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 3D Prime Edition Update

Posted in 3DS, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Mobile Games, Tekken, Tekken 3D Prime Edition, Tekken 6, Tekken Blood Vengeance on November 17th, 2011 by thelonegamer

The gang’s all here…
The 3DS Iron Fist game, Tekken 3D Prime Edition, is still slated for release this coming February. The game features the return of the roster from Tekken 6, with the only real ‘new’ addition being TTT2′s Young Heihachi. Other than that though, the only other new feature in the game so far are original stages (whoopie). No news if the game has any kind of customization, but at the very least has the old P1 alt outfits, which is more than I can say for Tekken Tag 2. Oh, and yeah, you are of course getting a 3D portable version of Tekken Blood Vengeance, although you’d already have this if you bought Tekken Hybrid.

To sweeten the deal, apparently there’s a launch promotion for Prime that will give those who purchase the 3DS game a bonus of 10,000 in-game money for the arcade version of Tekken Tag 2, plus some special items (just for names/rankings, not actual in-game items though). Obviously, this is only for Japan.
Yeah, I’m still probably getting this just to get one more title on my 3DS, but my enthusiasm for this has dropped quite a bit. Having a Tekken 6 version on 3DS is nice I guess, but it seems that the usual going-the-extra-mile of the Tekken team isn’t too much in effect here. But we’ll see in the final release… maybe we’ll be surprised. The game is out in Japan this coming Feb. 16, 2012.

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.

A Peek at the Japanese Tekken Hybrid Package

Posted in Anime, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Movies, PS3, Tekken, Tekken 6, Tekken Blood Vengeance on October 4th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Japan gamers get a more anime flavored Hybrid in December.

Tekken boss Katsuhiro Harada just posted the pic above, showing off a look at the upcoming Tekken Hybrid package for Japan, which features a case with nice artwork by artist Shunya Yamashita. I guess given how a lot of the comments about Tekken: Blood Vengeance were about it being more like an anime girl buddy movie than a straightforward Tekken movie, this look is probably a lot more fitting. Regardless, I really can’t wait to see the film for myself for all the action and CG eye candy, at the very least. The US gets its hybrid fix a bit earlier in late November. Still no word on the dates for EU or Asian releases (announcements will be made by Sony Entertainment), so maybe we’ll just have to spring for a US copy. We’ll see- stay tuned, then!

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.

The Fighting Game Story Mode: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Action Adventure, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, King of Fighters, King of Fighters XIII, Mortal Kombat, My Stuff, PS2, PS3, PSOne, Retro-gaming, Soul Calibur, Soulcalibur 5, Soulcalibur IV, Streetfighter, Streetfighter X Tekken, Tekken, Tekken 6, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Xbox360 on September 22nd, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Soul Edge’s PS Intro: Always start a story with a rousing opening!

Ah, the Fighting Game genre. It’s certainly my most favorite of all videogame categories- my most beloved guilty pleasure in gaming. I’ve been playing fighters since I got into this hobby, from Streetfighter II on the Super NES to today’s Tekken 6 and Mortal Kombat remake. Many get into these games for the simple pleasure of owning someone else- the unabashed satisfaction of proving your dominance in the most blatant and base way possible- by sheer physicality or superior skill. Really, in the end, fighting games do of course boil down to a simple equation most eloquently shouted out by bloodthirsty masses in Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome- Two men enter, one man leaves. Well, sometimes Two women, or two THINGS. You get the picture, right?

Anyway, I think it’s a mark of a fan of these games themselves and not the sheer act of fighting that despite it being sheer gravy, that I put great importance on an aspect of these games that most often is glossed over- The Story.

Fast Tube by Casper

The Fight- and The Story- is All.

Why is all this fighting going on, anyway? Who’s the ‘good’ guy? Who’s the ‘bad’ buy? What’s at stake? Should we care? In all seriousness, it does add to the enjoyment of a story that we know the backgrounds of each and every single character in a fighting game’s often voluminous roster of Playables, and to follow their blood-slogging climb to the top of the tournament ladder. Drama, comedy, horror, evil, good, jealousy, courage… all encapsulated in what basically is about two guys hitting each other until one goes down and stays down.
Hell, if man going mano-y-mano with one’s fellow man didn’t make for good drama, then Homer’s Iliad wouldn’t have been certified a classic since the freakin’ Ancient Greeks. But hey, wouldn’t the Iliad make for a damn awesome fighter?

Fast Tube by Casper

MK didn’t always have great production values for it’s cutscenes…

This is probably something that fighting games spearheaded apart from other games- no longer did players fight to reach the end just to see a high score- they wanted to see an ENDING- something that couldn’t be quantified into any single number- but the satisfaction of reuniting your electronic avatar with his family, missing sibling or long-sought-after prize of revenge. Or a meeting with his country’s premier!

Fast Tube by Casper

Congratulations, comrade!

Anyway, relating a Fighting Game story has been done in various ways since the beginning. For the most part, the easiest and most expected way is the simple End Cutscene. Streetfighter II did it back in the day, rewarding the player’s victory over M. Bison with a bunch of screens with minimal animation and text. So effective was this that every game afterwards seemed to follow that same template- the ending was the reward, the narrative carrot dangled before the combatant. From SNK’s many brawlers like King of Fighters to Samurai Shodown to the original Mortal Kombat to every 90′s wannabee Streetfighter, it was all there in varying degrees of campiness.

Fast Tube by Casper

Your usual, run-of-the-mill Story Mode ending.

Of course there are a few games that didn’t bother to tell their story- the most significant being Sega’s Virtua Fighter series. All semblance of narrative was placed firmly outside the games, in arcane literature or dictated by actual game tournaments. In many ways, I think, that’s why VF has never found a certain closeness to gamers, with the most hardcore fans of this particular brawler more invested in game mechanics, frame counts and simple gameplay.

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Virtua Fighter’s Intro hints at a deeper story behind the fighters.

A benefit or detriment? Well, let’s just say that the fan support for VF, while rabid, is perhaps the smallest of all the big fighting game franchises. That’s not to say that the Virtua Fighters don’t have a story- it’s there, certainly, but just not being told as much. Perhaps when we are given a trail to follow and care for, perhaps that’s when VF will bloom to the emotional masses.

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A Tekken CG Ending waaaay back in the PSOne days.

As game technology and CG animation got better, ending cinematics became slicker and more elaborate. Perhaps the series that most surely chronicles not only it’s characters’ personal sagas but also visualizes the gradual leap of graphical and animation quality is Namco-Bandai’s Tekken series- from the very basic and simple end cutscenes of the first Tekken on the original Playstation, the cinematic cutscenes have raised the bar with every installment afterwards.

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Despite being an unpopular chapter, Tekken 4 placed more emphasis on story than most other installments in the franchise.

The series has now the reputation for these eye-catching cinematics, with perhaps the culmination of that reputation being the somewhat controversial Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie- perhaps the most complex cutscene yet for a fighting game.

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Tekken 6 endings are gorgeously animated, but the stories told range from the cool to the downright silly.

Ironically, Tekken 6′s Scenario Campaign is actually a very different way of telling the game’s story, albeit the mode proved unpopular with some players. I actually found this a very engaging and enjoyable mode, though perhaps it could do with some improvements.

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Mortal Kombat’s Story Mode is Epic in so many ways.

But CG visual quality isn’t the end-all and be-all of Fighting Game storytelling- Mortal Kombat proved this with it’s 2011 remake’s quite revolutionary Story Mode. It may have been a bit of a gamble on paper- a long and involved story told in real-time, in-engine graphics, visualizing the whole MK saga from the beginning to the future and back to the present, running many, many hours long and throwing the player into the boots of various warriors. But ultimately, it WORKED. Gamers got into the story, they loved it and acclaim for this way of doing the till-then tired Story Mode was pretty much universal. The one best thing about MK’s Story Mode? It showed one thing that other games always get wrong- The Ending is NOT the Story.
Mortal Kombat showed us that it was all about seeing the fighters’ tales unfold, seeing plots twist and turn and end up in outcomes we didn’t see coming and snowball to something we fear/await/dread was entertaining and kept us going hour after hour, through every fight till the very end.

Of course, MK isn’t the only fighter to have a long and involved Story Mode- just the most visible and perhaps the one boasting the highest production values. Truth be told though, 2D fighter Blazblue has a very involved and complex Story Mode as well, though told mostly in text or voice-driven static cutscenes but boasting multiple endings and paths, sometimes dictated by your victories or defeats.

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Blazblue’s anime-style storytelling makes for many hours of battle, voice-acting and battling voice-acting.

Dead or Alive Dimensions on the 3DS was able to summarize it’s entire enigmatic decades-long saga with it’s rather long but entertaining main Story mode (. The upcoming King of Fighters XIII will also boast a Story mode bursting with replay value for multiple playthroughs when it arrives later this year on consoles.

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The Soul Calibur series often featured interactive endings, where a button press could change the outcome.

Going back a bit, Namco-Bandai’s almost ill-fated Soul Calibur series has had a past filled with exceptional story modes. The original Soul Blade on PSOne had interactive endings where you could change the outcome of your fighter’s fate with a fast button press. Soul Calibur III had a Tales of Souls mode which boasted multiple paths and alternate endings- it encouraged multiple playthroughs so you could see all the possible endings and cutscenes, or unlock a very challenging boss encounter.

Sadly, SoulCalibur IV dropped many things from the previous installments, many of them conceivably fan favorite aspects that were sorely missed. Gone were the multi-aspect Story Mode and explorative minigames, in their place a generic Story Mode with a repetitive and generic cutscene and rather enigmatic endings. The Tower of Lost Souls, a challenging ladder game, proved to be more frustrating to many players than anything else. Perhaps the result? SoulCalibur IV was almost the last game in this long-running series, apparently only saved from the brink of oblivion by fan requests and support.

And so, what have we learned from all this? One important thing.

The Best Story Modes should be about The Journey, NOT the Ending. It’s about a story that’s compelling throughout, not just a prize waiting after all that’s said and done.

But would other fighters learn from this example? Only future fighters will tell. Or, perhaps, the next wave of fighters will.

Fast Tube by Casper

Soul Calibur IV’s Endings looked great, but the overall storytelling left much to be desired.

Soul Calibur V, set for release in First Quarter 2012, looks to have a Story Mode that hopefully has been influenced by recent games. Though we’ve yet to get any solid information on the gameplay, we’ve seen screens showing a map screen, which should bode well for the chance that this won’t simply be a series of fights leading to one ending. At the very least, cutscenes and a pathways chosen by the player may be included, and hopefully challenges and encounters that add and encourage replay- something the series is not a stranger to, as we’ve seen.

With the future of this fan-supported fighter perhaps lying in SCV’s performance, I’m hoping they make the story something that really gets players involved and wanting more of this Tale of Souls and Swords for years to come.

Fast Tube by Casper

Soul Calibur V, set 17 years after the last game, looks to have a story more dramatic than ever before.

With the current resurgence of Fighting Games as a popular genre in gaming, there will surely be more emphasis on the Story Mode. Thanks to Mortal Kombat’s high-profile success, we may expect even more epic storytelling to come from beat ‘em ups in the years to come. Hopefully we’ll see the Fighting Game story evolve into something truly enjoyable and interactive for gamers, so that our favorite fighters continue on and have their Tales Eternally Retold.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition Special TGS Trailer

Posted in 3DS, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Streetfighter, Tekken, Tekken 3D Prime Edition, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Videogame Comedy on September 17th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Now THIS is a Boss Battle…

Here’s the fun little spot for Tekken 3D Prime Edition for the Nintendo 3DS that debuted early last week at a pre-TGS Nintendo event, this time with subtitles. Yeah, the trailer’s game content is pretty much the same as the previous T3D trailer, but seeing the live-action sequence, complete with Japanese TV-style camera work and hilariously hammy performances from Streetfighter’s Yoshinori Ono and Tekken’s Katsuhiro Harada is priceless. The 3DS Tekken game is still very much in development, apparently, but it’s been given a release window of as early as February 2012. Well before then I expect we’ll see various trailers and spots to show what this latest portable Rave War has in store for mobile gamers.

On other Tekken-related news, Harada has tweeted that release dates for Tekken Hybrid will be announced soon, along with news of a possible Collector’s Edition. Also currently ongoing is testing of Tekken.Net for online play for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 in international arcades. More as we get it then!