Review by Arschrammen
"Visually stunning, but not the fast-paced, dynamic fighting game I've been looking forward to"
I just don't know what to think anymore! I haven't been impressed with one fighting game on the PlayStation 2 except DOA2. Tekken Tag Tournament, Virtua Fighter 4, and any of the Mortal Kombats... these were all games with great potential that somehow managed to botch it. I hoped Tekken 4 had learned from the mistakes of Tekken Tag Tournament and lifted its game but I am disappointed to say that as much as I wanted to like this game, it just didn't do it for me.
The story mode is a vast improvement on previous instalments of the Tekken series, especially for veteran Tekken players who loved the characters but didn't REALLY know what was going on in their stories. Before the first fight, background information is given on each character, outlining their history and their reasons for coming to the fourth King of The Iron Fist Tournament. To advance each character's story, CG cut-scenes are shown after particular fights. Regardless of how the rest of the game fares, this is great because those on board throughout the whole series now get an accurate insight into the characters, unlike previous games where you read a short paragraph in the booklet and that's it! This time around it's like an action film where you get to do the fight scenes... and I like that.
The basic premise for the game is that the evil Heihachi wants to lure the Devil Gene to him so he can become almighty. By offering his massive corporation as a prize for The King of The Iron Fist Tournament, he hopes to bring Jin Kazama, possessor of the Devil Gene, out of hiding. Kazuya Mishima is also back with a vengeance, and you see him kicking some serious ass in the opening movie, which, incidentally, is the best intro FMV I have ever seen. Kazuya is pretty vengeful, and is planning on taking back the Mishima Zaibatsu.
The thing I love about Tekken is that instead of one button for punch and one for kick, there are buttons for left kick, right kick, left punch, and right punch, thus allowing a more technical fighting aspect.
However, this game's fatal flaw is the response time to the controls. While this game is definitely an improvement on TTT, the problem still exists in that unless you play as one of the ridiculously fast and weak characters, when you press an attack, there is a delay in when it is executed. If you're anything like me, when you play as a larger, stronger character, you'll find the delay between pressing the button and executing the attack is intolerable and you'll just give up.
The addition of the interaction with environments is poor and needs a lot of work, and the new characters are, without exception, TERRIBLE. An attempt has been made to improve the force mode, and I can see how it would be good IF YOU COULD SEE WHERE THE ENEMIES WERE. Basically, what I'm trying to say is the force mode is a good idea, but is executed poorly.
The graphics are truly a wonder to behold. I wanted to give them 10, but I had some issues with their faces, for example, their expressions are bland, when they talk it looks like a Monty Python cartoon sketch, and also the fact that Nina is no longer hot. Never mind - there are a couple of new lovely ladies in town: Christie Monteiro and Xiaoyu's friend Miharu. Incidentally, Xiaoyu's not looking too shabby and Julia Chang is back and she's looking pretty good too.
There are some reasonable songs, but overall the soundtrack is average to poor. Some of the songs sounded like songs from previous games but butchered as horrible "remixes." The sounds are pretty standard and actually quite aged. I recognised sounds from Tekken 2 in there. The addition of voices to characters is very interesting. Most of the voices, however, don't seem to match the characters. For example, I was especially disappointed that Nina, who is from Ireland, did not in fact have an Irish accent. And Steve Fox, the British boxer, had a very inconsistent accent that only once sounded like he was actually from England.
These "new and improved" controls really irritated me. It's very confusing when crouch wasn't actually the down button, and jump wasn't up. Also, because of the enclosed environments, one of the throw combination buttons have become a swap-sides manoeuvre for if your back is to the wall, so it's not as convenient to choose different throws.
Let's just say im happy I rented it. But as far as value goes compared to say, Tekken 3, its possibly about the same, with the inclusion of almost identical features. Only thing is, the gameplay is worse, and the graphics are better. So if you like pretty things over gameplay, this might be a worthy addition to your collection.
OVERALL, I found this game to be very average, but sadly it's possibly the best fighting game to be released since DOA2, and possibly for quite some time given the way things are going with a certain TecmoDOA-Xbox alliance.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 01/19/07
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