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Hello, everyone! I wasn't sure where to put this, since "Gadgets And Geeks" seemed promising. Due to subject matter, I chose here. I'm not exactly in need of tech support, but I would like an answer. I have a white 500GB PS3 "Super Slim." I've only had it since Christmas. I am fully aware, having lost 2 PS3s in the past, that they eventually suffer an unavoidable death. I don't do anything fancy with it. No movie streaming, no hacking it, I haven't changed the Hard Drive,... nothing like that. I play games, and, occasionally, check out the PlayStation Store for sales. My question is this. How long is it safe to leave it running in a single gaming session? If it matters, I mostly play Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, as I am trying to get the Platinum Trophy.
Game: Heavy Rain.
Platform: PS3 exclusive.
This... is... JAAAAAAAASOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I love using motion controls for these Quick Time Events!" Before the game I'm gonna be talking about came out, saying that would've probably earned you a sound ass-kicking. Quick Time Events are cutscenes that require the player to perform certain button presses and/or movements in order to progress. Failure usually results in damage, or even death, to the player's character. Because of the usual suddenness of their appearance, which catches players, who put the controller down to watch what they think is a normal cutscene, off guard, they're commonly hated. So, what did developer Quantic Dream do? They made a game out of the parts of other games that people hate! That ballsy move is what brought us what turned out to be one of my favorite games. I speak, of course, of Heavy Rain.
Heavy Rain is certainly an odd breed of game. As I said before, the gameplay is composed almost entirely of Quick Time Events, which can take some time to get used to. Once you've got the hang of it, though, it's quite innovative. At times, it can be a bit confusing, though, mainly during "The Bear," if you're looking for the "Kamikaze" Trophy. Not to mention, it'll twist your fingers into pretzels, mainly during "The Butterfly." If it becomes problematic, though, you can change the difficulty, so it's a non-issue. So, that's the controls out of the way.
Heavy Rain stars 4 otherwise unconnected people, on the hunt for a killer, who, save for their alias, is unknown. The killer is simply known as "the Origami Killer," due to their victims being found with an origami figure. Each of the 4 characters has a storyline, and their own reasons for wanting to find this killer. Ethan Mars is an architect whose son was taken by the Origami Killer. Madison Paige is a journalist in search of the truth. Norman Jayden is an FBI agent who was assigned to the case. Finally, Scott Shelby is a private investigator who works with the families of the killer's victims. 4 characters doesn't mean 4 separate playthroughs, though; you play as all 4 at different points throughout the game. That doesn't mean that every playthrough is the same, though; not by a long shot. Throughout the game, you are faced with options. Your decisions actually have an impact on the game. Examples include...
*Do you kill that man, or pistol whip him into unconsciousness and pretend you did?
*Do you try reasoning with a religious maniac who thinks your friend is the son of Satan, or shoot him?
Even the way you talk to people can make a difference in this game. It's that kind of innovation that immerses you in the game. Rather than feeling like you're playing a game, you feel like you're actually a part of it! Every choice you make could be the difference between life and death, sometimes literally. I can't explain too much of the storyline without spoilers, so I'll talk about the other aspects of the game.
You probably know this already, but PS3 games are on Blu-Ray discs(which justified the PS3's ridiculously high price of around $500 at release, as Blu-Ray was, at the time, a new, and expensive, technology. For anyone who wants to know, mine, which I got a couple of years ago for Christmas, cost $120, but that was a Black Friday deal.), so they can hold inordinate amounts of data. Later games, such as Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and even some early games, like LittleBigPlanet, show that off quite well. Lush, striking graphics, immersive sound, and a wealth of content are all fairly commonplace on the polished black powerhouse. As for Heavy Rain? Well, you can certainly tell it's a next-gen game. The graphics are nice for an early PS3 game, and the soundtrack is absolutely breathtaking, and chilling at times. As far as content goes, there are several different endings to reward players for choosing different options, but, other than that, you pretty much just get the equivalent of DVD bonus features(concept art, making of, and trailers.). There's no postgame, unfortunately, but there's not really a need for one, since, no matter what ending you get, everything is wrapped up pretty nicely, story-wise. That's also why there's no sequel. A movie was in the works, but, as far as I know, it was scrapped. Basically, despite its innovations, Heavy Rain isn't flawless. You have to admit, though, making "Quick Time Event: The Game" was a risky move that, ironically, paid off pretty well. Even riskier was allowing the PlayStation Move controller(a set of 2 specialized motion controllers, used alongside a USB camera.) to be used, which, by the way, is a perfectly viable option. There were only a couple of times(such as the flashback level with young Scott, for example.) when I thought "this isn't working; if I wanna do this right, I'll have to switch to my DualShock 3(the standard controller that came with my system.)." Taking risks isn't something you see too often in this age of Call Of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, but Heavy Rain pulled it off with aplomb. By the way, I realize I'm a hypocrite for calling out COD and GTA for being repetitive, considering I'm obsessed with Pokémon, and I just spent a good portion of last night immersed in Saints Row: The Third. It's still a valid argument, though.
Anyway, I'm quickly running out things to say here, so let's get to my rating. I give Heavy Rain 4 out of 5. It's full of thrills and suspense to keep you going until you get all of the endings, but, unless you're going for Trophies, the thrills don't last long. Oh, and, by the way, my tagline for this review is based on a meme involving one of the first levels of the game. Look up "Heavy Rain Jason," or "Press X To Jason," and you'll see what I mean. Memes aside, Heavy Rain is proof that you don't have to join the crowd to make a good game. I apologize for throwing around the word "innovative," but, other than "awesome," that's one of the best words to use to describe Heavy Rain. If you have a PS3, give serious consideration to this game. Get the Director's Cut version, if you can find it; it's not too expensive, to my knowledge, and it comes with a voucher for the soundtrack, and another one for DLC.
Game: Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Platform: PS3, WiiU, XBox 360.
*SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS NOT A TEST!! AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE WILL FOLLOW!! XD*
Ah, Namco. Where would gaming be without you? Sure, you didn't come up with Pokemon, Halo(I'm not implying I play Halo, because I don't. It doesn't appeal to me.), or Guitar Hero, but you brought us such games as Galaga, Pac-Man,... Hell; arcades would've sucked without Namco. Not to mention, the upcoming new Super Smash Bros. game is being partly developed by Namco. So, today, I'm here to talk about their flagship fighting game franchise, Tekken. More specifically, the awesomeness that is Tekken Tag Tournament 2. By the way, I feel I should mention that I have the PS3 version, so your experience may vary.
You may have noticed that I didn't list the price, which I did in my previous reviews. That's because, as a retail game, the price depends on the store. I got my copy(new, for reasons I'll explain soon.) at GameStop for less than $20, so it shouldn't break the bank. If you have a choice, don't buy a used copy. Shell out an extra few bucks for a new copy; otherwise, you may be in for some sticker shock. In order to play the game online, you need an online pass. There's a code on the back of the instruction manual, which can be entered and redeemed for the pass. Without it, you'll have to pay $10 for the pass. Anyway, I'm rambling; on to the game!
As the name implies, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the sequel to Tekken Tag Tournament. Tekken Tag Tournament was released in 1999 as a launch title for the then-new PS2. You're probably familiar with the term "long-awaited sequel." Well, try 13 years! Apparently, Namco releases Tekken Tag Tournament games after every 3 main series games; the first one came out after Tekken 3, and the second one came out after Tekken 6. Tekken Tag Tournament 2, like it's predecessor, is a non-canonical spin-off, with a simple idea: take all of the Tekken characters, and put them all in 1 game! Simple, but effective.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 includes 16 characters from Tekken 1, 4 characters from Tekken 2, 13 characters from Tekken 3, 6 characters from Tekken 4, 6 characters from Tekken 5, and 7 characters from Tekken 6. There's also Unknown, from the first Tekken Tag Tournament, and newcomers Slim Bob and Sebastian. Here's a breakdown. Remember the spoiler alert? Well,... that. The list is in the format of character/ethnicity/fighting style.
Alex/Unknown/Unique(shares a moveset with Roger Jr.).
Alisa Bosconovitch/Russian(she's an android, made by a Russian.)/Unique.
Ancient Ogre(Ogre in previous games.)/Unknown/Unique.
Angel/Unknown/Kazama Style(plus flight and lasers.).
Asuka Kazama/Japanese/Kazama Style.
Baek Doo San/Korean/Taekwondo.
Christie Montiero/Brazilian/Capoeira(shares a moveset with Eddy Gordo and Tiger Jackson.).
Craig Marduk/African-American/Vale Tudo.
Devil Jin/Unknown/Kazama Style(plus flight and lasers.)
Eddy Gordo/Brazilian/Capoeira(shares a moveset with Christie Montiero and Tiger Jackson.).
Emile de Rochefort(Lili.)/French/Savate and street fighting.
Forest Law/American/Jeet Kune Do.
Gepetto Bosconovitch(Dr. Bosconovitch.)/Russian/Unique.
Heihachi Mishima/Japanese/Mishima Style.
Jack-6/Unknown/Power fighting and guns.
Jinpachi Mishima/Japanese/Mishima Style(plus otherworldly powers.)
Julia Chang(Jaycee.)/Native American/Lucha Libre.
Jun Kazama/Japanese/Kazama Style.
Kazuya Mishima and Devil Kazuya/Japanese/Mishima Style(plus flight and lasers.)
Kuma/Unknown/Unique(shares a moveset with Panda.).
Lee Chaolan/Unknown/Mishima Style.
Lei Wulong/Unknown/Mixed styles, predominately 5 Form Kung Fu and Drunken Fist.
Ling Xiaoyu/Chinese/Mixed Chinese styles, predominately Hakke-Sho and Hikka-Ken.
Marshall Law/American/Jeet Kune Do.
Michelle Chang/Native American/Mixed.
Miharu Hirano/Chinese/Mixed(shares a moveset with Ling Xiaoyu.).
Mokujin/Unknown/Random(copies a random character's moveset each match.)
Ogre(True Ogre in previous games.)/Unknown/Mixed(plus otherworldly powers.)
Panda/Chinese/Unique(shares a moveset with Kuma.).
Robert Richards(Bob and Slim Bob.)/American/Freestyle Karate.
Roger Jr./Australian/Unique(shares a moveset with Alex.).
Sebastian/French/Savate and street fighting(shares a moveset with Emile de Rochefort.).
Tiger Jackson/Unknown/Capoeira(shares a moveset with Christie Montiero and Eddy Gordo.)
Unknown/Unknown/Unique(Jun Kazama's moveset plus otherworldly powers.).
All the fighting game stereotypes are here. You have your Bruce Lee knockoffs(Forest and Marshall.), your little girls who don't look like they can fight their way out of a paper bag(Xiaoyu, Miharu, and Lili.), your joke characters(the list goes on.), and your magical beings(Jinpachi, Unknown, Angel, Devil Kazuya, and Devil Jin.). That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. With so many characters(albeit some with matching movesets.), and so many moves(some characters have more moves by themselves than the entire roster of Street Fighter IV combined.), this game provides plenty of variety.
Speaking of moves, Combot is a special character. Combot debuted in Tekken 4, as a Mokujin knockoff. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, however, through a separate storyline, which I won't spoil, it's possible to customize Combot's moveset with moves from other characters!
Every character in the large roster can be customized(some more than others; you can't do shit with Unknown and Tiger, besides changing their special effects, which are cosmetic, anyway. You can also change the picture that appears before a match if you're using them.), and thoroughly so. Want a ninja with a maid's outfit? You can do that(base character was Kunimitsu.)! Want Fluttershy? You can do that(base character was Michelle Chang.)! I even made Tripp(base character was Steve Fox.)! I love games that have things you can customize, so, naturally, I enjoyed, and still enjoy, this feature. However, character customization is nothing new. Enter Tekken Tunes, a feature that allows you to customize the soundtrack!
With Tekken Tunes, you can replace the soundtrack with songs from your hard drive! The possibilities for this are endless! How would you like to be greeted on the main menu by Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N Roses? What about beating the shit out of some poor soul in a Winter wonderland, to the tune of Christmas Don't Be Late by Alvin And The Chipmunks? You can do those things, and more! As with the character customization, I greatly enjoy this feature. Of course, what most people think of when they think of Tekken is people getting laid out by the fists of fury of one of many possible assailants. Well, don't worry; there's no shortage of that!
The main draw of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is that you can use 2 characters at once. That means you have 2 movesets to work with! Plus, depending on what characters you choose, you may be able to use special Tag Throws! Teams that can use these special Tag Throws usually consist of characters that are somehow related, either by friendship(Xiaoyu and Miharu.), blood(Jin and Jun Kazama.), mentoring(Baek and Hwoarang.), or some other way. The game doesn't tell you how to do these throws, so you have to guess. However, I'll tell you some.
Lili's Rafflesia throw -> tag out to Leo.
Lei's Dragon Falls throw -> tag out to Feng.
Feng's Avalanche throw -> tag out to Lei.
Raven's Undertaker throw -> tag out to Kunimitsu.
Anyone with the Stonehead throw -> tag out to anyone with the Stonehead throw.
Hwoarang/Baek's Human Cannonball throw -> tag out to Hwoarang/Baek.
Kuma/Panda's Bear Hug throw -> tag out to Kuma/Panda.
Christie/Eddy/Tiger's Rodeo Spin throw -> tag out to Christie/Eddy/Tiger.
Armor King's Hades Bomb throw -> tag out to King.
Michelle's Death Valley Bomb throw -> tag out to Jaycee.
Jaycee's Backdrop throw -> tag out to Michelle.
There are plenty more for curious players to discover. By the way, the graphics are beautiful, especially during the cutscenes. The sound is great, and, for the most part, customizable. Now, last but not least, let's talk about DLC.
DLC for this game really only appeals to the Tekken faithful; you can buy music and cutscene packs from the previous Tekken games. I consider this to be a waste of money, since you can see the cutscenes online, and you can download the soundtracks for free online, if you know where to go. Oh, well; for a game this great, I can't hold that against it.
I give Tekken Tag Tournament 2 a 3.85 out of 5. It's a wonderful game, and it'll definitely keep you occupied for hours, but having to use a pass to get online is ridiculous.