Sunday, August 22, 2010

Top 11 Stages Pt.2

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for (or maybe it's just me), the Top 5 Tekken Stages of All-Time!  Or at least until the next game comes out...

5. Wolve's Den from Tekken 6:DR
This stage is just cool; pure, unadulterated cool.  Let's rundown the coolness list: Night? Check.  Moon partially covered with clouds?  Check.  Wolves running around?  Check.  Freaky-awesome tree?  Check.  BG music featuring guitars and howlingHeck yeah...checkAs an added bonus (if the Tekkenpedia hasn't failed me) Wolves's Den is a remake of Forest from Tekken 3, also an awesome stage that nearly made this list.  This as well as the 4-1 are going to have coolness be a major factor in their ranking.

4. Serene Forest from Tekken 2
I mentioned earlier that Forest didn't quite make the list, and this is the reason why.  In reality, both are superb stages, and either one would have been a great candidate for the #4 slot.  The tiebreaker was the music.  Forest's BG music was okay, but a bit generic.  Serene Forest's music, however, starts with the this creepy-cool male soloist guy and Japanese sounding music, which sounds freakin' awesome (the "freakin'" multiplying the awesome by two).  Also, Serene Forest is a bit dimmer, giving it a mysterious quality.  
Oh yeah, Forest was lacking, what's the word, a certain...serenity, maybe?

3. Unknown from Tekken Tag Tournament
The great thing about this stage is that, matching it's name, we know nothing about it.  All we see is that we're in some ambiguous church with some cool looking statues and a floor that makes me think of Tekken 2 for some reason (?).  We have no idea what this has to do with the boss, whom we also know nothing about.  This stage has mystery going for it, as well as music that sounds like Tekken music's slowly deteriorating clone.  And for that, it has reached #3.

2. Church Sanctuary from Tekken 2/Winter Palace from Tekken 6:DR
Fun Fact #1: I love me some cathedral's.  Fun Fact #2: I am indecisive.  That's why I cheated and put two stages at #2.  Frankly, it was nostalgia vs. beauty, and in that, everyone wins.
Church Sanctuary has a very old-school church feel, which is perfect for the old-school King.  This level is probably what instilled my appreciation for cathedral's in the first place, and is the second most memorable stage for me from my childhood.
Winter Palace is gorgeous, just gorgeousI'd go to church every Sunday gladly if I could go here.  And the music has to be heard to be believed, especially the string part.  That's literally all I can say about that, it's really just that amazing.

"But Kami, you eccentric genius you, you've ranted about how super-special-awesome these stages are, what could possibly rank number one?"  Whelp, here you go...

1.Mirror Darkness from Tekken 2
Unkown was cool, but this, THIS is how you do a boss level: simple (unlike Inferno from T5:DR), but not too generic (like Azazel's Chamber from T6).  Where Mirror Darkness really stands out is it's use of repeating the screen to give a mirrored affect.  When you're a little kid watching you're dad play, that's the definition of mysterious-coolAlso, the lead-up was to the boss was clever.  The sub-boss is Kazuya fought in Eternal Darkness.  Eternal Darkness is completely dark, with an actually pretty sweet tiled floor.  When Kaz transforms into a more fascinating form but more simply colored, so does the stageAll that plus the epic-yet-melancholy theme is what makes this the #1 Tekken Stage ever.

There you have it, my very first Top 11 list.  Hey, if this is the only one for Tekken stages, does that make mine the definitive ranking?  If you have your own ideas, please debate peacefully in the comment section.  School's starting back up, so my posts might get briefer (some of you might like that though...)  Until then...

Kami "IT'S A GAMMA BOMB!!!!" Kamiya

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Top 11 Stages Pt.1

Most of you reading this probably think that stages to a fighting game don't matter.  Newsflash for ya folks, they do.  The Tekken series has given us some of the most colorful and unique areas for us to beat each other senseless in, and they should be commended for it.  That's why for the next two weeks I'll be counting down the Top 11 Stages in Tekken.  Why Top 11?  Because you people need to check out the Nostalgia Critic.  

Keep in mind the choices are subjective, and nostalgia plays a large role in my decision.  That being said, I won't take graphics into consideration since the Tekken games always've had pretty good graphics for their time period.  Now that that's out of the way, let's get started!

11. Skyring from Tekken 3
The main reason Skyring made the list was the fact that this level is nuts.  I mean, it's a metal wrestling ring located high above some mountains!  Why is it there?  Who built it?  Who would wanna build it?  I don't know, but this stage has crossed the line from Crazy to Crazy Awesome, and frankly, I can't think of a better stage to go with everyone's favorite vaguely religious jaguar-masked Mexican wrestler.

10. Electric Fountain from Tekken 6
When I first got the game, I didn't  take much notice of the Electric Fountain, but after careful consideration, I realized that this stage is quite visually appealing.  The shopping area around the fighting portion gives the area an urban look, while the laser-geyser's (I don't think they could have those in real life) add a colorful modern appealAlso, the background music (Karma) has hints of old-school Tekken in it.  This is definitely a perfect spot for two modern people to have a  random brawl.

9. Laboratory Courtyard from Tekken 3
I'm not gonna lie to you, the I picked this because it reminds me of Metal Gear Solid.  What can I say, I just love MGS's aesthetic appeal.  Uhhh...Oh wait!  All three of this stage's background music is cool!  Ha, related this back to Tekken.  Save!

8. Autumn Temple from Tekken 5: DR
There had to be at least one Japanese Temple on this list, and I dare you to pick a more beautiful one.  From the classic setting, to the gorgeous fall colors, to the music containing some very cool Japanese pipes (Or so I believe), the designer's have created a stage that is both pleasing to senses and a perfect set-up to a ninja fight (Alas, if only Kunimitsu were still here...)

7. Tiger Dojo Tokyo from Tekken 3
To me, this is the stage that embodies most what Tekken is.  I think of Jin Kazama, Heihachi, or the third installment itself, this is what comes to mind.  You can just picture Jin training to defeat Heihachi for betraying him.  From the designs inside, to the misty mountains outside, this is just a cool level.  And it has the most triumphant example of Tekken music ever to grace the series.  All-in-all a very Tekkeny place.

6. English Countryside from Tekken 2
Jun Kazama represents all that is good and pure in the Tekken world, and her stage is a perfect match.  The rolling green hills, blue sky and gentle music give this the clean and natural vibe of Jun herself.  Almost make you wish you didn't have to fight...just lay down...and go to...sleep...

Whelp, all this gushing seems to have tuckered me out, so tune in next week as I reveal the Top 5 Tekken Levels!  Until then...

Kami "Blue Rupees and Chevy Chase" Kamiya

P.S. All images used were taken from the Tekkenpedia, which I highly recommend for all your Tekken needs

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Tekken Film by Kami

A few days ago, I told you I would give you my idea for a Tekken movie.  I got three words for ya bub:  The first game.  You heard me right folks, it is my belief that a Tekken movie should start at the beginning, not jump ahead just so we can see Jin on the big screenSince I doubt most people think of me as an all-knowing god who needs not explain herself (That would just be me), I'll elaborate to further prove my point.

Why The First Game?
Before the series gained a buttload of characters, most of whom having their own story arc, the original Tekken had 17 characters, whose plots hadn't grown into what they are today and a definite protagonist and antagonist.  Therefore, moviemakers would have enough characters to have a decent tournament, without having to leave many out (some would have to be regulated main-character fodder and background fights sadly).  Also, it has a few good level locations, so if the movie had a budget it would be pretty easy to give the movie a real Tekken quality.  "But Kami, what would the movie actually be about?"  Well I'm glad you asked...

The Plot
For all of you know how films and other fictional media work, I'll give you my basic idea for an A, B, and possible C plots (bear in mind my narrating will be a tad disjointed).

A-Plot-The main story should definitely be about Kazuya's quest to take revenge on his father Heihachi for throwing him off a cliff when he was a child.  Kazuya makes a great stereotypical "loner hero" and I don't think I need to tell you that Heihachi's an awesome villain.   
   Instead of a long flashback scene for exposition, I was thinking of just a shot of little Kaz falling down the cliff with Heihachi just watching at the top.  I would be very nightmarish...and probably an actual nightmare for Kaz (what, I can't have a cliche or two?)
   Paul Phoenix would factor in as Kazuya's unknown rival.  They'd get into a scuffle before the actual tournament (ending in a draw of course), Paul declares them to be rivals, and they both enter the tournament, Paul hoping to beat Kaz because he's the strongest opponent he has ever faced (or something), and Kaz just wants to win to fight Heihachi.  I'd like to work in a scene where Paul takes down Heihachi's pet Kuma 'cause dangit, I want to see Paul smack a bear!
   As much as I like his almost-good portrayal in recent games, I think Lee Chaolan would best be used as The Dragon to Heihachi.  He could be the lead up battle before Kaz fights Heihachi or he could fight one of the other main characters gunning for Heihachi, like Nina or Michelle.
   In the end, of course, Kazuya beats Heihachi and tosses him off the same cliff (you know the one) in their final scene of the movie.  It would be freaking awesome if it was a shot-by-shot copy of Kazuya's ending from the game (upload not by me), except when Kazuya turns his head, his eyes would glow red, which I will talk about know.
   The moviemakers would have an excellent opportunity to foreshadow a sequel.  Through the course of this hypothetical film, Kazuya could be shown to be not quite the hero unfamiliar watchers assumed he was, climaxing in the (what Kaz thought to be) death of Heihachi, subverting the "If you kill him you'll be just like him" trope (spoiler alert: he's probably worse).  The existence of Devil could be foreshadowed by a purplish glow on Kazuya in the final fight, and the above-mentioned red eyes.

B-Plot-A hard choice, but I think a hybrid of Yoshimitsu's, Michelle's, and Kunimitsu's (you people will just have to come to terms with the fact that I play favorites) stories.  Since, there stories aren't as intertwined in the game, all be giving you a more detailed summary than the one above.
   Eighteen year-old Michelle Chang comes home one day to find that her father has been killed by Heihachi Mishima and the treasure of her tribe stolen.  Vowing revenge, she enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament to avenge her father and take back what is her people's.  Outfit Note: She'd be wearing her T2 Player 2 outfit for the first part and suit up in her native costume for her tournament fight (in a suiting up montage for everyone (dang this movie's long)).
   Meanwhile, head of he Manji party ninjas Yoshimitsu enters the tournament to rob from the corrupt sumo wrestler Ganryu and give said money to the poor.  Costume Note: Doing so while wearing his T2 outfit.  I DARE you to tell me that's not cool.
   Meanwhile meanwhile, ex-Manji ninja Kunimitsu enters the tournament to steal what Heihachi stole from the Native Americans (see where I'm going with this).  Costume note:  I'd go with her T2 outfit, because I love her mask!
   Right before the tournament, in wherever it takes place (I'm not to big on the details), Yoshimitsu catches a glimpse of Kuni and recognizes her.  A brief flashback to when she was dispelled from the party for stealing for her own benefit.  Yoshi realizes what she's there for, and decides to stop her.
   On the same night Kazuya fights Heihachi, Michelle attempts to break into his mansion to try to get back the treasure, and so does Kuni.  The two have a fight scene (I'm thinking the roof), when Yoshimitsu shows up to challenge Kunimitsu, and during the confusion Michelle enters through a window, and probably fights Lee.  Yoshi and Kuni have a duel while arguing over her expulsion.  Yoshi appears to be winning when the ruckus cause by Heihachi and Kaz's fight allows Kunimitsu to escape.
   Michelle gets back the treasure, a pendant, but doesn't get to fight Heihachi.  She is consoled by her mother and is at peace.  Yoshi successfully robs Ganryu and spreads the wealth.  Kunimitsu is somewhere in a forest training.
   I just realized this should be it's own movie, and would probably take over Kazuya's plot.  Whoops.

C-Plot-Really, any one of the characters could be used for another plot (but judging from my above summary it probably won't need one), but because of her popularity (and coolness) my pick would be for Nina's assassination of Heihachi mission and her rivalry with her sister Anna (complete with a brief flashback of their childhood).  Costume Note: Nina just needs to wear a purple spysuit of somesort (that covers up the necessary bits REAL TEKKEN MOVIE)  And Anna could be in her red or blue dress, I'm not picky (on that at least).  There big fight scene could be like the one they didn't show us between T4 and T5 (you know, where a bazooka was involved).  Since I'm biased I'd make Anna a bit crazy.

What About Everyone Else?
 I'm just going to assume nobody gets cuttout, and give them all a potential role, but I assume that anyone of these character's can be left out

Marshall Law-A good choice if they wanted to showoff a cool tournament fight, but there's not much else he could do.  
Jack-Have someone defeat him to showcase their strength.  Either Lee or Kazuya.
King-Um...  Ally to Michelle?  Fighter for Marshall?  Again, not quite sure.  I'm just going to use the word "fillies" for characters to be used in potential filler tournament matches
Ganryu-There for Yoshimitsu to rob, and a fillie
Wang-Big time fillie
Prototype Jack-Probably for robotic guards at Heihachi's mansion
Armor King-Fillie, but hopefully if he fights King the movie won't have to explain why there are two Jaguar head guys.  A hint on a magazine perhaps?

Anything Else?
As far as tournament matchups go...I'm not really sure.  To make a long story short (too late), I'm guessing the character's would fight there sub-bosses from the game, with a few tweaks.  
   When it comes to casting, I don't really care as long as the acting is good and the actors look like their characters (I'm looking at you The Last Airbender).  Heck, it could be even animated!  I mean Tekken:The Motion Picture wasn't great...

I'm aware that what I've described above is a plot-monster of a movie, and it might not be a great plot (I'm sorta an amateur), but I'd like to think that what's above is a somewhat faithful adaption to a series I love, and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.  

Not quite sure what I'll do next week, probably a countdown list.  Until then...

Kami "You Can't Call A Blog Cornflakes" Kamiya

P.S.Whoever knows any of the references I made gets major cool points

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tekken Movie: Why are you here?

A few weeks ago, I saw the trailer for the upcoming Tekken movie.  As you may have already guessed, I wasn't entirely pleased.  Now, I could write down everything I find wrong about this movie in one massive post, but that would probably break the internet.  Instead, I've decided to just talk about one aspect and wait to actually see the film before complai...I mean, critique the movie.  So what's on today's agenda?

Characters!  Namely, who's in, and who's got the shaft.  I know not everybody can be featured, considering there's 40+ characters, so the writers should have put in those most necessary for Jin's, the main character, storyline and those who have been in a lot of the games.  Did they?  Well...

Since I've heard cast listings that conflict each other, I'm just going to go by who I saw in the trailer, as well as those I've seen in costume.
  • JIN KAZAMA-Naturally, he's pretty much the games main character.  Although the actor playing him (Jon Foo) looks a bit white...
  • KAZUYA MISHIMA-Also naturally, and a bit white.  I knew the budget was low, but I thought at the least they could have afforded a razor...
  • HEIHACHI MISHIMA-The movie managed to get three of the four who've been in every game (Heihachi, Nina, Yoshimitsu, and Paul), and that is commendable.  And what's Tekken without it's most recognizable character.
  • BRYAN FURY-An interesting choice.  I guess if a movie wants a psycho, it's hard to beat Bryan.  I see Kaz wasn't the only one in desperate need of a shave.
  • MARSHALL LAW-Not much to say here.  His costume looks fine and the actor (Cung Lee) looks good.  Hopefully he'll get to do something.
  • YOSHIMITSU-Heck Yeah!  It's hard to get more Tekken (and cooler) than him.  Now, everyone's favorite cyborg-ninja hardly has an iconic look, but the gold armor looks a little...different.  Personally, I would have went with his Tekken 2 outfit.
  • RAVEN-Raven's cool and all, but he's not really what I'd call a staple to the Tekken games.  In the games he doesn't even come in until Heihachi "dies", and I don't think the movie's gonna pull that one on us.  And costume designer's, there was a reason his white outfit only showed up once.
  • EDDY GORDO-Although is revenge plot was nice in the games, I doubt it will turn up in the movie, so he'll probably be in one fight at the most.  However, he uses capoeira, which will definitely make for an cool fight.
  • NINA WILLIAMS-Of course they'd put in Ms. Tekken herself.  On her costume: Way to put in shameless fanservice.
  • SERGEI DRAGUNOV-...Why, just, why?  His only real character interaction in the game is with Raven, who also doesn't need to be in the movie, and has only been in two games (T5: DR, T6).  Isn't there anyone else who you could have added instead? *cough*Paul Phoenix *cough*
  • ANNA WILLIAMS-If Nina's in it, you're pretty much required to have her sister/rival/sworn enemy, unless you're Tekken 4 *accusing stare*.  Five bucks says there's gonna be a catfight.
  • SOME CHICK I DON'T KNOW-That's a whole 'nother post in itself.  Excuse me for a moment, I'm going to contain my fury and maybe find some happy pills...
  • STEVE FOX-I guess it's true what they say, the camera does add twenty years.  All kidding aside, I'm not thinking Steve's character will get an accurate game adaption into film, and won't have a point if he does.  Side note: Steve, you know I love you and I know you're a boxer and all, but you gotta learn how to kick...
 And finally the reason for this post, the one character who should not be here
  • CHRISTIE MONTEIRO-I don't have a problem with her in the games, really I don't, it's just she is COMPLETELY POINTLESS in a film adaptation.  Her storyline completely revolves around Eddie, who like I said before, will probably only be in one fight so what does she have to do?  Tekken prides itself in having a huge variety of characters who utilize a wide range of martial arts, so they chose to include two characters who have THE EXACT SAME MOVEMENT.  Also, I'm pretty sure I saw her making out with Jin *facepalm*  They have no idea of Jin's character, do they?  I'm not even sure those two have canononically met.  I am aware of Moviemaker's disorder of having to shoehorn a romance into every movie, so if they really needed to, why not have used Xiaoyu?  She has her own moveset, has been in plenty of the games, and actually has some romantic interest in Jin.  But alas, they have chosen Ms. Fanservice over her...
If you'd like to see the trailer yourself, here's the link
Well, I've said my piece (for now).  This Sunday, I'll be talking about my idea for a movie adaption.  Until then...

Kami Kamiya