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Deja Review: Tekken Hybrid


We're of the firm opinion that your time is too precious, too valuable to be spent reading a full review for a game that was already reviewed many, many years ago. What's the point of applying a score to a game that's old enough to be enrolled in the sixth grade? That's why we invented Deja Review: A quick look at the new features and relative agelessness of remade, revived and re-released games.

"Woah, wait a second, Joystiq," you might be typing into the comments section of this review right this second, "how in the world can you do a Deja Review on something that's new like Tekken Hybrid?" Well, it's simple: Tekken Hybrid is mostly old stuff. Parts of it are new, but the most substantial offering in the package is a PS2 launch title which has had a face lift.

I should preface this all by saying I'm a pretty big Tekken fan. I've been playing the series since it existed and the original Tekken Tag Tournament is responsible for one of my favorite memories as a human being. But, for most fighting game fans, you've either been with the franchise for a while or you've got your reasons for not giving Tekken a chance. Don't expect Tekken Hybrid to sway that opinion.

Gallery: Tekken Tag Tournament HD (7/25/11) | 8 Photos

What's new this time around? I'll start with Tekken Tag Tournament HD, which doesn't look half bad after some time under the scalpel. It's gotten a full facelift, particularly on its character models, which look a lot better than they did 10 years ago. Sadly, Namco-Bandai hasn't done much to spruce up the locales.

There's also Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue, which, put simply, is a model viewer and sparring scenario for four different fighters, two of them annoying Devil characters: Devil Jin and Devil Kazuya. Lin Xiaoyu and series newcomer Alisa are also available to tool around with, but overall Prologue is like having your meal taken away after your first bite. You're free to sit there and think about how great that bite was as long as you'd like, but there's no way the waiter is going to let you into the kitchen to finish the rest right now.

Such is the nature of demos, especially good ones -- if you weren't interested before, you'll likely be now and if you were interested, there's a chance you're only making the wait worse on yourself. That's how I felt here with only the four characters available; I got a taste but I wanted more. Of course, the character select screen didn't help, as it mocked me with its mosaic background displaying other Tekken fighters sure to be in the final game but not available here.

The final new addition is the CGI film, Tekken Blood Vengeance. It's a movie about Tekken. What else do you really need to know? It has inscrutable plot twists, and secret robots, and all the kicks and punches you could ever want.

How's it hold up? Thankfully, Tekken Tag Tournament's insides are still just as beautiful as its new coat of paint on the outside. The game still plays well and includes every mode found in the original. You get to play Tekken Bowl again!

But that spans the entirety of what's new in Tekken Tag Tournament HD: The visuals. Nothing else has been added; no online play, for instance, which is probably its most unforgivable deficit.

Overall, Tekken Hybrid is a pretty nice package for series fans. The original Tekken Tag Tournament still holds up, and the film and demo for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are good bonuses. The $40 budget pricing also doesn't hurt, and while I would've liked a bit more in Prologue, in the end I can't really complain because I get to play Tekken Bowl again. That's not the most sophisticated observation to base my purchasing decision upon, but boy, it's an important one.

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