Tekken 5 - game review

Date: 2005-07-15 12:42:00
The review was based on the PS2 version.

An oligopoly is a market with several large, dominant producers and a large number of buyers. For example, the car or console industry. I think that the branch of the popular "murder" has been falling under this scheme taken from economic theory for a long time. Fighting games are one of the few genres that consistently avoid all kinds of kitsch. Leading manufacturers such as Namco, Sega and Midway satisfy the needs of players around the world to such an extent that there is no demand for products from less reputable companies. Almost every new Virtua Fighter , Tekken or Soul Calibur is a killer, sweeping everyone off the face of the earth and becoming one of the best-selling productions in the world. As you know, the fate of the internal competition between the aforementioned leaders took quite a different turn. With the fourth installment of Tekken , Namco gave a large chunk of the field to the rest of the publishers as the series took a slightly wrong turn. Controversial possibilities of massacring opponents using walls surrounding the arenas and unconvincing changes in the combos system made the conservative and much more "serious" VF4 a decisive winner in that round, dated to 2002. Today, the fifth "The King of Iron Fist Tournament" is creeping in to our increasingly worn-out readers to avenge its predecessor and prove that the PS2 is doing better than ever. Fight.

The fifth edition of the tournament is attended by over 30 players, whose composition is a satisfying amalgam of all previous parts. We have here both the complete "core" of the series (Mishimowa group, Paul, Yoshi, Bryan ...), a few glorious returns (Wang, Jack-5), a full trio of "fours" (Steve, Marduk, Christie) and also three novices, which we will cover in more detail in the small cutscenes in the review. The combat system returns to the best traditions of the third episode, forgetting the three-year-old cuff. The game is murderously fast, the action is much more dynamic than ever before. What's more, the very efficient technical background in the form of not too bothersome loadings means that even a 15-minute meeting with the game can be tantamount to playing a few (dozen) ass kicking fights. The Tekken bacillus is back. Believe that every time you sit down in front of the TV, you lose yourself. And you won't even fool yourself that "just one more fight and that's it." You will know in advance that your dinner will get cold.

After a first glance at the main menu, it becomes clear which game modes all fans of murder spanking will focus on. The standardized Story Mode goes first, captivating perhaps not very ambitious, but perfectly fulfilling its role as a storyline. It might seem that after killing it is difficult to expect something deeper than "he decided to take part in the tournament to find his sister" (?), But Namco escapes from exaggerated banality, often heading towards the absurd and grotesque. The humor inherent in a Japanese development studio flows from all sides here, and we don't really know when to expect a surprising leap from seriousness to intellectual havoc with surrealism. Take, for example, hidden characters - such as Roger Jr., a descendant of a military kangaroo from the second part of the series. When we start the game in Story mode, we observe a deadly, comic-book introduction (as in the case of every character), presenting the motives of the boxing marsupial joining the tournament. It's not bad already. The conversation with Mokujin (a wooden training puppet) that appears after a few fights is a complete knockout. Namco skillfully combines a loose narrative with a moderate dose of situational seriousness, thanks to which the atmosphere is kept at an optimal level of concentration at all times. If you add to this that completing the 'campaign' with each of the available characters is rewarded with a beautiful, pre-rendered movie (world * TOP *, Blizzard / Square level, not worse), we have no problems finding the motivation to dig through this mode in all directions.

Another strong point is the Arcade mode, transferred from * how popular in Poland * (is there at least one?) Slot machines. In the original, players had the opportunity to make special memory cards that contained complete data about the characters we lead, the main role of which is played by: rank and selected color schemes / gadgets. Everything is saved automatically on the console. The ranks are based on a system similar to that known from the VF4 (first 10-1 kyu, then 1-10 dan etc.). For each fight in the arcade, we get a specific (with time more and more) amount of money, which we use to buy attractive visual gadgets for our fighting alter-ego from the 'shop'. Here, the choice is considerable, ranging from such minor adjustments as adding sunglasses to 100% character model swap (e.g. Christie's Eddy metamorphosis, T4 grip). Everything is fine, a miracle of honey and peanuts. There is only one hitch. If the authors decided to implement an online multiplayer mode, we would basically have a game with a rating dangerously close to 100%. And yes, unfortunately, all our achievements, paid for afterwards and with prints, will be shown at most to our buddies, if we decide to take our own memo to the console party.

An indirect continuation of the Tekken Force known from T4 is an additional mini-game called Devil Within. It is a fairly simple beat'em'up of TPP, in which, playing the role of Jin, we visit quite ascetically modeled, laboratory levels, combined with each other in a reasonable plot. I know that criticizing something that is 100% only an addition is not appropriate, but it should be said that something here, gently speaking, did not work out. The game is stiff, deadly monotonous and way too simplistic. The attraction is the equivalent of the DMC "devil trigger", after which the young Kazama turns into Devil Jin (this character in the "right" T5 is unlocked by ending the entire mini-game), but it does not save the situation in any way. Boredom. Were it not for the possibility of winning a new character (who is, by the way, the boss of the entire length), probably no one would think about this bonus.

Arcade History should be referred to in a completely different mood. Hidden under this name are the arcade-perfect ports of the arcade-perfect versions of the first three parts of Tekken. In other words, a piece of video game history gathered together and burnt with almost zero loadings resulting from PS2 bandwidth. I'm telling you, a revelation! It's amazing how playable these titles are still. To enter "three" and not play at least 10 fights seems unimaginable, people are not that immune to virtual honey. This extras is a brilliant gift for both veterans and total newbies, who thus get the perfect opportunity to catch up.

The technical performance of the fifth Tekken is simply unbelievable. All those who thought that the PS2 had already squeezed the last juices were wrong. It's hard to find a better looking game on chernozem. The character models are breathtaking, and their animation crowns the creation with Olympic class. Scenes such as Christie floating in the air, perfectly flowing, or Feng's brute grace movements restore faith in the ever less impressive technical capabilities of the Sony console. The arenas are even mystical at times. Rich detail (check the hole full of pissed off viewers with the van hanging overhead!) And the divine environmental effects (that blooming meadow, argh!) Are unrivaled in their category. For some time there was a rumor on the net that the game looks like it is flying on an X-Box. The rumor is not without coverage, at times you can really get such an impression, which is due to the iron framerate, never falling below the barrier noticeable to the human eye.

The music is not monotonous, although it does not differ from the well-known pattern of a "fighting game soundtrack". Although each arena has its own musical theme, they rarely go beyond the framework of technical sounds sometimes embellished with "that supposedly aggressive", distorted guitar. There are symphonic fragments, and even a bit of experimental electronics (an aphextwin song that starts at the moment of the countdown continue - re5pect). The melodic background is drowned out for most of the game by the loudly pounding sfxes, so we rarely pay special attention to it. The sounds of the fighters are just a sweetheart. They have a "gob" and they reflect the power of the lashes given / collected by us. The voice-acting that we experience before each fight, as well as during real-time cutscenes in Story Mode, looks no worse. The fact that each character speaks in his native language is perhaps enjoyable, but quite unrealistic (the conversation of an American with a Japanese, each in his own way, and they will get along, what?). "Voices" of humanoid characters (Roger, Mokujin, Kuma, etc.) are a feast for people with a slightly "different" sense of humor. Be careful not to break something with the impression.

The next parts of Tekken were released in 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000 (TTT) and 2002. The series made the biggest hype in 1998, of course, when the "three" set a completely new standard in the field of 3D fights. Now, 7 years later, we are close to a breakthrough on a scale like never before. Tekken 5 is a game that simply needs to be learned and explored. Apart from the aforementioned lack of an online multiplayer, it is difficult to point out any flaws, seriousness! Pomucha! Knock! Before you a magnum opus of fighting games, virtual entertainment of the highest class, which thanks to the great expansion, the multitude of character development options and many difficulty levels will provide you with fun for weeks and months. Join the revolution. PlayStation 2 rocks, period.

Krzysztof "Lordareon" Gonciarz