mere days before its surprise release on June 11th, 2013, Tekken Revolution
is a PS3-exclusive, "free to play" downloadable title. Being a free
game, Tekken Revolution has an interestingly different setup than your
typical console fighting game. Revolution is built around a credits system, similar to
a smart phone game, or even how you'd put a quarter into an arcade machine.
There are several different types of credits: "Arcade Coins" are used to play Arcade Mode,
"Battle Coins" are used for Online, and players can earn additional credits
(in the form of Premium Tickets) by going
through Arcade, winning online bouts, or logging in during special events. For
players that aren't patient enough to wait for new credits to become available
once they run out, "Premium Coins"
can also be purchased from the PS Store (which can be used in any mode).
This "experimental" format for a fighting game is definitely interesting... and
pretty darn exciting for Tekken fans (for the appreciative ones,
anyway). Already, Namco has released
a handful of free updates to Tekken Revolution, adding in new unlockable
characters, new "remixed" stages from TTT2 (complete with brand
new BGMs), and even new modes like Practice Mode & Mokujin Rush. With these updates, it seems like Namco is
aiming to recreate something similar to the classic "time release" system used in past
arcade versions of Tekken back in the day, which no doubt
keeps the game fresh and exciting over a long period of time.
While Revolution is completely free to play, alternate costumes and "premium"
special move effects are available as paid DLC. Costume packs are pretty reasonable at $1.99 (with 3
color variations each), but those flashy premium effects
are definitely stiffly priced at $5.99 per character. Ouch.
On the bright side of things, the premium effects actually look pretty damn awesome in
motion and are impressively unique to each character! (Also, these effects definitely seem like a "warm-up" for what's to come in Tekken
X Street Fighter).
Early on, Producer Harada
mentioned the possibility of adding entirely new characters to the game. Namco
held a new
character poll back in July 2013, featuring several previously scrapped
character concepts from the past. After fan votes were tallied, Eliza,
the sexy female vampire with narcolepsy, was the first newcomer to make the cut.
From the looks of it, Namco will continue updating Tekken
Revolution for quite a while... and so far, I have to say they've done a
great job with the "spacing" of these updates.
Eliza the narcoleptic
vampire and Devil Jin make a cute couple.
uses the core gameplay system from Tekken Tag
Tournament 2 (minus tagging). While Namco stayed safe and didn't alter too much from the TTT2
engine, there are some very notable changes. You'd be wrong to think Tekken
Revolution's gameplay is a simple cut & paste job from TTT2. The tweaks made to
many attack & hit properties are comparable to the likes of Capcom's
updates - meaning there are new combo possibilities to learn, and a few
different strategies to adapt to. Some "lesser known" moves are even
more effective in Revolution than they are in TTT2.
Returning TTT2 players will immediately notice that "bound" combos aren't present in Revolution.
The removal of bound shortens the length of combos, generally making them less
damaging (with default stats, that is). If you're familiar with the style of combos from the Tekken 5 era, you'll feel right at
fact, many T5: DR combos still work beautifully!) 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, combo-heavy mechanics. Even as a
player, I can definitely still enjoy a fundamental 1-vs-1, more straight forward game of Tekken
any day of the week. I also really enjoy the longer K.O. replays (TTT2's
were too short)!
The returning characters contain their vast
movelists from TTT2. However, each fighter now has 4 "Critical Arts,"
which are typically among their most signature moves. Critical Arts supply increased damage
when critical hits occur, and present new visual elements like trails and
blurring effects. Fighters also have
one "Special Art" technique, which gives them a period of invulnerability
during the move. (Interesting side note:
Similar "invincible moves" were also present in Namco's Urban Reign
back in 2005). 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 TTT2 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 all of the females in the
game (the ladies look cuter, that's for sure)!
a new "back walking" animation was added along with a new tech roll
& wall break character animation. Overall, Tekken Revolution's graphics are
slightly sharper and more vibrant than TTT2's!
Lars and Kazuya show off
their "premium" attack trails.
Strangely, Revolution is strictly
an online game, meaning you must be online in order to play. 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 (an obvious necessity). Tekken Revolution is a great example of how far netcode has come
in recent years... it's incredibly smooth online (99% of the time for me). Some offline modes, include: Arcade Battle, Character Enhancement,
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. It's sort of a fun novelty to "level up" your favorite Tekken
characters... but personally, I think the stats system is unnecessary and causes
imbalance. Characters with a maxed-out power meter can do ridiculous damage with
only few hits and basic combos. *Scoff*
In fairness, Namco has "toned down" the stats system in the most recent patches,
which made things a little more fair overall.
Tekken Revolution has a fairly bare bones set-up, and for a free game meant to
"replicate the arcade experience," it actually makes sense. I found it interesting that
TR didn't contain a Practice Mode
when it first launched, which also replicated a through-and-through arcade
fighter. (Y'know kiddies,
back in the day... we didn't get a "practice mode" when a new game came
out at the arcade. You put your
quarter up and waited your turn to fight - possibly against someone already VERY
at the game... and that WAS your practice mode).
In a few ways, Revolution almost gives me
that nostalgia from the arcade days. Anyhow, Namco did eventually release an
update, adding in a very user-friendly Practice Mode. However, there's
still no local VS Mode, which sucks if you have local friends who enjoy a proper
Like everyone else, I'm hoping Namco adds VS Mode at a later date...
Flashy new visual effects
show off Tekken in a new light.
GRIPES: It's kind of
easy for experienced Tekken players to hate Revolution sometimes, mostly due to having
to fight against "spammers" with ridiculously powered-up characters,
who dishonorably abuse those cheap, invincible moves. I have to admit... I got kinda mad a few
times after losing for stupid reasons. The truth is, after learning the quirks
of invincible moves and learning how to predict players who spam (in addition
to powering up my Endurance stats a bit)... I stopped losing for stupid reasons.
Yup. Now, if I lose to a player... it's usually because they played smart
in one way or another (or because I made some mistakes). Hey, just my 2
cents... I guess it's just my way of not taking the game too seriously.
Other random gripes I have: After all these years, why is the CPU AI
of Tekken still horrible? Even on Very Hard, the CPU stupidly "walks
forward" at times, doesn't combo properly, and still falls for stupid
tactics (the same stupid tactics you could use to abuse the AI in Tekken 3!).
main reason this bothers me is because the CPU doesn't give new players a sense of how to play
the game properly. Is it too much to ask for a CPU
AI that strategically dashes, wavedashes, sidewalks, uses fakes, and maybe combos properly sometimes?! The same goes for the
stats system - it doesn't teach the noobs the "right way" to do
things. Thanks to stats, many newbs will just think: "DERPY
DERP, I JUST NEED MOAR POWAH STATS!!!"... instead of "Hmm,
maybe I should learn my character and experiment in Practice Mode
Hopefully, we'll see more of the latter (wishful thinking, I know).
Finally, my thoughts on unlocking characters in Tekken Revolution: I'm sure some players may feel
constricted or limited since they can't immediately pick their favorite
character(s) from the start (or perhaps they're missing entirely, at the
moment). In the long run, I think Namco's design plan with the
"stripped down" character roster is pretty smart. Why? Well...
the initial small roster may promote new players to step out of their comfort zone
for a while and try out some new fighters. (Or, maybe they'll just
resort to picking Kazuya and spam the same 3 moves over and over - and in turn, get their asses kicked by
proper Tekken players).
...As usual, Tekken is what you make of it. Whether casual players realize it
or not, the smaller roster also enables them to better understand how to fightagainst these characters specifically. (Instead of having to learn how to
be defensive against 59 different fighters at once, like in TTT2.) Tekken
Revolution can be a great learning tool for beginner / casual players... if they
want it to be, that is.
What could be improved in TR? It wouldn't be a terrible idea to limit the use of those
invincible moves... not because they're really that overpowered, but
because it'll promote better gameplay habits out of the beginner players (and
those helpless, mindless spammers). Namco never tried any sort of meter management in
a Tekken before, so it could've been halfway interesting in a game like this. I'd also love to see some "classic"
environments from the likes of Tekken 5: DR or Tekken 6 make a comeback
(instead of only TTT2 stages). But as long as Namco continues tweaking the game,
Revolution will continue to improve and become an even better title. With
3.5 million downloads and tons of skilled players online (nearly 24 hours), Namco is obviously doing something right.
Even as a dedicated Tekken player, I was
skeptical about Revolution for months after the launch. Mixed
feelings aside, the game offers something that no other fighting game ever
did. Love it or hate it... TR is an innovative "experimental"
title. While it isn't perfect (and what "free" gameis?), what you end up getting for free is very much worth the
price of admission. Namco should've called the game Tekken Evolution...
because the game has progressively changed quite a bit since launch (and for the
I have to admit... Tekken Revolution made me put down TTT2 for a
while. Surprisingly, I've consistently played TR since launch for well
over a year, and found
a certain addiction in both multiplayer and single-player modes. In the
beginning there was some
1-player "grinding" involved in order to unlock the characters I
wanted (kinda fun in itself), but I have to give Namco credit for making me actually
want to play 1P modes in a fighting game for any extended period of
I found the standard arcade mode fun, especially with bonuses... and the
occasional Mokujin Rush (with
Turbo Mode enabled) is just ridiculously entertaining, especially if you're a fan of Tekken's
tried-and-true combo system.
Early on, I scoffed at the stats system and invincible moves, but as I continued
to play (and after Namco nurfed the power stats), these things bothered me less and less. Along with finding new
ways to exterminate the shameless spammers & stat-abusers, I've relearned that
I still love the classic 1-VS-1 aspect of Tekken. As much as I
love TTT2 combos and such, sometimes I find
"stand-up" Tekken more fun. There's a certain "magic" and certain awesome things that
can be done more frequently in 1-on-1 matches (more risk, more reward). I've also come to appreciate the most basic
new aesthetics that TR has to offer: Longer / "close-up" K.O. replays (over TTT2's), updated
graphics, remixed stages, excellent new BGMs, and the general "new" and
"festive" theme of the game. Plus it's nice
to come back to a game months later and hear a badass new music track on a new stage.
I mean... the SF4 series couldn't update stages or BGMs in the span of 5 years, so
it's nice to see that Namco still cares about such things.
With various events and new available bonuses posted on the main menu each week, it makes you feel
like Namco actually wants you to have fun and continue playing the game. The
semi-frequent "major" updates and new character releases have also effectively kept the game fresh.
Again, it's a pretty exciting time to be a Tekken fan. Instead of
complaining about random things, Tekken "fans" should
appreciate the fact that Namco at least has something going on during the
potentially lengthy "waiting
period" before Tekken X Street Fighter and Tekken 7.
While the prices for Premium Effects are steep and paying for alt.
costumes (many borrowed from TTT2) rubs me the wrong way... the
reality is, I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the game and paid very
little in return. In many ways, Tekken Revolution has an "arcade
vibe" about it... which I like. It's nice to know that everyone plays the
game with credits, and has limited options to do certain things.
TTT2 is clearly the much more polished, complete package, Tekken Revolution
offers a more straight-forward and "beginner friendly" game of Tekken that appeals to new
and casual players (and also appeals to players who are tired of getting combo'd to hell in TTT2).
Ohh, and when I use the term "beginner friendly," I don't mean the mechanics are
dumbed down, per se. While stats & invincible moves do give a
considerable leeway in the casual player's favor... most of the time, smart Tekken fundamentals will
always prevail (when the connection is good).
Even so, it must be stated. "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 from time to time." (Example: Fighting against a player with powered-up character
with 200+ points who "effectively" spams invulnerable moves and can connect a
few easy combos can actually be a pretty tough fight. So yes, "losing happens"... but
you shouldn't take Tekken Revolution that seriously. Namco didn't set out
to make another tournament quality fighting game... they were brave enough to try something different (yet
safe), which is admirable these days.
If you find yourself taking a lot of losses, don't get discouraged. Learn how to
punish spammers, learn your characters' combos and strategies, and tweak your
stats to make it a more fair fight (I recommend "endurance" if you
consider yourself a skillful player). And if you're meeting nothing but scrubs
online, IMPROVE YOURRANK. Yes, you will eventually begin running into
much higher skilled
players in the upper ranks, as most of the gimmicky players and spammers become weeded out. I've demoted quite a few of those types, and it's quite satisfying.
Another great thing about Tekken Revolution is that there is competition
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I usually play the game into the late hours of
the night and still have no trouble at all finding opponents. What I also find
very interesting... is that because Revolution has developed the
"stigma" of attracting so many "noobs & spammers"... the
legit Tekken players active in Revolution tend to underestimate opponents by default (if
they don't recognize your gamer tag, of course).
So... since "everyone
underestimates everyone," it actually opens up the door for new mind games
and strategies... and damn, it can be f*ing fun playing with that mindset.
However, I've fought tons of great matches in Revolution with highly skilled
players. They're out there.
Unfortunately, Bandai Namco stopped updating Revolution in early 2014... which
is a shame, since they had some good momentum going. I assume they shifted all
of their efforts on Tekken 7, once heavy development began on that game. Revolution
could've been better with a bit more support, but it served its purpose as a stepping stone to Tekken 7
(and perhaps, Tekken X Street Fighter). ~TFG
Just to explain how unlocking new characters
works: At the start of the game, players have access to 8
characters. Through playing the modes and leveling up, you earn "Gift
Points" which will eventually 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 "live"
events have a beginning & ending date, and generously award players with bonuses like
bonus Gift Points, Gold (for leveling up characters) and EXP points.
Under normal circumstances, it may take a while to unlock characters. However,
if you stay in tune with events and play during times of "Bonus Gift
Points" and/or Mokujin Festivals, you'll unlock characters at a much faster
rate! During a Mokujin Festival, with bonuses activated, you can pretty much
go on a character unlocking spree if you have a few Premium Tickets available.
There's also the option for players to simply "buy" characters they
haven't unlocked. The "Character Unlock" Pass is also pretty steep as paid
DLC ($5.99 each). In my experience so far, I've never
had to buy a single character... (I'm patient and I use a lot of different
characters, so it all works out). I also play both the North American and Japanese versions of Tekken
Revolution (on my main profile), which actually increases the amount of Gift
Points earned if I play during events in either version.
And finally, I use multiple PSN profiles for this game, which increases the
odds for unlocking the characters I want (and also allows me to play online for longer if I feel like it).
So there you go... Some helpful tips for those of you who've read this far. ~TFG