Review by Da Bomb

"I am overwelmed in dissatisfaction"

Tekken: one of the most popular fighting series ever has reprised its role on the Playstation, and hopefully will annoy those Xbox gamers with their Dead or Alive. Nothing has really changed in the Tekken series, which is a real problem for the makers. Sure, you should not stray too far from a good formula, but Tekken is not a great formula, and to use as a quote, ''things that do not change, die''. This is not entirely accurate in Tekken's case, but it does mean that is Tekken cannot change and actually aspire to become better in a large way, it will have problems.
Personally, I am sick of Tekken now, as are many other gamers out there. We want something good, something new, and something unique and actually greatly beneficial to the game. In Tekken 4, we got only the first two.

This is basically the only section that has been drastically improved from Tekken 3. With many more polygons than before and a lot more detail, players may be fooled into thinking that this is not one of the Tekken games. The characters have also been updated and their costumes changed, but nothing too large. I would have liked to have seen some signs of age in Tekken 4; Paul for example, either continuously puts Nivea cream on or he is immortal, because he shows no signs of age, though he has been fighting for over 25 years. It is not just Paul either that suffers from being immortal; none of the characters have changed really, as only their costumes and detail have changed.
Unfortunately, the characters also look very blocky and bring back memories of the early Playstation games - Tekken 3 did not even look this bad. On the plus side, the environments have been changed, although several cliched arenas have been used again. Gone are the endless levels, so now you are in an enclosed space. Using a wall to cause extra damage is a good way to win, and which furthers the amount of tactics used. Good, but marred by the fact the when a wall or pillar breaks, only discoloured chunks fly in the air and then magically disappear. At least some care could have been taken. The environments, are overall more detailed than before, and some even have additions like plant roots, but nothing to extraordinary. I also dislike the way that whenever you punch someone, a purple 'eruption' occurs around the person who was just hit. I know this is supposed to make the attacks look more powerful, but it is a silly and unrealistic way to show it. Luckily, the framerate has been improved so that slowdown never occurs, even with 12 people on screen.
Overall, the graphics are the high point of Tekken, and though with a few minor errors, are still quite impressive. Do not be fooled into thinking that these push the Playstation to its limits, though, as a lot could still be improved. All in all, the graphics deserve an 8/10.

Sound & Music
This is a disappointing section that was so much better in Tekken 3. Admittedly, the sounds have been slightly improved, but are still nearly exactly the same as before. The voice acting is also slightly improved, but again, nothing beneficial enough to cause to you say, ''wow, what great voice acting.'' The above is all well and good, but there is one serious problem that never occurred in Tekken 3.
The music in Tekken 4 is absolutely appalling. None of the tunes are lively, well done or even bearable. Trust me, you really should listen to some exceptionally loud music while playing the game, or just turn down the volume, because the music is nothing worthy enough for you even to listen. I preferred it better when the challenger had his own, unique song to play, as they were very well done. Now, the songs are fitted to the environment, so no matter who you are playing with, you will still have to suffer the droning music. An improvement? I think not. As there are more characters than environments in Tekken, the original, character based music was more varied, and in order to escape a bad tune, you just needed to avoid playing against a certain character. Now, the variety is all gone, and you are left with a steaming pile of dog rectar.

Aside from the added tactics gained from using walls and foundations to damage opponents, nothing has changed from the last Tekken. The game is still a button mashing game, and you still do not need much skill to win. At least Hwarang's devastating attack was removed this time so that he would not always get a cheap win, but it is still easily won. All you need to do is either master a powerful, undefendable attack and you are well on your way to victory. And if you cannot take the time to master 1 good attack, then you can still win by doing 1 of two things:

a) You can press all the buttons at the same time and your character will eventually perform a great attack.

b) You can just keep kicking them in the leg until they are knocked out (which, in real life, probably cannot happen).

Because combinations are harder to pull off than in the previous Tekkens, you will be forced to do the above and get cheap wins. This is not fun at all, mind you.
The one thing that separated Tekken from most other fighting games is the fact that it is really story driven, but this time around, that was messed up. Once again, Kazuya, Jin and Heihachi are having a little 3 way feud. This has become incredibly stale, and impossible to. This time around, Heihachi sees a little imprint of a carcass with wings. It must be a Kazuya or Jin, because it could not be anything else, like a hoax, and angel or simply a guy with 2 fish skeletons beside him, according to Heihachi. So after Kazuya is cloned, the whole battle is started and a forgettable adventure starts. The story rarely includes any mention of any other character which means that this story driven game lacks a good story.
The amount of characters was also cut down, and these new characters were nothing great. Christie is a female Eddie, Marduck is a deformed person with a tiny head and lower body, but with an upper body 3 meters wide who we have never seen before (yay!) until now (boo!). Should I continue?
Overall, the gameplay was unimproved and detracted from Tekken 3, which really irrtated me. The game is more of a chore to play after a while, so it gets a 4/10.

There are a few characters to unlock and videos to see, but nothing much else that will keep you playing. It is frustrating when you have to slug through 8 or 9 rounds of torment and boredom just to see a 20 second video of Xiaoyu trying to pump an answer out of her little bear. There is not much here, so a 5/10 is what it gets.

Punch...kick...punch...punch...kick. That is the written sound of you fight, and it doesn't get much more eventful. With so little to unlock, there is only Tekken Force and Tekken ball mode. Oh, wait, Tekken ball was taken out, and it was the only fun thing to do in Tekken 3 after a while. Let me just say that because of the simplistic difficulty, you can complete single player mode in a few days. I got every video and unlocked everything, and I only had it for two days. There is a multiplayer mode that I have yet to test, and there is survival mode (I dare anyone to try it; how many punch kick combos is that?) to bore yourself some more. Honestly, the heart of the game will take only a few days, and the extra modes only give you more ways to
have fun.

Tekken, overall, is dissatisfying, and an utter disappointment. It is just not fun, and lacks many elements that are really needed to compete in today's fighting genre. Do not buy this unless you are a die hard Tekken fan; it will only slightly further the story between Heihachi and his relatives, and sets us up for yet another Tekken to disappoint. Everyone else, do not even consider buying this; a rental will suffice.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 08/14/03

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