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.

Monday Impressions: The Amazing Spider-Man

monday impressions amazing spider-manIron Man 3 just hit theaters and strangely enough, we haven't seen a Marvel movie game tie in after The Avengers. The most recent Marvel movie game we got was The Amazing Spider-man, the Spider-man game that was thought to bring life back to open world web swinging. The Amazing Spider-man was developed by Beenox, the same studio that did the two previous Spider-man games up tp this point. Now while I can say that Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions was a decent game and personally have not tried Spider-man: Edge of Time. Edge of Time looked boring just from the few gameplay trailers that came out. When majority of a game's trailers do not show gameplay and only show developers talking about how "good" it is, it's usually not.

Shattered Dimensions had you control four different Spider-men across different universes and Edge of Time had you control two Spider-man from the present and the future. Both games had web swinging but were not open world. The Amazing Spider-man returned you to the city of New York where you are free to swing around where ever you please. The previous Spider-man game that featured and open world was Spider-man: Web of Shadows, which I honestly think is a good game.

amazing spider-man 01The story takes place after the events of the movie where Doc Conners is in jail and Oscorp continues his research and mutates animals into familiar Spider-man villains. The mutation becomes a virus that the animals spread around the city turning people into monsters and it's up to Spider-man to stop them. The story fits the movie's lore and the voice acting is also pretty spot on. But maybe they should have picked a different person to voice Spider-man instead of using Donatello from the 2003 TMNT series.

Alright, my main gripe with The Amazing Spider-man is the web swinging control is far inferior compared to Web of Shadows. Jumping, wall crawling, web swinging, and web zipping are all very floaty. In the context of the open world just being a medium for you to travel to the mission areas, it's functional but after Web of Shadows and Spider-man 2 giving such a fulfilling web swinging controls, this very gimped version of swinging is a step back. Oringinally I thought that it was fine since there's not really anything in the open world for you to do but then I found out that there are collectible comic book pages that you can find to unlock comic book issues in the gallery mode. Instead of zipping to the exact building or water tower I want, I end up going to the wrong building 3 blocks down and losing sight of the collectible.

amazing spider-man 02Combat is pretty mundane as well, being a copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum's counter system where Spdiey's spider sense ripples would appear above his head when an enemy is about to strike. It's not bad by any means and the ripples makes sense with Spidey's power but it just doesn't feel right. Combat is floaty, there are no combos to speak off aside from hammering the attack button and occasionally hitting the circle button to web enemies to the floor or walls. Landing counters feels very vauge as well since the animations for combos and counters look very similar.

Long story short, The Amazing Spider-man is by no means the best Spider-man game out there but it's decent and is probably the best Spider-man game from Beenox. If you can get this game for a good price and like the wall crawling hero then go for it. All my gripes mainly stem from my liking of Web of Shadows.

Monday Impressions: Video Game Reboots Trending...


Reboot trend Do you feel it? The sudden shift of reboots being released and announced more frequently? Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Just like other entertainment media such as music and movies, this is inevitable, and some franchise or series must be repackaged for the current generation. Some are turned out really bad, but the recent ones show way more promise than their originals. This is a risk worth investing now. We are slowly moving to the next generation, and more reboots will actually help the industry in the long run...will it?

it's good to see reboots happen now in this industry. If you talked reboots 10 years ago, everybody would laugh at the idea since it seemed a bit early. Now, it's about right. We have crazy famous titles going past the number 5 mark already, and we have titles that come out yearly now like Assassin's Creed or Call of Duty. It's not a long wait anymore for the next release of your favorite title. It's a different time, and some games actually fall behind because publishers consider it a risk to release a new one, because again, its a different time. That's why reboots are now essential to bring great franchises back into the spotlight, with a fresh new coat of paint of course.

For the past 6 months, we get the taste of how effective reboots are right now. One example - XCOM, a game completely out of many gamer's comfort zone caught them by surprise how a turn-based strategy that punishes you with a single mistake could be fun. The 1994 original was a cult hit and I consider the old XCOM: Enemy Unknown to be one of the founding fathers of great turn-based strategy games. Thanks to efforts at Firaxis, a franchise was reborn.


But not all reboots are performed well. You wish for an example you say? Syndicate is the one game that only comes into mind. If you want to reboot something, the worst thing you can do, in my book, is change how it's played completely. The original Syndicate was  actually a Real Time Strategy game, but thanks to EA being...EA, it converted a beloved title in the most generic form of gaming today, an FPS shooter. Was it a forgettable experience? Yea. sadly, it was. It had great potential, but it was poorly executed, and the push to convert it to FPS was the worst idea I've heard. What's the point of rebooting if you won't stay true to the original? Yes?

Reboots can be tricky, especially with a strong fan base. Let's put Tomb Raider at the spotlight shall we? Tomb Raider, which was released just last month got a lot of praise, but prior to the release of the game, everybody was nervous on how they would react to the final product. Even the developers were anxious to see if their years of commitment didn't just destroy the most iconic female protagonist in gaming history. It was bold of them to take a project like this, and the end result is quite impressive(working on the review right now, just bearing the MP). One way to notice if a reboot has succeeded is not by the sales, but if both the old and new fans are happy with the new version of the game, and Crystal Dynamics I believe hit that.

Tomb Raider is actually the best example of how a reboot should be. Mostly familiar, but updated in terms of mechanics and visual appearance. The classic Tomb Raider games were great in its time, but were restricted in really bring that Indiana Jones adventure. Now, rebooting the series since it's now possible just makes a lot of sense, and making an orgins story made it much sweeter. Thanks to Uncharted showing us that third person adventures can be just as big as a hollywood movie, their timing in bringing back Lara Croft was perfect. Of course, we all know Tomb Raider was actually the original Uncharted and that the Uncharted series was inspired by it, so it's kind of fitting for Lara to go through all those hollywood-like action scenes. Even though she was way more punished compared to Nathan Drake.


Another great reboot that showed up recently is the reboot to Devil May Cry called DmC" Devil May Cry(still have no idea why its called that). It got a bit of heat because of Ninja Theory's and Capcom's decision to make Dante more... emo.. But if you shake off the new look and just play the game, you'll quickly notice everything that makes Devil May Cry is intact. A bit more simplified, but definitely still fun to great to experiment different combos with Dante's arsenal. thanks to the whole look, I think I can say they created a divide, with people preferring the old to the new, which is not the best position Capcom was hoping for sure. Regardless, at least gameplay isn't messed.

Reboots are trending from the looks of things, and we will see more of them. If they do, they came at the right time since it's the right time for some franchises to get the recycle treatment. You shouldn't consider reboots a sign of the industry running out of idea, but consider it as keeping iconic franchises alive and providing different variations for the old and current generation. All forms of media do it, and the fact that we see more in video games means that the industry is moving forward. There's still a lot of series' that deserve a reboot, and I'm pretty excited what shows up in the future. Will this trend turn out good in the long run? Well, anything can happen but its off to a good start.

Since were talking reboots, got anything in mind?



Monday Impressions: Gundam Breaker BETA

Gundam_Breaker_01 What's better than a Gundam video game? A GunPla video game. What is GunPla? GunPla stands for Gundam Plastic Model Kits. Those little snap together kits from Bandai. Long have I craved for a Gundam game where you can swap parts. It's not as complex as Armored Core but it still has some charm to it. Gundam_Breaker_02

The Gundam Breaker beta is only available on the Japanese PS Store so if you want to try this game out, you'd need to have a Japanese PSN account. I made one to redeem my Bayonetta DLC code from my Japanese copy of Max Anarchy from last year which is how I got to play this beta.

Behold! My creations!


Is it worth a try?

By all means. Yes! If you are a Gundam fan or an especially huge GunPla fan, I strongly urge you to check this game out.

Monday Impressions: FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL FTL: Faster Than Light is a Strategy Simulator for the PC. An addicting game that you could find yourself playing for hours. You command your own spacecraft and crew through dangerous territory. It's a concept that should have been tackled before. I have no idea why I held off buying this game, but I'm thankful I caved in the end.

You are given the simple task of bringing vital information to the allied fleet. With the rebel fleet behind you, you have to jump from sector to sector to avoid engaging the rebels. Each playthrough can clock from 1 -2 hours. But don't let this disappoint you because  it's not about how long the journey is, it's how you got there and how you survived. The game is tough, which leaves me still trying to beat it on normal difficulty after 22 hours spent in just a week. yes, it's tough to the point were I spend countless playthroughs trying to reach the end. With this game, once your hull life goes zero, it's over.


After all those hours spend, I'm surprised that I don't find any sense of repetitiveness in the gameplay. The replay value really makes the $10 price tag worth the buy because each new game is different from the rest. Moving from sector to sector, you are given different results, making each encounter and event pretty random and unpredictable.

The gameplay will also make any Star Trek, or any sci-fi series that involves a ship happy. You are in charge of everything on the ship; which crew member man's what, how to distribute ship power between systems, and order your men to either board enemy ships, extinguish fires and repair broken parts in the ship, it looks simply but actually crazy. It can go out of control so fast that I appreciate the pause feature that lets me analyze and plan my next move.

This game can be pure addiction. The day I purchase the FTL on Steam, I download the game, which is only 157MB big, and lost my whole afternoon in a blink of an eye. It's a great strategy game and has a unique gameplay. It makes me wonder why no big developer has bothered to make something like this. FTL: Faster Than Light happened thanks to Kickstarter, and all the supporters that backed the project. It was released last year and I understand now why people were giving so much praise.

The soundtrack is also worth hearing. I'm really not into soundtracks, especially in video games,but FTL's music got me humming every time I play. The sound effects also fit well with the soundtrack, so it's a treat for the ears. For me, It's not everyday you get to play a game and give the music big praise. I honestly can't remember when's the last time I loved a game's soundtrack.

This game is special, a game that's worth more than the price tag placed on Steam. I would love to give this game a full review and talk about other aspects of the game, but I'll hold off for now because I still have to experience other ships you can unlock and actually finishing the game. I'm still very determined to finish the game, even with Normal difficulty kicking my ass every single time. But I love the challenge. I could easily finish the game on easy, but I stopped and really want to get my first win on normal. I'm just stubborn that way. If you got some spare change and want a game that is a definite time sink, get FTL: Faster Than Light. Only regret so far is that I didn't buy it earlier.