How much do you love Tekken Tag? This is the most important question you will have to ask yourself before deciding if Tekken Hybrid is worth your hard-earned $40. What we have here is a package that contains a 3D Blu-Ray movie, a demo and an “HD” version of a PS2 classic brawler. While I count the demo as a freebie, the game and movie could easily warrant the price tag if they are well done. Again this goes back to my earlier question. This will all depend on how deep your love for the PS2 launch title really runs.
First, let’s break down logistics. This disc is basically the movie with some bonuses. In order to play either the demo of Tekken Tag 2 Prologue or the HD remake, you have to install them to your hard drive. Don’t get too excited, though. You still need the disc in to play them. By default, the movie will play when the disc is inserted, which can also be annoying if you have your system set to auto-play. Technical issues aside, though, it is awesome to have a complete 3D movie packaged with a full game all on one disc. This is truly what Blu-Ray is intended for.
Of course, a lot of you are wondering how Tekken Tag holds up after all these years. Included in Hybrid is the complete game with all the characters unlocked from the outset, including the movie and music gallery, as well as Tekken Bowl. This is the definitive version of the game (of course it is also the only other version), and it is complete. Therein lies the problem, though. Anyone expecting extras, such as online or added characters, will be disappointed. This is Tekken Tag Tournament, for better or worse, with a higher resolution.
As it stands, Tekken Tag remains one of the best in the series. The tag dynamic by itself adds so much more strategy, forcing you to constantly monitor your health bar. Unlike other tag games, once the character onscreen is depleted, it is game over; switching when health gets low is a must. The action still plays fluidly, and veterans will take no time acclimating themselves back into the mechanics. Sure, things have progressed over the years, but much like Street Fighter it is just like riding a bike; although your bike now lacks all the cool features you have added to it over the years.
In addition, Tekken Bowl is just as addictive as it was back in 2000. For those that have never played the game, you might be thinking this is a simple mini-game that is entirely a waste of time. Well, to be fair, I think I sank more hours into Tekken Bowl than I did the actual fighting game. It could have been a standalone affair easily, and it will suck you in for hours at a time. Each character is represented and has their own strengths in the lanes. For example, more powerful characters can hurl the ball down at the pins but lack accuracy, while smaller, more agile characters are great for picking up spares and splits. This plays into the mix, and it is fun to experiment with your preferred team.
Tekken: Blood Vengeance is the movie packed in with Hybrid, and while entertaining, I can’t say it was something I would have bought had it not come in this package. The CGI is gorgeous and the fight scenes are entertaining, but it lacks that staying power for multiple viewings. However, if you do have access to a 3D television, this is definitely one to utilize it. Some of the scenes here are gorgeously rendered and simply pop out of the screen at you. It is a nice diversion from the brawling, but it won’t win any awards for its execution.
Finally, we have Tekken Tag 2 Prologue, which gives you a small glimpse at the upcoming fighter. You get four characters including Xiaoyu, Kazuya, Devil Jin and Alisa who all, to no surprise, play a large role in the movie included in the package. While this is truly a demo in every sense of the word, it does feature Trophies for you hounds out there. The game looks and plays great, and Tekken fans are sure to be chomping at the bit for more once they get their hands on the demo.
Overall, this is a decent package for the hardcore Tekken fan, but not many others. If you are a fighting game fan, the lack of online will be the biggest deterrent, and a demo is still a demo in most people’s eyes. Tekken fans, though, will no doubt feel justified in the price tag considering that Tag is still revered as the best in the series by a lot of faithful. Getting a taste of the sequel is a nice treat, and the movie is not an abomination. So, if you are considering picking this up I suggest, once again, asking yourself, “How big of a Tekken fan am I?”
Review copy of the game provided by publisher.