(PlayStation Network)

Tekken Revolution (PlayStation Network)

Game Review

Tekken Revolution Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Sammy Barker

King of free-to-play fighters

The video game industry is changing faster than a Tekken character’s costume. The digital era has ushered a flurry of new distribution models for publishers to exploit, and that’s left major firms like Namco Bandai juggling dozens of ideas in the hope of happening upon a critical hit. Tekken Revolution, one of the first free-to-play titles to pick a fight with the PlayStation 3, attempts to shoehorn the silliness of Katsuhiro Harada’s madcap martial arts series into the cutthroat microtransaction market – but does it stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Mishima clan, or wallow in the woodland with Mokujin?

This is far from a traditional entry in the familiar fighting franchise. Despite being built upon the foundations of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the title is tuned towards the tastes of a more casual audience. For example, bound manoeuvres – which allow you to chain devastating attacks – have been yanked out like the majority of Heihachi’s hair, giving the gameplay a more accessible flavour. Furthermore, command lists have been simplified, with new Critical Arts – simple button combinations – taking centre stage. It’s a move that, much like a Christie Monteiro combo, is certain to agitate series aficionados – but there’s a sense that this release isn’t for the hardcore fans anyway.

Rather, this feels like a ploy to rejuvenate interest in the once world-beating brawler – and it’s actually fairly well constructed. There are two main modes available: Versus and Arcade. The former consists of Ranked and Player match playlists, which allow you to showcase the sturdiness of Paul Phoenix’s tubular tresses online. Meanwhile, the classic coin-op mode allows you to pummel your way through increasingly challenging computer-controlled opponents, culminating with an old-fashioned face-off against the globe’s greatest Jabberwocky impersonator, Ogre.

You can download the client for free, but there’s naturally a catch. In order to play, you’ll need coins, of which there are several flavours available. Arcade coppers allow you to enter the aforementioned, er, Arcade mode, while Battle pennies can be invested into online scraps. Fortunately, your stocks of these important faux trinkets will be refreshed over time, so you can technically keep playing without opening your wallet. However, if you’re engaging in a lot of fights, you’re going to need to stump up some real money in order to properly restock your supplies.

And that’s where the microtransactions come in. In addition to Premium Tickets – which you’ll unlock during general play – you can purchase Premium Coins, which allow you to enter whichever modes you like for a small fee. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time with the game, it’s the only real way to stay engaged without sitting through huge breaks in play, but fortunately the pricing – at £3.99/$4.99 for 30 of the precious galleons – is unlikely to break the bank. Smaller packs are available, however, if you’re on a tight budget.

There’s more, though. As you progress, you’ll be able to power up your characters. Skill points and in-game gold can be invested into three distinct categories: Power, Endurance, and Vigor. These augment your chosen protagonist with attack, health, and critical hit buffs, giving you a serious advantage online. You’ll be able to upgrade each of your fighters independently, allowing you to build a library of tanks, hard-hitters, and good all-rounders. As of the game’s latest patch (v1.01), these abilities can be reassigned by purchasing drinks, allowing you to experiment with each star’s statistics until you happen upon a build that benefits your playstyle.

The roster right now is slim, but it’s expanding slowly. Characters include veterans such as Marshall Law and Jack, as well as some newcomers like Alisa and Lars. Gift Points – which are accrued as you play – allow you to add new fighters to your library, giving you fresh personalities to power up. It’s a slow but compelling loop, designed to keep you pumping quarters into the release. Periodical events augment you with opportunities to increase your in-game earnings, but are restricted to specific timeframes. And while you can’t outright purchase new brawlers at the moment, you can splash out on fresh threads – of which, cunningly, the swimsuits are the most costly – and special effects.

It’s convoluted, but it’s all smartly implemented. A timer counts down to your next free coin while you’re sharpening your skills in the recently added training mode, while the online options allow you to filter your opponents by level, alleviating the odds of a battle against a seriously buffed adversary. The netcode is slick, limiting lag to a rarity if you’ve got a good connection, and you can even spectate other battles in the Player match lobbies. Furthermore, the visuals are impressive for a free-to-play release – and the main menu theme song upholds the franchise’s penchant for truly incredible soundtracks.

Conclusion

Tekken Revolution is more experimental than Combot, but solid execution on some admittedly controversial ideas ensure that this free-to-play fighter is worth a bash. Franchise fans will feel more frustrated than Devil Jin upon witnessing the watered down gameplay mechanics, but casual combatants may find themselves lured back into the wacky world of the King of Iron Fist Tournament on the back of the digital download’s inherent accessibility and free entry fee.

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User Comments (16)

MadchesterManc

#1

MadchesterManc said:

@get2sammyb Noticed you playing this last night :D I thought this had been out for ages, longer than a month anyway lol I may give it a try seen as its F2P but Im used to P4A and I dont wanna lose my flow on that to play Tekken. How big is the download?

Splat

#3

Splat said:

As someone that likes fighting games but doesn't love them this is a good game for me. I could see how the game could be a turnoff for die hard fighting game fans but like I said that isn't me.

charlesnarles

#4

charlesnarles said:

Tekken Tag for PS2 was the best arcade fighter around. That Unknown wolf demon chick was pretty intense, but the soundtrack and bowling were the most memorable parts to me. Hwoarang's and Unknown's themes always get stuck in my head for days on end... It's cool that its free, too. [Edit: Yoshimitsu! "No eyes. No ears. No nose. No hands. No shape. No shape." And Law's is seriously exactly like the Scion jingle thing! lol I just got the soundtrack cause I felt inspired : ) ]

get2sammybAdmin

#5

get2sammyb said:

@charlesnarles Yeah, Tekken Tag was an absolute classic. Such a good game. To be honest, I like all of the Tekken games. This is far from the best, but it's a fine experiment all the same — and better than I expected it to be!

PMasterTy9

#6

PMasterTy9 said:

I have liked most of the Tekken games, somehow I missed out on this one. It looks interesting but not sure about the micro transactions.

get2sammybAdmin

#7

get2sammyb said:

@PMasterTy9 My advice: give it a try. You don't have to pay anything to give it a go. If you find the microtransactions off-putting, you can always delete it off your HDD.

PMasterTy9

#8

PMasterTy9 said:

@get2sammyb Yeah I plan on downloading it either today or tomorrow if not then the weekend for sure. Can't be any worse than Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection.

PMasterTy9

#10

PMasterTy9 said:

@get2sammyb Maybe I am getting my titles confused but it was the first Tekken games you could download off the PSN and it had random generated character names. It seemed very buggy and appeared like it was an unfinished game. I haven't touched it since I bought it so I can't remember all the details. I will have to double check the name when I am near my PS3.

get2sammybAdmin

#11

get2sammyb said:

@PMasterTy9 No, that's the one I'm thinking of, too! It was a pretty barebones release, you're right - but it was cheap, so I rather enjoyed it!

hydeks

#12

hydeks said:

I'll stick with Tekken Tag 2, but I might still give this a try cause it's free :) Great read!

Splat

#13

Splat said:

Wasn't there supposed to be a free-to-play racing game coming to PS3 as well?

Gamer83

#15

Gamer83 said:

I've been really enjoying this game and I'm somebody who generally doesn't care much for free-to-play games. The single player was real solid though and I like that if you're real good at multi you don't have to spend a dime on the game. Unfortunately I'm terrible at the latter but still fun none the less. I definitely wouldn't put this up there with MK, Injustice, Tekken Tag 2 or Super SF IV which are the best fighters this gen, but this is still a fun time waster.

@hydeks
If you're a fan of Tekken, I highly recommend giving this a shot.

PMasterTy9

#16

PMasterTy9 said:

@get2sammyb I finally played this last night and It's not a bad game at all. If you are a Tekken fan I would recommend giving it a try for sure. One of the first few games I owned on PS One was the first Tekken.

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