Monday Impressions: Tekken Revolution

tekken rev MIWhat? A free-to-play Tekken game? It may sound too good to be true but it is. And it's pretty darn good too. Tekken Revolution is a free-to-play game released exclusively on the PS3 via the PSN in June 11, 2013. It uses the same engine as Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and various assets from the same game such as art, music, stages, character models and move sets.

There are 8 playable characters available from the get go as well as 4 more characters to unlock.

They are:

  • Marshall Law
  • Paul Phoenix
  • Asuka Kazama
  • Kazuya Mishima
  • Lars Alexandersson
  • Lili Rochefort
  • King
  • Jack-6

Unlockable Characters:

  • Alisa Bosconovitch
  • Leo Kliesen
  • Steve Fox
  • Bryan Fury

If your favorite Tekken character didn't make it, more characters are planned to be added through future updates.

You may ask yourself "if this is free, why would I buy Tekken Tag Tournament 2 then?". Aside from the small roster of characters, what sets this game appart from Tekken Tag 2 or even Tekken 6 is the lack of the bound mechanic. A bound is that extra bounce that allows you to extend combos. In Tekken 6 and Tag 2, you are allowed 1 bound per combo string. In Tekken Revolution, moves that would normally bound a grounded opponent would allow you to combo after it if it is the starting hit. If you try to perform the bound mid-combo, it just knocks the opponent to the ground instantly. The removal of this may not sound like a big deal but seasoned Tekken players will understand the difference the lack of bound would make.

You will also notice that some moves have special tags on them like a red or blue star. Red star moves would signify that this move has invincibility during a portion of the attack and usually causes a hard knockdown. Blue star tagged moves allow for critical hits which can add a significant amount of damage. You can tell which moves these are as they are identified on the character select screen as well as having special visual effects on screen when the move is performed The inclusion of these attributes definitely move the game to a more casual level as the invincibility moves, though unsafe onblock, are very strong and can award some fraudulent wins (I know I have).

As with any casual free-to-play game, there are things you can buy with real money. That being the premium coins. You see there are 4 types of consumable points, two of which require time to recharge. Red coins, called Arcade Coins, are arcade coins which let you play arcade mode to grind for a bit of experience and gold and is replenished every 60 minutes. You can stack up to a maximum of 2 Arcade Coins. Blue coins, called Battle Coins, are spent for playing online, be it ranked or player matches. You can stock up to 5 of these and each replenish every 30 minutes. Premium Tickers are a bit unique as they can be spent to either play Arcade more or online matches if you've run out of the red or blue coins. If you win an online match using a Premium Ticket, you are award one back. A nice risk and reward chance when using premium tickets online. Lastly are the Premium Coins. These coins works the same way as Premium Tickets and can only be purchased from the PlayStation Store.

Earning experience levels up your account which then awards you points to power up your desired characters. The gold is than spent when applying these points to 3 power up slots. Power, which lets you deal more damage. Endurance, which increases your starting maximum health. And Vigor, which increases the chances of critical hits.

What I like about this game is that there is no true "pay-to-win" aspect here as you'd still need to actually play the fighting game in order to grind experience and gold as opposed to simply buying points for the power ups. Sadly, there is one downside to Tekken Revolution and that is there is no real Training Mode. The complete move set for each character is listed but you can only really access it when playing in Arcade Mode. While waiting for an online match, you are thrown in a sort of training mode against the very dumb AI as the game searches for an opponent. While a nice inclusion, you cannot access your move list or pick the stage. I've only brought what little combo knowledge I have from Tekken 6 and Tag 2 and modified them a bit to make up for the lack of bound.

Is it worth a try?

Of course! It's a fully fledged modern Tekken game, albeit without bound, that is free-to-play. No pay-to-win, no Freemium bullroar. The coins may sound like they take a while to recharge but I'd say it's handled well. I usually start with 1 arcade coin, burn through the 5 online coins, use another arcade coin. By the time I'm done with that, I'd usually have another online coin already recharged. Another good reason to try this game out is that it uses that magic online infrastructure as Tekken Tag Tournament 2. I usually find 3-4 bar connections where you barely feel any lag.