ABOUT: Announced mere days before its surprise release on June 11th 2013, Tekken Revolution is a PS3-exclusive and "free to play" downloadable title. Being a free game, Tekken Revolution has an interestingly different layout than your typical fighting game. Revolution is built around a credits system, similar to a smart phone game, or how you'd put a quarter into an arcade machine. Single credits are used to play Arcade Mode or Online, and players can unlock credits by going through Arcade, winning online bouts, or simply waiting about 20 minutes. For players that aren't patient enough to wait for new credits to become available, Premium Coins can be purchased from the PS Store.
This "experimental" format for a fighting game is definitely interesting... and pretty darn exciting for a Tekken fan. Already, Namco has released several free updates to Tekken Revolution, adding in new unlockable characters, new stages (remixed from TTT2), and new modes such as Practice Mode & Mokujin Rush. With these updates, it seems like Namco is aiming to recreate the classic "time release" system used in past arcade versions of Tekken back in the mid/late 90's.
While Revolution is completely free to play, alternate costumes and "premium" special move effects are also available as paid DLC. Producer Harada mentioned the possibility of adding entirely new characters to the game, such as this snazzy female vampire and sexy Tekken Force girl. From the looks of it, Namco will continue updating Tekken Revolution for quite a while. The same way that time released characters from back in the arcade days kept players coming back, Tekken Revolution's downloadable updates have kept things fresh and exciting since the release.
Tekken Revolution uses the core gameplay system from Tekken Tag Tournament 2. However, TTT2 players will immediately notice that the tag system and "bound" combos aren't present in Tekken Revolution. The removal of these elements shortens the length of combos, generally making them less damaging. (If you're familiar with the style of combos from the Tekken 4 or Tekken 5 era, you'll feel right at home). Even though the Tekken experience has been streamlined in Revolution, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Revolution has a "traditional Tekken" feel about it, which may appeal to players intimidated by TTT2's advanced mechanics. Even as a hardcore TTT2 player, I can definitely still enjoy a fundamental 1-vs-1, more straight forward game of Tekken in Revolution. I'm also loving the longer replays, which allow a better appreciation of Tekken's hard-hitting attacks.
The returning characters contain their vast movelists from TTT2. However, each fighter now has 4 "Critical Arts," which are typically their signature moves. Critical Arts supply increased damage when critical hits occur, and also present new visual elements like trails and blurring effects. (Namco getting ready for Tekken X Street Fighter I see!) Fighters also have one "Special Art" technique, which gives them a period of invincibility during the start of the move. The addition of these "easy" and effective special attacks doesn't necessarily change how Tekken is played, but they do offer new strategies and will also appeal to new players.
Along with the new visual effects on attacks, other graphical updates were added as well. All returning stages from Tekken Tag 2 show off new filters and lighting effects. While a refreshing change, I think some of the "coloring" filters on a few of the stages are slightly overdone, but the new lighting and more intense shadows look great. Character models are also outlined by a subtle "black line," giving the game a unique, slightly comic-esk appearance. A few character models were also updated, including new facial renders for most of the females in the game. In addition, a new "back walking" animation was added along with a new tech roll animation. Overall, the graphics do appear slightly sharper and more vibrant than that of TTT2. Also, all stages also feature brand new BGMs... giving the game an even fresher vibe.
Strangely, Tekken Revolution is strictly an online game, meaning you must be online to play. The online modes include Ranked Match & Player Match with various matchmaking options. Continuing Namco's track record with their most recent fighting games, the netcode in Tekken Revolution is top notch (which is obviously a necessity for a title like this). Tekken Revolution is a great example of how far netcode has come in recent years... it's incredibly smooth online most of the time. Some offline modes, include: Arcade Battle, Character Enhancement, Options and Playstation Store. In Character Enhancement, players can increase their characters' in-game stats, such as: Strength, Endurance & Vigor. I think Namco introduced the stats system to "charm" beginners and casual players... but personally, I think the system is unnecessary and makes online gameplay very imbalanced in certain situations. Characters with a huge power meter can kill you with only a few hits and basic combos. *Scoff*
Tekken Revolution has a bare bones set-up, and for a free game meant to "replicate an arcade experience," it makes sense. I found it interesting that the game didn't have a Practice Mode when it first launched, which also replicated the classic arcade experience. (Y'know kiddies, we didn't get a "practice mode" when a new game came out in arcades back in the day. You put your quarter up and waited your turn to fight - possibly against someone already very good at the game... that was your practice mode). In a few ways, Tekken Revolution almost gives me that nostalgia from the arcade days.... Anyhow, Namco did eventually release an update, adding a very user-friendly Practice Mode to the title. However, there's still no local VS play. I'm hoping Namco will be adding that at a later date... seems like a no-brainer.
Lastly, to explain how unlocking new characters works: At the start of the game, players have access to 8 characters. Through playing through the modes and leveling up, you earn "gift points" which will unlock new playable characters at random (for free) once you accumulate enough points. On the main menu, you'll also be notified of various online events from week to week. These events have a beginning & ending date, and award players with bonuses like more gift points, gold (for leveling up characters) and EXP points. Personally I think it takes a bit too long to unlock new characters (but hey, the game has me running through 1-player arcade mode again). Also, Namco's latest Revolution update also allows players to buy characters they haven't unlocked. Tekken Revolution has been an interesting ride so far, and I can only imagine the package becoming more well-rounded as Namco continues to add content.
Page Updated: November 22nd, 2013 Developer(s): Namco Bandai Publisher(s): Namco Bandai Platform(s): Playstation 3 Release Date(s): June 11th, 2013 Characters: Kazuya Mishima, Lars Alexandersson, Asuka Kazama, Bryan Fury, Lili Rochefort, Leo Kliesen, Steve Fox, Paul Phoenix, Marshall Law, King, Jack-6, Alisa Boskonovitch, Jin Kazama, Ling Xiaoyu, Hwoarang, Sergei Dragunov, Devil Jin, Kunimitsu, Feng Wei, Nina Williams, Miguel, Kuma, Lee Chaolan, Christie Monteiro, Armor King, Jun Kazama, Heihachi Mishima, Jinpachi Mishima, True Ogre, Mokujin, Tetsujin, Kinjin
Related Games: Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken 4, Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online, Tekken 6, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, Tekken Advance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle, Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate, Soul Calibur 2 HD Online
Gameplay Engine Story / Theme Overall Graphics Animation Music / Sound Effects Innovation Art Direction Customization Options / Extras Intro / Presentation Replayability / Fun "Ouch" Factor Characters
I find it pretty comical how some mainstream gaming sites "reviewed" Tekken Revolution after the first week it was released, and now most of those reviews are sorely outdated after all the free updates. That said, I'll be holding off a little bit longer before my "full" review of the game. What I will say is, I've been having fun with Tekken Revolution since launch. I'm somewhat surprised to continue finding myself playing it daily to use up my credits and earn awards. (Quite addicting, actually).
Even though TTT2 is clearly the better, more complete package at the moment, Tekken Revolution offers a more straight-forward, arcade style, and more "beginner friendly" game of Tekken that should appeal to new/casual players (and will likely also appeal to players that are constantly getting their butt kicked in TTT2).
When I use the term "beginner friendly," I don't mean the mechanics are dumbed down, per se. However, stat increasing & invulnerable moves do give a considerable leeway in the casual player's favor, but most of the time, smart Tekken fundamentals will still prevail. Revolution is the first Tekken game in a long time where it's actually not uncommon for a casual/novice player to beat a skilled Tekken player...
Seriously, fighting against a player with powered-up character (with 200+ points) that "effectively" spams invulnerable moves and can connect a few easy combos can be a very tough (and stupidly unfair) fight. This will prevent Revolution from being taken as seriously as previous installments, but even so, Tekken Revolution is "back to basics" Tekken... and it still manages to be fun. ~TFG Webmaster