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Tekken 5 PlayStation 2

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Namco
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £39.99

Tekken 5, an introduction.

Around 8 years ago I played my first beat-'em up game on the PlayStation. That game was Tekken and I was surprised to find how addictive it was. Here we have the fifth game in the series (and surely the final version on the PlayStation 2) and without a doubt it's the best Tekken game so far. Everything that was great about the previous games has been included in Tekken 5 and it's quite possibly the best beat-'em up on the console to date.

What's the game about?

Obviously it's the latest game in the Tekken series but to be honest it feels more like a Tekken greatest hits compilation. In addition to Tekken 5 you also get the arcade versions of Tekken, Tekken 2 and Tekken 3. The game has a Story Battle mode, Arcade Battle mode (which is the arcade version of Tekken 5), Time Attack mode, VS Battle mode, Team Battle mode, Survival mode, Practice mode, Tekken: Devil Within mode and an Arcade History mode which allows you to play the previous arcade versions we've just mentioned. It's choc full of features then and for the most part they're very good.

What's good about the game?

Tekken 5 takes everything that was great about the Tekken series and polishes it almost to perfection. The combat model is practically identical to those found in the earlier games and this makes for some outstanding fights. The wealth of modes in the game also means it's going to last a long time before you've seen all there is to see. The game comes with 30+ characters although only 20 are initially available with the rest being available to unlock. The characters include Law, Hwoarang, Mishima, Nina, Jin, Marduk, Yoshimitsu, Christie and Feng Wei to name but a few. There's also a nice amount of character customisation options available. Caps and costumes etc. can be purchased with gold that you earn in the arcade mode which is a nice touch. As we said earlier you also get the arcade versions of the first three Tekken games, which only serves to further enhance the outstanding value of the overall package.

What's not so good about the game?

As with most good PlayStation 2 games these days the big disappointment is the lack of an online mode which would have been the icing on the cake for Tekken 5. The Tekken: Devil Within mode is simply boring and completely at odds with the other modes in the game. The Devil Within mode sees you controlling Jin as he enters an enemies headquarters and precedes to fight every enemy that comes his way. The combat model has been simplified for this section and you also have to contend with controlling the camera (and the camera angles are not great). In truth this is a very tedious section of the game where you just fight wave after wave of enemies. I suspect most gamers won't even play this mode more than once.

How does it look?

Tekken 5 looks outstanding and the presentation of the game is first class. The character models almost look as good as those in Dead or Alive 3 on the Xbox which is a remarkable achievement given the hardware differences between the platforms. The various fight locations all look great too. You'll find some destructible elements but these just vaporise which looks kind of rough. Floors that are broken will also, mysteriously, repair themselves which seems a little silly. The game supports both 60Hz and widescreen modes which is great to see. On the whole the game looks superb and is easily one of the most detailed games to appear on the PlayStation 2.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

Tekken 5 allows you to enable subtitles which means you'll be able to enjoy the Story mode as all the dialogue between the fights are subtitled. Actually the character dialogue in all modes (apart from the earlier versions of Tekken) is subtitled. During a fight, announcer comments such as 'Get ready for the next battle', 'You win', and 'Round 1', are all shown in text. Command lists can be accessed at any time (in Practice mode and during battles) and all the information here is shown in text.

Final thoughts.

Tekken 5 has a lot of quality and it's easily the best in the series to date. Even if the earlier arcade versions of the game hadn't been included this would still be a game that comes highly recommended. The only disappointments are the lack of an online mode and the tedious Devil Within mode which would have been better left out but thankfully there's enough quality here to gloss over the failing of this mode. In a nutshell then if you like beat-'em up games you'll love Tekken 5, it's probably as good as it gets on the PlayStation 2.


Overall Game Rating: 9.2/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

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Tekken 5 is quite simply a must have game for PlayStation 2 owning beat-'em up fans.