"Who doesn't like fighting a devil as a kangaroo?"

The Tekken series is starting to get up there in numbers. Tekken 5 is now out with Tekken 6 already in the works. Tekken had taken a it of a tumble from Tekken 4 but Tekken 5 returns the series to its roots but also implements things that make it somewhat fresh and up to date with the current generation. Like I said earlier, Tekken 4 wasn't quite that well received so Tekken 5 is pretty much a supped-up version of Tekken 3. Because of this, the game play of Tekken 5 is much more balanced. The computer is also much more challenging. Yes, this game does have a gimmick adventure campaign called “Devil Within” but it actually wasn't that bad. In Devil Within you play as Jin Kazama, a Tekken staple character and you navigate through an adventure mode fighting enemies and bosses at the end of the level. It does get a little repetitive after a while but it's still quite fun.

Story Mode and Arcade Mode can prove to be quite fun. In story mode, you of course play as a single character and you fight battles based on their story. This is how you unlock several secret characters and Tekken 5 does a good job telling a story, better than previous Tekkens at least. What is really neat about this game is you can do Arcade History Mode which will allow you to play Tekken, Tekken 2 and Tekken 3. This will allow you to see the improvements Namco has made over the years with the Tekken series.

Personally, I think Tekken 5 truly shines with its graphics and with its audio. First, the graphics used a different type of engine according to Namco. I don't doubt it; the graphics to this game are amazing. Stages like Moonlight Wilderness make the fight an epic experience. In several stages, when you land in rocks or a pile of coins, they will fly up like they would in real life making it more realistic and adding a lot to the fight. The characters all look vey realistic and it was obviously the PS2 was pushed to the absolute brink graphics-wise but it shows, the graphics are amazing. The music is also top notch. The music chosen for the stages always seem to fit and essentially “Pump you up” to make the fight even more enjoyable. The music was obviously beautifully orchestrated and is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the Tekken series and even a lot of fighting games in general. The sound is quite good too. Honestly, it isn't much different than the previous Tekken games but the voice acting was actually decent. Admittedly, Jinpachi is irritating as hell with his deranged grunts that sound like a coyote thrown in the trash compacter.

The story is still good but different for each character, obviously. It really depends on which character you play as but the main emphasis is on Jin. He has the devil gene and it breaks lose. (Devil Jin is quite cool though…) In the opening trailer you see a big event happen. "Heihachi Mishima ... is dead." Is that true? Well, play for yourself and find out! =) You can watch your favorite videos in theatre mode that link to the story and you can also listen to any stage theme you want. You may use theatre mode a lot.

I suppose a gripe people may have with this game is that while the fighting is actually fluid, the game play is still quite slow compared to say, Soul Calibur III. I know it took me w while to adjust from the fast pace of Soul Calibur III to the slower pace of Tekken 5. Tekken games aren't usually that fast paced which is fine for some people but it turns other off. Fortunately, there are all those cool little additions Namco put in this game. Tekken 1,2, and 3 are now available which is quite awesome and with around 30 characters to master, you could end up spending a while playing this game. Not to mention that this game has Team Battle, unlike Soul Calibur III. In conclusion, Tekken 5 is easily the best Tekken game. I found no glitches and I found all the features of Tekken 5 to be enjoyable. If you're a hardcore fighting game fan or a huge fan of the series, go ahead and purchase it. It's only $20 now. However, if you're not, one or two rentals will honestly suffice. Tekken 5 is a solid fighting game and renewed the Tekken series. Final score: 8.0

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 06/06/06

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