Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Block high! No, higher!

Last night proved a few things. First of all, I have forgotten how to play Tekken. This is not a surprise as the last Tekken I even tried to play was 5 and that was several years ago. That also wasn't a tag based game so I only had to know one character. Steve is still around and I remember just a little bit of him; picking a second out of the 50 or so others on the roster proved difficult. I took the cowards way out and chose Bryan for the sole reason that he hits really hard. I could have chosen Paul for the same reason but did not for fear of Street Fighter X Tekken Paul creeping into a different game.

I was right about habits from other games interfering. For the first hour I was holding down buttons while being juggled waiting to tech out a la Persna 4 Arena. Then I was blocking everything while crouching like I do in Street Fighter only to find that there are many, many more mid moves that hit low blocks than low moves that do any damage. In other words, I did everything wrong for several hours. Here's the crazy part: it was still fun.

It is obvious that the people involved with making this game love the source material. They love Tekken, its characters, the way they look, they way it plays. Every inch of the game, from the kumite based arcade mode to training your combot to the mini practice mode that serves as the waiting screen for ranked matches, oozes polish. Even if the fighting game proper wasn't better than Street Fighter X Tekken (and it is) Tekken Tag 2 is just a better game. It is the complete package.

And the netcode is amazing. It's right up there with P4A or HD Remix. It has to be, Tekken is fast. I would dare to say that it is almost Marvel fast. With the the way fighters tag in and out, sometimes all four ending up on the screen at the same time, it can be just as frantic as well. The skill gap between scrubs (...me) and people who know what they are doing is equally huge. A single missed block can lead to a 50% wall carry combo (this is not an exaggeration) so you really have to pay attention.

Re-learning a game that I either once knew or thought I knew is frustrating. I know I said a lot of nice things about P4A, and I meant every one of them, but I have no barometer for success there. I am bad at that game because I have not taken the time practice it. Maybe recovering lost skill will be easier that building new skill.

Heh. Probably not. I need to finish Spec Ops: Look at me I am trying to be edgy tonight anyway.

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