Tekken Hybrid is Namco Bandai's collection of Tekken goodies
If you want a great big Supersize bag of Tekken tomfoolery, Tekken Hybrid could be just what the doctor ordered. What you get here is a full HD remake of Tekken Tag Tournament, a taster of the long-awaited follow-up, and Tekken: Blood Vengeance, a CGI movie.
For most people, the main attraction here will be the revamped Tekken Tag Tournament. The original game was one of the early highlights in the PlayStation 2's lifecycle, bringing tag-team gameplay to the series for the first time. For me, this is one of the best games in the entire franchise: the movelists are largely based around the superlative Tekken 3, and the partner-switching play makes good use of the variety of characters on offer, which was always one of Tekken's strong suits.
There's no online play, but all the weird extra modes are present and correct, including the theatre mode and bowling mini-game. More importantly, it runs at 60 frames per second - a quality that was previously denied to European gamers.
Aside from pushing alliteration into the point of discomfort, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue offers a chance to try out the latest entry in the Tekken series prior to its release in Japanese arcade later this year; a home console version will follow at some point in the future. There are only four characters on offer here: schoolgirl Xiaoyu, robo-girl Alyssa (who also has an optional school uniform), and Jin and Kazuya, both in their Devil forms; all four characters are based upon their appearance in Blood Vengeance, so the Devils are a bit more ornate and hornier than normal (no, not like that).
In short, you're out of luck if you don't like schoolgirls or demonic blokes with massive wings, but on the plus side all four get their complete movesets. It's hard to say too much about Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue without having played it, but it certainly looks solid enough - though not as immediately gorgeous as Soul Calibur V, Namco's other new fighter. The game uses the Tekken 6 engine, but expect it to play quite differently thanks to the risk/reward dynamics of the tag system: Tag Assaults allow you to bring your partner on-screen so that you can duff up your opponents in tandem, but in the process your buddy will lose their red recovery bar, curtailing their ability to heal.
Finally, Tekken Hybrid also includes Blood Vengeance, a feature-length animation set between the events of Tekkens 5 and 6. The plot focuses on Xiaoyu and Alyssa, and their friendship while investigating a conspiracy that originates at their school. Needless to say, pointy-haired evil men Heihachi and Kazuya make an appearance, and no doubt they'll be joined by several other Tekken regulars.
Tekken Hybrid is due for release exclusively on PlayStation 3 before Christmas.