Review by Ryphis_Demeanor

"The Best Tekken So Far"

I didn't think Namco would ever be capable of surpassing Tekken 3 for the PSone. It had everything, a huge amount of characters, great graphics, mini-games, unlockable content, and great competitive game play. When Tekken 4 came out, my buddies and I rushed to buy a used copy at the gameshop, took it home, and beat it in less than 2 hours. We had unlocked everything in the game and were more than disappointed on every level. So I was leery to play Tekken 5, but purchased it once it became a greatest hit and was prepared to be upset, but it was quite the opposite reaction that I actually had.

Graphics:9/10

This is the best looking Tekken game on a console so far. The resolution, frame rate, character models, and 3-d backgrounds all shine with Namco quality production. From your classic favorites to the brand new, all the characters look fantastic. Most of the original favorite costumes are included, as well as new surprises. The levels designs are probably the most interesting and original aspect to Tekken 5, as not only are they slightly interactive, i.e. you bust cement when you are thrown through it, but they also are brimming with life. From the white flower filled field to the post-apocalyptic fight club level, they all are places you will actually enjoy fighting in and make the instant replay more entertaining as well. This is the section of Tekken 5 that is probably the most successful other than the gameplay. The game doesn't quite look as good as Soul Calibur 3, but it does look light years beyond Tekken 4 and Tekken Tag Tournament. Overall the graphics represent the end of an era for Playstation 2 and Namco should be quite pleased with their results and the conversion. It should be noted that the graphics in the mini-game Devil Within are quite good as well, but the environments are often drab and repetitive with little artistic value.

Sound & Voice: 8/10

The music for Tekken has never been the cream of the crop but regardless some of the songs have had lasting power. The driving rhythm of the menu selection songs seem to stick out the most in my mind. The sound effects are probably some of the best with every punch, kick, block, and special attack making a seizure of noise at each impact. The voice acting in Tekken 5 is among the best in the business, as we should not forget long before the "Soul Still Burned" there was "The King of Iron Fist Tournament". The announcer has that driving voice that makes you want to play the game until the very last item is unlocked. The voices of all of your favorite characters are back and Nina Williams, Yoshimitsu, Bryan Fury, and Heihachi all inspire the same madness to memorize every move so you can hear your favorite character's mocking voice upon victory.

Gameplay: 10/10

Tekken 5 has all the bells, whistles, and shiny contraptions you would expect it to but it also has far more. Each character has a huge amount of new moves. The fighting engine is at its best with all characters seeming more equal than in previous versions of Tekken. The story mode provides a great challenge, but the newest edition to Tekken 5 is the revamped Arcade Mode, which pits you against increasingly difficult AI controlled characters, and as your character raises their level, they earn money, which allows you to purchase outfits and other customizable items.
Team Attack mode is back and with the new roster of characters is probably at its peak. To me, Team Battle Mode is the most important mode in a fighting game, a great way to test and play all characters equally. Since it was not included in Soul Calibur 3 I felt the need to state it is in Tekken 5 and is probably one of my favorite modes. The newest addition to the console conversion is the mini-game Devil Within. In the mini-game you control Jin and it is very similar to Tekken Force mode in Tekken 3. The controls and moves have been drastically reduced for Devil Within, but nonetheless it's still an enjoyable distraction from the main event.

OVERALL: 9/10

Not perfect by any means but as close as it gets for Tekken. This is a must have version of Tekken and the best on the PS2 only slightly better than Tekken Tag Tournament as far as game play goes. The unlockable content will keep you playing Tekken for years (I'm not joking) and the intuitive game play will keep you enthralled for weeks upon end. Don't miss out on this version of Tekken, if you thought the series was dead or you haven't played it since Tekken 3 or Tag Tournament, pick up this version and you'll see you won't be disappointed.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/26/07


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