Tekken Revolution Review
Overall 8

Hearing the phrase “free-to-play fighting game” is downright goofy — it’s right up there with “bowling RPG” or “modern warfare visual novel.” However, the folks at Namco are hoping to trail-blaze the scene by taking their warhorse Tekken series to the F2P ring with Tekken Revolution for the PS3

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Tekken Revolution Review

Hearing the phrase “free-to-play fighting game” is downright goofy — it’s right up there with “bowling RPG” or “modern warfare visual novel.” However, the folks at Namco are hoping to trail-blaze the scene by taking their warhorse Tekken series to the F2P ring with Tekken Revolution for the PS3. Will people place their bets on this ultra combo, or is it doomed to take a dive?

Tekken Revolution takes a page from previous release Tekken Tag Tournament 2 — actually, make that an entire chapter. Every last stage, character model (of the 12 fighters that made it), and even character opening can be found here, virtually unchanged from its original release. However, this also means that what is available is of extremely high quality, making up a sharp presentation that runs at a smooth clip.

This hand-me-down applies to the fighting engine that Tekken Revolution. Two-on-two fights have been swapped for 1v1 battles, but the movesets of all fighters are all present and accounted for. And what an engine it is — packing loads of depth, its focus on juggles, timing, and spatial awareness is built for both newcomers and high-level play. New moves in the form of “Critical Arts” and “Special Arts” have also been added that help to speed up battles in a single move. Some may see these moves as cheap; other, more seasoned players will see them as a new facet of gameplay.

Those who just can’t seem to catch a break can upgrade one of the 12 characters available in Tekken Revolution. By boosting their power, health and luck with money won from bouts, grinding fellows can thrash the online competition with their pimped out Law or Kazuya.

Sadly, to get any hands-on time with those 12 characters, you will have to deal with a serious cooldown time. The Arcade, Player, and Ranked Match modes (no Offline Versus or Practice modes here) all revolve around a coin and ticket system not unlike the one found in an arcade. With one coin replenished every half-hour (and four coins costing $1), the whole system comes off as downright spartan. Of course, those who put down a paid ticket and win can earn themselves another ticket, but it all depends how skilled/high of a level you are.

So why would somebody buy Tekken Revolution over Tekken Tag Tournament 2? For those who have yet to play a single game in the series, this is a perfect jumping off point. Diehard fans well-versed in the fighting game community will probably not be swayed by Revolution’s F2P angle, but what is available will no doubt create a new legion of fans ready to enlist in the King of the Iron Fist Tournament. The F2P Tekken Revolution is great as a Tekken demo, not so great as a Tekken eSport.