Editorial #05: Growing up with Tekken

Gaming Insurrection is generally behind the curve when it comes to playing the latest titles, even if they are favorites.

Case in point: We just acquired Tekken 6 for Xbox 360, about a full year after it was released. I’m not traditionally a Tekken player but Associate Editor Jamie is. I owned Tekken Tag and Tekken 4 when we met and I bought Tekken 5 for him when it was released for the PS2 in 2005. You could say we love Tekken in our household.

When Tekken first hit the scene in 1994, I heartily ignored it. That was a mistake that I concede now, but I paid no attention to Namco’s signature brawler. I was heavily engrossed with Mortal Kombat and I wish I hadn’t been.

I would have learned how to play, took the time to learn to combo system and paid more attention to the storyline. Tekkne had style even back then with its blocky polygonal plastic graphics. The music wasn’t too much of anything special but it had a certain style to it that other games at the time, such as Street Fighter, were missing.

I dismissed the first game and barely acknowledged the second game until the third game came out. The only reason why I noticed Tekken 3 was because the guy I was dating at the time was into it and had to have it for his PlayStation. It was all he talked about, so I figured after two years I needed to see what the hoopla was about. I bought the game as a college freshman in 1999 and attempted to play it. I spent six months just messing around in training mode before I even made it to the arcade mode. By then, Tekken Tag had been released. It was then that I decided that I would never be a serious Tekken player. I know just enough with four or five characters to be able to bluff my way through a match and be dangerous, but nothing concrete enough to be good by any stretch of the imagination. I actually prefer to watch others play and soak up the Tekken atmosphere.

In the 10 years that I have watched the game, I’ve learned a few things. The first is that Tekken is a game about basics. That is, if you don’t have the basics down, you will never “get it.” You will never be good at the game, no matter how much you play against people or read FAQs, if you don’t understand how the series’ engine works. The second is that Tekken is a game about skill. To be truly good at it, you need to be innovative with combos and you need to have the core system down to a science. The third is if you hadn’t started with the first two games in the series, you will not do well. You need to have knowledge of the early days of Tekken or an uncanny knowledge of fighting games in general to be able to start with the series in three and after and do well at all. As I came to understand, I couldn’t just pick up three and start from there.

Despite not being able to play the game well, I do enjoy Tekken. I appreciate it for what it’s done for the genre. I think of Tekken as the forefather of style in fighting games, a series as much about how it looks and sounds as it plays. While you’ll never see me enter tournaments or do a Game Night match for any Tekken game, I do play the game from time to time. I’m actually good at the minigames, such as Tekken Beach Ball and especially Tekken Bowl. Because Tekken Force is tied into the fighting portion of the series, I tend to stay away from it in any version that it shows up. While I’m watching Tekken matches, I tend to listen to the music or pick up new details about the backgrounds that I hadn’t noticed before.

The best part of Tekken, for me so far, has been the soundtrack. I am an avid fan of the series sound direction and it’s customary for me to find the soundtrack for a new version. Chances are there is something on it that I will like. On each soundtrack I have my favorites that stick out as the “Tekken sound.” My favorite overall is Tekken Tag and Tekken 5 runs a close second. I’d be remiss in not mentioning that the Tekken 4 and 5 soundtracks grew on me after hearing them so much courtesy of the “Prince of the Iron Fist” that I live with. My partner is a Tekken player and was for some time before I met him, so Tekken gets much love in our home.

With the announcement of Tekken Tag 2 and Tekken vs. Street Fighter, you can be assured someone at Gaming Insurrection will be playing or listening to one of the best fighting game series ever made.

Lyndsey Mosley

Editor, Gaming Insurrection

Tekken statistics

Games in the series owned: 6 (including arcade versions of 1, 2 and 3 packaged with Tekken 5)

Favorite characters (mine): Ling Xiayou, Hwoarang, Unknown, Kazuya Mishima, Sergei Dragunov, Zafina

Favorite tracks

Tekken Tag: Unknown (arcade and home), School, Hwoarang , Jin, Staff Roll, Ogre, Character Select, Result, Continue, Yoshimitsu, Strike

Tekken 4: Jet, Fear, Kitsch, Gym, Hex, Lights, The Inner Shrine, Touch and Go

Tekken 5: The Finalizer, Who’s Afraid Of, Those Who Go To Heaven

Tekken 6: Scenario Map, Staff Roll A, City After Dark Theme, Never Ending-Game Over/Continue, Sacred Dark (Azazel’s Chamber)

Listen to our Editor’s Weekly Podcast on Tekken: Episode #19 – Everything Tekken

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About The Author

GI-Lyndsey

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Author his web sitehttp://www.gaminginsurrection.com

25

09 2010

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