Review by Asam Zulqurnain
"Fighting games don't have very detailed stories!! If that's true, then Tekken 4 is one hell of an exception."
This game is amazing. It reeks of awesomeness!! In my opinion, the best fighting game yet, and absolutely drills its predecessors.
NOTE: The bit about the bonus DVD demo may only apply to UK/European gamers. I wouldn't like people to be puzzled over that, anyway, the demo's not that big of a deal.
Okay, the game has its fair share of newcomers, such as Steve Fox (a boxer, my favourite character in the game), Christie Monteiro (the next Eddy Gordo), Marduk (Vale tudo fighter) and so on. All newcomers are nice additions, and fit into the story pretty well. I've come to like these new fighting styles. Just as every character, you just have to be used to their fighting style in order to excel. Each character is as good, and bad as each other.
Obviously, there are bound to be oldies that return. For example, Heihachi Mishima, Kazuya Mishima, Paul Phoenix, Marshall Law, King, Nina Williams...(I could go on forever). Most of the old characters have developed some new moves, which can never be bad. (E.g. Press X twice with Yoshimitsu and he'll do his normal kick and a sort of reverse sweep. He never did that before, as far as I can remember in previous Tekkens. Also, it says that Kuma has learnt new moves of his own).
All is well in the game, the introduction is absolutely stunning. I find it hard to criticise Tekken 4. However, I've given the game 10/10 but I would give it around 9.5, the upper side of 9.5. This is because I feel that there are a few finishing touches needed. Though these may be minor things, but they can get on people's nerves. I shall discuss these elements later on:
The gameplay is beautiful. There are many modes in which you can play the game. Which include Story Battle, Arcade, Tekken Force and Theatre.
Anyway, during fights there are a combination of attacks you can do. Each character has a range of different attacks, and the range is a wide range. The game has plenty of stances, and with those stances you can do attacks which you can't do normally. The number of attacks gives you lots of options on what to do, and how to counter or defend. Guarding is a necessity when fighting, and changing attack tactics, trying to hit the opponent is your aim. It can be hard to do so at times, but practicing makes perfect!
Also, there are a number of throws which you can do, different characters have different types of throws. You'll find that there'll be quite a few more throws then the previous games. Which adds to the greatness of the game, and why this game is better than the previous Tekkens.
Okay, there are two BIG changes when fighting. Firstly, the Position Change moves, and the use of walls and other obstacles that are breakable. For example, statues (or are they gargoyles?) on the building, and concrete pillars underground. Cornering opponents to walls is a great advantage to you, walls do extra damage (as do the different obstacles) or if you're cornered, a quick Position Change could help you out. They're brilliant additions which just give a different feeling to the game. Position Changes are also useful if you prefer certain sides when fighting (kinda, veteran fighters shouldn't waste their time trying to switch sides, so that comment is aimed more at beginners at Easy level).
So all in all, what is needed to be a great fighter is great tactics, using walls/obstacles to your advantage and extremely quick reflexes. If you haven't got that, don't worry, the game is just as fun, so just get your hands on easy opponents. Which is one thing that makes 2 player fights brilliant.
The next absolutely great thing about Tekken 4 is the ability to save your fights onto your memory cards to watch over and over again.
In the game there are plenty of modes to keep you occupied. Some better than others, generally, most modes are pretty good:
Story Battle (10/10) - You choose your fighter and play with his/her story. There are at least 8 stages (Stage 8 generally being the big final kick off with the end ''boss''). You start with the narrative of what happened to the character and reasons why s/he is taken part in The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4.
The wonderful thing is, that with some fights there may be extra fights for them at the end, meaning that there may well be more than 8 fights for them. It's just what happens in their story, this just goes to show the difference between the Story Battle mode and Arcade.
Another thing is that you can unlock hidden characters only from this mode. The great thing is that you can unlock everyone even in the easy difficulty level. A great advantage for beginners.
Arcade/Time Attack (9/10) - The basic mode that exists in most, if not all, fighting games. Win your rounds and carry on to till you beat the game. Arcade and Time Attack are both separate modes, but they're both practically the same thing. The only difference is that in Time Attack, the amount of time it takes you to beat the game is recorded in the end. The faster you are, better.
Without this mode, Tekken games aren't Tekken games!
VS Battle (10/10) - One of the most fun modes in the game, get another player and start fighting amongst yourselves. The good thing is that for weaker players, you can have a handicap. The max amount of health you can have is 150%, and you can change that value by every 2-3% all the way straight down to 1% (or perhaps it was 2%). Not that anyone will have to go that low but it gives you scope to make matches interesting and even more enjoyable for people who aren't all that good.
After every fight, the score is counted on how many matches each player has won. You can carry on for as long as you wish. If you have someone else to play with, then you'll love this game. (An ideal game to have a tournament on if you ask me).
Team Battle (7/10) - This is where you get to pick 4-8 characters for your own team (which you control yourself) against the opposition, which will have an equal amount of members. It is one round per character, if your character KOs the opposition's character, then your character will fight the next character with a small amount of health replenished.
It can be enjoyable for some, but I reckon most people would find the VS Battle or Arcade modes better.
Practice (8/10) - This is where you choose the character you want to practice with and the one you want to beat the hell out of. You can do what you feel like, the aim is the get better and learn moves. At the command list, press X to sample the move itself, if you want to know what it is. This mode is more to get better at the game rather to enjoy the magnificence of it.
Training (4/10) - This is the mode where you bring the one who you train with and the one who you'll beat up. What you have to do is enter the commands given to you at the bottom to do moves, if done correctly, you move on to the next move. There are 20 commands you need to input, and your aim is to get through the list as quickly as possible.
However, I don't think too much of this mode. I would use the Practice mode rather than this.
Tekken Force (8.5/10) - This is a whole new game. It has gone better than the last Tekken's Tekken Force mode. For starters, the graphics are better, and of course, the entire gameplay. (Gameplay is basically the same to that of the rest of the game, because the fighting abilities for each character stays the same).
What you do is face a whole load of enemies, tens of them attack and all you have to do is eliminate each and every one of them and go forward to face the next set of foe. There is a timer, and killing the enemy gets you time, and they may drop things that give you your health back.
At the end of each stage you'll find you need to beat the boss, who is a character that you can control in the game (e.g. Kazuya is the 3rd boss).
The game is fun, I'd say. A pretty nice deviation from the rest of the one and one battles. One thing that could cause problems is the fact you'll need to change who you face frequently.
Options (9/10) - The options are options. However, there are more additions to the options. These include the extra amount of difficulty levels. The levels are Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard and Ultra Hard. More levels is better for players, because they can find a suitable level for themselves to play in, rather than just have 3 levels, where you may find you're too good for 1 level and too bad for the next. One thing that needs to be said by me is that I find the penultimate stage (stage 7) more harder than the last stage (stage 8) with Easy and Normal difficulty levels. Not that there's anything bad with that, but I would have expected the difficulty increase slightly. On the other modes, I find that the last stage is harder than the penultimate stage.
Anyway, the options are fine and dandy. Not too much to comment on, except for one thing. You can now check which characters you use more often, which may be quite interesting (or not).
Theatre (10/10) - I love this mode. It is where you can view each and every character's epilogue and prologue (and the intro of the game). Every character has his/her own FMV at the end, some better than others, I must say. You can basically view everything you've already seen/can see here (you cannot views endings of characters who you haven't finished the story with, you can see the prologues of each character that you have access to regardless if you've seen the prologue before or not).
Also in the Theatre mode there is a music section where you can play all the music you can hear in the game. Almost all of it anyhow.
The storyline in this game is excellent. Every character has reasons for entering The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4. At the Story Battle mode you open with the prologue of the character you choose to be, and the prologue explains what happened with this character before and his/her decision to fight here. Lots of characters are linked up in the story, which is cool, gives the story more depth in my opinion. (For example, Marduk and King are involved. The blood related trio are all in each other's story, obviously).
I've never seen anything like the storyline of Tekken 4 in other fighting games. Not only is the gameplay awesome, but the story is very interesting which encourages you to play different characters just to know what happens at the end for them.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND:
The major difference between this Tekken game and the previous ones is the graphics, and of course, the sound. I cannot stress the importance of graphics in such fighting games since the quality of the graphics will determine the overall feeling of the game to most people. The graphics here are great, and the sound is just as great. I have not seen any other fighting game which has better graphics than Tekken 4.
The music isn't bad, however, the music isn't the biggest deal in the game. I mean, excellent music isn't needed to provide a wonderful fighting game. That being said, the music isn't at all bad, because it fits in with the location of where you're fighting. (For example, if you tell me the music of the Beach doesn't fit in well with the atmosphere, then I'd think you're deaf).
For God's sake, this game is for fighting over and over again. It is meant be played over and over. If you don't want to play it after you've beaten it once, then you've wasted all your money, I'm afraid. It's only 8 stages long!!!
In the end, I find that Tekken 4 is a marvelous game. It is the best of its kind by miles. However, I did say about minor finishing touches that weren't added in. Some of these things could well be annoying, but it isn't that much of a big deal to me. Now I shall explain the pros and cons (the missing out of the ''finishing touches'' as I say):
- Everything I mentioned above about the gameplay
- More enjoyable to play for weaker players
- Quicker to unlock all the characters
- The fact that I own it. (What I mean is, the entire game itself. Unbeatable!)
- You can play as Eddy Gordo (the legend from Tekken 3). Not that there's anything wrong with Eddy Gordo but his appearance was totally uncalled for. You see, he doesn't say a thing and when playing with him. In the Story Battle, it's like you're playing with Christie instead. Her ending is shown, even though HE won the tournament, not HER!!
If you do something, then do it properly, I'd be delighted if Eddy was properly in the game. However, this time the producers seemed lame by doing this. I mean, if you start something, finish it off, if not, don't start it at all!
- In the Theatre mode you can play music. Every music is supposed to be in there (including stuff like Game Over music, which is). However, the music that plays in the 3rd level of Tekken Force mode and is sometimes played on the Statue stage isn't there!! Maybe Namco ''forgot'' about it?
Even with some of these problems, nobody can persuade me to change my mind over Tekken 4.
RENT OR BUY?
I would urge you all to buy this but I can't. The game is expensive, and you only need to test the game out once to find out if you like it. So I recommend you to rent it first, or play a demo.
This is just an extra thing you get with the game, and I'm mentioning this just to be sure I've covered everything. The bonus DVD isn't exactly thrilling, but pretty useful for you to set your eyes on a few games you'd like to try. It has videos of these games:
Alpine Racer 3, Ape Escape 2, Formula One 2002, GT Concept: Tokyo-Genova 2002, Kingdom Hearts, Ninja Assault, Pacman World 2, Primal, Ratchet and Clank, Tekken 4, Vampire night and WRC II Extreme.
Who knows, maybe the bonus DVD will urge you to get this game? Oh well, the game is phenomenal. Well worth its bucks.
Overall Modes in the game: 9.5/10
Graphics and Sound: 9.5/10
Replay Value: 10/10
Bonus DVD: 5/10
OVERALL: 10/10 (maybe a little below 10, over 9.5)
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/13/02, Updated 10/13/02
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