The artful but deadly dance of a swimsuit-wearing panda can only mean that it’s once again time for ‘Tekken’. Also in this week’s videogames, virtual pro hockey gets closer to displacing real life pro hockey, while Disney and Pixar display a complete lack of shame.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (360, PS3)
While I’m not a ‘Tekken’ fan, ‘Tekken Tag Tournament 2‘ arrives with an impressive feature list. As a fighter, ‘Tekken’ is about executing rapid combos in a 3D arena. “Tagging” refers to one-versus-two or two-on-two matches where one side can tag in and out between characters. This will not only allow for match-up and health strategies, but is an attack technique in it of itself. ‘Tekken Tag Tournament 2’ boasts over 50 fighters from the ‘Tekken’ universe and an online mode based on the architecture from ‘Soul Calibur V’. Included in the game is an account link to the World Tekken Federation Service, where players can display their custom profiles and stats. Offline modes look meaty as well, with tons of different endings, a fight lab full of challenges and a wardrobe filled with customizable character outfits. That means you can finally put your panda bear in a bikini before fighting the kangaroo.
Bonus stripper-themed Tekken trailer:
NHL 13 (360, PS3)
While the specter of a lockout darkens the prospect of having any more professional hockey this year, ‘NHL 13‘ steps up with a presentation that is second to none. The two major changes have created a rare buzz for the ‘NHL’ series. The animation system has been completely overhauled, which not only makes for a significant visual upgrade, but impacts the core gameplay – the skating. The AI has also been upgraded, and should ease that constant “stupid teammate” feeling often delivered by the computer. Sadly, the game probably should have shipped with a case of Molsen Ice or Labatt Blue to be ready in the event that there’s no real NHL season this year.
Double Dragon Neon (XBLA, PSN)
I was really excited for this game. I was all set to write about how fun beat-’em-ups are and have been for decades, not to mention the pedigree of the ‘Double Dragon’ franchise. After looking at the game, however, I have serious doubts. The 3D characters are not selling it for me, and the all-around production value is too generic to generate much enthusiasm. It’s free for PlayStation Plus members, so I’ll wind up downloading it anyway.
NBA Baller Beats (360)
Man alive, I’m just not sold on this concept. Utilizing a real basketball and the Xbox 360’s Kinect, ‘NBA Baller Beats‘ would have you dribble rhythmically to achieve high scores. This could be both fun and a new way to teach some ball-handling skills. It could also be ridiculous on a number of levels. Most living rooms (and homes in general) are not really suited for dribbling a basketball. This game managed to score an NBA license and the Brooklyn Nets PG Deron Williams for a cover star. Notably absent is the Nets’ new logo, or any team logo. Not a good sign.
Joe Danger 2: The Movie (XBLA)
The arcade-like, faux stunt man action of the first ‘Joe Danger’ has been a hit on for years, first on PSN and then on Xbox Live. Now the sequel hits the 360 first with all the action-packed, over-the-top fun control that Hello Games can muster. The developer has promised that ‘Joe Danger Touch’ will be available for iOS before year’s end, and I really hope that happens.
Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition (DS, 3DS)
After years of home video releases dubiously labeled “Special Editions,” the return of ‘Finding Nemo’ to theaters has prompted Disney to re-release a cash-in game from 2006. Supposedly, the studio spliced in some movie clips to justify the $10 price increase of the 3DS version of ‘Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition’ over the DS version. Disney owns dozens of game studios, yet it elected to “Special Edition” this 2006 game instead of make something new. For shame.
I know better than to buy a fighting game at launch and for full price, but Tekken is unexpectedly calling my name. I’m going to try and hold off though as Borderlands 2 and RE6 are right around the corner. My videogame is so minimimal anymore, that’s all I’ll probably need for a while.
Wait for the Toys R Us Buy 2 Get 1 Free sales in Early October. That’s what I’m going to try and do.
The best ‘Buy Two get One free” deal that I ever took advantage of was “Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes,’ ‘X-Men Legends’ and… I can never remember the third game, which may have been a gift for someone else.
Yeah, I was wondering why they were advertising the bonus 100 character outfits, which I guess helps to sell copies at launch. Honestly, good fighting games should have day and date digital copies since they are the perfect console game to fire up and play for a few minutes.
Can’t argue with Borderlands 2 or RE6. I expect that you’ll get your money’s worth from Borderlands 2 (PC foe me), and I really enjoyed playing RE5. I played split-screen co-op with PS Move with a friend and it was a blast. I can’t get into the RE movies, but in the games Umbrella has just the right amount of camp.