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‘Tekken Hybrid’ Triple-Teams Players…In A Good Way [REVIEW]

Tekken.Namco.com

Back in college we spent too much time playing Tekken games at the student union while everyone else was doing stuff like inventing Facebook, stealing the idea for Facebook, having sex or doing drugs. Fast-forward more years than we’d care to mention and here we are again, playing Tekken rather than logging onto Facebook and reading articles our friends post about how college kids are too involved with sex and drugs.

Can you blame us? Life offers few things that as fun as pounding animal-headed combatants with chainsaw arms wielded by robotic chicks wearing barely-there skirts. The fighting genre has been on the uptick as of late, with impressive new releases vaulting the ‘Street Fighter,’ ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Marvel vs. Capcom’ franchises back into the conversation. ‘Tekken Hybrid’ aims to do the same.

The new collection rounds up a high-definition revamp of arcade and PlayStation 2 classic ‘Tekken Tag Tournament,’ the CGI flick ‘Tekken: Blood Vengeance’ and an extended demo for the ‘Tag Tournament’ sequel dubbed ‘Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue.’ This is a lot of freaking Tekken. Sure, we could nitpick the offerings by noting that an ancient game, a ghetto straight-to-video flick and a demo are hardly treasures in and of themselves. But just like otherwise mediocre-looking college basketball cheerleaders, they’re somehow hotter just because they’re side-by-side.

This is simply too much Tekken to turn down for those who are fans of the series. Our counterpoints to the above complaints are:

* That ‘Tag Tournament’ is one of the best fighting games ever created, and it’s never looked or played better than it does on this disc.

* That ‘Blood Vengeance’ is awful yes, but so unintentionally hilarious that it makes for an excellent choice to put on during a party, to base a drinking game around the ubiquitous, unnecessary crotch and butt shots of its female characters.

* That ‘Prologue’ shows that ‘Tag Tournament 2′ is so fun that looks like it’s going to be able to place Tekken back on par with its fight club brethren.

Those who see Tekken as a trivial relic need not apply. The series offers a distinct, acquired taste, and its over-reliance on ridiculous combos to pull off the strongest moves drives some people away. If you’ve tried the series and it hasn’t hooked you, I doubt ‘Hybrid’ will be able to finish the job.

But if you’re a Tekken geek like we are, we’ll see you online. Get ready to taste some robo-chainsaw.

RATING: 8/10

Tekken Hybrid ($40), was published by Namco and available on the PS3. Rated T. The publisher provided a copy of the game for review.

Read Phil Villarreal’s blog at becauseitoldyouso.com and follow him on Twitter: @philvillarreal

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