The fighting genre’s been in a bit of a state of upheaval for a while now, but it seems like most of the big names chose this year to start their real experiments with that most elusive of business models: the free-to-play system. Namco’s entry in all this, Tekken Revolution, makes good on the prospect of delivering mechanics and visuals on-par with one of the series’ full retail releases in the form of a free downloadable title, but it’s where it tries to play with the existing formula that the idea starts to fall apart. Token-based play with access to different modes on various cooldowns is a neat way to replicate the feeling of being in an arcade and incentivizes efficient use of your playtime, but throwing a permanent stat growth system into the mix throws off the delicate balance by creating a rich-get-richer scenario where even the matchmaking system can’t properly compensate. The omission of many of the franchise’s staple characters also harms its appeal, both to veterans interested in picking up their mains and to newcomers who may have come to try those characters out in the first place. Unfortunately, not even Yoshimitsu could save this game from the mediocrity it’s comfortably slid into.
December 12, 2013