Tekken Revolution: You get what you pay for [Review]

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jun 12, 2013 09:09 AM EDT

The first free-to-play game in the Tekken has gone live, in the form of Tekken Revolution, exclusive to PlayStation 3, and in all honesty, it's about the closest you'll get to playing an arcade figher short of looking mighty akward at your local Chuck E. Cheese.

As you'll see with a lot of other free-to-play games out there, there is a currency system in place, in this case, coins and tickets, and each used for different things. Arcade Coins are used for Arcade Battles, and 1 is replenished every hour. Battle Coins are used to play Ranked and Player Matches, and you earn one back every 30 minutes.

Premium Coins and Tickets are used the same way, and work ony any mode in the game. The difference being that when you use a ticket or coin, you get more experience and rewards than if you had used Arcade or Battle Coins. The premium coins can be purchased from the PlayStation Store, think of it like changing a bill for coins or tokens at the arcade, just with better options for spending more. You get 4 for a buck, 10 for $2, and 30 for $5.

You have three options in which to go about Tekken Revolution:
1. Player Match uses your battle coins to search out other players online for a friendly fight. Tuesday being the first day the game was available, it took me some time before I was able to find someone online to play with, but not too long. Playing online is very much the way it is in the arcades. Win the match, you keep playing. Lose, you're sent to the back of the line to wait your turn, and watch the winner take on the newcomer.
2. Ranked Match is just as it sounds, except that you're stuck sparring the AI while the computer finds a match for you.
3. Arcade Mode is where you take on the computer with no worries about another player interrupting you. This is your best chance of practice here, best reserved for gaining character familiarity, or grinding for gold, experience, and gift points. A list of moves can be accessed at this mode's pause screen, but it's not nearly as comprehensive as past Tekken games, not listing some of the lengthier, complicated combos.

The roster of Tekken Revolution is small at first, only 8 characters are available for players to choose from in the beginning: Law, Paul, Asuka, Kazuya, Lars, Lili, King, and Jack-6. By fighting over time and earning Gift Points, additional characters can be unlocked. I haven't played long enough to see if the roster is as large as Tekken Tag Tournament 2, but in addition to the selectable charaters, I've also encountered Jinpachi, Bryan Fury, Heihachi, Alisa, Ogre, and Leo so far. I've also seen the Williams sisters during the "Game Over" screen, so I would guess they're included as well.

As far as gameplay goes, it's about as Tekken as Tekken gets, no more, no less. Well, maybe a little less. Certain moves that once would send opponents tumbling across the screen, like Law's side kick for example, have been nerfed a bit. Likewise, for pop-up moves that would leave unaware players trapped in a perpetual hangtime through a lengthy combo. However, you can still beat your opponent mercilessly against a wall.

Characters are now surrounded by a thin black line, giving them a bit more of a cartoony look, which you'll have to get used to because there's no fighter customization for physical features. Customization isn't completely gone though, as you can upgrade fighters' attributes with skill points, earned from experience.

Obviously, players familiar to the game have the advantage, but as the game is free, there's nothing to stop novices from learning the tricks of the trade. Ultimately, it's a stripped down Tekken, but that's not necesarrily a bad thing. There's not quite the amount of people playing Tekken Tag Tournament 2 online anymore, and Revolution being free-to-play brings in a lot more people to play against. But of those people, a great deal are already familiar with the games' characters and their moves, meaning it will be difficult for newbies. And of course, with a greater pool, you'll also find an increased amount of move spammers and crap talkers, but hey, that's just life at the arcade.

If you're a fan of fighters, give it a try. After all, you can't argue with the price.

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