Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PART 2: The (Tekken) Revolution will no longer be televised

Tekken Revolution, Namco’s free to play fighting game based on the popular Tekken Tag Tournament 2, hit the PlayStation 3 in June of 2013. Close to four years later, on March 21, 2017,  the servers were finally shut down.

These are the final moments of Tekken Revolution.

Welcome to the second part of my Tekken Revolution retrospective. In Part 1, an earlier version of myself faced the perils of young adulthood in a spectacularly ineffective manner, substituting common sense for a bottle of vodka and hours upon hours of Tekken Revolution. Fast forward to now, the final day that TR’s servers are up and running.

I’d make a comment about how much better I am at being an adult, but I’m currently staying up until 3 a.m. on a work night to play a video game.

The Road to 400

Nobody likes coins, not even Abe Lincoln. You want a dollar, not a jangly pocket full of copper. I’d rather not remember my Tekken Revolution career as a sack of change bound for a lonely Coinstar machine in some Midwestern Walmart, so I’d like to accumulate 400 wins. My starting point was 339 on March 17. Now that I'm at 380 with a day left and precious few premium tickets, can I do it? Let’s find out.

March 20, 2017 – 8 a.m. (19 hours left) WINS: 380

I get three premium tickets for signing in today, courtesy of the good people at Namco. It’s nice to see a developer still supporting players of a game that hasn’t made them a dime since January 19, when all paid content was yanked from the PlayStation Store.

Two out of the five matches end with me losing the connection to the other player, something that’s been plaguing the game since I picked it back up last week. There’s no shortage of opponents at least.

March 20, 2017 – 7 p.m. (8 hours left) WINS: 383

Most people still playing at this point are pros, with hundreds of wins to their name and the skills to match. But also there’s this inexplicable trickle of n00bs. Can you imagine having downloaded Tekken Revolution years ago, and you just happen to sign in again on the last day?

Some uneventful fights are punctuated by a crazy, random occurrence. This is the third time it’s happened since Saturday. (See “Creature of the Night” heading below.)

March 20, 2017 – 8:30 p.m. (6.5 hours left) WINS 386

At 8 p.m., the “final campaign” ends – which means no more crazy experience and money boosts for the remaining few hours of the game’s life. Players had been enjoying 10x to 30x bonuses since January 31. I think it’s fitting that Revolution’s last gasps will be taken in the same pure, grindy fashion as its first breaths.

I get my last ever sign-in bonus. The game says I’m up to Day 81.

I decide to go for some arcade mode action and give my PvP tokens a chance to re-up. As I play, I’m reminded of the early days. Something I really liked about Tekken Revolution in the beginning was that feeling of “we’re all learning this together.” Now in the game’s twilight, I’m sensing something similar: We’re all going out together, on a high note, showing off the skills we’ve accumulated over these last four years.

Or maybe I’m a sentimental old man who likes reading into trivial things. Either way.

March 20, 2017 – 9:30 p.m. (5.5 hours left) WINS 386

I’m trying to make those premium tickets last for the next few hours, so I’ve switched to player matches. In the tradition of the olden days, I’ve named my lobby “BABY STABBIN’ DUDEZ.” I always wondered what kind of people would join a room with that name.

The answer is this guy.

It's tough to read, but it says "BABY STABBIN' DUDEZ" and that guy (top) wants in!

But after that, I drift from session to session. None of them really feels right. There are a few open ones, but it’s a far cry from the packed lobbies I remember.

I haven’t been able to win any of my last six matches. The big boys are here, they’re pissed, and they’re out for blood. Time to take a break and let my coins re-up.

March 20, 11:45 p.m. – (3.25 hours left) WINS: 392

I just won six matches in a row. I was using the same premium ticket and winning it back for what felt like forever. I’m still worried that I won’t be able to make it to 400 wins by 3 a.m., but I feel a lot less frustrated now.

March 21, 2017 – 12:45 a.m. (2.25 hours left) WINS: 395

I pick up two wins against a careless Bob player. But I’ve only got three tickets left, and only enough time to regenerate four PvP tokens. That’s seven chances for five wins. I’m not in love with those odds, but let’s see what we can do.

I guess we could, uh, always bet on Duke?

March 21, 2017 – 12:46 a.m. (2.245 hours left) WINS: 395


March 21, 2017 – 1:45 a.m. (1.25 hours left) WINS: 398

I get three more wins, but I’m out of premium tickets. I’ll have enough coins for three more matches, maxing out an hour from now. Two more wins and three chances. I guess I’ll play arcade mode to clear my head.

March 21, 2017 – 2 a.m. (1 hour left) WINS: 399

A pathetic Kazuya player gives up a win, putting me one away from my goal. There’s just enough time for me to regenerate two coins. Right now, I’m parked in a lounge, watching other players far better than me beat the hell out of each other. Not much else I can do. Sure wish I had bought some premium coins when I had the chance, but I suppose this way is more exciting.

March 21, 2017 – 2:24 a.m. (35 minutes left) WINS: 400

No more goals. There’s only me and the battle for the next half hour. I'm glad it went down like this.

March 21, 2017 – 2:59 a.m. (The end) WINS: 400

The end is nigh! Any minute now...

March 21, 2017 –  4:30 a.m. (1.5 hours after the game was supposed to shut down)

It's nice that dedicated Tekken players got a bit of a reprieve, but I have to go to bed.
The mind is willing, but the body is weak. This is as far as I can go. I'll check on this in the morning. I wanted to be there for the end, but I feel I've done my due diligence.

March 21, 2017 – 6 a.m. (3 hours after the game was supposed to shut down)


March 21, 2017 –  sometime between 6 and 7:30 a.m. 

I love you Tekken Revolution, but it's about damn time.

Creature of the Night

Remember how I had about a quarter of the “blood seals” necessary to earn the one character exclusive to Tekken Revolution, the narcoleptic sexpot vampire Eliza?

Yeah, THIS narcoleptic sexpot vampire

There simply wasn’t enough time to unlock her legitimately. And yet, like a bolt of lightning from on high, the Tekken gods saw it fit to bestow Eliza upon me. Randomly, after losing a fight, a message appeared that I had earned 14,000-plus seals in one go. Normally I was lucky if I got 10 at a time.

Then, the next day, it happened again. This time I got 69,000-plus seals at once, which unlocked… a bikini. You know, like vampires wear. In the sunlight. Thanks, Namco.

On paper, a fighter who falls asleep in the middle of the game sounds like an awful idea. And that is because yes, it is. But in all my tinkering with Eliza over the last few days, I only ever found one move that legit put her to sleep, and the player has approximately one semester at a lackluster community college to wake her up before being countered.

Eliza has some cool juggling moves, a classic vampire bite for her throw, and an honest to goodness, Geese Howard style "Reppuken" fireball. I’m looking forward to seeing her in Tekken 7, once that game finally comes to consoles in June.

Also you could make her breasts bigger if you got enough blood seals, which if done without boosts of any kind, would take anywhere between 16,000 and 160,000 fights. I was randomly awarded a third time with 70,000 seals on TR’s final night, so I got this the easy way. Lucky me?

Anyway, here’s a video of Eliza in a battle bikini fighting lion-headed luchador, King, because why not.

No Regrets

I think one of the reasons Tekken Revolution has been so important to me lately is that I was finally able to fix things, like unlocking Eliza. But the period in my life I associate most with the game, living in that cheap apartment four years ago, not so much. I can’t hop in a time machine and tell my younger self to hang out more with my roommates because they were having a tough time too, or to eat a carrot instead of an entire pizza, or maybe we don’t take a drunken walk to Skeevymart at midnight to buy beer seven hours before I had to be awake for work.

I can’t retroactively make myself a better person, and now I can’t change anything about my experience with Tekken Revolution. But I’m glad I took the opportunity to pick it back up. It paid off, even if it was only for the blink of an eye.

Maybe in this case, it’s not the worst thing that I can’t whip out Tekken Revolution and give it a quick play when I’m feeling nostalgic. I moved out of the apartment in which I first played TR a long ago, after all. As we close the book on TR, maybe I can put my misgivings from the past on the shelf too.

Thanks for being there when I needed you, Tekken Revolution. Instead of morning your loss, I’ll look forward to new fights and better days.

This Revolution has come to an end.

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