Review by Azuro

"The brutality of this game makes me shudder..."

I've been a fan of the Tekken series ever since it came out in the arcades and on the PlayStation. It's been ten long years of great times (and not-so-great-times) and Namco celebrates this by creating the best Tekken game to date. And it surely needed it, since Tekken 4 was a complete letdown in my eyes.

Ok, so you have your Story Mode, Arcade Mode, etc. But you've also got your new stuff in T5. One of those new things is the Tekken: Devil Within mini-game. Many people criticize this feature harshly, and I really don't see why. Sure, the fighting is bland and the levels are just way too long (it roughly takes an average player about 30 minutes to finish the first level, even without dying), but it has puzzle solving and is a really good attempt to make an improved version of Tekken Force mode. I personally would give DW a 7/10 because it was a nice attempt at a mini-game. But there are other things that are amazing about this game. You can now customize your characters to have different outfits. Personally, this feature could have been better, but it's way too small to me, and there could be better things in there, but it was OK. Also, this game has perfectly-emulated arcade versions of the first three Tekken games and another game, Starblade (it's the mini-game that you can play when you boot up T5. It's not that great, trust me...). But the new stuff doesn't stop there! You've got three new characters that bring three new fighting styles to the game (actually it's two, since one of them uses the fighting style of probably the most dominant character in T2): Asuka Kazama, who is Jin's cousin on his mother's side, Raven, a mysterious agent, and Feng Wei, a monk aspiring to be the greatest fighter of all time. These three characters are pretty good overall in terms of fighting styles, and are true additions to the game. Also, you can play as Devil Jin (finally!), who uses a "devil" version of Jin's T3 fighting style. Also, there are returning classic characters such as Baek Doo San, Bruce Irvin (who brings a new fighting style as well, Muay Thai), and Ganryu, who has a hilarious storyline. All in all, Namco really brought out all the heavy artillery in T5.

This game uses an upgraded graphics engine, and it looks top notch. The levels are amazingly done, and the characters look very defined. Also, the levels are more interactive than ever! You can cause the ground and the walls to crumble when you hit the ground. It looks great, until you notice that the cracks in the ground appear only one at a time, which is why I gave the graphics a 9. Oh, and remember my title of my review? "The brutality of this game makes me shudder..."? The reason I put that there is because this game definitely looks more brutal. Some attacks seem hilariously painful, such as Anna's X+Square grapple, which is a cheap kick in the gonads (ouch...). But anyway, Namco sure has done a fine job in the graphics department.

You can't top Tekken 5's fighting engine. Long gone are the cheap side positions that I rarely ever used. Namco has gone back to the old style they had in Tekken 3, with a few minor updates. The response is crisp, clean, whatever you wanna call it. It's just...beautiful. Also, the AI has been updated immensely. Even though I've been playing Tekken since the beginning, this has got to be the toughest Tekken yet. Even on Easy difficulty you may get shallacked, and the Story Mode final boss, Jinpachi, doesn't make it any better. Jinpachi has ridiculously powerful attacks, a stomp that stuns you forever, a fireball attack that outshines even the power of Paul's Burning Fist, he teleports, and to top it all off, he's just plain quick. I've tried fighting him at Ultra Hard and managed to defeat him after 42'17"02 (about 65 percent of that is from Jinpachi alone). But anyway, Namco really improved the fighting to be more challenging.

SFX: 8/10
Tekken 5 has really nice sounds. They're everything you'd expect to hear and more. And they really sound as brutal as the attacks look. The music, while something you likely won't get caught humming to yourself (which is something the Tekken games haven't done since T2 IMO), they really blend into the environment. Each level has the music you would expect it to (except for the Dragon Nest, which was good, but really didn't mix well with the level). And the voices couldn't be better matches. The characters in Story Mode speak in their native languages very fluently. The only irk I have on voices is that every character understands what the heck the other person was saying, whether that person spoke Japanese or Korean or Indonesian, it was a WTF moment to me. But the sfx is definitely top-notch and outshines even the best-sounding games.

STORY: 7/10
Most fighting games don't have very good stories, but if you've been paying attention to the story for the past ten years, you'll understand what's going on. If not, then don't bother to even try to understand. The story of the King of Iron Fist Tournaments from chapter 1 to 5 are really good, but if you miss out on one of them, you WILL get lost (that's a fact, not an opinion).

HUMOR: 8/10
Amazingly, this game has some humor in it, and it's very good humor. Take Asuka's epilogue. You have Asuka finishing of Jinpachi and trying to wake up Jin, then you have Jin wake up and say, "This place!", then you have Jin do a faceplant smack dab in between Asuka's boobs, then you have Asuka getting pissed off and Jin not knowing what the hell is going on, then you have Jin get sent flying into a boulder by a punch from Asuka, and finally you have Asuka hilariously walking away, with Jin wondering why she did that, followed with a rock suddenly hitting him in the head. I think you get the picture. But this game has many more humorous moments and it will likely keep you playing the game 'till you've seen them all.

OVERALL:Let's see...9+9+10+8+7+8 equals 51, then you divide that by 6 and you get 8.5. Round that to the nearest whole number, and you get 9. So there you have it! I give this game a 9/10. I'd advise you to go out and get this game for a little oohs and aahs, some laughs, and a whole lot of fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/08/05

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