Kids, (my apologies, I’ve watched so many How I Met Your Mothers I’m beginning to think this is the only way to introduce anything) one thing I have neglected to mention to you thus far is that I used to be a humungous Tekken fan. Tekken 3 was the first demo I ever had that came by itself, rather than in a collection, and it held my ten-year-old brain utterly transfixed. There I’d sit, endlessly using Eddy Gordo to whomp Paul Phoenix and Forrest Law, resolving to one day purchase it and both of its predecessors and complete the hell out of them.
I took up Taekwondo to be like Hwoarang and am fairly sure the fact that channelling electricity is my desired superpower is attributable to Jin Kazama. To this day I have the magazine I scored from a kid at primary school showing the connections between all the characters up to Tekken 3. I cherished it. It was a soap opera for a tomboy less bothered about who was sleeping with whose mother as much as which entity had consumed whose mother’s soul.
You know, real freakin’ problems. God.
Granted, over time my interest dwindled. I settled into nonchalance when the series suddenly decided the Devil Gene was actually passed down from Jin’s great-grandfather when initially it had been the result of his father’s pact with the (apparently Vimto-flavoured) devil. I had rolled my eyes when the series created hype around the secret identity of Steve Fox’s dad and then completely forgot to follow it up at all. I only bought Tekken 6 out of a sense of loyalty to a series which had given me so much enjoyment in the past. Regardless of how much crack the writers had snorted since then.
Over the last couple of days, however, I’ve been growing attached to the series again. I like its simplicity and its campy undertones. I like hitting things. I like dressing up totally ripped people in silly hats and staring in laughing bewilderment as I am confronted by random groups of topless miners like I’ve stumbled across an underground gay bar. I enjoy being weirded out by Unknown wearing only purple goo like a victim of Ivan Ooze in the Power Rangers Movie whilst looking suspiciously – oh, so very suspiciously – like Shannen Doherty.
It’s soothing somehow, this childhood relic of flashy moves and pretty people. And it’s made me remember something: I love big casts. I love them. I loved Heroes and X-Men and Battlestar Galactica. I love the edge of absurdity it touches that one simply cannot easily get away with using only a couple of protagonists. Stupidity and disconnected sagas and cheesy revenge motives. There just aren’t enough of them around anymore.
And, right now, I’ll admit… I really want to make my own…