The long running series by Namco known as Tekken, first appeared in Arcades in 1994 and then made it’s way to the Playstation in 1995. Now in the year 2002 we finally see the home release of Tekken 4 on the Playstation 2. With much finesse and style like it’s predecessors with better graphics, gameplay, and goodies, Allow for this to be the best Tekken in the series.
King of the Iron Fist Tournament 3….Jin Kazama defeated True Ogre. Heihachi outraged that Jin has killed True Ogre shoots and wounds Jin. As his life is coming to an end Jin transform into Devil Jin and strikes down at Heihachi with full of rage and takes off with his newly developed wings.
Twenty years later Heihachi and his Zaibatsu scientist conduct a research to make a new life form. In order to make the new project successful Heihachi need the Devil Gene, which only is within Kazuya and Jin. Later Heihachi finds out a scientific group known as G-Corporation trying to revive Kazuya. Heihachi sends his men to capture Kazuya. While the Mishima Zaibatsu attempts to raid in G-Corporation Heihachi notices a big tall figure later found out to be the revived Kazuya. Kazuya defeats all of Heihachi’s men and gives a message to Heihachi….” I…I will take everything back!” Soon Heihachi announced The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 4. Heihachi’s true intention is to lure out Kazuya and Jin so he can obtain the D-Gene from his son and grandson. So begins The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 4…
The presentation here is top notch. Nice lengthy manual. An amazing opening video which introduces the 3 new characters, and conveys the current story, It is done very well. Straight into the menus, it is very simple to navigate and is very stylish. The game includes the following modes: Story Battle, Arcade/ Time Attack, VS Battle, Team Battle, Survival, Practice, Training, Tekken Force (Amazing), and of course Options (Game Options, Sound Options, Controller Setup, Records, Adjust Display, Memory Card.) The story mode is done very well, in the beginning by selecting a new character, you are given their brief history (conveyed through voice/text and awesome hand drawn images) and by beating either Arcade or Story Mode you unlock their ending movies, which is just as good as the opening video. Overall the presentation here is topnotch, with extras thrown in to make it even better.
Namco did a fine job on making the visuals arcade perfect, the graphics are brilliant by any standards. The game no longer suffers from “jaggies” seen in Tekken Tag Tournament, in fact there are almost none seen in Tekken 4. The character models are done with various costumes and detail. Hair moves freely, along with their clothes. The character animation is amazing so its on par with the graphics. The water effects seen in certain stages are just amazing to look at. Namco has done amazing work to the environments in Tekken 4. They are extensively detailed. While some may look better than others, the detail is truly there. No longer does Tekken stick to it’s predecessors’ styling with the side scrolling fighting. The characters are allowed to move freely in the environments that Namco created for them. I left the game running and then a demonstration of a fight went on, after the demonstration it showed the character usage percentages, which then really allowed me to see the environments that Namco has created. They are full of life, so many intricate details, which really had that WOW! effect when I saw it. Tekken Force’s level design be it simple, is done well. Another thing about Tekken Foce is that there is absolutely no slowdown seen with all the characters on screen and bodies lying around at once. The game runs at a full 60 FPS (frames-per-second), and it is really noticeable when compared to Tekken Tag Tournament. Let me just once again give mention to Namco for the sheer amount of detail seen in Tekken 4 (breathtaking from the wrinkled clothes that prance in the sunlight to the free flowing hair that dances to the beat of your moves). Graphically, Tekken 4 without a doubt shines over the other fighting games for the Playstation 2
Another great aspect to Tekken 4. From every swish of the clothes to every stomp, the detail is there. Each movement has a sound effect. Mostly your typical fighting sound effects but then there a few extra intricacies that stand out. The voice acting is well done to a certain degree. Instead of dubbing everyone’s voice into Japanese certain characters will speak in English, Japanese, and….broken English. You will notice that Jin speaks Japanese to Kazuya and Heihachi while he speaks in broken English to Hwoarang, which is more life like. The Japanese voice acting is superb as usual while some of the English voice acting is questionable. All in all the voice acting gives the characters their uniqueness and depth. Music in Tekken 4 wont stick to your head but it does contain a certain jazz groove and mixed with rock.
Now into the gameplay aspect of Tekken 4, which is where this game really excels into a region of it’s own. The sheer amount of time that you will spend learning all the small details to the amount of time you will spend learning your surrounding will also give you long sleepless nights so keep that coffee handy! Each character plays completely different to Tekken Tag which creates alot of value. Once you know the moves it’s onto the 10 hit strings which do give you a feel for what your character can pull off but even once you know these you still can?ft call yourself an experienced Tekken player because you still have the infinite juggles to learn and the grounds to use them in, so trust me this will take a good few months even if you?fve mastered the previous Tekken?fs. The only downfall is the fact that its not really beginner friendly, but that?fs good for non button mashers fan club. This isn’t your standard Tekken or Tekken Tag game. A new element is introduced to the Tekken gameplay. Walls. That’s right ”walls.” These are the somewhat the type of walls that you will find in such games as the DOA series and in Virtua Fighter 4. The wall adds some new variety to gameplay. Now you can trap your opponent to the walls and punish them with numerous moves. Hitting an opponent while he/she is on the wall will deplete more life away from them. Juggling has become a fine arts adaptation to Tekken 4. Each character will have their own unique kind of juggles. You can even come up with your own juggle. Each old characters keeps their old moves while others like Jin has totally new moves.
In Tekken 4 there is Story, Arcade, Time Attack, VS mode, Team Battle, Survival, Practice, Training, Tekken Force mode, Theater, and Options (as mentioned before). In Story mode you take your fighter through the tournament and can view that characters ending. In Arcade mode you fight stage after stage until you finish the game but no ending sequence. VS mode you and your buddy can go one on one. Team Battle you choose from 1-8 characters and duke it out till last man standing. Survival mode lets you test your skills on seeing if you can survive round after round without giving you full HP during the next match. Practice lets you test out moves and combos. Training mode is kind of a time attack that times you how fast you can do a set of moves. Force mode plays like a beat em up game. You pick a character and take them through stages and stages. There can be up to 12 guys on screen at once taking you down and when near the end of a stage there will be a boss waiting for you. Theater mode lets you view the intro and ending for each character that you take through Story mode. You can also view the game intro and saved replays. Now that the modes are explained, if you still aren’t thinking that the value in this game is long let me continue to explain. There is definitely a lot of replay value here and more than enough to justify the price. There is the story mode which you will need to complete with all characters in order to view their videos and to unlock other characters. Expect to spend a lot of time just mastering Tekken with all the new gameplay elements. If you take the time to master all characters expect months out of doing that. With the inclusion of Tekken Force mode which adds more replay aspect. I can say easily just from playing the game with all characters in Story, and Tekken Force Mode plus mastering them can take many hours to do. Good work Namco, you’re gonna keep us busy.
If you have never played any of the Tekken games, all I can say is you need to crawl out of that cave you’ve been rotting away in. Tekken is a very popular fighting series which has seen quite a lot of improvements since it’s introduction. I will not tell you which fighting game you need to own, because that simply is a decision you make, not I. If you have never played the Tekken games then please go and start with Tekken 4. Namco really put a lot of effort into this title, especially making it arcade perfect for the Playstation 2.