Namco's Nina Williams-starring Tekken prequel has finally been given the green light for a UK release by Sony. The femme fatale has always been one of the best fighters in Tekken, with her wincing kick to the nuts being particularly memorable, and the new game Death by Degrees puts her in an action-adventure setting. This is the title that was previously known as Nina - check out for an overview of the game.
One thing we're not too sure about is the control system. Rather than adapting and reworking Tekken 4's walking beat-'em-up Force mode, which we liked, they've gone for an attack system that works off the right analogue stick (somewhat similar to Grabbed By The Ghoulies). We can't say how successfully this works (or not) without playing the game but we're somewhat dubious of this approach. Tekken fans would want the ability to pull off trademark moves and complicated combos - we doubt that will be possible with the fighting system in DBD.
We recognise that this isn't a Tekken beat-'em-up but seeing as Namco are using one of the most iconic characters from that series, and basing much of the gameplay on hand-to-hand combat, a sophisticated system to do the girl's legacy justice would seem appropriate. Let's hope that the right analogue approach is deeper than we imagine.
Still, Nina does get to stealth-it-up and use weapons in DBD and even gets x-ray views of enemies so you can check out the damage done to internal organs - sweet. The game has 140 rooms to explore, replete with traps and puzzles, so there's a fair chunk of gaming to be had in Nina's debut solo affair. We're hoping to have our hands on DBD in the near future and will report on exactly how that fighting system performs.
Death by Degrees is scheduled for an early 2005 release on PlayStation 2