|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 1, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection for the Sony PS3 is a classic arcade style fighter. This edition of the series holds true to Tekken form yet improves upon the graphics, quantity of content, and character selection. Fans of previous Tekken editions will have no problem jumping right in and pulling off sweet combos with their favorites. All of the characters that have marked the game over the years since its initial release on the PlayStation are here along with a host of other fighters. This edition is available only as a download and will cost you a measly $20.
For those who have never played Tekken, the game pits player vs. computer or player vs. player in one-on-one battles in interesting yet two-dimensional environments. Bouts are made up of a maximum of three rounds with the winner taking two of the three by knocking their opponent out. You will punch, kick, and grapple in order to deal out damage. Your character has a health meter that demarcates your stamina. Protect yourself through blocking and agility, and spring upon your opponent with lethal combos. Rounds, in general, are won and lost quite quickly. There is a time limit for each round, which can be adjusted in the options, but you will almost never reach it. Typically, a round will last anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds depending upon the level of the competition. Continue winning bouts and you'll rack up points to spend on downloadable unlockables.
Tekken is a very fun fighter. It's very intuitive so anyone can pick up a controller and start mashing buttons to victory. The Tekken enthusiast or a seasoned gamer will have no trouble learning to master the button combinations to truly whoop up in a matter of an hour. The controls are simple and function well. The four main buttons control your right and left punches and kicks. You'll develop a fighting style quickly and find a character to match that style accordingly. I am partial to punches and holds so I've always been a fan of Marshall Law. He's especially dangerous in this game. Yoshimitsu is pretty sweet too, but his reach is poor to say the least. Finding your favorite fighter is fun, but may be a bit daunting. There are 32 fighters to choose from each with different styles so it may take you a while. Fighting styles represented vary from Brazilian Capoeira to Kung Fu. With so many characters to choose from you'll be able to find a couple that you really like, whose style you'll master, and with whom you can tear your buddies apart.
There is a ton of content to unlock and explore too. Characters' clothing, accessories, and faces all can be acquired along with story supporting cutscenes. It's really a nice touch to have so many cool options, but it doesn't change the core gaming mechanic. They're there solely for esthetics. So open up all the extra content you can. Customize your game, and wear the extras like a badge of honor. They are not much good for anything else.
The graphics are really nice but not amazing. That's probably because it's a revamped PSP port. The characters are well rendered and their movements and fighting styles are fluid and realistic. The background environments are fine too. They look great. Unfortunately, there are some rather chunky and flawed effects. For example, when you throw an opponent to the ground pieces of "grass" will fly up. This grass is triangular and blocky. It's as if the grass were large shards of glass. Additionally, on rigid surfaces destructible features will be left behind after slamming your opponent to the ground. The destruction will disappear from the floor when you've slammed them a second time and the exact same damage features will appear. This may seem a bit picky, but next generation gaming demands it. Happily, the game doesn't suffer much from its graphic missteps. Overall, the visuals are solid and support the gameplay.
Sounds in this game are well-done but standard. There is nothing spectacular here, but nothing will annoy you either. Menu effects and background music are crisp and appropriate. They play second fiddle to player grunts and fight effects however. I really did enjoy each character's sounds. The voiceover work is great. The characters speak in their native tongue, channel their chi in a war cry, grumble and groan after being bested, and satisfyingly taunt after a well earned victory. All of these sounds really help to define and provide depth to character development and engage the gamer.
The player versus computer mode is fun and acts as a good training ground. Playing against a buddy is the best part of this game though. Sadly, there is no online play and no leaderboard support. This is unfortunate because online connectivity certainly has defined next generation gaming and would prove to be a boon for this series. Gamers want to play with their friends even when they can't share a living room. This is not possible in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection.
This is a game I would recommend to any fan of the Tekken series or to anyone who wanted a simple fighter with which to harass their friends. The price is right and the game delivers. In my opinion, there are better arcade fighters out there, but the price is tough to beat. Virtua Fighter 5, for example, might be a better way to spend your next generation dollars but you will be paying next generation prices. The only other way you will get this much fighting fun on the cheap is to pick up a copy of Soul Calibur II for your PS2 or GameCube. All in all, this game is really good, and if you're a Tekken aficionado you won't be disappointed. It's tough to beat an arcade fighter for mindless fun and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection performs admirably.
CCC Freelance Writer