Friday, November 20, 2009

Micro Reviews: Tekken 6 and Wet

I've always been a big Tekken fan, not one of those fans that hangs out at an arcade mopping the floor with all challengers by using Heihachi's 40 hit unavoidable, unblockable combo. Rather I've always been the kind of Tekken fan that enjoyed the ridiculous and zany costume and character designs, and would sit on his couch with his best friend, doing round after round of 8 member team battles with all randomly chosen characters.

This puts me in an apparently different category from most Tekken fans, in that each new iteration of the title just has better graphics, and new characters/costumes as far as I can tell. They also throw a new play mode or two in with each game, a lot of the time this just isn't important though.

As far as I can tell, this game has a lot more playable characters than most installments of the game. It also has a strange ranking system, as you play through the arcade mode with a character, you start off as a beginner, but as you win challenges, you'll eventually come across ranking matches, win the match, and you'll be ranked higher with that character. The ranking goes from 9th Kyu up to 1st Dan and maybe beyond, this isn't the first time I've seen this type of ranking system in a fighting game, one of the ps2 Virtua Fighters used a similar ranking system. Another way they're taking a page from that VF game is that often times your opponent in arcade mode will have some kind of username under the character's name. What this means is that someone who was playing the arcade machine played enough matches that the system modeled an AI opponent based off of them. As such, in theory that opponent will fight as though it were the actual player playing against you.

The extra mode in Tekken 6 is also where most of the story occurs, where you play a member of Jin's Tekken Force who doesn't agree with his philosophy, and is thus leading a rebellion. Naturally he encounters a robot girl and develops amnesia. What follows is an interesting mashup of Streets of Rage brawler and the regular Tekken fighting mechanics. This has been handled similary in the past, although with this game, you are awarded cash and equipment at the end of each level, the equipment will change your characters stats, and the cash can be used to buy more equipment. Also of note, you can unlock additional characters from the game to be used other than the two you start with, all of which can then earn equipment and be modified, which I assume would carry over to the arcade mode.

My only gripe with tekken is the Xbox's controller, Tekken's just never seemed right when played with a joystick, and the D-pad on Microsoft's controller is just so crummy. Other than that, this is just another Tekken game, I mean, it's got a friggin' boxing kangaroo on the roster!

Up next, Wet!

Wet is possibly one of the worst names for a videogame I've ever seen, I almost feel it should have a subtitle disclaimer: "Contains no bikini shots or softcore porn" Once you start a new game, then it gives you the helpful tidbit that we're talking about "wetwork" as in the popular euphemism for killing people. You control Rubi, a surprisingly modestly dressed badass, who works for... someone, and is after a case with... something in it. The story is ancillary. The cinematic effect of the game feels very much like a Guy Ritchie movie, lots of grainy film effects, and flashing to a dramatic shot of new characters, showing their name.

Rubi has a katana, as well as a pair of revolvers with unlimited ammo that never need to be reloaded. The katana is good for up close dispatching, the guns however are not particularly effective unless you're in slo-mo, so it's good that slo-mo is so prevalent. There are three ways that you can enter into slo-mo, you can jump, you can wall run, or you can slide along the ground on your knees. Firing your gun during anyone of these actions will slow time down, and fire as many bullets as you can during that time. You can also spin around in 360 degrees to locate new targets. Rubi can slide in one direction on her knees, while arching over backwards and firing at an opponent behind her. You can even string this actions together for one extended slow motion sequence, i.e. wall run, jump off the wall, and then slide along the ground once you land, all whilst dual dealing death. One weird choice that they made is that while in slo-mo you actually only aim one gun with the right stick, the second gun just automatically locks onto an enemy in view, you can either choose to targe the same enemy with the gun you control, or target another enemy in an effort to kill two at once. Peppered throughout the game scenes where Rubi goes berzerk after being spattered in blood, after which the game kind of turns into a version of Frank Miller's Sin City, except with more red, Rubi does more damage in this mode, among other advantages. There are also a number of really fun quick time event levels, one in the demo, which I have yet to reach in the game proper, involves Rubi chasing a group down a freeway, jumping from car to car, shooting gunmen, and avoiding exploding busses.

Wet is so extreme and over the top that I can't help but have fun with it.

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