘best’ segment of the movie for many since this is probably the most we’ll see of The Williams in this flick as far as I have read in reviews.

Well, anyway, the movie looks gorgeous and the action as slick as Nina’s leather suit. Although I do find the syncing of the lips to the voices a bit iffy… plus I really think that Kaz and Jin should have switched voice actors. Well, that’s just me… I’ll probably want to watch this in Japanese with english subs anyways. Watch the clip and enjoy, and if it feels right, stay tuned for the whole thing with Hybrid, on Nov. 22.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue Trophy List Revealed

Posted in Arcade, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue on November 16th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Get ready to learn Ling and Alisa in Prologue.

Whoaness! As I predicted, productivity would drop once I started playing Skyrim. Sorry ’bout that people, but hey… games of that caliber just don’t come every day. Anyways, back to beat ‘em up news… Tekken Hybrid is out in less than a week, at least in the States! Nov. 22 will see the release of this special PS3-exclusive Blu-ray package, which will include of course a 3D-ready copy of the somewhat controversial CG movie, Tekken: Blood Vengeance, an HD version of the original Tekken Tag Tournament and (some would say best of all) a short demo of Tekken Tag 2, entitles Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue. Recently the trophy list for this little taste of arcade awesome was posted online, so if you’re a Trophy Nutter, check out the stuff over here at Tekken Zaibatsu.

This is already a must-buy for me, although I’m not sure when Asia will get our copies (I may have to import a US disc). As I’ve said before, I’m looking forward most to Tekken: Blood Vengeance on the disc. TTT HD is just a nice little extra, while TTT2 Prologue will be good just for orienting myself with the new Tag Assaults, but with just four characters, none of them being anyone I particularly like, I don’t expect to play Prologue that much. Still, beat ‘em up fans should be in a tizzy to see a preview of what we’ll see on consoles… someday.

Tekken Hybrid Japanese Promo Vid!

Posted in Action Adventure, Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, PS2, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue on October 6th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

A package chock-ful of Tekken fun!

Here’s the trailer vid for the Japanese Tekken Hybrid package, which is set for release on December 1. There’s quite a lot of new footage, particularly of the Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie, including a kinda spoilery quick glimpse of a character not for the most part known to be in the film. Of course you also have looks at Tekken Tag Tournament HD (the remastered PS2 game) and the TTT2 Demo, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue. Of course, as cool as this vid is, I’ll most surely be getting either the US version (out November 22) or the Asian/EU version (release TBA). Darn, I really want to see Blood Vengeance already. Still several weeks away, but it’s coming. Slowly but surely.

Tekken Hybrid Release Dates Revealed! (UPDATED!)

Posted in Anime, Arcade, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, PS2, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue on September 29th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Set those calendars, mates!

Katsuhiro Harada just announced today on Twitter that Tekken Hybrid will be released in Japan on December 1. For the US, the release date will be a bit earlier- November 22 for the Tekken Hybrid Limited Edition. As for Europe and Asia, the release date is still TBA.

As previously posted, the regular Tekken Hybrid package will include the 3D Blu-ray movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance, a remasterd PS2 classic in Tekken Tag Tournament HD and a taste of the latest arcade Tekken in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue which comes with 3D stereoscopic output and a character model viewer. The Limited Edition will include an additional art book, 2-CD Soundtrack and PSN Bonus Content.

It’s still a ways off… At this point, the biggest thing for me in the kit is the Blood Vengeance film, since it’s the freshest thing on offer. TTT HD’s almost negligible. TTT2′s already in arcades, and Prologue, playable as it is, is just a wee taste. I just wanna see some CG Nina-Anna action, now.

Fighting Game Interviews @ TGS 2011

Posted in Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Soul Calibur, Soulcalibur 5, Tekken, Tekken 3D Prime Edition, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue, Xbox360 on September 16th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Another gaming event, another talk with Tago-san.

Project Soul’s Hisaharu Tago once again brings us up to speed on Soul Calibur V at TGS 2011. This time he talks about the new fighters such as Viola (pronounced Vee-yo-lah, not Vie-yo-lah) and Astoroth. Still quite sparse in terms of details or hard info, but Tago-san once again reiterates the game’s Q1 2012 release. Also, there’s quite a bit of footage of in-game action within the vid, so it’s worth checking out.

Next up is a talk with Tekken game designer Michael Murray, which clocks in at a chunky 4 minutes. He summarizes TTT2′s features and talks about the arcade release, stuff about characters like Jaycee, Jun, Jinpachi and Ogre. Footage of Tekken Hybrid and TTT2 Prologue are interspersed throughout. There’s mention of Tekken 3D Prime Edition and the TTT2 arcade release as well.

Fast Tube by Casper

Tekken team designer Michael Murray gives Tekken blow-by-blow.

It’s just the 2nd day of TGS! Hopefully there will be more vids and info to come before the weekend is over. Later then!

Tekken Tag 2 Prologue Gameplay

Posted in Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Gaming, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue on September 15th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Schoolgirl Fight!

IGN just posted a couple of gameplay vids from the upcoming TTT2 demo, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue. Fighting in the clip are Ling Xiaoyu, Alisa Bosconovitch (looking quite fetching in her school uniform) and two versions of Devil Jin- the ‘regular’ DJ and the Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie version. The demo, to be included in Tekken Hybrid, will be out before the year ends. Good to check out this vid to see the tag-team action we’ll be having at with in a couple of months.

Fast Tube by Casper

Prologue is looking slick.

Hear the Sounds of Tekken: Blood Vengeance

Posted in Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid on September 2nd, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

This tune should get you pumped up for some hi-octane Tekken action.

Like most of the world, I haven’t seen the Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie yet, and apart from getting it on the upcoming Tekken Hybrid package, who knows when I’ll get a chance to see it. Still, it should arrive eventually, and this early we can all sample the film’s techno-riffic soundtrack, thanks to nice guy Mr. Kazuya900, who’s posted the tracks on Youtube. The OST has actually been available at the US iTunes Store for quite a while, costing only $9.99 for some 40+ tracks… nice deal. Anyways, you can hear the tunes above at the aforementioned channel. If the film itself is half as rockin’ as the music, it should be pretty good at least…

Tekken 3D: Prime Edition Trailer, Screenshots!

Posted in 3DS, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Tekken, Tekken 3D, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Hybrid on August 17th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Eye-popping beat ‘em up action is coming!

From Gamescom 2011 comes this brand-new trailer for Tekken 3D: Prime Edition for the Nintendo 3DS! This should please fans and owners of Nintendo’s new handheld given the recent air of uncertainty and cancellation of titles. But nicely enough, Namco-Bandai is apparently moving forward with their fighting foray into 3D territory.

About the game itself, Tekken 3D looks as updated as Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as per the roster, judging from the inclusion of the Young Heihachi Mishima. If we are to assume correctly, the roster should include the whole Tekken 6 lineup at least of 40+ fighters, though we probably won’t see Jaycee in this game. Aside from that, we can only speculate as yet what other features will be coming, such as Character Customization, various game modes and online/multiplayer options. If the Tekken team manages to at least squeeze in as much gameplay and content as Tekken 6 into a 3DS cart, I’ll be happy- but here’s to them going the extra mile for this debut on a handheld.

Anyway, aside from the trailer, Siliconera just posted a whopping 40+ screens of Tekken 3D in their article on the game- check out their gallery. The game certainly looks slick, with detailed models, costumes and stages- it should look even better in motion, supposedly at a solid 60FPS.

No word yet on a release date, but I expect this to be out within 2011. Me and my 3DS are positively ACHING to get some 3D Iron Fist action going as soon as possible. I’m gonna be on this like a freakin’ hawk. More as we get it then!