Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tekken oh Tekken

Yeah I had been addicted to Namco's Tekken for the past few years... ehem, 10 years actually. Here is how my Tekken experience starts:

Back in the 90's when Tekken 1 first came out, it was among a few fighting games rendered in 3-D. It was like "real people fighting" at that time. Hehe. Without knowing that this game will grow really big one day, me and my friends tried it out. What the heck, with some Street Fighters II basics, we tried QCF moves, b,f moves, shinryu-ken moves and whatever worked, and found Paul Phoenix was the easiest to use, Death Fist and Shredder Kicks all the way, hahah.

That was my earlier college days during Certificate course in a local polytech, when doing practical training at Penang. Well, play time's over, back to the college and we further our Diploma.
As usual we visit arcades once in a while, and the grown up fighter roster and improved graphics of Tekken 2 catched our eyes. Not really playing Tekken 2 much, I guess because we're still playing Street Fighters II (oh not the original SF2, but something like SF2 Alpha or SF2 Zero or something like that). Uhm Paul's Burning DF in T2 is awesome anyway.

It was it's 3rd instalment which made me stuck with Tekken... when I bought a Sony PlayStation and Tekken 3 was among the 30 free games bundled with the PS. I can try all the characters, learn their moves and 10-strings, multi-throws and such, but I did not noticed one of the most important element of Tekken: juggles.


It doesn’t took me long to find out in a local arcades (Cosmic BJ) that have a Tekken machine that is very similar to Tekken 3 but added with Tekken 2 characters. I know a new version of Tekken is in the town. It was Tekken Tag Tournament, the best Tekken installment Namco had, at least for now.

From there I learned how to juggles and most importantly, how to punish blocked/whiffed moves. Thanks to the Tekken regulars at Cosmic, it was from Tekken Tag I started to improve my Tekken skills and play Tekken to win, other than playing for fun. Until there is a new version of Tekken, Tekken 4 available, we still kept playing Tekken Tag. Ever since Tekken Tag Tournament, I started playing Tekken heavily.

Tekken 4 was one among two other Tekken series (Tekken 1 & Tekken 2) that I played very little… it just can’t attract me although the graphics is way better than Tekken Tag (arcade type). It’s not just me but a lot of players actually prefer Tekken Tag over Tekken 4, perhaps of the wide range of characters and game play of Tekken Tag. Tekken has lost its fans tremendously since Tekken 4.

For an instance, I thought Tekken series will die at Tekken 4. Just when I thought that, Tekken 5 came into rescue. With almost all previous Tekken characters available in one game, Tekken 5 became a hit back then.

Other than the improved (yet again) graphics and better juggles, the most attracting point for us is the Tekken 5 arcade machine was actually a modified PS2 embedded inside, setting into arcade mode – which means player can play all day long with 1 credit, until got KO’ed by CPU or challenger, or the player exit the game. Tekken 5 was my most played Tekken game among all.

Tekken 5 game play was unbalanced with some characters very strong and advantageous compared to other characters that is weak and disadvantageous. As a result, an arcade only upgraded version of Tekken 5 is available named Tekken 5.1, with some minor changes. Not long after that, another upgrade called Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection launched and caused another hype among Tekken fans, with 3 more new characters including the returning of Armor King. Dark Resurrection also launched for Sony PSP.

I started Dark Resurrection pretty late and before I had enough with it (we never had enough with Tekken, in fact. Heheh!) Tekken 6 was announced. With the largest fighter roster in Tekken history, High Definition of graphics quality, new juggle system and improved game play elements, Tekken 6 is more fun to play with. But because of its cost that required 2 credits, many players cannot afford to spend double and started to hold back and played only once in a while. I was among one of them, but my passion towards Tekken kept me going.

Compared to other players that affordable which keep playing and improved, my Tekken skills – that had never been top notch – started to fall back. Nevermind, I played Tekken for fun, right? But constantly losing to other players on a high credit cost doesn’t seems encouraging.

Perhaps the trend being set by Dark Resurrection, soon enough for Tekken 6, an upgrade was available named Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion. This arcade upgrade was also announced for PS3. With every new installment of Tekken, you can expect more guessing game on mix-ups and more damages can be done in juggles. All-time and talented players would catch up what’s new pretty easily, casual player like me would not have a chance against them, pretty darn discouraging.

That is what’s up until now. I was still very passionate about Tekken until Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion. But now, enough is enough, I have to let it go. Perhaps it was me whom couldn’t catch up anymore, perhaps it was the influence from other “retreated comrades”, perhaps it was the credits cost that hurts, perhaps it was the advice from my loved ones that I really should stop, perhaps it was about time for me to look into other more meaningful things…

Throughout the Tekken years, I met with all kinds of people, some become friends and some become foes. Friends can discuss Tekken all day long with d/f+2; 3,3,3,4; EWGF; cd; ss kind of Tekken jargon restlessly, teh tarik at mamak stall/restaurant until 2a.m., youtubing for Tekken combo/match vids & Tekken foruming at c.c., that was the fun we had together as Tekken fans although those are meaningless in other people’s eyes, who don’t know what Tekken is all about.

I thank you my friends, for sharing the same interest with me and went through sweet and bitter throughtout these years. Though I might leave Tekken, but I will not leave my Tekken friends. We still can have a cup of coffee together and chat about anything, even Tekken, why not?

Until then, Goodbye Tekken.

All Tekken logos are © Namco Bandai

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