HD collections make great stocking stuffers going into the 2011 holiday season and the Tekken Hybrid falls into place with the best of ’em.  Tekken Hybrid is three things in one – an HD revamp of the popular PlayStation 2 fighter Tekken Tag Tournament, a full length 3D CGI animated original film called Tekken: Blood Vengeance and a glorified demo for the upcoming sequel Tekken Tag Tournament 2 with 4 playable characters.  This collection is a PlayStation 3 exclusive and the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 demo or ‘Prologue’ will let you select from these 4 fighters – Alisa, Devil Jin, Devil Kazuya and Xiaoyu all with multiple outfits to swap and PS3 Trophies to unlock.

We had the chance to see Tekken: Blood Vengeance 3D on the big screen earlier in the year when Namco Bandai held a private screening in Los Angeles.  The development team has done an excellent job in bridging new and old characters into both the movie, collection and upcoming sequel.  The film is a visual treat and will pay tribute to Tekken fans young and old however don’t expect an easy story to follow for those unfamiliar with the territory.  The disc also includes extras with Tekken’s game developer Katsuhiro Harada conducting an interview with the filmmaker – it’s also worth mentioning that this is a Blu-ray disc so don’t expect to be able to play it on regular DVD machines.

At the heart of Tekken Hybrid for the PlayStation 3 is the re-mastered Tekken Tag Tournament in glorious HD support.  Long-time fans of the serious will get a chance to play all their favorite characters with enhanced graphics.  Within minutes you’ll be able to see that Namco Bandai has taken special care in making this collection – the fighting is smooth and still retains a level of excitement most new games cannot fathom.  Tekken Tag Tournament controls are very responsive and the retro gameplay holds up surprisingly well considering this game originally came out in 1999.

Tekken Hybrid is a chance for gamers to get their hands on the upcoming Tekken Tag Tournament 2 which is slated to release in 2012.  The sequel represents modern graphics and an eclectic visual style complete with a dub-step-like soundtrack.  Some complaints we have on the new game is that the display doesn’t show the tag (or assist) character.  The top display only shows which character is currently fighting – making it difficult for spectators to follow along – a hugely important thing for live streaming fighting game tournaments.  On the plus – the tag combos and throws are very clever and will require some planning ahead because some assists will leave behind your reserved fighter who may still be struggling to regain health.

2012 is shaping up to be another excellent year for fighting games kicking off with SoulCalibur V and then with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Street Fighter X Tekken.  Arcades may long be a thing of the past but it’s great to see so many high quality fighting games coming out to fuel the fire behind the current crop of live streaming tournaments.

Related Videos:
Tekken 6 Interview – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMPNGwm-S6o
Tekken 6 Launch Party – http://coin-op.tv/?p=1849
Tekken Tag Tournament Gameplay – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JDbtRvUWoM
Tekken Tag Tournament Gameplay – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AKqkca8P1E
Tekken Tag Tournament Gameplay – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc2ERQMM7vk
Tekken Tag Tournament Gameplay – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZavXcyCnEQ
Tekken Tag Tournament Gameplay – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsfoZJZY9Ms