Review by Allyourbase

"Good enough, but not great"

Tekken 4 totally blew me away when it hit the arcades back in 2001. After the spectacular marvel that was Tekken Tag, I doubted there was little to improve upon. But Tekken 4 made significant changes to the fighting system and even threw in some new characters to boot. That was extra nice and life went on. It should come as no surprise that T4 was slated to come out for the Playstation 2.
With bated breath, I eagerly awaited Tekken 4's Sept. 25 release date. I went to the local GameSpot and shelled out around $55 for a brand, spankin' new copy of T4. Afterwards, I went home and put the disc into my PS2. While I wasn't fuming mad, I was thoroughly disappointed with the product. Sure, it was Tekken, and it was good, but it just seemed to lack that special something that makes good fighting games stand out, namely Sega's Virtua Fighter 4.

Graphics 10/10 - The graphics are a perfect translation of the arcade's. Each character has a distinct way of moving and the attacks look realistic. Minor details like hair and clothing blowing in the wind really add life and believability to the game. The backgrounds are remarkable, bright and energetic, which really adds to the sometimes frantic nature of the fights. Graphics-wise, the characters will blow you away with how real they look. Can you believe the characters use less polygons than in Tekken Tag?

Sound 9/10 - All the sound and fury of the arcade has been retained for your auditory pleasure. Anyone with a good sound system will get a kick in the pants. The background music is interesting at best, although it's too low in volume in my opinion.

Control 10/10 - As always, Tekken shines in the control department. The control is crisp, intuitive and highly responsive. As an added plus, you can configure the four shoulder buttons to input different button combinations, which makes some attacks and combos much easier to pull off. For those who crave a true-to-life arcade experience, you can always grab a good joystick. What more can you ask for?

Gameplay 6/10 - If there's any place where T4 falls down, it's in the gameplay area. While there are the token Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle and VS. modes, there's little else. The only other mode is the revamped Tekken Force mode, which loses its novelty shortly. What would have been great is if Namco crammed all of the Tekken minigames into T4. Tekken Ball, Tekken Bowl, heck, even the Galaga minigame from the original Tekken would have increased T4's replay value. As always, the best way to play Tekken is with a bunch of friends.

T4 is a great addition to any Playstation 2 library for those unfamiliar with the series. Jaded players may be put off by ''more of the same,'' but the new characters are definitely worth a closer look. Unless you're a VF4 or Marvel vs. Capcom fanboy, Tekken 4 should keep you happily entertained... until Soul Calibur 2 comes out, anyway.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/07/02, Updated 01/28/03

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