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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Namco

 

Developer

Namco

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

March 2005

 

 

- Story mode sequences

- Nice soundtrack

- Solid voice acting

- Memorable and appealing characters

- Customization

- Devil Within

- Great graphics

- Very smooth gameplay

- Some of the best stages Iíve ever seen

 

 

- Some of the unlockable items in customization are too stiff

- Some stages seem like filler

 

 

Review: Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2)

Review: Guilty Gear X2 (PS2)

Review: Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (PS2)

Review: Virtua Fighter 4 - Evolution (PS2)

Review: DOA Ultimate (XB)

Review: Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee (XB)

 

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Tekken 5

Score: 9.5 / 10

 

I like fighting games a lot.

 

Iím a huge fan of both 2D and 3D fighters. My favorite 3D fighter series has to be Tekken. Although Tekken 4 didnít disappoint me, it didnít exactly live up to the caliber of its predecessors like Tekken 3 or Tekken Tag Tournament. Tekken 5 changes all that and went back to its roots with a healthy blend of Tekken 4 as well.

 

tekken 5 review          tekken 5 review

 

I liked Tekken 4. I liked it a lot. In fact, a sample review I made of Tekken 4 is how I got my job here at AE in the first place. Even though I loved Tekken 4, I still preferred Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament because I found Tekken 4 to be a bit on the slow side. Namco mustíve listened to its fans because Tekken 5 is faster than all the previous games.

 

In Tekken 4 and even Tekken Tag, I found some characters to be a bit unbalanced. Tekken 5 does a better job of balancing out each fighter and for people like me this is great. No longer will friends of mine bitch at each other and yelling out things like, ďOh, heís so damn cheap.Ē

 

Speaking of characters, there are 32 fighters in total all with their own unique fighting styles (with the exception of Panda and Eddie who are palette swaps). From Tekkenís long past, some of the characters, which were assumed to be dead, like Baek Do San, are back. Wang, Bruce and Ganryu also make a return. The point is that almost everyone from pervious games makes an appearance in Tekken 5. (And if not, youíll likely find them in the Arcade History mode which includes the first 3 Tekken games.) With more moves than ever, these old characters can, and have, become favorites to newer players. Sorry to inform longtime fans, but returning 

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characters do not include Jun Kazama. Speaking of Kazamas, those of you who miss Jin Kazamaís Mishima fighting style moves will be pleased because Devil Jin is now a selectable character and he sports his fatherís and grandfatherís style of fighting. He also has plenty of 10 hit combos to master. If thereís one thing I donít like, itís that some characterís 10 hit combos can easily be interrupted by a block halfway through the combo. It doesnít make much sense but it does happen.

 

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The new combatants include Asuka Kazama, Feng Wei and Raven. Like every other character, they each have their own unique fighting style, but their moves really differ in some ways compared to the other characters. This shines new light into whatís already a fantastic game.

 

Story mode is great, basically nine or so fights in a row, with a few cut scenes and narration to set up the characterís reason for being in The King of Iron Fist Tournament 5. Three or so fights in this mode are set up with unique scenes between the characters before battle and then after beating your opponent, you are rewarded with a superbly animated dramatic, or sometimes very humorous, cinematic. Not all of them are equally entertaining, but are quite worth the effort of completing that mode with each character if one wants to complete value of the game. However, not everyone will like Paul Phoenixís story. He probably has the most humorous cut scenes throughout the game because of his feud with Kuma. What they basically did is make Paul into a complete dumbass. Iím not 100 percent sure on this, but I think the man even understands the words that come out of Kumaís mouth and heís a bear for God sakes.

 

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Control is as smooth as the animations, and that is saying a lot. Combos flow naturally. In switching from Tekken 4 to Tekken 5, there may be a learning curve in getting the sidestepping and jumping to feel more natural. Maybe itís just me, but Ďupí didnít mean Ďjumpí in Tekken 4 did it?

 

Earning credits, going through the ranks and dressing up your characters is fun. Certainly, a blatant Ripoff of Virtual Fighter 4... but hey.. When I played VF4 I said, ďTekken should rip this off.Ē Prayers answered. Just not so many things to buy, and not all of them are that appealing or graphically functional. Some added pieces move, but the different haircuts for Devil Jin were motionless, the Devil like hair gel or something. Also, I wished they didnít make it so that only the first player could use that profile. I know it makes sense, but when all the friends are together both players may want to use custom characters. Also, why couldnít we dress up Kuma like Yogi Bear?

 

Devil Within is a 3rd person beat Ďem up game where players take control of Jin Kazama. This takes place before Tekken 5 as players will uncover more info about the gameís hero. There are some issues with the camera, but itís not like Namco had to put this mode in so we should appreciate them giving us an extra mode that somewhat differs from Tekken Force mode.

 

To me, Tekken 5 has some of the greatest stages of a 3D fighter, ever. The surroundings have almost as much character as the combatants do. Not to say every stage will blow you away, a few are just filling in the gaps and adding variety. Coupled with a soundtrack that definitely has its moments, the right choice of characters during versus battle with a friend can completely alter the atmosphere and even the attitudes of the players. Never before has a fight between a sumo and a kangaroo seemed so epic, but in a moonlit field of white flowers with an ominous ballad that breaks out into tense guitar riffs, that battle could very well decide the fate of the universe. The Cathedral is also a very awesome stage. I love hitting people into the stained glass windows and watching the glass shatter. I also love it when sometimes bats come flying up when players are knocked down.

 

Graphically, Tekken 5 is one of the smoothest games I have ever played. Almost every movement looks believable and the stages, the lighting, the character models, it all looks amazing. Itís definitely in my list of the top 5 best looking games on the PS2.

 

Any fan of fighters can not go wrong with Tekken 5. If you donít already own this game, then what are you waiting for? Go buy it, now!

 

- JíTonello

(April 30, 2005)

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