Death By Degrees, The Story of Tekken’s First Lady
Nina Williams was one of the few people in the fighting series of Tekken who’s past was shrouded in so much mystery that you couldn’t even take a stab in the dark at it. Death By Degrees promised to shed more light on this…however in the end, it only forced us to ask more questions. Undoubtedly it was a brilliant idea for a game but, with a bit more thought into the storyline, COULD have been much better. That was the biggest flaw in this game, it’s storyline. Other than that, everything meshed together extremely well.
The game starts off with the traditional opening FMV that sets the scene on the Cruise Ship Amphitrite, where our heroine is taking part in a wrestling tournament whilst her comrades infiltrate the ship. After that it cuts straight into the next day at the swimming pool. Nina climbs out of the swimming pool after a nice swim…to find thugs waiting for her.
Enter the tutorial.
The game wastes no time in prepping you up for the impending fight scene and quickly runs through the basic controls: Push the right analogue stick in any direction to attack in that direction.
Flick the left analogue stick in any direction to evade in that direction.
After this brief tutorial, you get to put your skills to the test by sending roughly 5 bad guys on their derrieres. The game follows much like this in the way of explaining things, but for the benefit of the reader I shall explain.
Health bar: self-explanatory really. Green bar at the top of the screen, it goes down to zero and you die.
Focus Bar: A small purple bar that builds up as you get hurt and do the hurting. When it fills up a block, you get to use a special attack named ‘Critical Strike’. Simply put, it puts everything in slo-mo and X-ray vision so you can take out the enemies organs (literally!).
Experience: Gained from doing as little as kicking an enemy once. You use it to buy things from the Skills section of the menu.
Weapons: Self explanatory. Range from Melee (Tonfas, Katanas etc.) to Firearms (Pistol, Railgun etc.). You can carry more as you advance levels (which experience also gets you).
As well as all that you get a few nifty little gadgets you can use (Finger print scanner, Special Vision Goggles. All the stuff you see TV spies use) as well as a few costume changes (which Nina needs, considering they visibly deteriorate as you progress through the game) and location switchovers (and switchbacks). Inbetween all of this commotion an epic storyline unravels, that could ultimately lead to the Earth’s salvation!
And once you’ve done that you’ve got the unlockables! Increasingly difficult playing modes, Clear Data (that allows you to start with the level, skill and exp you had before), Anna mode (play a scenario as Ninas b*tch sister Anna), Movie and Music galleries and (of course) Mini-games!
Overall I’d say this game isn’t bad. It’s not great. But it’s not bad. The story needs touching up and you could possibly do with more obvious hints of where to go sometimes, but otherwise this game is a must-have for any action loving player!