Review by Solidus
"Tekken meets Bloady Roar Via Virtua Fighter 4!!"
Imagine the amount of glee dripping from my face on the Morning of Tuesday 26th March, I received my copy of Tekken 4 two days prior to the Japanese launch!.
I must say that after hacking through the packaging to grab the DvD Rom and boot it up... What followed did not meet my expectations!. My first niggle is that the FMV intro is the same as the one in the Arcade with the addition of a couple of extra clips introducing the 3 new characters Christie, Craig & Steve. The dashboard of the game has also been altered as gone is the.. Scroll through the various game options at the title screen set-up, Instead you know have a format not to dissimilar to Virtua Fighter 4. ''Tekken Force'' is available from the very start along with the addition of a new ''Story Mode'', This enables you to play through by first of all hearing the characters intention of entering the tournament and finally their FMV ending sequence following the last bout.
After playing the game for 20+ hours it seems this instalment has very little if any hidden modes and gems. Naturally there are hidden characters, Might I add the same as in the Past versions of Tekken. The total character count after unlocking them all is 20, Yes.. I have played through Tekken Force Mode without losing at any of the four levels and nothing was rewarded for my laurels!!.
So I have ascertained that this version does not come close to Tekken 3 in terms of hidden gems!....On with the review.
The graphics look very similar to ''Bloody Roar 3'' in terms of the arenas having little interactivity. By this I mean in the Shinjuku stage you can bash somebody into a telephone box and smash the glass or in the Underground stage knock over a spectator watching the fight, Bloody Roar 3 had a similar sort of principle!.
The frame rate does not seem a smooth 60 but slightly less, Neither does the character animation leave you jaw dropped.
The arenas are very well designed and support some good effects, The water is well mapped in the mall stage and the Jungle yet it does not reflect its surroundings!.
Make no mistake the graphics here are slightly better than Virtua Fighter 4 and good use has been made of the real time lighting capabilties of the machine!. The characters have been constructed well although not as good as Tekken Tag I feel, This can be forgiven as this outing in all out 3-D!. The graphics are some of the best you will see on PS2, Just dont expect anything in the league of DOA3 on the XBOX.
The sound in this game has been well executed with background noises and more use of speech than before. The characters pass comments in Japanese and English before and after bouts which gives this instalment of Tekken a evolved feel!. The speech in the story mode by the narrator is in English which makes this very import friendly. Almost all of the endings now use speech with 70% of them in English also!. Many may find that the characters speaking now will destroy the personal perception we all had of them, It does happen as the Tekken series has been mute in this sense till now. Apart from the minor changes the sound score this is similar to recent Tekken games, Gone is the arranged music mix option for each stage with just the Arcade original score to listen to. The Sound is presented in Mono or Stereo, All in all what one expects from this sort of game is in there.
The gameplay is very similar to Bloody Roar in terms of how you control the character with the learning curve for each one of them. This instalment does appear to play deeper than previous ones but no where near the Virtua Fighter
series!. The gameplay has its similarities to Virtua Fighter but possible because it all in 3-D now!.
I hope I am not deterring long time Tekken Fans like me as this games mechanics are still instantly accesible to them.
The gameplay will appeal to Tekkeners then.. Other fight game fans may find it intimidating and a pale shadow of the efforts they believe in! Overall this seems to be a well balanced game engine which does improve on the recent offerings by Namco.
Sadly this is not quite the memorable experience of Tekken I was expecting, Regardless this will be played to death by Tekken fanatics such as myself. This game also feature ''Progressive 525p Scan Mode'' which is a first for a PS2 game!. A good effort by Namco even if it is light on bonus modes and extras with a slightly rushed feel to it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/28/02, Updated 03/28/02
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