Review by Kaiden
"Your favourite characters are back. What more could be said?"
Unless you've been living under some kind of big rock for your whole life, you surely know what Tekken is: the first installment came out in the Arcades in the far 1994, and thus began a new age for fighting games. You surely heard at least once the names Paul Phoenix, Heihachi Mishima, Yoshimitsu and such. Tekken has now reached the 5th installment and many fans were worried as the 4th had radically changed the gameplay. But don't worry anymore, as Tekken 5 brings back the original feeling the previous games had... on with the review!
Basically the graphics directly come from Tekken 4 along with some enhancements, plus we get some new characters with a lot of fantastic, graphically speaking now, moves. The effects are always smooth and overall the gameplay is much faster than, for example, Tekken 3, which is a huge improvement. The FMV also look spectacular, but they're too short for a full enjoyment. Speaking of menus, Namco dragged over Tekken 4 menu style. One thing I didn't like was the theater mode: you actually don't have a big screen with every movie there listed but rather a single slot that you can use to switch between movies, this tends to get boring after a little while.
We also get a brand new 3D minigame, named Devil Within, which I'll better discuss later on: the graphics here are ok, surely nothing exceptional, but they do their job: characters here are very well drawn while stages aren't that good, mainly consisting of identical rooms over and over, with the same items to break etc.
Speaking of musics (as of songs), the game wouldn't deserve a 6, but since the voice acting is quite well made and the sound effects are somewhat great (as always in the series), the score rises. What do I have against music in this game? Nothing but the fact that they aren't catchy, they don't stick in your mind like Jin's theme in Tekken 3, for example. Even though there's a Sound Test mode where you can listen (actually not) every single track, you'll reckon soon enough that the two only good tracks are the Cathedral's theme and the Final Battle's theme. As for the other songs, they aren't anywhere good but they're well produced (and there's a lot of difference): always remember to judge my review as a personal opinion: by my musical preferences, the songs in Tekken 5 aren't worth a penny but since they're so well produced you, instead, could appreciate them a lot. That's your pick.
Those of you who led a quiet life in Tekken 3, slowly dealing weak fists to your opponents, you'll be forced to wake up a bit in this game. I had just finished a 3 weeks long game in Tekken 3 along with friends and everything when I first put this game in, and I got shocked (and was actually able to lose with the character I can use best): here things do get faster, MUCH faster, and your reflexes must be very high in order to defeat your opponents (even in Easy mode). But in detail, what does this Tekken have to offer? A lot. Tags have (finally) gone, then we get the usual VS mode, Story mode, Survival, Team, Practice plus 4 goodies: firstly we have the Arcade mode, which is a bit different than what you may think: you actually start with a character of the lowest rank and, as you fight your way to the top rank (Tekken Lord), you increase... rank, again. Opponents obviously become more difficult to defeat battle after battle. Then we get the 3D minigame I was talking about: Devil Within, a 3D beat 'em up in which you control Jin in various (not so various) stages in order to get rid of that demon you've inside your body and soul. Thirdly, we have a great addiction: the Arcade versions of the earlier Tekkens! We get Tekken, Tekken 2 and Tekken 3 all in one package and with secret players too! That's a very nice surprise, although you've to reset (at least that's the only way I know by far) after playing one of these games. Lastly but not least(ly?), we get Customization. Customization? Yeah, that's right. You can actually customize characters with money: you can change the outfits' colours, add accessories, change hairstyles and such. You earn money by beating story mode (100.000 G, doesn't work with a character that has already beaten the story mode), Survival fights (low amount) and Arcade mode battles (not-so-low but still low amount). We really couldn't ask for more from Namco!
DIFFICULTY: QUITE HIGH!
Oh God. Why did you create Final Bosses? Actually after directly coming from True Ogre and Unknown, I thought I'd be having an easier time destroying Tekken 5's final boss and man I was wrong. While other fights in Story Mode aren't really difficult (still you'll see the game over screen more often than in other games, though), the final boss can be a pain in... you get the point. Not only can he drain your health, but he can also stun you and use an almost-1-hit-ko move which is hard to avoid. That is challenging, after all. But it depends on the character you choose and how well you know how to use it. You can either get a perfect on the final boss or get a perfect FROM the final boss... that's up to you. Also arcade fights are the REAL challenge of the game, sporting uber-smart opponents.
BUY OR RENT? BUY!
It doesn't matter whether you're a Soul Calibur or a Virtua Fighter fan: if you even slightly know Tekken, just run over to the shelves and buy this at once! If you like fighting games, do so too, and if you like good games overall, buy this anyway!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/22/05
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