And I Wasn’t Even Playing the Game!
I am huge fan of the Tekken franchise. I have been an avid player since Tekken 3 and as a result, play a mean game of Tekken bowling. There are a variety of reasons why I prefer these games over the likes of Street Fighter and Dead or Alive that have kept me devoted to Jin Kazama and his comrades. However, there is something about the distribution of their newest Tekken Tag Tournament 2 that has burnt my proverbial biscuits.
Before I get into that, let me attempt to explain why I have been so devoted to this game. I have been a Tekken fan ever since Tekken 2 back in 1996. The game play has always stood out to me. While games like Streetfighter tend to assign each button to a different strength of attack, Tekken assigns each button to a different limb of your fighter. This, for me at least, makes the game play feel much more fluid. Sometime around Tekken 3, they greatly moved away from the traditional left to right movement and implemented sidestepping, which enabled the player much more mobility and a greater diversity to the moves. I have always loved the fact that getting smacked into the ground meant I could roll to get back up and out of the line of fire, rather than simply standing to take another beating. Hoursof Streetfighter left me angry and with blisters on my thumbs, which made high school even more awkward then it already was. Tekken just got my adrenaline going and made me extremely competitive.
It also made me break three Playstation controllers, but hey, that game was asking for it.
Over the years the series has improved the gameplay, and I think this is really part of its charm. You can now interact with the background and toss your opponent into walls and through the floor with a well placed hit. 3-D movement and an uneven landscape implemented a much more diverse playing field. In addition, especially with Jun Kazama and Paul Phoenix in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the ‘bound’ hits, (where you basically pummel an airborne opponent) tend to take on a life of their own and you can mercilessly destroy your opponent before they even land on the ground.
I also enjoy the tongue-in cheek-quality to the game. For the most part, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In Tekken 6, with enough points I was able to customize Xiaoyu and Lili into a near copy of Sailor Moon. It came complete with a wand! Several of your opponents are anthropomorphic animals. I never expected to have to attack a kangaroo wearing a baseball cap in my life, but thanks to Tekken I can take that off my list. This customization can get incredibly detailed, and frankly insane. The most recent bat$h!t thing? Apparently, if you play as Alex, you can add a spinning golfer to his head. Why? Well, why not?
As a female gamer, it’s also incredibly nice to have a game with a decent sized female cast. Sure, the obligatory fan service is still there (Bikini Bundle, anyone?) but the fact that I have more than one female character to use and connect with makes a huge difference. I’ve been playing as Nina Williams from the very beginning and have been thrilled to add Lili and Asuka to Team Pepper.
Jun Kazama repeatedly destroyed me like a puppy with a chew toy. The game play is amazing, and the ghost tag attacks making cheesing your opponent so much more flashy.
After several rounds of Tekken, I attempted to use the downloaded Yoshimitsu Xbox avatar and behold I get this message:
Seriously, Xbox? Seriously, Tekken? Why the hell don’t I get to be a space samurai? Or a Blade ripoff? This is stuff and nonsense. You didn’t give the slightest bit of thought to maybe include a female character? Or to, maybe, make the costume generic, non gender specific? I’m even further insulted by the comment, ‘you may want to share this code with a friend who has a male avatar.’
No, nope this wasn’t made with you in mind. Move along, girl.
Bad form Xbox. Bad form indeed.
The game play is still awesome, but I am very, very disappointed in you Tekken. Now go to your room and think about what you’ve done.