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ArdillaVerde93's Game Reviews #3: Tekken Tag Tournament 2

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ArdillaVerde93    355

Game: Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

Platform: PS3, WiiU, XBox 360.


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.).

Anna Williams/Irish/Aikido.

Armor King/Mexican/Wrestling.

Asuka Kazama/Japanese/Kazama Style.

Baek Doo San/Korean/Taekwondo.

Bruce Irvin/African-American/Kickboxing.

Bryan Fury/American/Kickboxing.

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.).

Eleonor Klissen(Leo.)/German/Bajiquan.

Emile de Rochefort(Lili.)/French/Savate and street fighting.

Feng Wei/Chinese/Kenpo.

Forest Law/American/Jeet Kune Do.

Ganryu/Japanese/Sumo Wrestling.

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.).


Lars Alexandersson/Swedish/Karate.

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.)

Nina Williams/Irish/Aikido.

Ogre(True Ogre in previous games.)/Unknown/Mixed(plus otherworldly powers.)

Panda/Chinese/Unique(shares a moveset with Kuma.).

Paul Phoenix/American/Judo.

Prototype Jack/Unknown/Unique.

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.).

Sergei Dragunov/Russian/Sambo.

Steve Fox/British/Boxing.

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.

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      Another epic title sequence shows us the movie's alternate name: The Power Of One.
      *Power Of One count: 3(a short, rock version is played during the title sequence.).*
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      The storm, which disappeared as soon as it started, has nevertheless thrown our heroes off course; they're now headed toward Shamouti Island. The storm has also thrown Team Rocket around in their Mecha-Magikarp. One fourth wall break("An island!" "In a storm!" "I've seen this movie!"), and one McDonalds reference("We're about to be..." "Filet 'O Fish?"), later, they crash into a rock.
      We are now shown what's going on back in Ash's hometown of Pallet Town. Ash's mom(whose name is first revealed in this movie to be "Delia.") is tending to her garden, while her Mr. Mime sweeps up. Professor Oak shows up to check on things, and he likes what he sees. He and Delia both comment on the nice weather, but, as if on cue, the weather turns nasty. It rains, then starts snowing. The viewers are treated to a beautiful aurora as a flock of Pidgey takes to the sky. All at once, the sky clears up. Oak(after almost being carried away by a huge group of Diglett.) points out that Pokémon are more in tune with nature than humans are, and the fact that the Pokémon are acting strange is a very bad sign.
      We see that our heroes have made it, more or less unharmed, to Shamouti Island. Unfortunately, they're ambushed by a group of people dressed in bird costumes. Our heroes find out that Shamouti Island is currently host to a festival, and that a young girl named Melody is going to be the festival maiden. As for the role of the Chosen One, guess who takes that. You won't figure it out, but guess! It's Ash! Shocker; I know. Melody overhears that Ash is the Chosen One, and she gives him a "traditional welcome kiss." That pisses off Misty, which gets Melody's attention. She guesses that Misty is Ash's sister, and, after Misty refutes that claim, she guesses that she's Ash's girlfriend. Misty shoots down that possibility, as well, but Melody is intent on pissing her off even more. She says that there is a banquet that she'll be performing at, then tells Misty(calling her by name, even though Ash's friends hadn't introduced themselves yet.) not to get jealous.
      Ash and his friends are led up some stairs, while surprisingly ominous music plays. Pikachu doesn't look too happy, but that's nothing out of the ordinary; he barely smiles at all throughout the entire movie. Anyway, the next minute or so that follows shows a big festival being held. After that, though, the festival isn't mentioned again, and we cut to the aforementioned banquet, and get to hear the end of what I'm sure was an adult joke("...and she says 'no, but I have Krabbys!'"). Misty is still mad at Melody, and takes her anger out on a piece of fried chicken. Ash, however, is more interested in what being "the Chosen One" entails.
      *Power Of One count: 6(Melody plays it on her weird instrument.).*
      Suddenly, all eyes are on Melody, as she plays a song while doing a weird jerky dance. She runs up to Ash and recites what I assume is another part of the prophecy from before.
      "From the trio of islands, ancient spheres shall you take, for, between life and death, all the difference you'll make. O, Chosen One, you must climb to the shrine to make right what is wrong, and the world will be healed by the guardian's song!"
      Ash doesn't quite understand, so Melody(using nearby fruit as props.) puts it in layman's terms for him.
      *Power Of One count: 7(Melody plays it for a second or 2.).*
      Now that Ash understands what he has to do, he wants to do it right away. Melody says he should stay for the party, but he's having none of it. Maren admires his enthusiasm, and offers to take him to the islands in her boat. Ash invites Misty, but she angrily declines. Then, completely unprovoked, Pikachu decides to be a dick and take Ash's treasured hat. Apparently, they made it to the boat, though, because the very next scene involves Team Rocket almost getting run over by it. Then, suddenly, it starts pouring rain again. We cut to the Slowking from earlier, reciting part of the "disturb not the harmony" part of the prophecy, before pointing out the sorry state of things, with a voice that wouldn't be out of place in an Emergency Alert System message. For those of you in the UK, who don't know what the Emergency Alert System is, I envy you. Slowking's voice in this part, and Lugia's speaking voice later, creep me out for reasons you luckily don't understand.
      Back at the banquet, Melody decides that she's going to go after Ash, considering he's caught in the storm because of what Melody thinks is just a silly legend to entertain tourists. Misty and Tracey tag along, resulting in another back and forth between Melody and Misty, which, apparently, distracts them well enough for Team Rocket to stow away on their boat undetected.
      Meanwhile, Lawrence III, in his floating fortress, points out a disturbance in the force, so to speak. Siri tells him that Zapdos is nearby, so he sets off in search of it. Now, we're shown a weather report that's being viewed by people on the island, as well as back in Pallet Town. The odd weather, though centered in the Orange Islands, is global. It seems to be caused by an underwater river. Delia, knowing that Ash is in the Orange Islands, is understandably worried. Then, we get to see another example of Pokémon technology; Professor Oak gets a call on Skype.
      The call is from Professor Philena Ivy, a character exclusive to the Orange Islands arc. She confirms what Oak had already told Delia much earlier; the Pokémon are acting strange. We see a cameo appearance by Brock, as he runs back and forth, carrying Pokémon. Back on the boat, the storm is over for now, but that doesn't stop the waves from being treacherous. This results in the boat breaking it's rudder off on a rock, then getting washed ashore. At least the island they're stranded on is the one they were looking for. Pikachu runs off, because he's a dick, and Ash follows him.
      Meanwhile, Melody is in hot pursuit of Ash, and she shows off some impressive boating skills. She assures Misty and Tracey that they don't need to worry, since she grew up around boats. Misty points out that she wasn't scared, anyway, since she's a Water type Gym Leader. Suddenly, the boat almost gets swallowed up by a huge wave. They avoid that, just in time for another huge wave to throw the boat into the air, and send Team Rocket flying. We see the interior of Maren's boat as Maren is about to have some coffee. Unfortunately, another wave crashes into the boat, causing Maren to spill the coffee. That's gotta hurt!
      Melody's boat has landed on a giant rock, but everyone seems to be okay, although Maren's boat is wrecked. Suddenly, though, Melody's boat starts falling. Melody, however, reveals the sail of the boat and uses it to make the boat fly, taking advantage of the strong wind. Another back and forth between Melody and Misty later, and we get to see Lawrence III again. He pretends to feel sorry for Moltres, since it's all alone, but, when Siri tells him that Zapdos is near Fire Island, it becomes clear that Moltres won't be lonely for long.
      Meanwhile, Pikachu has led Ash to the first of the 3 shrines he has to go to to get the spheres. Ash grabs the fire sphere, but has a fourth-wall breaking run-in with Team Rocket("...and make it double; we're on the big screen!" "I'll have to catch this on video!"). And cue the Deus Ex Machina; Melody's "flying" boat shows up and almost crushes them.
      Melody scolds Ash for not staying at the party, but, when Misty butts in, Melody decides to piss her off by assuming she and Ash will get married. Team Rocket warns Misty about the dangers of romance just in time for Zapdos to come flying in and put on a kickass light show. Pikachu sees this giant bird of death, and decides to do the only rational thing: attack it! Or, at least, that's what it looks like. Meowth points out that Pikachu is actually trying to talk to Zapdos through those shocks, and even translates what Pikachu's saying; he wants to know why Zapdos is on Fire Island, and what happened to Moltres. Zapdos shocks him back, which Meowth also translates. Zapdos is taking Fire Island for itself, now that Moltres is gone.
      With that, Zapdos goes apeshit and tries to shock everyone, but the electricity gets drawn upward by an unseen force. Well, unseen until it floats into view.
      *Power Of One count: 8(background music.).*
      Lawrence III is sucking up Zapdos' electricity with his fortress, which weakens it enough for him to capture it with the same method he used for Moltres. This time, though, he accidentally, and unknowingly, captures Melody's boat, and everyone on it, as well! Lawrence III remarks that all he needs now is Articuno. Then, we see another Pokémon Silver-esque scene.
      *Power Of One count: 10(Lugia vocalizes it, then it's played as background music.).*
      Lawrence III is alerted by Siri that the fortress picked up something extra when they were capturing Zapdos, so he goes to check on things. The chair he's sitting on happens to be on a platform that can rise and fall, so he reaches the holding area right after Melody reads the first part of the prophecy from earlier. He brags about his collection, which causes Misty to tell him off, calling him a bad trainer. Lawrence III, however, corrects her, saying he's just a collector. Apparently, he started with a Mew card. Just then, Siri tells him that Articuno is changing course, so he leaves to go after it. And now, we get to see the lovely Articuno screwing around, before the movie cuts to another news report.
      This time, the news crew is flying in a helicopter, and they brought Oak, Ivy, and, for some reason, Delia, with them. Pokémon everywhere are trying to get to the Orange Islands, to try to stop whatever's going on. Oak explains that disturbances in the islands of fire, ice, and lightning are responsible for the crazy weather. Then, Ivy explains that the Pokémon are flocking to the islands because they want to correct the disturbances. Delia just wants to see Ash again. Then, we see Slowking, sad because he doesn't have pants. Um,... Alright?
      Well, the blizzard ends as soon as it began, but we get to see more Articuno action, so that's cool. Back in the fortress, Melody rereads the same part of the prophecy she read before. James worries that he'll die, but Meowth assures him that he'll be fine, since only intelligent life will be destroyed. First thing's first, though; Moltres and Zapdos have to be freed.
      Meanwhile, Lawrence III has his eyes on Articuno, and shows his desire for it by firing missiles at it! If he's a collector, shouldn't he be trying to capture the Pokémon he's collecting without hurting them, so they're more valuable? I still have my Fluttershy figure, and my posters(1 of which is an authentic Japanese movie poster for this movie.) from Comic-Con, in their box/bag. The less you handle them, the more they're worth. Anyway, it doesn't really matter, since Articuno dodges the missiles. We're treated with another quick Pokémon Silver-esque scene.
      *Power Of One count: 11(background music. You have to listen carefully to hear it.).*
      Back in the fortress, our heroes, and Team Rocket, try to free the birds by attacking the cages they're in. It doesn't work at first, but, when 4 Pokemon attack together, they break Moltres' cage. Moltres single-handedly breaks Zapdos' with Flamethrower, allowing them both to escape. Not exactly grateful, they both fly around, attacking each other, and they nearly destroy the fortress in the process. The damage they cause forces the fortress to crash land on Lightning Island. Everyone seems to be alright, but the shrine nearby is destroyed, causing the Lightning sphere to roll right up to Ash.
      While our heroes, and Team Rocket, manage to get in Melody's boat, the birds keep on fighting, punctuated by a brief scene of an underwater tornado. Their fighting actually breaks part of the island, causing the boat, and everyone on it, to get swept away by a strong current. They prepare for a nasty fall, only to be saved by a waterspout.
      *Power Of One count: 12(Lugia vocalizes it.).*
      Team Rocket takes what I assume is the only life raft, but it doesn't really matter; soon, the boat ends up at another island. This one appears to be populated by the Slowking, who tells Ash to put the treasures in the 3 slots up ahead. Ash obeys, but soon finds that he's missing a sphere; the Ice sphere.
      The birds are still fighting, so Ash runs up and tells them to stop. It, of course, doesn't work, but their fighting is interrupted anyway by the waterspout from before, which dissipates to reveal Lugia. Everyone gawks at it, and rightfully so, considering it's a Generation II Legendary Pokémon.
      *Power Of One count: 13(Lugia vocalizes it.).*
      Lugia's singing is familiar to Melody; she pulls out her ocarina-looking thing from the banquet, and realizes that the song she played on it was actually Lugia's song. Meanwhile, Lawrence III, surprisingly unharmed, now has Lugia in his sights!
      The fighting continues, but Lugia is participating now, too, which makes for an epic battle. After a while, Melody recites the "water's great guardian" part of the prophecy, and Slowking points out the obvious("This looks bad!"). More fighting! Lugia puts up a good fight, but he can't keep up with 3 enemies at once, and gets shot out of the sky.
      *Power Of One count: 14(background music.).*
      With Lugia out of the way, the other 3 birds keep fighting, while Ash and the others look on in horror. The news crew helicopter flies in, and we see that Delia needs to rethink her priorities; she's more worried about Ash than she is about the fate of the world. Suddenly, the Pokémon that were trying to reach the islands finally arrive.
      Everyone realizes that Ash is the actual Chosen One, but Ash isn't too keen on the idea of saving the world, even wishing his name was "Bob," so the prophecy wouldn't mention him. Melody remembers the similarity between her song and Lugia's song, so...
      *Power Of One count: 15(Melody plays it.).*
      Somehow, the song heals Lugia, so he chooses to talk directly to our heroes, and Team Rocket, in one of the creepiest, and most surprising, voices I've ever heard. He explains that, in order to stop the fighting, the 3 spheres have to be put in the slots, but that only Ash can do it, because he's the only one who can make the spheres glow. He says that Ash doesn't have to do it if he doesn't want to, and Ash is, understandably, hesitant. But, then, a miracle happens. Pikachu smiles! He gives him an unintelligible pep talk, along with Ash's other Pokémon, who emerge from their Pokéballs. Moved by the pep talk, Ash decides to finish the quest. This admittedly powerful moment is cut short in the very next scene, in which Ash makes a joke while trudging through the snow("Right now, I feel more like The Frozen One!").
      After face-planting, Ash wonders if the prophecy was wrong. When Pikachu points out a wrecked boat nearby, though, Ash gets an idea. We cut to his Pokémon towing the wreckage, with Ash on it, at breakneck speed, while Lugia follows closely. Back with the others, Team Rocket laments that they're unimportant. Meowth says that they could be heroes if they were given a chance. Well, they get their chance; the news helicopter crashes(luckily not hurting anyone.) right next to them, which gives them an idea.
      Back to Ash, his Pokémon, and Lugia again, they get attack by the other birds, but do a good job of fighting them off, at least until the birds destroy the "boat." Just as all hope seems lost, Ash is rescued by Team Rocket, of all people, who appear to have used some of the helicopter parts, along with the life raft from before, to make a motorboat. They soon reveal that their motives aren't exactly pure, though; there wouldn't be anyone left to rob if the world were to be destroyed. They get attacked again, but Lugia fights the attackers off. After going through a long tunnel(on a makeshift motorboat, no less.), they arrive at the shrine, where Ash takes the Ice sphere.
      They try to escape, but get stopped by the birds; Lugia can't save them this time. In fact, their boat is destroyed. Then, Articuno is felled when the other 2 birds gang up on it. Ash and Team Rocket manage to escape, and Ash shows Lugia the Ice sphere.
      *Power Of One count: 16(background music.).*
      Lugia allows Ash(and, accidentally, Team Rocket, who grab his tail.) to ride on him back to the island where Ash has to take the spheres. Unfortunately, Lugia gets attacked by the other birds(sans Articuno.), and, with Team Rocket holding onto his tail, he can't dodge as well as he could before. After a totally random Weight Watchers reference("We should try Weight Watchers!" "It's too late for that!" "I heard it's never too late if you really stick to the program!"), Team Rocket lets go, sacrificing themselves for the greater good. However, they survive the fall, plunging underwater and surfacing near a huge group of Pokémon.
      Lugia explains to Ash that the Pokémon have gathered because they want to help, but that Ash is the only one who can fix what's happening.
      *Power Of One count: 17(background music.).*
      Melody and Misty start worrying, but it's not needed, because Ash waves at them. Suddenly, though, Lawrence III's capture rings(that's what I'm calling them.) shoot from the fortress, straight towards Lugia.
      *Power Of One count: 18(background music; you have to listen carefully.).*
      The capture rings surround Ash, Pikachu, and Lugia. Lugia won't go down without a fight, though. He fires 2 Hyper Beams, the first of which destroys the fortress. Unfortunately, Lugia has used the last of his energy; he plunges into the icy sea, defeated, taking Ash and Pikachu down with him. Ash and Pikachu surface, but Ash is unconscious. Lugia admits his failure. Even the Pokémon that traveled all that way know things are grim.
      Melody tries to give her ocarina thing to Misty, but she won't take it. Instead, she sets out to find Ash, which doesn't take her very long at all. Once she finds him, she brings him back to the island where, rather than give him CPR, she shakes him! Somehow, it works, but - and this is coming from someone with quite a bit of medical knowledge - I wouldn't recommend it. Not just because it's stupid, but because, if the victim has a head, neck, or back injury, you're likely to make it worse.
      Anyway, Ash shambles over and puts the Ice sphere in the last slot. This makes pretty lights come out of all 3 spheres. It also causes shining green water(ew.) to pour out into markings on the ground, and it causes the stone pillars around everyone to crystallize. Melody wastes no time in playing her song. By the way, we have just reached the climax of the movie.
      *Power Of One count: 21(Melody plays it, then background music takes over, then Melody finishes it.).*
      Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, tamed by the song, fly around happily. That finally brings an end to the crazy weather that plagued the world. Grateful, Lugia emerges, his power restored by the song, and offers Ash and Pikachu a ride.
      With the song finished, Melody drops to her knees. Some islanders look outside, stunned, and a news report tells us what we already know; the bad weather is over.
      Back with the main characters, Lugia congratulates Ash, saying that the fate of the world couldn't have been in better hands. With that, he returns to the sea, and, unfortunately for Ash, his mother and Professor Oak catch up to them. Delia's first instinct is to bitch Ash out, but, then, she admits that she worries about him all the time. Ash placates her by saying that he'll try to stay close to home(LIAR!!). Oak runs off, excited to tell other researchers about the recent events. Then, we cut to Lawrence III, picking up his Mew card out of the wreckage of his fortress. He hasn't given up his hobby, and he's going to start over with the card that started it all.
      The final pre-credits scene is of Team Rocket, happy that they did they did the right thing, but sad that nobody saw them do it. Slowking breaks the fourth wall by telling them that lots of people saw it, and that they're still watching. With that knowledge, Team Rocket ends the movie by talking about starting their own team.
      *Power Of One count: 22(it plays during the credits, complete with vocals.).*
      And, with that, we've reached the credits! Like they are in a lot of the Pokémon movies, the credits in this one aren't too special, serving mostly as a way to get extra songs in at the last minute. Donna Summer is good, but, by the time you've reached the credits, you're probably sick of the song she contributed, and the addition of vocals probably won't do too much to change that. The fact that they got Weird Al Yankovic to do a song is cool, but it seems out of place, considering the song that precedes it, and the song that comes after it, are both ballads. Not exactly what Weird Al Yankovic is known for. As for the final song, Flying Without Wings, it's amazing, and I wish they had played more of it.
      And that's it for The Power Of One! A good movie that could've used song variety. In case you lost count, they used the same song 22 times! I'll talk more about it later, but, for now, let's move on to Pikachu's Rescue Adventure, the mini-movie that comes with it.
      It starts with Ash, Misty, and Tracey deciding to take a break, so they let their Pokémon do the same. Unfortunately, Togepi apparently has ADHD, because it goes running after a swarm of Ledyba while the other Pokémon are asleep. Togepi loses its balance and tumbles down a hill, waking up the other Pokémon in the process. Further down the the hill, Togepi smacks into Meowth, who was just walking around. This sends them both tumbling until they fall down a hole. The other Pokémon reach the hole, and seem to be wondering what to do. Well, Psyduck, bringing up the rear, answers that for them, running into them and sending them all down the hole.
      While they fall, and for a little while afterwards, the viewers are treated to a song. Coming To The Rescue by O-Town. It's a generic boy band sort of song, but it's still pretty good. A swarm of Ledyba, presumably the same one from before, drops our heroes(using that term loosely.) off at a big tree. An Elekid shows up, and Squirtle dons his Squirtle Squad sunglasses, trying to intimidate it. Pikachu steps in and stops him, though, instead opting to do what I assume is an Electric type equivalent of a secret handshake. Luckily, It works. Suddenly, a whole bunch of Pokémon pop up to greet the newcomers. After a short scene in which we see that Meowth is hanging from a branch overlooking a river, Pikachu explains to Elekid that they're looking for Togepi. It just so happens that Elekid knows where Togepi is, and he's willing to take the main characters there. We see more Pokémon, and, when the journey involves crossing a large vine, we see that, despite acting tough earlier, Squirtle is a pussy. Can't say I'd be too different.
      Anyway, Elekid takes them to an Exeggcute nest. Lo and behold, there's Togepi! Unfortunately, the Exeggcute won't let Togepi go, because they think it's one of them. Exeggcute live in groups of 6, but this one only has 5; one of them is missing.
      We see some more Pokémon as the main characters end up in a beautiful meadow. I assume that Elekid led them there. As it turns out, they're just in time for a show! 3 Bellossom pop out of the ground and start dancing. They're soon joined by more and more Pokémon, until it's like a dance crew(or troupe, if you prefer.)! Suddenly, Pikachu hears something, so he runs off to see what it is. He leads the other main characters into a cave, where they find a bunch of Clefairy. Pikachu realizes too late that they're using Metronome(picks a random attack and uses it.), which ends up turning into Explosion, sending the main characters flying into a tree with VERY springy leaves. In fact, it looks like there are actual springs attaching the leaves to the tree!
      Everyone has fun bouncing around, but, unfortunately, Pikachu and Elekid bounce too high, and land on Meowth, still hanging from the branch. They get flung off of the branch, and land on a Snorlax, who launches them into the river. They surface riding up the waterfall on a Gyarados. Meowth tries to kick Pikachu off of it, which doesn't end well. Pikachu uses Thundershock, causing the Gyarados to buck all 3 of them off. Pikachu and Elekid land back in the tree, but Meowth blasts off in classic Team Rocket style. As soon as Meowth disappears, the weather turns bad. Everyone hides at first, but, when they realize that the Exeggcute nests are in danger, it becomes a mad dash to protect them. The wind is ridiculously strong, but Snorlax seems to be able to take it, so he stands over the others to protect them. After a little while, though, Pikachu realizes that everyone is in serious danger, so he runs up to the top of the tree for one of the most badass scenes in all of Pokémon. Pikachu, later joined by Elekid, Thundershocks the lightning to keep it away from the tree! I shit you not! It actually works, for a little while. Eventually, a bolt of lightning slips past them, starting a fire. Marill and Squirtle quickly use Water Gun to put it out, though.
      With the fire out, the problem once again becomes protecting the Exeggcute. The same strategy as before(using Snorlax.) works for a while, until he lets go of the chain of Pokémon to try to grab some fruit that's blowing by, sending them flying and forcing Pikachu to grab onto a bump on the branch WITH HIS TEETH!! Coming from someone who has 2 broken teeth, I can't watch that without cringing. Just as Pikachu loses his grip, it's Snorlax to the rescue again! Snorlax pulls the Pokémon, and the Exeggcute nest with Togepi in it, back down to safety. With that done, the weather miraculously goes back to normal, and we see a beautiful Dragonair flying around.
      There's just one last problem. The missing Exeggcute still hasn't been found. However, a random Chansey comes dancing in to solve that problem; the Exeggcute was in her pouch the whole time! The Exeggcute bounce around happily, now that they're all together. It turns out, though, that they're bouncing around near a Leaf Stone, which causes it to evolve into an Exeggutor, and start dancing.
      We cut to a cliff near a cave, where the main characters say their goodbyes to their new friends. Then, we see that Meowth is, more or less, alright. He landed in a river, which dumped him into a lake. He says he doesn't wanna go to camp anymore(he does, anyway, but not for 3 more mini-movies.). Finally, we rejoin the trainers, just as they wake up. They wonder where their Pokémon are, but they soon find out that their Pokémon are safe and sound, playing in a lake(likely a different one than Meowth ended up in.). Tracey remarks that they must have been playing the whole time. The Pokémon end the mini-movie by jumping out of the water, which is shown as a still frame that fades into what looks like a drawing of the same scene.
      And that's Pikachu's Rescue Adventure! In contrast to the movie it's shown alongside, it's much more light-hearted and cute, which are important qualities for those things. Now, I suppose you'd like to know my thoughts on this movie. Well, I'm not one to disappoint! Here we go!
      Well, like I said at the beginning, I hope you like Donna Summer, or, at least, like hearing the same song over and over. This movie likes to beat that song into your head.It also likes to do the same thing with the prophecy. Not to mention that Pikachu is a total sourpuss; he only smiles twice throughout the entire movie! With that said, though, do I think that this is a good movie? Yes, I do.
      The Power Of One boasts a fairly deep story, epic fights, and a star-studded soundtrack. In fact, to my knowledge, it was the last Pokémon movie to have a soundtrack that didn't consist completely, or mostly, of songs from the actual movie. That being said, though, 22 times is a bit much to play one song. Maybe, they were trying to brag about the fact that they got Donna Summer for the soundtrack. The first movie had songs by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, The Spice Girls, Aaron Carter, and a few others, though, so that probably isn't the reason. Oh, well.
      Like the first movie, this one is hard to find. I got my copy from my cousin for my 20th birthday. If you can find it for a good price, I'd recommend picking it up. It's a bit of a slog at almost 2 hours long, but there's enough to keep the viewer occupied. All in all, a fitting send-off for Generation 1.5. That's right; I said "send-off."
      Generation 1.5 didn't end with this movie; it ended after Ash competed in the Orange League. This was, however, the final movie before Generation II. Before I leave you, I should mention that this movie is popular with Pokéshippers. Pokéshippers are people who depict Ash and Misty in a relationship in fanart and fanfiction. However much Misty tries to hide it, it's clear she has feelings for Ash. I'm not saying they should be a couple, but there's clearly something there.
      Well, that's it for my synopsis and review of The Power Of One and Pikachu's Rescue Adventure! Join me next time when I enter familiar, and beloved, territory by reviewing my favorite Pokémon movie; Spell Of The Unown, the first movie from my favorite Generation of Pokémon: Generation II! Will the movie starring Pokémon that look like letters spell victory over the last 2 movies? Find out next time! ArdillaVerde93, signing off! Gotta Catch 'Em All!
    • ArdillaVerde93
      By ArdillaVerde93
      Game: Heavy Rain.
      Platform: PS3 exclusive.
      ArdillaVerde93's tagline:
      "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.