Review by thesolidshark

"Best of the Series"

I've played all the console Tekken versions up to 5, and I've loved all of them. Each one has had something to bring to the series, but even after part 5's excellent customization, 4 still ends up being the best for me.

Graphics - 10

A real step up from every Tekken game that came before it. Even Tekken 5 somehow didn't look as nice as 4 to me. A lot of people could argue as to which had the better graphics. And while 5 smoother in it's characters and some backgrounds, four still made everything literally look 3D for the first time in the series. Hair and clothing flow accurately, and there was little to no slowdown of any kind.

Sound - 10

Great sound throughout the game. All the music tracks seems to fit wherever they're used, with some nice standouts, like Shinjuku (Japan street) or the parking lot. All the character voicing is not only accurate, but even versatile. Tekken 5 should have used the same narrator from this one. Most characters can speak in their native tongue, or at least speak English while carrying the right accent, like Jin, Lei, or Steve. I'll be willing to say this has the best voice acting of any fighting game.

Control - 10

As usual, Tekken controls are dead-on. Even with the full 3D transition, no matter how many people complain about it being harder to control, most of the effectiveness comes from the player.

Playability - 10

Tekken 4 delivers on this. Characters fighting styles are done nicely with new additions like regular boxing. Every character has advantages and disadvantages that need to be learned and exploited if possible. The new 3D feel make it much easier for you to circle around opponents, and pull of some of those side or rear throws that were easy to pull off in the Soul Calibur games. Throws now also take advantage of the fact that there are walls now, and if you find yourself cornered, using the square and x button will help switch places. Environments are more involved now. Walls can make it easier or harder on you, pillars and other things in stages can be broken through, and inclines and character sizes must be taken into consideration while you're fighting. And the pit fighting stage is still one of the most innovative stages for fighting games; you can hit your opponents and unlucky spectators, and both will be affected the same way. It really is surprising to knock someone in the audience 10 feet in the air. And the new Tekken Force mode has been improved over what was done from T3. Might not be as addictive as Tekken Bowl, but does have the problems that the Tekken 5 side game featuring Jin had. And while the roster list is definitely shorter than 5, I can at least appreciate the effort it took to making better-looking characters.

Presentation - 10

I was always impressed with the Tekken storyline. I didn't know fighting games had storylines until I started playing Tekken games. This one might just be the pinnacle of storytelling for the series. From the intro (including the return of one of the greatest fictional bad-asses - Kazuya Mishima), to getting a narrated story and a clear connection to the what and why of every character is outstanding. Hell, we finally get to find out who actually killed Armor King. The layout and stages are nice to look at. It might not be as flashy as Tekken 5, but a game with this much integrity wouldn't need that much anyway. Not even Heihachi in a diaper can make this game look bad. Well, not completely.

Overall - 10

A great fighting game with enough fighting for everybody and a little more for those willing to pay attention, it deserved at least a try from anyone who plays games. I am a Tekken fan, and am proud to own this game, no matter who might say this game is outdated.

Rent or Buy?

This game is priced about $10 at most retailers now. And even with Tekken 5 out at a cheaper price, I'd still urge people to go for Four. I'm not sure if places still rent this game out, so I'd go for a buy. I'd pay for something like this for ten bucks any day.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/05/06

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