Review by CD Ripper
"The Tekken fan in me is ALIVE again"
I've seen Tekken grow from the original Rave War (and I still love the original Tekken, even more over 2 and 3, actually) and it's been a ride. There have been questionable developments- I feel that the series stagnated after Tekken 3 and was downright disappointing in Tekken 4. But thankfully Tekken 5 is a return to form and I wholeheartedly say I'm a Tekken fan again. The fifth game returns to a slightly more old school form- the classic controls are back, many familiar faces return, and the CG endings and absurd stories are back to true form after the muddles with Unknown and True Ogres and Fighting gods and whatever. Tekken 5 makes me remember that I really, really loved this series two or three games ago, and now I'm back.
The PS2 conversion is fabulous. The character models are excellent, animated and sculpted almost perfectly with lively faces and smooth, lifelike animations for movements and attacks. Stages are large and thankfully tone down the over-the-top exploding floors from the arcade game. Adding to the eye candy are cool CG movies aplenty, a lot of which are pretty hilarious and well worth seeing in the game's story mode.
Music is awesome, with rocking tunes (even one that reminds me of the Matrix tunes). But the great achievement here is the much improved voice acting. All the characters sound great, and that helps to make them all seem more alive than ever before. It's also cool to hear some of them speak in their own native languages, such as Korean for Baek and Hwoarang, and Chinese for Ling and Wang. Even the english voices are well done- I would have wanted Nina to speak with an Irish accent, but what is here is still pretty good.
The controls are spot on, and the move lists of the over 30 characters are full to the brim with dozens of moves. This is Tekken, so it's quite accessible to most players, and the variety of fighters and styles ensures you can find your favorite easily. The main fighting game has tons of modes, and the extra 'Devil Within' action game is a good, if short, distraction. My favorite, the Arcade Mode which lets you fight to your heart's content against a virtual mall full of players wanting to kick your butt.
Tekken 5's extra score is filled up to quota and beyond by the inclusion of the first three Tekken arcade games in the disc. That alone, having these classics free with the disc, is worth the price of admission.
OVERALL : 9
Flaws? Well, the end boss just totally sucks as the cheapest ever since Omega in DOA3. I would have wanted a lot more accessories to play with, and all the characters should have had extra costumes, and not just a few. And I really would have wanted to see Nina Williams or Asuka Kazama kicking butt in a bikini. Maybe in the next game. Anyway, for now though we have Tekken 5, and this is simply incredible. THIS is how a Tekken game is done, and THIS is the kind of game that made me a fan in the first place. A must buy for any PS2 owner as the last great fighting game on this console.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/03/05
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