Review by aoshi900

"The finest 3D fighter on the PS2 yet!"

When this game was released, even though Im a fighting game freak, I didn't immediately rush out to buy it. I wasn't even playing this game in the arcades back then. The main reason is I already have Tekken Tag Tournament on the PS2. But, after much research and combo video downloads, I saw that even though I already have Tekken Tag, Tekken 4 is still a must buy, especially for fighting game fans. Here's why:

Graphics: 9
An improvement over the PS2 version of Tekken Tag (which already looks good), and it looks exactly like its arcade counterpart. Every character looks better than from what they look like on Tekken Tag. New costumes, new look (for some characters), gorgeous FMVs and awesome looking stages round out the great graphics.

Sound: 8
All of the background music from the previous games have been solid and really pump you up or fits the theme of the stage. And this game is no exception, from techno to jazzy tunes, they never make you wanna turn off the music. An assortment of grunts and screams, sound effects are just standard fare for fighting games, they're above average and get the job done. Voices are now added in the opening and ending movies, and the voice acting is surprisingly good. Also the new announcer sounds cool and the narration of the prologues in the Story Battle is very well done.

Control: 9
If you're a veteran Tekken player, then you would have no problem executing moves, linkers and combos. If you're new however, moves are easily performed due to excellent controls can be easily practiced in Practice Mode. But you may have get used to holding down back just to crouch, unlike in previous games. Nothing major, you can get used to it after a few days. Unfortunately though, this game is still masher friendly.

Gameplay: 10
Here's where Tekken is king. After playing Tekken Tag for over a year, it's hard to go back to one on one fighting again. But with the improvements and new elements Namco added, Tekken 4 feels like a brand new game. The doppleganger characters have been removed and some of their moves have been given to their counterparts. Enclosed and multi level arenas add strategy to fights. Most of the juggke combos from Tekken Tag won't here anymore though, because Namco slightly altered the aesthetics of the game. But it's easily remedied because you can come up with new juggle combos from the new moves. New fighters, new moves for old characters, full 3D movement and deep gameplay make this the finest Tekken yet.

Overall: 9
With plenty of characters, it would take players months to master them. And as with every fighting game, nothing beats versus mode with your friends. Other modes like Time Attack, Team Battle, Survival Mode and Practice are staples from previous Tekken Games. The newest addition is a revamped Tekken Force, although its a change of pace from all that fighting, it would have better if Namco included some more sports based mini games. But still, the game has no serious flaws that bring down the gameplay. In fact, its one of the best 3D fighting games ever on a home console. My only complaint is that there are no extra modes outside of the fighting. Bottom line, this game keep you busy for months, until Tekken 5 comes out.

Pros:
- deep gameplay
- looks great
- each fighter is unique

Cons:
- only 2 of the 3 new characters are really new
- no online play
- could have used more extra mini games like Tekken Bowl or Tekken Ball


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/15/02, Updated 12/15/02


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