Review by Psycho Penguin

"It's Tekken.. what you see is what you get!"

I have always been a pretty big fan of 3D fighting games, although I will admit it has never really been my favorite genre. I do like a lot of games in the genre, like Soul Blade, but I think that I have always preferred the 2D fighting genre for some reason. Maybe it is because of the hand drawn graphics that look so wonderful. Or maybe it is because of the tight game play that they have always provided. Anyway, this is not supposed to be a comparison between 2D and 3D fighting games, so I will now talk about the original Tekken, for the Sony Playstation.

I was really impressed with this game, despite the fact I had some pretty high expectations for it. It is simply one of the most fun games I have played on the old NES, and I definitely had a very enjoyable time playing through it. I do not think this is the greatest game in the series, actually I think it is by far the worst game in the series. However, it is the worst in a truly great series, so that means the game is not as bad as it sounded when I first made the comment. Regardless, I found some problems with the game, and it is not perfect, but overall I was definitely impressed with the quality of the game.

I think the thing I was most surprised with this game was the fact that I actually found it to be more fun than the later games in the series in some aspects, even though it came out way earlier. This was surprising, because I expected the game to be kind of boring in the sense that it was one of the first Playstation games ever released, and the first generation Playstation games, in my opinion, were not really that good. So, to say I was surprised by the quality of the game would be a minor understatement.

The game looked surprisingly good considering the fact it is a first generation game. About the only thing I could really find wrong with the graphics in the game was the fact that the limbs of some of the characters looked a little deformed, to say the least. I expected this, because the same problem also occured with Tobal No. 1. The frame rate in this game was surprisingly fast, as the moves were fluid and the animation was solid. I expected a lot of slowdown, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was not a lot of slowdown, or any other graphical problems, featured in the game. That is just one of the may things in terms of graphics I enjoyed about this game. I was definitely impressed.

The music in the game is awesome, as it really fits into the feeling of the game quite well. The music has this techo-dance beat to it that sounds remarkably well, and each stage features a musical piece special to that character, just like Soul Blade. So, I was definitely happy to hear that. The sound effects in the game were also pretty good, despite the fact that most of them were your standard fighting game fare. Punches, kicks, blocks, they were all here. The rest of the sound effects were mostly background noises, and those did not sound that great.

The control in the game is pretty solid, as Namco decided to give the game an Arcade feeling by having the player be able to use both left/right kicks and left/right punches, just like the Arcade. Special moves were not the easiest to pull off, of course I have not really been a big expert in pulling off special moves in fighting games, so maybe it was just me. I think using an Arcade stick for this game would be the best way to go, especially for those of you that are used to the Arcade version of the game. Because of the fact this is a top notch Arcade-to-console translation, you may need the Arcade stick if the transition is too tough.

Tekken, in terms of basic game play, is a lot like any other 3D fighting game ever released by Namco. You have the power bars and time meter on the top, along with other vital information, like time, or other things you might need (depending on what mode you are in). The game itself is easy enough to play, and there is not a huge variety of characters to choose from, but the amount of characters you get is definitely solid enough. I was also impressed with the game modes featured in the game. Basically, the game featured several modes for one player play, and all of them were pretty well done.

There is one mode in the game that can be done with two players or one player, and that is the survival option. This is basically a one on one fight where each player has one life bar. Think of it as a normal fight in a fighting game. The one player mode will put you up against the computer. You choose a person to play as, then you have to keep on fighting against other characters, at an increasing level of difficulty, until you have completed it. Then there is the practice mode, which allows you to test out moves and other stuff. I will not say the game has as many modes as other games in the Tekken series, because it doesn't, but there is a nice variety of game modes in the game nevertheless.

Then, there are the flaws with the game. Simply put, this game is slow. Yes, I will come right out and say it. It moves at a slow pace a lot. Usually, I will completely hold it against a fighting game when it moves at as slow of a pace that this game does, but considering this is a first generation game, it could have been a whole lot worse. I was really impressed with the variety of characters in the game, but there could have been more. I mean, there is a decent number of characters available to choose from, but 18 might not be enough for some people.

However, it is cool that you can actually unlock secret characters by completing the game with different characters. It adds a nice degree of replayability to the game that some of the other games in the Tekken series sadly miss. I will not say I had a widely enjoyable time with this totally addictive game, because that would be a lie. However, I did find myself wanting to get all of the characters unlocked, so that might be the sign of an addictive game. I was definitely impressed by how much I wanted to play this game at first, to say the absolute least.

This is not the most challenging fighting game ever, but it does offer a nice degree of challenge. The biggest problem I found with the challenge level of this game is the fact that once you figure out the patterns of some of the characters, you can easily defeat them during a fight. They do not change their style, as they have only one set style, so you can virtually defeat any character using their weaknesses to your advantage. However, I guess an opponent who randomly changes styles would be too tough. I was impressed by the challenge level of this game.

Overall, I was plesantly surprised by this game. I was not expecting much out of it, but I did get one of the most enjoyable fighting games I have ever played. The graphics are pretty good, although not perfect, and the music is solid. But I was not happy with how slow the game moved, as it is not up to the fast pace of the other games in the series, and mostly any other 3D fighting game, but I learned to live with it. I have moved onto the other games in the series now, but there is nothing majorly wrong with this game.

Good Points
-The game is pretty fun to play and features a nice amount of modes.
-It is probably the best first generation Playstation game out there on the market.
-The graphics were surpisingly decent.
-I liked the music in the game a lot.
-Each character had their own story line and game ending, which was pretty cool in my opinion.

Not So Good Points
-I was annoyed by the relative slow game speed of the game.
-The sound effects could have been improved.
-The graphics, especially the limbs of the characters, could have been better.
-The game could have benefitted from the use of one main story line.

I Run Down the Ratings... DaLadiesMan Style!
Story Line - 8.1/10
Graphics - 8.3/10
Music - 9.1/10
Sound Effects - 7.1/10
Control - 8.1/10
Game Play - 7.1/10
Replay Value - Average
Challenge - Above Average (Mike Sanders)
Is this game worth a purchase? - Yeah, at the greatest hits price.
Overall - 7.3/10

The Last Line
I did not find this to be the perfect fighting game, but I was plesantly surprised by the quality of it. This game has gotten solid ratings, and for good reasons. It is extremely fun to play, and has lots of replay value, because of the fact you need to unlock certain characters by completing the game with certain characters. It definitely adds a nice degree of element to the replay value of the game. Everything could have used improvement, but overall everything here is solid, and that makes for a solid rental. I would only reccomend purchasing it if you got really bored of the other games in the series, and found it at a great price (maybe you can find it to purchase for 6.99 or something, like I did.)

And that is a Ladies Man guarantee!


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/07/01, Updated 07/16/01


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