"The fallen king aims to reclaim his throne..."

Since 1995, the Tekken series has always been a landmark in the fighting game genre. It has revolutionized the 3D fighting market and serves as a look into when fighting games matured from being strictly 2D, and evolved into 3D. There are many other fighting game series that are popular in today's 3D fighting genre, but none have as much of a strong lineage as Tekken. In recent years however the Tekken series have taken somewhat of a backseat to the newer series such as the Soul Calibur series and the ever popular Dead or Alive series. This review is to show my opinion on how this game plays and feels.

Gameplay 6/10: The fighting in this game isn't very smooth and feels a bit uncomfortable. Some characters move like mannequins. The gameplay is a bit slow for my liking but, that only helps you to think about what your next move will be. New players might have problems getting the feel for this game for its incredible depth though. One problem with this game is the lack of an online mode. There have been many debates about how it "can't" be online and why it "shouldn't". Fact of the matter is such a heavily praised game should be online to avoid people from traveling a lot to go to the dying arcades.

Control 9/10: The control setup is customizable for your comfort and isn't very hard to get into, if you are into fighting games. If not then you might have to continually look into trying different combinations. I prefer to use the shoulder buttons when I'm fighting though.

Story 6/10: Believe it or not, the story of a fighting game is actually important. There are many different sub stories in the game with various characters and whatnot, but the main story revolves around the Mishima clan. Heihachi wants to be dominate, so does Kazuya, Jin wants to control his demonic powers. My problems with the story are that it too often feels like Mortal Kombat, where characters that have died keep coming back. This begs the problem "Why kill them in the first place?” The off the wall stories include Xiaoyu wanting to go back in time to find Heihachi and Marshall Law trying to get money to help with his sons hospital bills... Very strange.

Characters 5/10: Well, this game threw me for a loop. There are a bunch of characters in this game that are both weird and could have been swapped out for real ones. These include: Kuma (a grizzly bear), Rojer Jr. (a kangaroo), and Mokujin (a wooden practice dummy). Yeah, you're wondering why three characters could result in a low score, but it's just that they are that dumb. Cool characters like Lei Wulong, Raven, Lee Chaolan and Yoshimitsu counter them.

Depth 10 /10: The more you play this game, the more that you feel that you can master specific characters and that you can beat anybody that you face. It actually makes you feel that playing was worth the time put in.

Music 3/10: The music in this game is just horrible. I love it when fighting games have good musical tracks. Soul Calibur 2 has great music that doesn't distract .Techno beats and electric guitar is the last thing you want to be hearing when engaged in a serious fight. Most of the time, I have to mute the game to avoid going crazy. Music is very important in all games, and this game is no exception.

Replay 6/10: Hmm. Lets see. You will be enticed to play this game for a while, but unless you have a group of friends that play Tekken a lot, or have the free time to got to an arcade, chances are this game will die down quick. Also, since Tekken decided to skip online, there is no chance of playing competitively on you free time.

Fun Factor: 7/10: The game is a fun because of the depth and customization. It should appeal to both hardcore (obsessed) fans and casual players.

In conclusion, this game is a nice addition to the Tekken series and should keep fighting game fans busy for some time. It might only over until (or if) Soul Calibur 3 drops into stores.

+ Crazy Depth
+ Feeling of "wow, I mastered ____"

- Weird characters
- Need a lot free time to play competitively.
- No online play
- Choppy Animation (Marshall, Christie)

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 02/28/05

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