Tekken 5 ReviewCain Dornan
Since the days of the original Playstation, the Tekken series has been considered as being the leading fighter franchise for Sonys home consoles. The series has delivered a number of stunning titles, offering breath-taking visuals and addictive, fast paced gameplay that has been set around the universe of interesting characters from varied backgrounds. The series has continuously advanced with each new game, further enhancing visual presentation, adding new, unique characters, pouring in numerous new moves and enhancing the fighting mechanics in almost every way imaginable.
With the release of Tekken 5, Namco has further strengthened the series foothold as the leader of fighting games on the Playstation 2. With many fans of the series considered its predecessor, the aptly named Tekken 4, to be a disappointment for the acclaimed series, Namco has opted to remove the new features that were introduced in Tekken 4 and create a completely new title that sticks close to the series roots, all the while offering a completely fresh, enjoyable experience.
The central attraction in Tekken 5 is the games Story Battle mode. As the title of the mode suggests, the mode is centered on the characters individual story, which is presented in a cartoon still upon beginning the mode. Basically, each character has their own personal reason to be fighting in the tournament. You are also informed of a handful of further details throughout the course of the mode, with brief cutscenes occasionally appearing before and after a fight begins. Upon the completion of the mode with each character, you are treated to a beautifully-detailed cinematic which concludes the characters story.
Next up is the Arcade mode. Different to the Arcade mode that was found in the likes of Tekken 3, the Arcade mode in Tekken 4 is an endless series of fights against AI-controlled opponents. The central aim of the mode is to build the rank of your character, which improves with each fight that you win. Gold, which can be used to purchase clothing and other items for character customization (which will be explained further later in this review), can also be earned in the Arcade mode.
Team Battle remains identical to the mode of the same name that was found in previous Tekken titles. In Team Battle, you are offered the ability to choose between 1 to 8 fighters, which form your team, and then pit them against a opponent to prove who has the greater skill with a wider selection of characters.
The Survival mode also remains largely identical to the mode that was found in previous versions of Tekken. The mode essentially involves progressing through a series of opponents with your health reviving only slightly in-between bouts. As you progress, the difficulty of your opponents increases appropriately.
For those who enjoy fighting against human opponents, the Versus mode is also available. This mode also remains identical to the mode that appeared in previous incarnations of Tekken, involving two players choosing a character and then pitting them against each other.
Finally, the Arcade History allows you to play through the Arcade mode that was found in previous Tekken titles. The mode contains three previous versions of the arcade mode, serving as a satisfying reminder as to how the Arcade mode has advanced considerably with each new Tekken title.
One of the key new features in Tekken 5 is the Devil Within mode, which follows Jins infiltration of the G Corporation headquarter. This mode is performed in a third-person perspective, that is, the camera following Jin from behind. The mode essentially involves fighting a group of enemies in one room, advancing to the next and repeating, with little variation in between. As a result, the mode quickly becomes tiring and offers little gameplay value.
A collection of classic Tekken fighters returns, including Jin, Yoshimitsu and Hwoarang. In addition, three completely new characters make a grand entrance. Raven is a dark, muscular male who is a combination of a Blade(the movie)-like character and a mysterious spy, offering powerful moves that prove to be a highly deadly weapon. There is also Feng, an elderly master who ventures into the tournament in search of hidden scrolls. Lastly, the the happy Asuka, a schoolgirl who is a cousin to Jin, offers a casual outlook on the tournament. Its an interesting roster of fighters to say the least, offering a varied range of combat types that provide interesting battles.
Another of the interesting non-fighting features of the game is the character customization mode, which allows you to purchase and issue a variety of creative, often humorous outfits and items to your fighters. These outfits and items are obtainable by purchasing them with Gold that is earned whilst playing the Arcade mode. You are capable of giving your character a full chef suit, if you wish, or randomly mixing and matching outfits to form a chef-come-gangster. While the mode servers no direct purpose to the gameplay, it is an enjoyable side-activity that offers variation for those bored with the characters standard outfits.
Once again, Namco manages to push the Playstation 2s hardware to its absolute limits. In simple talk, Tekken 5 is a visual masterpiece. Characters move with brilliant animation, land bone breaking punches and kicks in stunning detail and realistic fashion. The characters themselves also offer impressive detail, complete with realistic looking skin, varied clothing, moving hair and lifelike eyes. The backgrounds further enforce the overall presentation of Tekken 5, offering a huge variety of interesting backgrounds that offer amazing detail. The developers have clearly shown that they know the Playstation 2s hardware well, and as a result, have produced a stunning fighter that easily competes with some of the Xboxs high-graphical games.
Tekken 5s characters communicate in appropriate Japanese, enforcing the appearance of many of the characters. Outside of the vocal aspects, you are offered a variety of fast-paced music that appropriate aids the gameplay in providing a fast paced, enjoyable fighter. Each punch, kick or throw offers varied sound effects that equally match the games visual presentation.
Tekken 5 successfully combines fast paced, hard-hitting fighting that offers a considerable amount of enjoyment with superb graphics and excellent sound effects. The Tekken series has earned itself great respect amongst gamers, continuously advancing with each new title produced. Tekken 5 continues this fine tradition, making it a worthwhile title for any fan of the fighter genre.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.