Review by BladeBlur
"Been here, done that..."
Tekken is a great fighting game since 1995 if I'm not mistaken. The game had a fun character set, many moves to master for each characters and so on.
After Tekken Tag, Namco wanted to produce the real sequel after Tekken 3, which made Tekken Tag just a side story. Not mention that half of the Tekken Tag characters aren't in Tekken 4 due their story (like that Bruce is killed by Ogre)
Tekken 4, aren't like Tag, is story wise, and tells the story about what happened back in 20 years in the end of Tekken 2, Heihachi threw his son Kazuya in the pit of a volcano, but 20 years later, Heihachi finds out he's alive. Heihachi uses this information that Kazuya carries the Devil Gene (which probably helped him to survive) and use it for his own will. So, Heihachi organize the 4th Iron Fist tournament in order to lure Kazuya and his son Jin (who also carries the gene) in order to capture them both. The prize this time is the whole Mishima Zaibatsu so who'll regret this chance?
Speaking of gameplay, there aren't so many new stuff out there, there's still the Arcade, Time Attack, Vs, Survival, Theater and even the Tekken Force making a comeback, but that later. The new mode added is the Story Mode, which isn't different at all from the Arcade, you see the prologue and the epilogue of each character and fight to win, at the end though, you won't fight Heihachi usually like in the arcade game, some characters will fight other character for final boss, like Hwoarang fight Jin. At the end like the prequels, you unlock a cinematic ending for the character and after you collect them all, there's nothing to look.
Tekken Force mode, is much like the one in Tekken 3, only it's harder now and it's full 3 unlike the ''old school'' look of the previous game. Although it's not easy to roam around and you can attack only one enemy at a time, but you can sweep between them. The arenas are big enough, especially the last one, and it's not an easy task to finish the mode, but at least you get a new stage as a prize for all your hard work. Other than that, you'll be familliar with the other modes because they are similar to the previous games, only without Tag and you can save the whole battle instead of just a picture.
More about the gameplay itself, it's quite the same. It's true that people are disappointed to see many characters are gone, but the good things is that the characters that here are mostly different from the other, even Jin and Kazuya are different thanks to Jin's new fighting style Karate, he forgot all of the Mishima Fighting Style for forgetting his past. You can call Jin a new character now, but there're more new characters to master. Steve Fox is a boxer with no kicks. This British boxer is a great character even without kicks, he use the kick buttons to sway from the character and surprise him with even stronger punches, with Jin he's the best character addition. Next is Craig Murdok. He's the biggest character but the bigger they are, the faster they fall. Craig is a Vale Tudo fighter who uses powerfull attacks and even he has a counter that you can't dodge. One of the stronger characters, yet he's not so easy to master. The last and the least is Christie, don't get tempted by her looks, she's just like Eddy Gordo, so don't expect originality. Other than them, all the characters are the same, have the same moves like before with only about 5 new ones.
The arenas now are now walled. Means, this time around the floor won't last for ever and there will be wall to define the stage's borders. This is a nice addition using new strategies to use the walls and object to your own will, but it's not that satistifing. In other words, except for some improvements, you can't call Tekken 4 a real sequel like Tekken Tag.
The game although looks great. Even better than Tekken Tag. It's crispier and shinier than any game, you can see the relection of the walls, the rush of the water in the jungle stage. Each stage looks great with no exception, even the underground stage where there stage is circled by a number of people and you can even knock them. The character models have improved also with many more face movements and they actually speak this time. Every character and its outfit looks pretty well. Everything runs in 60 frames and there're short loading times unlike Tekken Tag. Indeed it's one of the best looking game for the PS2.
Sure, the characters talk now, it adds to the game a lot, but still, there are many flaws. The sound effects are still punches and kicks so if you liked it, well they are back again. The soundtrack although is awful and maybe the worst in a Tekken game. Only the statue stage (which has classic music from Tekken 2) is worth listening. Disappointment.
19 different character to master, a new challenging Tekken Force, and it still have the great VS battle so if you have a friend it's great, if not, you'll get bored fast.
The game is fun at the beginning like any Tekken game, but it doesn't have the special touch like Tekken 2, 3 and Tag had back than, maybe it's the lousy music but it ruins the fun.
Tekken 4 is worth for the fans, other shall either pleased with Tekken Tag or buy a better fighting game such as Virtua Fighter Evolution or Guilty Gear X2. But if you like Fighting games, give Tekken a chance.
Final Score: 7.3
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/23/03, Updated 06/23/03
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