*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
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★★
Author: Takashi Yano
Release Date: August 5th, 2016
Genres: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Novelization

One of the most popular video game classics is officially novelized at last.
TEKKEN™ has been sold more than 40 million units worldwide, filled with action and humor, loved by youths of all ages.

Jin Kazama, the new leader of the Mishima Zaibatsu, the world dominating mega-conglomerate, has collapsed into a mysterious coma. But that doesn’t stop his father Kazuya Mishima from coming after him. The Mishima Zaibatsu had been Kazuya’s before Jin took it from him in the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5. Intent on revenge, Kazuya established G. Corporation, with its lethal Jack robots, in order to declare open war against his son.

Hidden in the secret chambers of rural Russia under the care of Dr. Bosconovitch, Jin sleeps for no apparent reason. But even here he is far from safe. In a family where fathers kill sons, and sons kill fathers, it is Jin’s fate to fight for his life. Kazuya’s father Heihachi Mishima, aging but still greedy and ambitious, is also drawn into the battle. The events lead inexorably back to the deserted island where the Mishima Clan was first given their demonic powers, 450 years ago, and where fathers and sons again face off in an epic battle, winner take all. Ancient secrets are revealed, alliances are formed and broken, demons emerge, and fists fly in this action-packed thriller. Tekken favorites including Dr. Bosconovitch, Nina Williams, Eddy Gordo, Bruce Irvin, Anna Williams, Sergei Dragunov, Raven, and Lars Alexandersson all take sides in the war. Will the demon curse reign forever? Can anything stop the Mishima bloodlust?

This is the official translation of the popular Japanese novel published in 2011, and the first English-language Tekken novelization.

I remember the first time I ever played Tekken. Me and my older brother, then 7 and 9, recieved a discard PS with a couple of games from our uncle. I don’t recall any of the games but for Tekken 3. We both loved it. He was obssessed with Jin, I had a thing for Ling Xiaoyu. Since then, whenever someone asks me what my favourite games are, I answer with a triad: Tekken 3, Assassin’s Creed (whichever), Rayman 2.

I’ve been playing every game, watching the anime Tekken – The Animation (thumbs up, wanted more), the animated Tekken: Blood Vengeance (gimme more animated Tekken!) and the movie (meeh, ridiculous),  and finally I got to read this novelization, coming to this conclusion: Tekken should be restricted to being a game, an anime/animated series, if you want to stretch it you can make a manga out of it. Because as a novel? It’s faulty as heck, at least in my opinion.

If you take this for what it is – the novelization of a popular videogame – it’s safe to say that it’s a very good adaptation. But if you were to take it a step further and analyze it as a novel born for the sake of being a novel, then some issues arise such as the writing suited more for a manga (the bazillion mwuahahahas, for one), the overly detailed action scenes which were a bit hard to picture (too graphic for a novel, for my tastes) unlike when you’re actually playing the game, the ever-shifting PoV.

I won’t say it wasn’t an entertaining, and surely gamers or Tekken fans will enjoy reading this, but to me, the whole potential of Tekken didn’t come across, nor – and it breaks my heart  to say this – will it ever in a novelization.

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