Tag Archives: soulcalibur

FGC #637 Tekken’s Nina Williams in Death by Degrees

TEKKENTekken’s Nina Williams in Death by Degrees is disappointing for a few key reasons. First of all, the game sucks and playing it is the digital equivalent of having your ears fed to a particularly smelly lawnmower. But more importantly, the Tekken franchise has an amazingly huge cast of characters, and Nina Williams is about 70th from the top on rankings of exciting characters. She’s the woman! And she’s a spy! That’s it! Tekken has at least two Taekwondo-master street fighters, and neither of them would have to infiltrate a cruise ship to produce an engaging videogame.

So, with this in mind, we are going to look at all the potential Tekken spin-off titles that could have taken the place of Tekken’s Nina Williams in Death by Degrees in 2005. Even as of the release of Tekken 5 (a year before Death by Degrees), Tekken had an extremely deep bench of fighters and potential genres.

Oh, and we’re going to ignore the Mishima family, too. They have had their time to shine, and we don’t need to see that family feud featured in Tekken spin-offs. Just consider anytime you play a game where “Tekken Force” exists to be their natural byproduct.

So with those rules set, maybe we could look at…

Tekken’s Bryan Fury in God of Rage

Friendly dudeWho are you: Bryan was introduced in Tekken 3 while the franchise was just growing out of its “rival roster” phase from Tekken 1 & 2. Replacing Bruce Irvin, Bryan was the obvious unrepentant criminal meant to contrast super cop Lei Wulong. But, right from the get go, the developers decided to emphasize that “unrepentant” aspect, and, as early as Tekken 3’s ending, he became an unstoppable vengeance zombie that would destroy everyone and every thing in his path. Pretty sure I saw the dude tear a tank in half… and wouldn’t that be a great concept for a game?

Elevator Pitch: It’s God of War, but with a regular dude. Fists are your main method of beating ‘em up, but you can grab anything from small firearms to tank turrets for additional carnage. If there is a single living thing left in the time zone after completing a level, you do not get A rank.

Other Cameos: We could throw Lei Wulong in there for a recognizable antagonist hero, but maybe make him stick to cutscenes. We can’t kill a big boy like him, and it goes against the spirit of a Bryan Fury game to leave any man standing. Depending on where we want to be in the timeline, either mad scientist Dr. Abel or good-mad scientist Dr. Bosconovitch can work in a support role. Or Bryan can be wrecking a robot army invented by either doctor if the producers want to be cowards. There are options!

Likelihood of success: High. You cannot go wrong with a HD game featuring a white dude on a rampage. And Bryan is as white as it gets!

Tekken’s Julia Chang in Aztec Tomb Raider

She's athleticWho are you: Julia was introduced in Tekken 3 as the “next generation” replacement for Michelle Chang. Both characters seemed to fill the slot of “one Native American per fighting game”, though they both separated themselves from the rest of the 90’s dudes by being dudettes with exactly zero thunder powers. Weird! The Changs were also unique for having an obvious intellectual inclination over their “spiritual” cousins. This all adds up to two important facts: Julia would be ideal for exploring centuries-old ruins across Mexico, and she would have the brains to solve ancient traps/puzzles contained therein.

Elevator Pitch: It’s Tomb Raider with historically-accurate tombs. Or… ruins? Is anyone actually buried at Chichén Itzá? No matter. Let Julia explore the place. If you want to put an emphasis on pummeling some thieving imperialists, you can also include Julia’s secret luchador identity as a powerup. Take ‘em down, Jaycee!

Other Cameos: Ogre was established as a Native American monster, so sealing and/or (accidentally) releasing him could be the entire point of the exercise. If nothing else, his True Ogre form would make for an interesting boss fight somewhere. Raven could also cameo as a “rival” tomb raider, as he is agile, adept, and willing to put in the work for some extra scratch.

Likelihood of success: Probably medium. Julia isn’t the same draw as a number of other Tekken characters, and “explore ruins, solve puzzles” as a genre just hasn’t been the same since someone went and invented escape rooms. Still, it is extremely videogame-y, so there is the possibility for a hit.

Tekken’s Tiger Jackson in Dancing All Night

Also Jimmy can come, tooWho are you: Tiger Jackson has never had much of a backstory in the Tekken universe proper. He usually shows up for cameos and “dream match” games, and he has existed as little more than a costume for years. That said, we do know one thing about Tiger Jackson: he loves to dance!

Elevator pitch: It’s a rhythm game with the fantastic Tekken soundtrack. The end. It worked for Persona, it will work for Tekken.

Other Cameos: Tiger Jackson’s body buddy, Eddy Gordo, is an obvious first choice for the second player. Similarly, Christie Monteiro has to be the lady of the party. Beyond that? Hell, just go ahead and include everybody. Who doesn’t want to see Wang Jinrei shake a leg to Eternal Paradise?

Likelihood of success: High with a very specific audience. The Tekken franchise isn’t known for its music, but I have never seen a fighting game fan disparage the various Tekken soundtracks. So an opportunity to interact with these banger ditties in a format that isn’t exclusively about punching people in the face? You know there is a huge percentage of the gaming population that would jump on a chance to go all Theatrhythm on this fighting franchise.

Tekken’s Kuma in Bear Rancher

Is bearWho are you: Okay, technically Kuma is involved in the Mishima “main story” of Tekken, but he does not have any Mishima blood, as he is a bear. And, more importantly, the “current” Kuma is not the original Kuma, but the son of the previous Kuma. What does this mean? It means Heihachi raised at least one bear from infancy to become an unstoppable fighting force. And if you do not want to play a game where you work on raising the stats of a bear until it can fight humans in a fighting tournament, then I don’t want to talk to you.

Elevator pitch: It’s Monster Rancher, but with the greatest monster of all: a bear. Do odd jobs with Kuma, work your way up through a few kiddy battle leagues, and eventually become the greatest bear/bear trainer that has ever been. Maybe you can even dress up your bear somewhere in there.

Other cameos: Tekken has quite the menagerie of animal fighters, so you have a lot of options for opponents and potential training partners. Panda would make the most obvious rival (complete with her own trainer, Xiaoyu), but Roger or Roger Jr. of the prestigious fighting kangaroo line are also available. If you want to get crazy, go ahead and include Alex the boxing raptor. It feels like a raptor would be too overpowered, but those boxing gloves should keep things under control.

Likelihood of success: 50/50. Videogame history has proven that any animal raising sim is a crap shoot. Which will it be: the next Pokémon, or the next Digimon? Princess Maker, or its army of imitators? It is hard to say how popular Kuma Rancher could be, but it does seem like the kind of release that would reward an audience for bearing with his foibles.

Tekken’s Jack in Jack Wars

Such musclesWho are you: Jack has been a mainstay of the Tekken franchise from the beginning. And, while there has been some canon finagling to confirm that every Jack since Tekken 2’s Jack-2 has had some variation on the same consciousness, Jack is most popularly known as a plural entity. There have been many, many Jacks built across the Tekken timeline, and he has proven to be an army all on his own on multiple occasions. So why not get something like a TRPG together where literal armies of Jacks fight? Seems like a good way to spend the afternoon.

Elevator pitch: It’s Advance Wars, but instead of tanks and soldiers, it is all Jacks. Or maybe we could include a few other Tekken bots…

Other cameos: The opening stages would inevitably be Jack-on-Jack combat (Jack, P-Jack, and Gun Jack have an evident progression), but how about later levels include other notable robots? Lee/Violet could be hatching a new plan with his Combot, so it seems Jack will have to deal with squares occupied by robots that can emulate anyone else in the franchise. And speaking of fighting mimics, enchanted training dummy Mokujin has a family of wooded buddies, so they would be an excellent rival army, too. And what’s that? There is also the metal Tetsujin, too? Be the true king of iron fists, Jack!

Likelihood of success: Low. Tactical RPGs have gotten popular in recent years, but only in franchises where all the army units can kiss. There is no smooching for Jack, so it is unlikely he will see any success outside of the battlefield. Then again, not like Tekken is completely alien to grid armies

Tekken’s Jun Kazama in Secret Origins

Sure looks familiarWho are you: Jun Kazama appeared in Tekken 2, fell in love with the game’s final boss, bore an heir, Jin Kazama, and then disappeared forever. Despite the fact that Ogre supposedly had a prodigious murder count in Tekken 3, every one of his “confirmed kills” has returned to service in the intervening games, and now Jun is the only one still in the grave. Or is she? The Tekken franchise could be trying to pull a fast one here, which could lead to a great…

Elevator Pitch: It’s the Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core of Tekken. Sometimes all a game needs is a decent story, and passable gameplay to keep things going. Jun was established as an excellent fighter and Wildlife Organization Officer, so there are plenty of ways to get her out and active before her featured time in Tekken 2. And then the story can follow a young, single, psychic mother as she performs the final missions that eventually led to her child being an orphan. Just make the game remotely engaging in the meanwhile, and it doesn’t matter if the whole thing has a downer ending.

Other cameos: Aside from including a Kazuya that could be showing a little more of his tender side (have to find some kind of excuse for why these crazy kids got together), Unknown is another obvious pick for Jun’s story. It is clear that creepy, goo-covered creature has always had some kind of connection to Jun, and there is no reason we can’t just bite the bullet and make her the Genesis to Jun’s Zack. Bonus points if Unknown is super talkative before some tragic/inevitable horrible accident.

Likelihood of success: Something like 70%. Like all fans, dedicated Tekken admirers will buy damn near anything if it includes the all-important lore. On the other hand, not including such in a fighting game in a fighting game franchise may be a bit of a miss. Can Tekken 8 just be all about the search for Jun through massive pummeling? It might be a nice direction for the Kazama kids.

Tekken’s Yoshimitsu in Weapon Fighter

I know this oneWho are you: Yoshimitsu is a warrior ninja that has arrived for every Tekken tournament in one form or another. His armor style may change between episodes, but one thing is always constant about Yoshimitsu: he has got a sword, and he isn’t afraid to use it. And wouldn’t it be nice if he were in a fighting game where it did not seem unsporting to whack an unarmed man with a katana?

Elevator pitch: A weapons-based fighting game starring…. Oh… Oh wait. I just invented Soulcalibur, didn’t I? Crap… uh…. Um…

Other cameos: Apparently even KOS-MOS could appear in this alternate franchise.

Likelihood of success: Proven to be infinity. I guess there is at least one way to make a successful Tekken spinoff…

FGC #637 Tekken’s Nina Williams in Death by Degrees

  • This sucksSystem: Playstation 2, and then never seen anywhere ever again. Do not expect this to appear on any Tekken collections or virtual consoles.
  • Number of players: A proper fighting game includes two players, and even good beat ‘em ups manage to pull off the same. Death by Degrees cannot be good in any conceivable way, so it is single player.
  • Maybe actually talk about the game for a second: This is so bad, you guys. It is hard to believe that the same franchise that has returned such a consistently good series of fighting games is responsible for something like the worst beat ‘em up/action title on the Playstation 2. Everything about this feels so… wrong. The simple act of punching is a chore, and punching is the number one thing you should be doing. Mix in Resident Evil-style “puzzles” that would never stump a kindergartener, and… It’s just so bad!
  • Favorite Weapon: I guess it is nice when you get to swing around a katana for no reason. I mean… the reason is you want dudes dead, but this seems like a weird game to include random swords.
  • Say something nice: The hacking mini games are at least inoffensive. There isn’t, like, a lose condition where your controller convulses and transforms to kick you square in the nuts. That’s nice.
  • Goggle Bob Fact: I am sure it is mentioned on the stream somewhere, but this is the first game I purchased, played up to the tutorial, and then quit because the tutorial was too annoying. In fact, this may be the only game that holds that distinction. So I have not liked this game for a good, long while.
  • Watch it, Buddy: Yes, this game was played on the Even Worse stream on two separate occasions.


    Stream Date: June 15, 2021


    Stream Date: January 11, 2022

    No, I will not be streaming it again. Apparently I was less than a third of the way through the game, and there is no way I can deal with that anymore.

  • Did you know? Heihachi and Anna Williams are the only “guest” characters in the game beyond Nina, and Heihachi mostly only appears in phone calls. A possible collection of some of the most recognizable fighters in the genre here, and someone decided all we needed were a couple of people with bad hair.
  • Would I play again: I already answered that question, and I will not entertain it again.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Mega Man Legends 2! Speaking of games from streams, it is time to see the final adventure of Rock Man Dash! Please look forward to it!

THE MEAT FIGHT
Never before have I been so upset with a meat fight

Chrono Cross 06: The Dead Sea

My poor rival!Chrono Cross’s Dead Sea is maybe the single best set piece on the Playstation.

After hours of Chrono Cross barely acknowledging that Chrono Trigger ever happened, here we are with the most Chrono Triggerest of locations. It is the future! It is 2300 AD (give or take a century), but now presented in glorious high definition (or whatever counted as HD in 2000). And there is Johnny the Robot Biker! Dead and smashed! Or a monitor recounting the Day of Lavos! Or Leene’s Bell, stuck in a perpetual twilight as the world collapses around that focal point! And the Chrono Kids! Crono! Lucca! Marle! They are bouncing around, and only marginally implying that their “real” counterparts have died within the last twenty years! Don’t be so morose, Chrono Trigger fans, we only ever find out one of them is confirmed dead!

But the Dead Sea is more than a simple Chrono Trigger reference. The future of 2300 AD was always supposed to be a recognizably ruined future, but could not be fully realized back in the 16-bit days. Now we have a world much like ours, but existing in a state of ruin and decay incited by a gigantic space bug. The “Tower of Geddon” is no mere dungeon, but a mundane mall haphazardly merged with other assorted debris from the area. And while dungeon malls are definitely something that happens in other JRPGs, it just serves to reinforce that this is the potential “bad future” not just for Crono and Serge’s worlds, but also our own. Fighting the ghosts of beauty contestants would only be possible in a universe that grew from something much like our present, and the Dead Sea runs with this concept to its natural, creepy culmination. Even if you never touched a second of Chrono Trigger, the Dead Sea will touch you, because you live in the world that it caricatures.

And, brother, an entire ocean that lost all its kinetic energy at once? Nobody needs to explain why that is rad as hell.

He is not CronoEven beyond all of this, the Dead Sea culminates with one of the most memorable boss fights in the game. After the “training wheels” of fighting a giant, angry ghost back on the Isle of the Damned, Miguel makes the scene to cap off the whole Dead Sea sequence. He is a white elemental opponent at a time when most of your party (or at least Serge) is vulnerable, and he utilizes some of the most powerful attacks available at this point. So he is likely to trash your party while wearing a fishing hat. Miguel has the significant plot importance of being your father’s pal and your girlfriend’s dad, and he has been augmented by a malevolent supercomputer from another dimension… but he is still absolutely just a dude. A dude that is going to kick your ass while sad music plays. It makes an impression.

So kudos to the Dead Sea of Chrono Cross, the indisputably best sequence in the game.

A shame it is all followed by a forgettable roach, tonally absurd Hell’s Cook, and friggen’ Grobyc…

Even Worse Streams presents Chrono Cross
Night 6

Original Stream Night: May 24, 2022

Recruited this week:

  • Zoah
  • Orcha
  • Grobyc
  • Riddel
  • Viper
  • Fargo
  • Marcy
  • Karsh

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Tonight we are joined by special guest Deptford, who draws amazing comics and loves Chrono Cross… maybe not in that order.
  • We are in the elephant graveyard from the Lion King for the purpose of… fighting Cervantes from Soulcalibur.
  • “The secret to life is to age all at once and then stabilize.”
  • Yes, twenty years ago, I spoiled myself on the Chrono Cross “Dead Sea”. Yes, it was written in ascii text.
  • “Individual moments are great” – Deptford
  • Looks like a hot dayWe will always wonder who is not at Funguy’s level, and was cut from the final roster of Chrono Cross. Also marvel as BEAT accidentally invents Turnip, “the radish dude”.
  • Ample Vigour shows up around the same time as Lavos makes the scene.
  • This leads to a discussion about podcasts and April Fool’s Day pranks on podcasts.
  • If you want to see Xenosaga’s haunted mall, here you go.
  • “Is there a textual reason the Chrono Trigger heroes are little kids?” “Nope!”
  • “Grab on, sons of man.” “But there is a rabbit girl and a mushroom.”
  • We are going to have to play Spec Ops: The Line at some point. We will never play Ninja Gaiden 3 (not that one).
  • Never change your forum and/or twitter avatar or I will forget who you are.
  • Darkwing84 is the hero we all need (also: Caliscrub appears)
  • Just a little spiceHell Chef inspires Hell Costanza here. If it is ever used again, you heard it here first.
  • “Roachester is back baby it’s good now awoo wolf noises.”
  • Let us once again sing the praises of Ninja Baseball Batman. Never Three Dirty Dwarves.
  • There is just no end to the Viper Manor Part 2 boss gauntlet while we talk about great moments in auditing.
  • Way too many people join the party all at once. See that list above. Good luck choosing two.
  • Starky and Harle have a conversation as we close out the night.

Next time on Chrono Cross: Drag on, dragoons.

I love these guys.  Sorta.

Wild Arms 3 Part 13: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely Quickly

This is being posted on Gogglebob.com on July 18, Brick Day. Like the many shades of flesh, bricks also come in many colors. I think the description, ‘Wearing a brick-colored jacket’ on this wanted poster of Janus is a poor choice of words.

Previously on Wild Arms 3: Virginia conquered depression, a titanic turtle, and about half of an ancient tower. She’s probably going to cure cancer and repel Satan during this update.


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So let’s climb on up to see what the rest of this tower has to offer.


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We just had the wheel switches from Virginia’s first dungeon, and now we have the grate climbing for the first time since Jet’s first dungeon.


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Since Jet was the only one that got to climb previously, if you are some kind of sprite maniac, you now have the opportunity to see how everyone in the party looks when climbing hand over hand.


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This room is pretty straightforward, but the way the grates/”towers” are arranged mean that you will have to double back a few times if you want to hit all the treasure chests.


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I would say the grate treasures are… great. Revive fruits are going to come in handy during the inevitable upcoming boss battle.


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Oh, I hate this nonsense…

FGC #600 Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes: Part 2

Taking you for more of a rideMarvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is an amazing, once in a lifetime game that brings together over 50 characters from wildly disparate worlds and franchises. So, in an effort to pay tribute to one of the games I believe to be the greatest of all time, please enjoy day two of a five-day, 100% complete, generally alphabetical look at every fighter in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Let’s start today with…

Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin

RAWR!Now here’s some characterization! Colossus is Russian and a pedophile! Kick ass!

Okay, wait, no, start again.

Piotr “Peter” Rasputin is Russian. And that was huge at his introduction in 1975! This was when America had that whole Cold War thing going on, and, while X-Men was deliberately drawing from a global-based cast of new characters, it was just kind of assumed that the USSR was not on the menu. And if they should actually contain a Slavic character, they were going to have a traitor on the team inside of a dozen issues. But Piotr was invariably good! Like, okay, he may have had a brief flirtation with the Brotherhood of Generally Not Friendly Mutants, but he was grieving his (apparently temporarily) dead sister at the time. Perfectly understandable! Other than that dalliance with the forces of evil, Пётр Николаевич Распутин has been unwaveringly kind, reliable, and virtuous. He is the very pinnacle of the “sensitive strong guy” archetype, and that is significant when he likely would have been cast as the villain in nearly any other media of the time. Just because you were from Potato Europe in the 70s did not mean you were a bad guy, and Colossus affirmed this fact in his every appearance.

But he also started a relationship with a 14-year-old Kitty Pryde when he was, like, probably in his late 40s (it’s hard to judge with some guys). That was gross. But he did eventually dump the squirt for an alien woman on another planet, which was probably morally a better move. Other than, he’s a pretty reliable dude!

If you need some more dossier information, Colossus has the ability to transform his skin into metal/explode his pants into bikini briefs. It is an oddly specific power. This metal transformation also increases his strength (presumably because his fleshy muscles would snap under metal skin without super strength… crap, that was an Ultimate plotline, wasn’t it?), so if you need somebody to help move furniture around the X-Mansion, he is good to go. Unfortunately “super strong” doesn’t always translate well to videogames where everybody down to Two P is already throwing knockout punches, so please enjoy a Colossus that occasionally has the power to generate some kind of transformation-energy-blast thing. Or maybe he can just toss a car around. Whatever works.

Oh, and Colossus also has a brother that is a secret space villain. That brings us neatly to our next featured character…

Scott “Cyclops” Summers

There are often claims that X-Men’s Wolverine has multiple clones, duplicates, or something, because he can appear in a different comic storyline every week. Logically, there must be more Wolverines to accommodate his presence in multiple superhero events across the globe. This is, obviously, foolishness, as Wolverine is one of the most consistently characterized personalities in all of X-Men. He’s the best at what he does, bub, what more does he need to be?

Cyclops, though? Nobody knows what this guy is supposed to be…