Posts Tagged 'namco'

Tekken 6: BR Nationals

First off, I need to apologize to the guy who claimed he watched the Tekken 6 Nationals over the weekend.  He was right.  They did happen over the weekend.  I was wrong about that.  However, I won't apologize for the claim he made about the top three players being Bob users.  That was flat out wrong.  Not only that, but he was being a total couch warrior about the matches, saying how boring they were to watch and uninteresting.

I hate couch warriors.

The top place finisher was an old schooler from the Tekken Tag days named ChetChetty, a really phenomenal Paul user.  Second place went to Mr. Naps, a very excellent Bryan user and Street Fighter player.  Third went to another Tekken Tag player (who coincidentally is a former National champ for the U.S.) named Insanelee.  He used Julia. 

Congratulations to all the placers.  Good luck in Japan guys; take home the world crown for the U.S.!

Youtube user Nyawu has a ton of match vids up from the event, which I'd recommend over the UFragTV stream.  The UFragTV stream has 10 hours worth of coverage, but there's no timestamps around to tell you what exactly you're looking at, if you happen to skip around a bit.

Here's a sample match vid between Antonio and JTChinoi, a super-impressive Xiaoyu player:

Tekken 6 National-GGL Semi Finals – Antoniooo (Julia Lars) vs jtchinoi (Ling Xiaoyu) (PS3 side)

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Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion (a review)

It's been a week since Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion has been in my hands, and the wait has been somewhat worth it.  10 long months after T6:BR debuted in arcades all across Japan (and small pockets in North America), we finally get our localized version for the PS3 and Xbox60 consoles and it's wonderfully inept, pun intended.

The question I have right now is, "was it rushed?"  Most certainly not one would believe, but after playing Scenario Campaign mode and the much-anticipated Online mode, I was dismayed and bewildered.  Granted I don't play fighting games for the story so I didn't have any absurdedly high expectations for Scenario mode but Online mode?  What the hell happened here?

Nothing beats playing someone in person but I was hoping to at least be able to play some old Tekken friends over the online mode.  Unfortunately I couldn't even play my friend who lives in the same city as me due to horrible synching problems.  If I can handle playing Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV worldwide, why can't I enjoy Tekken in my own region?

You'd think Namco would have the capacity to at least incorporate some simple mechanics from the Nina Williams "Death by Degrees" spinoff for the Scenario Campaign mode, but noooo, lets keep that horribly awkward mechanic of confusing the analog stick inputs with the rocker pad, yeah!  No Namco, we don't need every single attack in the movelist; just one or two work just fine.  Oh hey, a targeting system.  Woot, thanks.

At least a patch is on the way.

Modes aside, Tekken 6 is the best incarnation of the franchise yet.  With a slew of new moves and gameplay tweaks abound, Tekken remains the undisputed king of balanced fighting.  Even the joke characters can stand their ground with a slew of much-needed attacks that round out their already impressive repetoire of shenanigans.  Namco probably also heard the fans decries of previous versions, and super nerfed the typically strongest characters in the game: the Mishima family.  They're just terrible to play now, albeit still unquestionably solid.

In short, tl;dr, buy the game if you're a hardcore Tekken fan.  Buy it if you enjoy 3D games and have a reasonable amount of friends to butt heads with.  Just don't buy it expecting anything too terribly philosophic.  Remember, masher and master are only a single letter apart.

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Soul Calibur 4

Soul Calibur is Namco's other 3D beat-em-up franchise.  While Tekken is (mostly) relegated to fisticuffs, Soul Calibur differentiates by using weapons and a complex parrying system called guard impact.  The series is set much further back in history, and is based around a mythical sword called, you guessed it…Soul Calibur.  It's safe to assume that everyone and their mama is out to get this sword for their own personal reasons.

The game itself isn't that much different from Tekken.  The blocking system is identical to its older brother, complete with sidestep system.  The only major difference is that you have three attacks (horizontal, vertical, and kick) and a guard button, freeing up your movement across the stage.

I didn't get in to Soul Calibur early on, due to it being Dreamcast only.  I did play it's sequel pretty extensively, but totally ignored Soul Calibur 3.  As far as I'm concerned, Soul Calibur 3 didn't offer anything new aside from 6 more characters, more boring story mode content, and a custom character creation mode.  Plus, the character balance was really uneven, and glitches were abound.  It was so bad that Namco, realizing their error, quickly rushed Soul Calibur 3: Arcade Edition, but by that time the gamer crowd grew tired and quit playing the game altogether.  What also really destroyed Soul Calibur 3 for myself and alot of hardcore fighting fans was the discovery of G22, or variable cancel (VC). 

What VC does is cancel the animation frames, while the move itself continues invisibly.  This threw all means of offensive play out the window, and turned Soul Calibur 3 into a game based solely on running and turtling.  You'll hardly see anyone attempt to guard impact anything, because the risk of doing so was very high.  This also lead for some really nasty tricks:

 

One insane example of using VC effectively


So as you can tell, Soul Calibur 3 was pretty bunk.

Soul Calibur 4 is coming out really soon, July 29 to be exact.  There's going to be 7 new characters, including Darth Vader and Yoda (you can see the full roster here, lol).  Kimura mentioned rumors of Kratos from God of War making an appearance, but so far Namco gave an official statement that denied any rumors or speculations.

The game system is pretty innovative as well.  There's a new armor break system, which consists of three jewels that turn red as certain areas are being pummeled.  When one jewel breaks, the armor breaks off, and critical finishers become activated.  When you're own jewel turns blue and the stars and moon align, you can unleash a critical finish; a pretty movie sequence that ends in an instant K.O.  This should make for more interesting strategy!

Hopefully Soul Calibur 4 picks up where the other series dropped the ball.  Next time I'll stop posting about 3D fighters and focus toward 2D series.

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Tekken 6

Namco's Tekken series has been around for over a decade, solidfying the game's status as a token-crunching franchise.  Arguably the best 3D beat em up in the market, Tekken has been through alot of changes since the first game debuted in 1994.  Tekken 6, released in arcades last year in Japan, didn't make a debut in American arcades, due to the declining arcade market and high cost.  Console releases (most likely PS3 only) are scheduled to be out one year after the arcade release.

The first Tekken game is absolutely horrible to look at now.  I'm amazed it even got a sequel, considering how horrible the game played and looked.  The weirdest element were the "moon jumps" in the game.  Every character could jump over a skyscraper and then some.  The only reason this game did any decent business was due to the fact that there were hardly any other fighting games on the PSX at the time, which helped out Namco alot, although it didn't help much that Virtua Fighter was the other dominant 3D game at the time…

But thankfully we got Tekken 3, which helped bring out the game's brighter qualities, such as a larger cast, larger movelists, and balanced gameplay.  By this time, moon jumps were gone, and you could actually move in and out of the background. There was also a huge time jump in the story (19 years to be exact).  Few to none of the original Tekken 2 cast appeared in 3, which was quite refreshing to see a bunch of brand new faces.

Now we have Tekken 6.  Tekken 6 is the latest offering in the series, and quite honestly, the gameplay really hasn't changed much, if at all since Tekken 3.  There's only 4 new characters this time around, but the cast is the largest in Namco's franchise with 41 characters.  All of the original gameplay mechanics are back, with the only real difference being a rage system (e.g. moar pain) and a new "bound" system, which allows for ridiculously long and damaging combos.  Make a mistake, and you could kiss 70% of your life gone in an instant.  I had a few test plays in Japan, and this was by far the largest gripe I had with the game.

And if that isn't enough to convince you how broken this installment is becoming, combine both of those factors and you get unprecedented death combos:

Law Tekken 6 Death Combo by KYSG YOU

So what has Tekken 6 done for innovation?  So far, very very little.  A new bound system, even more customization options, and supposed online integration.  I'm iffy about the online integration part, since America is much larger than Japan, with an even less effective internet speeds.  There's nothing groundbreaking since Tekken 3 in terms of game mechanics, and the same characters in 3 have been around foreeeeeever.  At this rate, we can probably expect Tekken 7 to be the same game, but with just more of everything…

Still, Tekken dominates the arcade gaming scene in Japan and Korea, a true testament to its large popularity.

Tomorrow I'll turn the focus to Soul Calibur 4, Namco's weapon-porn franchise.

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A great week for gamers!

CES is probably one of the hugest events for geeks around the nation, and its only fitting that games were also in the mix this week.  Apart from ginormous plasma tv's, pimpin car systems, and the Blu-Ray / HD DVD war, there was a megaton amount of news that poured out. 

One of the first crazy announcements was the appearance of Star Wars in the upcoming Soul Calibur 4.  Darth Vader and Yoda made an unannounced romp into the latest trailer at 1up.com.  Props to Cuong for giving the heads up!

Also, someone on neogaf posted a famitsu screen shot of an upcoming new character for Street Fighter 4.  No news on what she can do, but her name is Crimson Viper, and she looks like someone out of No More Heroes, lol.

Finally, for all of you Super Smash Bros. Brawl fans out there, a new character has been revealed by the name of Pikmin, haha.  From the early screenshots, it looks similar to how the Pokemon Trainer character plays.  Also, Solid Snake's Final Smash has been added, although it looks a little iffy, if you ask me…

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Random quote of the day: "I like girls, but I'm more into justice."

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