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Tekken 3 April 25, 2012

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 9:44 am

Overview

The Tekken series is one of Namco’s dearly beloved series and one of two HUGE fighting game series done by the company.  The Tekken series have spanned a long time with 6 true sequels, 2 Tag Tournaments and a lot of ports and handheld versions.  Tekken 3 is the most critically acclaimed games and sold a butt-ton during the haydays of the PS1.  It’s also a port itself from it’s Arcade release (which turns out that the PS1 title looked better and played better on the console (well there’s some arcade purists that think otherwise though XD).  Also, this version of Tekken 3 came with tons of different modes that the arcade didn’t feature making it a more filled out release as well!

Story

The story of this game is a monster is reborn and goes on a rampage killing (supposedly) everyone in sight and our new protagonist Jin Kazama seeks revenge on it for killing his mother Jun Kazama (sounds familiar).  Also this is set 15 years after the events of Tekken 2 (OH HEY DIDN’T SOULCALIBUR V JUST DO THE SAME THING?).  Of course there’s other stories that go on with each of the characters…about characters….

Characters

Like I said, Tekken 3 is set 15 years after Tekken 2 so clearly there’s going to be a lot of changes…well there was and there wasn’t in a way.  While there were a bunch of new faces to be seen a lot of them were just updates/replacements for characters previous…it’s weird but interesting.  The only characters that did return were Yoshimitsu, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, King (though a new man under the mask), Lei Wulong, Kuma (who is a secret character), Anna Williams (who is a secret character), and Heihachi Mishima (who’s the sub-boss and secret character).

As for new characters I’ll talk about them a little bit ^_^

  • Jin Kazama – The new protagonist of the game who is the son of Kazuya Mishima and Jun Kazama (must’ve been some fierce ass sex…or possibly some kind of forced shindig…because who can see this happening?  It shows though since Jin’s fighting style is a mix of Kazuya’s and Jun’s.
  • Forrest Law – Marshall Law’s son…same fighting style and everything…doesn’t really become popular as a stand-alone so he only appeared here and Tekken Tag Tournament.
  • Xiaoyu Ling – The new youthful Chinese (but talking in Japanese) gal who’s motives are a bit childish but it works!  Very fast and has a lot of different positions for moves.
  • Eddy Gordo – The infamous Capoeira user!  Or Tekken players dub as button mashing friendly because of his very fluid moveset.  My favorite of the bunch!  He also has an alternate outfit but a character himself in Tiger Jackson.
  • Hwoarang – Jin’s rival makes his first appearance here and is a student of Baek Doo San’s…so it he shares a bit of Tae Kwon Do (but once again a little more youthful and dynamic).
  • Bryan Fury (secret character) – Of the new characters, he seemed to be made out of nowhere with little to no connections in Tekken 3 but somehow got a bit of Bruce Irvin’s moveset.
  • Panda (secret character) – Xiaoyu’s pet panda…but really was just a aesthetic change to Kuma (they both shared the same movesets and still do for the most part today >.>)
  • Julia Chang (secret character) – It turns out Julia is Michelle Chang’s adopted daughter so essentially she was the replacement for her. (funny that both her and Michelle were in TTT but no Marshall or Forrest) XDDDDD
  • Gun Jack (secret character) – Just an updated Jack-2 really though I’m not sure if he incorporated some moves from Prototype Jack. 
  • Mokujin (secret character) – Finally the series gets their random character selection IN a character.  Yup, Mokujin changes fighting styles each round and he’ll be anyone cept a couple few for obvious reasons.
  • Dr. Bosconovitch (secret character) – The Playstation version had two bonus characters added in for a little more completion and yays for the fans.  The first is actually someone rather important to the storyline because he’s been involved in a lot of characters’ stories like Yoshimitsu, Bryan, Nina, Anna, and Alisa that it’s hard not to say he’s important to the lore.  His fighting style is very bizarre because he does have a rather unfortunate minus.  He always falls like he’s dying and his moves are hard to pull off with this arrangement going on. 
  • Gon (secret character) – The other character only on the PS1 version is more of a guest character because he’s originally a character from a manga.  I mean animal characters aren’t new to the series so it’s not odd…but his obvious height issue and the fact every characters has a hard time because he has fireballs, gas attacks, and other nonsensical moves make him a cheap character too (and easy to get Dr. B with).
  • Ogre (secret character) – Ogre is the first form of the final boss of Tekken 3.  His moveset contains a lot of the missing characters in the game here so you’ll see moves from Kazuya, Lee, Wang, Kunimitsu, Bruce, and some others.  His true form, True Ogre is a lot more bulkier and has some moves of his own like breathing fire and such.

Stages

The stages are colorful and varied but they still haven’t totally gotten very realistic with them.  What I mean is that walls have still not been applied to the series (since I think it would’ve made the game even harder to deal with.  They are scroll stages (meaning, the stage does not end and it feels like you’re always going on in a circle.  Xiaoyu and Eddy’s stages are colorful and pleasant while Hwoarang’s is more traditional.  Ogre and Heihachi’s are tomb-like while playing as/or against True Ogre makes the stage go black…It’s a pretty impressive set of stages and beats Tekken 2’s outright.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Tekken 3 though was the winner though for sure.  Unlike Tekken 2, the series got a big change and with that the series became a WHOLE lot better for that.  The first introduction and probably MOST important is side-stepping.  I mean you can dodge attacks and do moves to punish them for it and the fact that the stage doesn’t really glitch out during this is impressive!  Also in Tekken 2, your jumping height was as ridiculous as Virtua Fighter….no one can jump that high and that was fixed in Tekken 3 for a more realistic approach and more moves being implemented into that.  All the characters have filled out movesets to also work with ^^.  I’m surprised they’ve stuck to the side-stepping for as long as they have (especially since the Soul series have been utilizing the more open 4-way run.  It’s just a pretty damn good game with deep gameplay that has only been getting better since this game.

Graphics/Sound

  • Graphics: For the time this was released, this was pretty damn good and I still somehow like them today for its nostalgic value.  A lot of interesting hit effects and the powering up was awesome (each character had their own).  The backgrounds looked nice and spun around when places are changed and the camers focusing in on some attacks was a cool thing.  Even the replays were awesomes xD.  It was a little blocky, but it’s a PS1 game what can you do? 
  • Sound: The attacks sound great and the music while some were forgettable was a nuce buch of awesomes.  The voicing on some things were a little funky but still cool. 

Other Things, Modes, etc.

Like most other fighting games, it features a bunch of other modes to make it a better game.  Of course an Arcade mode (best place to unlock most of the characters), Versus, Time Attack, Survival, and Practice.  There were some interesting other things

  • Team Battle – Even though there wasn’t 2 on 2 (that’s the next game, Tekken Tag Tournament) but the best is have battles with any number amount (well up to 8) and then just battle it out.  You can even make it random so you don’t know who’s butt ur kicking with a character you don’t know until then…I love it and I wish they keep this!
  • Tekken Force – If you like stuff like TMNT, Final Fight, or even Double Dragon…this might intrigue you but this pits you in four stages in bouts with the Tekken Force (your opponents) and you can choose your favorite fighter to make it through them all (though you have to play it four times to get Dr. Bosconovitch).  IMO I didn’t like it and it was hard especially not being able to freely move since everytime you wanted a different direction you end up jumping or sidestepping…meh.  *whispers* use Gon, he’s great for this!
  • Tekken Ball – Weirdest mode of the game was this little side game of volleyball…but not really.  The point of it is to still defeat your opponent but it’s hitting the volleyball with powerful attacks…the stronger the more damage.  There’s some other odd nuances about it like the UBER powerful moves and performing a throw on the ball…which makes things weirder xD.  I love it and surprised it has never returned!
  • Theater: Kind of a staple to the series, the Theater mode lets you watch all the character endings (well you have to beat the game with every characterin Arcade mode to have all the endings.  Also you can watch the intro and listen to music from the game.  HOWEVER, if you have saves from both Tekken and Tekken 2, the movies and music from that game also show up too. 

 

 

OVERALL: 9/10

Tekken 3 is definitely my second favorite Tekken (the other one I’ll review eventually).  It just felt so good playing this on the Playstation and having feel and sound and overall as a package be better than its Arcade version is amazing.  Now people seem to bitch about SCV taking that time hop, but Tekken 3 also did it but this became huge so I wonder why else the game failed (well…ok the story sucked but still).  It’s weird because all we really figure out is that Jin turns into Devil Jin for the first time and Ogre/True Ogre gets owned…so this game’s storyline also kind of felt less important than say Tekken 4 to 6.  Still a great game!

 

U-KISS – DORADORA

Filed under: U-KISS — solarblade @ 5:08 am

Track Listing

  1. DORADORA
  2. 4U (For You)
  3. Sarangi Meomchul Ttae
  4. AMAZING
  5. TICK TOCK (OUT OF TIME)
  6. DORADORA (Instrumental)

1. DORADORA

As the leading song for the mini, U-KISS opens with DORADORA doesn’t carry the light like “NEVERLAND” or other leading songs have which isn’t a safe thing to say because anything else is kind of meh (even their K-pop ballads).  It’s not bad but compared to recent boybands releasing this year, this is pretty underwhelming and doesn’t show the true colors of U-KISS very well.  At least the members sound pleasant enough…it’s just not great.

2. 4U (For You)

If the Koreans wanted something that sounds a little like the poppy stuff from “A Shared Dream”, this is the closest you’ll get with this song which is pretty funny to hear.  The rappers do sound odd in this setting (especially Dongho) but this song is more for the singers who currently escape my mind as to who’s leading.  The synthed up arrangement is nice but it lacks energy for me which I didn’t mention was also missing in “DORADORA” for the most part.

3. Sarangi Meomchul Ttae

Of course one of the songs had to be a ballad right?  I mean we had “0330” and “A Shared Dream” previous (at least as far as I went back) so of course I had hopes that it wasn’t going to bland but once again it seems this ballad is a lot of Kevin, Hoon, and Soohyun.  I’m sure some of the other members got a line or two but it also bored me to death XD.  This might make people swoon, it’s just personal preference that I’m just not into it much.

4. AMAZING

AJ actually penned the next song and honestly is the only saving grace this mini-album has pretty much.  It’s definitely in the realm of U-KISS’ more danceable tracks and they sound really good…though I get Block B vibes in the song but I’m sure that’ll pass.  Of course Kevin and Soohyun lead the chorus, but it’s so catchy and the hooks are all over the place here ^_^.  This should’ve been promoting the mini…not “DORADORA”.

5. TICK TOCK (OUT OF TIME)

If the title looks familiar, then it should because it’s a Korean version of “Tick Tack”, the group’s Japanese debut track.  I was kind of excited at first becuase I was gonna hear awesomeness being done in Korean.  Sadly what I wasn’t expecting was that most of the song’s lyrics have been replaced (including most of the English stuff!).  I mean the original in the chorus was like ~Tonight, I shall be singing for you through the night, Tonight, I shall be turning on the broken light~…….BUT NOW IT’S ALL LIKE ~Tonight, we’re gonna party like we’re out of time, Tonight, we’ll live it up under the city lights~…Honestly, it just doesn’t work and the whole identity of the song is lost to this predictable K-pop mess of just “having fun”…I was SORELY disappointed in them for even agreeing to change the English lyrics out…like WTF.

 

 

WOW, U-KISS continuing to disappoint me here.  Besides AMAZING, DORADORA was just unacceptable for me.  The leading song feels so bland when compared to their previous stuff like “Shut Up!” and “Man Man Ha Ni” and even “NEVERLAND”.  The rest of the mini was just as bland and forgetful (even though the vocals are nice still so they get points on that) but the worst was TICK TOCK….just shouldn’t have happened…WHY U-KISS WHY MUST U DISAPPOINT!!!!!

 

Chiaki Ishikawa – Kono Sekai wo Dare ni mo Katarasenai You ni

Filed under: Chiaki Ishikawa — solarblade @ 4:12 am

Track Listing

  1. TW
  2. The Giving Tree
  3. My book
  4. Fukanzen Nenshou
  5. Uninstall ~Boku ga Saigo no Pilot Remix~
  6. Switch ga Haittara
  7. Gyakkou
  8. Insomnia
  9. Natsu no Niwa
  10. Sore wa Magire mo Naku ~Erebarashi Mono no Solitude~
  11. Ruisen
  12. Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai
  13. Sherbet Snow

1. TW

I find it pretty sweet that Chiaki would open her album with TW (from “Mou Nani mo Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai”) since it was one of my favorite songs during this era.  It’s funny that they would start with this because the first two words of the song are ~kono sekai~ LOL.  Reasons I enjoyed the song was because while it is pretty mid-tempo, it flowed smoothly and the light beats and piano-laced melody worked together and sounds like a GUNDAM theme (oh wait it was) XD. 

2. The Giving Tree

The first of the new songs on the album, The Giving Tree is an interesting name since I remember the name as a story (not sure if it’s connected one way or another but anyway…).  Chiaki’s vocals have seem to get a little more weaker than it was on the previous album but I enjoy The Giving Tree from it’s anime-esque feel and the flutes and strings in it.  It’s quite nice a lot stronger than “TW” oddly enough.

3. My book

I continue to like this folkish nature from Chiaki and My book sounds like something you’d find in a JRPG since it’s got this slow and dreary atmosphere that seems to sound good…plus there’s a lot of bass present haha.  It’s a real laidback kind of song and Chiaki’s vocals while not surprising that they don’t fit TOO well in the setting gave color to the song as well.  Interesting song.

4. Fukanzen Nenshou

The primary 3rd A-side, Fukanzen Nenshou comes rushing in with its latin vibes and still manages to be one of the more impressive songs that were released prior to the album.  After a while I did start to think there were different issues going on like some of the lyrics didn’t suit the arrangement (like the chorus) and Chiaki’s vocals were a bit more throaty than normal but I still somehow like it lol.

5. Uninstall ~Boku ga Saigo no Pilot Remix~

Of course it wasn’t going to be long before Chiaki would do a remix of Uninstall which is one of her more well-known songs.  It’s a bit of an odd one at that at first because of the way it begins but at least it moves a little better once more things jump in.  There’s a lot of echos in it and some weird stuff going on but it’s a remix what are you going to do…it’s not as good as the original.

6. Switch ga Haittara

It wasn’t long until we were going to hear the secondary A-side opposite to “Fukanzen Nenshou”.  I said on the single review that I like the more Western sound of the tune but it wore off after a while but I do like the acoustic arrangement when compared to the its sister A-side.  After a while it does kind of fall off the radar for me since it really doesn’t build anywhere but the guitar solo in the middle was a nice touch.

7. Gyakkou

Then we move into the first A-side released for the album and Gyakkou is still pretty damn pretty, especially opening with the shimasen of all instruments.  I think this was the most impressive because it was truly quite different and traditional to Japan.  Plus, Chiaki’s vocals are quite nice even though I noticed at this point that her voice sounded different than on “Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto”.  It does seem like the ending goes on too long sometimes, but it’s still the best from the A-sides.

8. Insomnia

Of the new songs, I was surprised that Insomnia is pretty basic and bland when compared to the other new tracks of the album sadly.  The arrangement doesn’t really do much for me since it kind of feels like regular ole guitar and piano lol.  Probably my least favorite song of the album.

9. Natsu no Niwa

Oh god the eerie ~eeeeeEEEEeeeEEEEeeee~ returns to completely weird me out at the beginning (not as harsh as “Prototype” but still goddamn awkward).  At least we got our ballad to deal with on the album and it’s also pretty book basics.  It’s not terrible though which is good and the odd ad-libbing adds a little creepy status to the song so it’s nice there…but ultimately forgettable…

10. Sore wa Magire mo Naku ~Erebarashi Mono no Solitude~

That jingling at the intro reminded me of PictoChat for some reason XD.  At least Chiaki opened the song by singing the title of the song first!  It does gain momentum from “Natsu no Niwa” which is nice and the folkish/Kajiura feel is present here for some reason but whatever the reason, I really enjoyed its relaxed style and Chiaki’s vocals aren’t as nasally as they are in some other songs.  Pretty soothing of a song here.

11. Ruisen

Oh yeah!  “Gyakkou’s” B-side finally comes up next and I must say I also really liked this song too because this was the kind of ballad I was hoping Chiaki would release.  I mean it is colorful, had nice movement and flow and just sounds like something you’d hear in Naruto (like background music not themes).  It still is a bit too long (6 minutes) but it’s a pretty ballad for sure and one of my favorites from her.

11. Mou Nani mo, Kowakunai, Kowaku wa Nai

Ahhh, the second A-side appears now and unfortunately is another ballad that moves a little slower than “Ruisen”.  I feel for this song as much as I do for “Insomnia”.  The song kind of drags the entire time and the arrangement isn’t very intriguing…kind of basic as well.  Reason why I took to “TW” a lot more.

13. Sherbet Snow

Closing the album out, Sherbet Snow sounds like it’d be a cute song (which is pretty uncharacteristic for her) and it turns out to be the quietest and slowest ballad on the album…actually it felt like there was no arrangement and Chiaki was singing acapella.  It DOES have one but it’s so subdued and quiet that you just don’t hear it unless Chiaki isn’t singing….ugh appropriate ending and all…just too empty!

Tracks Recommended

  • Ruisen
  • The Giving Tree
  • Sore wa Magire mo Naku ~Erabareshi Mono no Solitude~
  • TW

Song of Avoidance

  • Insomnia

Comparing to the other album I’ve heard from her, Kono Sekai wo… is pretty much a subdued and more softer release against “Dare mo Oshiete Kure Nakatta Koto”.  There wasn’t many songs that popped out at me unlike the last album but the ones that did were slower songs (oddly enough).  If you were expecting stuff like “49scale” and “Shylpeed”…you won’t find that here so be warned coming into her 4th.