Format reviewed: PS3
Other Formats available: None
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco Bandai Entertainment
Price: £29.99
Cert: 12

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? What could the ‘Hybrid’ tag represent? Street Fighter characters entering the King of the Iron Fist Tournament? Jin Kazama exploring an open world, sandbox environment? Perhaps Paul Phoenix being the compère of the PS3 version of Nintendogs?

Nope, none of them. The hybrid refers to there being a film on the blu-ray disc, as well as a ‘high definition’ remake of a not-so-classic episode from the Tekken story. We’re all for creative licence in gaming but this really should have been called Tekken Tag Tournament HD and mentioned the half-baked film only on the box.

We’ve nothing against the Tekken series, indeed Tekken 3 stands out as one of the best fighting games of all time for us, but Tekken Tag was only well received as it was the first fighting game to appear in the new generation of consoles that the legendary Playstation 2 heralded back in 2000.

It was OK, and its USP was the fact that four people could play at any one time. That’s technically a lie as there could only be two people fighting at once, with the tag ability being used to bring your real life partner into play while you took a breather. It needed the PS3’s multi-tap peripheral back in those day, now it just requires four controllers (and people, of course).

Sadly, in fact downright annoyingly, the D could do with being a lot H’er, when it comes to image quality in the game. Rather than remake it from the ground up, it’s as if Namco has ported the last-gen graphics into the PS3 and simply blurred the edges with a trowel of anti aliasing slapped all over it.

Nothing else has changed in the intervening 11 years to make this remake worthwhile. The bowling minigame is still present, and still represents a fun challenge, and you can now earn PS3 trophies while beating lumps out of Yoshimitsu but, to be honest, these are fundamental basics that we would expect, not bonus extra to be applauded.

The demo of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 looks much more promising (with the D and a lot more H!) but it is just a demo, which you’ll no doubt find in the PSN shop in the near future.

As for the film, I’m no Barry Norman, or even, thankfully, a Claudia Winkleman, but this CGI effort is just no good. The story is trite, the pacing is awful and the fighting’s not up to much either.

Even for Tekken fans, this stinks of a cash-in. It’s not quite at premium price level, weighing in at 30 of your earth pounds, but this has the distinct feel of a £10 nostalgia trip, with £20 worth of filler shoehorned in to part you from more of your cash, wrapped up and labelled with the alluring, enigmatic, ‘hybrid’ tag.

There’s really nothing new to see here in Tekken Hybrid and only the most ardent of Tekken fans should consider a purchase. For the rest of you, there are much better, and cheaper, fighting games out there already.

Review by MarketZero

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