Star Wars Masters Of Teras Kasi
Finally the age-old question of whether Han Solo could beat the bejesus out of Boba Fett will be answered this fall, when LucasArts releases Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi. This PlayStation-exclusive 3-D fighting game pits the biggest stars in George Lucas' universe against each other in one-on-one. Tekken/Soul Blade-inspired bouts.
The game's roster includes the most famous faces-and hel-mets-of the Star Wars galaxy, including Luke Skywalker. Han Solo, Princess Leia. Chewbacca, Boba Fett and Darth Vader. as well as several hidden characters. The game also features a new villain in the Star Wars universe, one created exclusively for the game. Her name's Arden Lyn, and she's the ultimate master of Teras Kasi, a form of martial arts that's fueled by the Force.
As the game's story goes. Darth Vader has hired Lyn to assassinate Rebel leaders in hand-to-hand combat. Fortunately, the Rebellion has gotten word of this plot, so Luke begins training his pals in Teras Kiisi (that explains why you can pit Han against Chewie-they're helping each other bone up on fighting skills).
In her battle to eliminate the Rebels. Lyn is joined by two henchmen, a Gamorrean named Thok and a Tusken Raider called Hoar.
Aside from its stellar cast, the game's most novel feature is its dual combat system. The characters can either duke it out with weapons or rely solely on their fists and feet, and the control layout is determined by which of these modes is chosen. With weapons drawn, the game plays much like Soul Edge, with three Attack buttons and a Kick button. With weapons holstered, it plays like Tekken, with a separate button for each limb.
Each character packs his or her own trademark tool of destruction. Luke and Vader wield lightsabers. Leia carries a staff. Boba Fett's armed with a blaster rifle (as well as a small arsenal of other gadgets). Chewie fights with his crossbow-like bowcaster and Han battles with his blaster.
Combat will be based in arenas that are spread across the galaxy. You'll battle on a shuttle platform on Endor; in a Tusken Raider village and Rancor Pit on Tatooine; near Yoda's house on Dagobah; on the windy rooftops of Cloud City; and even in the prisons of Stars' End. a planet from one of the first spinoff novels. You have the ability to run around the arenas in total freedom, similar to the run-any-where system in Bushido Blade.
Ring-outs are possible, but you won't get knocked out unless you're airborne when you're hit. Each arena will also vary in size, and one may even spread out in all directions.
Download Star Wars Masters Of Teras Kasi
LucasArts is primed to add a new chapter to the Star Wars legacy with Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi! Masters is a 3D fighter modeled after Tekken 2 for the PlayStation, and is the first LucasArts venture into the fighting-game genre.
Masters stars eight Star Wars characters in best-two-out-of-three contests across nine areas. The Star warriors are Luke Sky-walker, Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa (with and without her bounty hunter disguise from Return of the Jedi), Chewbacca the Wookiee, Boba Fett, Thok the Gamorrean Guard, Hoar the Tusken Raider, and new-comer Arden Lyn.
Darth Vader? The Dark Lord of the Sith is a boss character who will draw a light saber and conjure Jedi magic from the Dark Side. Four hidden characters complete the lineup.
A Star Wars Saga
Of course, for Star Wars faithful, when is just as important as who. Wedging the Teras Kasi story into the massive Star Wars universe was a tough task even for the the keepers of the SW bible. Although Masters of Teras Kasi isn't constrained to one movie or time line, if you use the Star Wars movies as a frame of reference, it starts somewhere in the middle of The Empire Strikes Back and runs through Return of the Jedi.
Arden Lyn is the story's catalyst. She's the fiercest practitioner of an ancient martial art called Teras Kasi, which draws its power from the Force. Having failed to destroy the Rebellion by using the Death Star, Darth Vader has conscripted Lyn to use her deadly fighting skills to take out key members of the Rebellion one-by-one. Luke Skywalker, however, uncovered this plot, and has begun training key Rebel leaders in Teras Kasi to combat Lyn and her cohorts.
Using the Force
In Masters, you'll be able to sidestep attacks and counterstrike from different angles--just like in Tekken. Each character also has button-tap combos and special moves. For added fun, you'll also be able to organize the Star Wars fighters for 4-on-4 team play.
However, Masters puts its own spin on fighting-game conventions, too. Not only will you be able to fight in hand-to-hand combat, you'll also be able to draw and use weapons (see side-bar, "The Masters ofTeras Kasi"). And in addition to the standard life meter, Masters utilizes a Force meter located at the bottom of the screen. By performing combos and other special moves, you can increase the power in your Force meter up to four levels. As your Force power rises, it will activate a bank of Force moves that are different for each character. For example, one of Luke's Force moves will be a healing power that recharges his life meter.
A Star Tour
Star Wars fans can expect exquisite visuals, too. The source material is naturally vast, but for Masters, LucasArts painstakingly redrew all the characters and eschewed motion-capture animation for traditional computergenerated animation modeling. The result is awesome fighting choreography running at an impressive 30 frames per second with characters composed of 1200 polygons each.
The backgrounds in Teras Kasi will depict classic Star Wars environments. Bespin's Cloud City, the ice planet Hoth, the Death Star, and the Dagobah jungles are just some of the famous scenes you'll fight in.
A Star Wars Star
Masters is shaping up to be one of the hottest fighting games of the season. The Force will be with you... soon.
Here's a tall order: Create the best fighting game you can, using Tekken as a base but including as many multi-hit combos, special moves, and defensive maneuvers as possible without sacrificing graphics detail or speed. Now enshroud the game in the most in-depth fantasy world ever created, where fans are rabid about the smallest details, and you know the challenges that lead programmer Tony Hsieh and his team at LucasArts faced as they crafted Masters of Teras Kasi.
Using The Force
Knowing that fighting-game fans are always looking for perfection in their games, Hsieh and the team strove for just that. Combining the tap-style button moves of Tekken 2 with Star Wars fighters seemed like a fun idea, but matching diverse fighters (like the seven-foot-tall Chewbacca against the petite Princess Leia) proved daunting. And added to the fray are double moves--one set of moves that works when you're holding a weapon, and another when you're not--and Force moves, which are special moves you can perform once you build up that legendary Star Wars power (see sidebar The Force" and the character profiles that follow for more on the Force moves).
Teamwork was the name of the game for the Masters of Teras Kasi programmers. Working with traditional animators, programmers, and most importantly hard-core game players, design teams were "sectioned off," meaning that some members were assigned specialized tasks, like animating foot movemerits, kicks, or hit reactions, while other animators worked on whole characters. These animated characters were then fine-tuned, which could take days or even weeks, so that hit collisions and fight movements were perfect. After all this work, the characters were then turned over to Hsieh for balance adjustment so that he could make sure that no one fighter would dominate the game.
Testing Teras Kasi
The next step? LucasArts employs a very qualified, professional team of testers (see sidebar 'Testing 1-2-3") who meticulously check every move for accuracy and bugs. Functional input is also passed along. For example, if the moves for Leia in Teras Kasi didn't match the strengths and weaknesses attributed to the original Star Wars character, then the testers let Tony and his team know.
Where does the cycle end? You'll see the full results of all their hard work this November when Masters makes its debut. Until then, take our word for it--the Force will be with Teras Kasi.
As every Star Wars fan is aware, the Force flows through everything; it binds us and surrounds us. In Masters of Teras Kasi, you build up the Force in your fighter during combat by blocking incoming attacks, scoring hits before your opponent can block, and performing complicated special moves or combos. The Force can be used in many different ways. Depending on the character, it may govern the effectiveness of conventional attacks or manifest itself in superhuman or supernatural effects. The Force Meter (which is located at the bottom of the screen) measures how much Force your character has accumulated during a fight.
Four distinct levels of Force can be attained by each character, but building Force beyond those levels will either produce powerful effects or enable you to use a Force power that is several times more powerful than normal. Conserving the Force is essential, so it's important to have some accumulated for tough battles. Each character will have at least two Force-related powers.
Arden Lyn: * Arden Lyn is the master of a new form of Force arts known as Teras Kasi. She conspires with Darth Vader and the Emperor to destroy Luke Sky-walker and the Rebellion. Her cyborg arm is her only real weapon, and she uses it to fire a blast of energy at opponents.
Luke Skywalker: * The son of Jedi Anakin Skywalker has always felt the strong conflict between the good and evil sides of the Force--the Light Side versus the Dark Side. Using the Jedis' only known weapon, the . Lightsaber, Luke must defend more than just his physical bodyagainst Arden Lyn and the other mentors of the Dark B Side--he must fight for his soul.
Boba Fett: * The most avaricious of bounty hunters, Boba Fett is renowned throughout the galaxy as an entity that relentlessly tracks down his prey. Using a variety of gadgetry expressly made to down adversaries like Han Solo, Boba Fett fights with cunning and precision.
Princess Leia Organa: * The feisty and fiery Leia is the perfect person to spearhead-the Rebellion. Harboring a passionate hatred for Vader and his cohorts, she has vowed to get revenge for the destruction of her home planet, Alderaan, and seeks to bring together the Rebels and make a stand against the Empire. Strong is the Force in this one.
After the destruction of the Death Star, the emperor intends to make the Rebels pay dearly. He has come up with a plan to ensure his victory. His plan is named Arden Lyn. Arden is well-versed in an ancient fighting art known as Teras Kasi. Under the lead of Darth Vader, Arden is to take out the members of the Rebel Alliance, one at a time. Upon hearing of this plan, the Rebels decide to stand and fight.
Masters of Teras Kasi is the latest LucasArts title to take advantage of the Star Wars name and universe. This time around, you will go toe-to-toe in an all out slugfest to the end. Battle far enough and you may face even Darth Vader himself. If you ask me, anything Star Wars is cool enough, but when you have the Star Wars name and a game that is actually pretty decent, you have the potential for a winner.
Masters is a 3D fighting game, ala Tekken, but with one very different feature. You get to fight as your favorite characters from the movies. That is right, they are all here, from Luke Skywalker to Princess Leia to Chewbacca. All of the fighters have special weapons and special moves, which gives you a whole new aspect to the traditional punch/kick fighters. You can now do the standard punch/kick stuff, but also wield a lightsaber for more vicious attacks. When I was a kid, I always wanted a lightsaber!
The main selling point of the game is the characters. You can play as Arden Lyn, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Hoar or Thok. If you are good enough, you will open up a playable Darth Vader (very cool) and a Stormtrooper. This cast of characters alone would be enough to earn my gaming dollars.
The characters all have weapons that, if they choose, will help during the battle. The reason I say "if they choose" is because you have a button that draws and puts away your weapon so if you do not want to fight with weapons, you don't have to. A word of caution, though: if your opponent draws a weapon, I suggest you draw yours also, or you will not last long. The weapon available for Arden Lyn is an ancient droid arm, Luke Skywalker has a lightsaber (what did you expect?), Leia Organa has a battle staff, Han Solo has a blaster pistol, Chewbacca has a bowcaster, Boba Fett has a blaster rifle, Hoar has a Gaffi stick and Thok has an ax. As you can see, there is quite a diversity in the weapons, but they all fit in with the story of the characters.
The game sports five different play modes. The modes include Practice mode (which I found most unhelpful), Arcade mode, Vs. Mode, Survival mode and Team mode. These are all pretty much standard fare in fighting games these days. You will not find anything revolutionary in this area of the game.
So now you know the characters, their weapons and the game modes, but the real question is, how does the game play? Actually, quite well. The fighting action is non-stop and the ability to pull a weapon or fight hand-to-hand adds tremendously to the game. Also, the combos are fairly easy to pull off and they are pretty cool. Some of the combos use the power bar at the bottom of the screen. The more power in your power bar, the better the moves you can pull off. I am not a big fan of this concept, but it actually works rather well in this game.
The final thing that makes this game decent is the different fighting environments. Each of the arenas looks to be chopped directly from a scene in one of the movies. One of the coolest things I have ever seen in a game was the background that had the Imperial Walker walking around in the background. The thing is huge and it looks awesome!
Now for the downsides. First off, this game really has nothing revolutionary in it. Aside from the weapons, this is a standard-fare fighting game. Once you get past the fact that it is Star Wars and all of your childhood heroes are out there, you will realize that there are better fighting games on the market. So if you are looking for a superior fighting game and don't care about the Star Wars label, you may not be overly impressed.
The other complaint I have about the game is that it really does not make sense. What I mean by this is, why does Luke fight his old buddy Han? According to the story, it is supposed to be the Rebels against Arden Lyn. In order to face Vader in the end, you have to battle through the other characters. I think it would have been cooler to have had Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca playable, and have them fight the different enemies, not against each other. I know that the problem with this would be that people would scream about the lack of characters, but I just don't feel right slashing Chewbacca with Luke's lightsaber.
The character graphics are pretty decent. They all look like the movie actors that played the characters. Darth Vader was by far the coolest-looking. When Darth and Luke squared off in a lightsaber duel, it was awesome. The backgrounds were also very imaginative and helped to draw you into the Star Wars universe.
This is a game that no Star Wars fan should be without. If you are not a fan, you will not get nearly the enjoyment out of it. For us die-hard fans, this game will satisfy our fix. The weapons keep the game fresh a bit longer, and easy combos will entertain even the youngest fan (on the easy settings). Darth Vader was the coolest character in the game. I think the game would have been better if the characters fought against various bad guys instead of each other, but this was not really that big of a deal.
Masters of Teras Kasi is the game every Star Wars fan and fight-weary joystick wrangler has been waiting for. Now you can mix it up with some of the Star Wars galaxy's finest!
Wookie of the Year
Although all the fighters were motion-captured, insiders at LucasArts claim that they used hand-drawn animation to reflect different reactions to hits. The overall effect is an incredibly realistic and vastly entertaining game. Stay tuned to GamePro for more on this stellar title.
Star Swords: A New Hope
Fans of both the light and dark side of the Force can fight as Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Leia, a Tusken Raider, a Gamorrean guard, Bosch (the bounty hunter), and a newcomer named Arden Lyn. Each fighter has an appropriate weapon (blasters, gaffi sticks, or bowcasters to name a few) and showcases special moves. Special Power Moves can also be performed when a fighter's Force meter is full--a la Street Fighter Alpha 2.
The Empire Smacks Back
Although the version available at the E3 show was a very early one, Masters looks like another winner from LucasArts. The game features nine fighters from both the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, along with hidden characters, and the fighting action takes place in familiar settings--from a Tusken Raider village to the icy battlefield of Hoth.
For or years, video game enthusiasts have looked for hit movies to be translated into good games for their home systems. Many times the transition from movie to game has been less than satisfactory (Judge Dredd: The Came was fun, but Judge Dredd: The Movie was torture). The Star Wars films, however, have inspired some of the best games ever (Shadows of the Empire, Rebel Assault 2, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, and more). And now, the game that every fighting-game fan has been waiting for is finally here!
Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi enlists eight Star wars characters tor serious, personal one-on-one butt-kicking. Apparently, the Emperor is pissed that the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star. While the Alliance bands together on Hoth, the Emperor searches for a formidable fighter to take down key members of the Alliance one by one. He finds a mysterious woman named Arden Lyn, who has mastered a fighting form known as Teras Kasi, and he hires her to take out Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. Just in case she can't do the job, a Camorrean guard named Thok, a Tusken named Hoar, and even the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett are called in as backup.
Fighting with the Force
Naturally, Teras Kasi brings more than the Star Wars story line to the fighting game arena. Your standard best-of-three matches prevail, but you can also battle in a Tournament and a Survival mode. While fighting on the Jedi skill level, you can even unlock additional characters (see sidebar, "Unlocking the Secrets of Teras Kasi").
Each fighter is capable of two modes of battle, armed and unarmed, which you can easily switch between during combat. This means that you can punch and kick, then lunge with a lightsaber or swipe someone with a staff. You can also bust out three-, five-, and eight-hit combos with and without weapons, which adds up to serious fighting.
But these aren't the only coups in the game. Force Power moves give Teras Kasi major Star Wars flair. Every character has a Force bar that charges up when you successfully complete a combo or defend against one. Once charged, your fighter's Force Power is ready for action--and these devastating multi-hit attacks drain major energy from your opponent.
Learn, You Must
Despite the powers of the Force, Masters hasn't mastered the fight form perfectly. The action takes place in ringed areas, so sometimes cheap, annoying ring-outs prevail. Also, super moves, like Luke's Randed Jedi Throw, are unblockable--even with half your health gone, you can pull off a super move and destroy an opponent.
The Force Side
Thankfully, these flaws are minor, and Masters of Teras Kasi is a near-perfect blend of Star Wars imagery and solid fighting-game physics. The Force is with this one--and you should be one with the Force this holiday season.
Unlocking the Secrets of Teras Kasi: * To play as Darth Vader, you must finish the game on the Jedi level as Luke Skywalker. After beating Vader, you can select him (move to the right of Leia on the player-select screen and you'll see his face). * To play as Slave Leia, you must finish the game on the Jedi level as Princess Leia. After beating Vader, you can select Slave Leia. * To play as the Stormtrooper, you must finish the game on the Jedi level as Han Solo. After beating Vader, you can select the Stormtrooper. To be the Biker Scout, highlight the Stormtrooper, then press and hold L1 and tap X. * To find the level-select option (for two-player matches), you must finish the game on the Jedi level as Chewbacca. After beating Vader, you can choose any level by pressing Select at the player-select screen.
The graphics in Masters don't break any new ground, but they paint a greatlooking fighting game. Fine detail in the fighters, flashy Force Power moves, and hard-hitting animation in the combos all add up to an awesome visual experience. LucasArts takes a page from Soul Blade and turns it into Star Wars.
With the full symphonic score from the movies as background, Teras Kasi's music is unparalleled. Above and beyond the tunes, the sound effects and voices (especially the taunts at the end of a match) seriously jack up the Fun Factor.
Although learning combos isn't hard, some button-press sequences require extreme dexterity. Slowdown during heated matches also hampers the controls. Finally, the Practice mode also needs a command list like Tekken 2's.
Kasi will amaze Star Wars fans and challenge fighting-game fans. Everyone else will be hooked! Just as the Star Wars films appealed to moviegoers of all ages, Masters of Teras Kasi should entice a wide variety of gamers.