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Tekken Dark Resurrection PSP

Published by Namco Bandai
Developed by Namco Bandai
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £34.99

If we are being honest about it the PSP has been something of a disappointment in its first year in Europe. The overall quality of the games hasn’t really been as good as most would have hoped for. That said there have been games such as LocoRoco which have been simply superb. More ‘must own’ games are required if the console is to catch up with the DS, in terms of sales figures. Tekken Dark Resurrection definitely falls into this category and is the best handheld fighting game we’ve ever seen.

Tekken Dark Resurrection is simply a joy to behold for fans of the series. The game includes various modes; Quick Battle, Story Battle, Arcade Battle, Network, Tekken Dojo, Attack and Practice. There are over 30 characters in the game and all are unlocked to begin with. Each character has their own unique style and moves. Naturally they all have advantages and disadvantages but essentially there’s a character here to suit everyone’s tastes.  The control scheme uses the directional buttons  to move (the analogue stick can be used but it’s not that great to be honest) and the X, circle, triangle and square buttons for left kick, right kick, right punch and left punch respectively. Of course many more moves are possible with different button combinations. The controls are excellent and feel just how you would expect them to.

Tekken Dark Resurrection looks very impressive and I’d be hard pushed to think of a better looking game on any handheld gaming system. The character models look outstanding and animate very impressively. The various arenas you fight in also look very good. Sure they don’t have destructible environments but neither does the PlayStation 2 versions of Tekken. The frame rate is spot on and never falters. Even the loading times, so often a problem with a PSP game, are short.  In the game’s Story Battle mode there are several anime style pictures that are shown and these have been very tastefully done. In fact the presentation of the game as a whole is impressive.

The visual quality and performance of the game not only impresses but it also raises a few questions. If Tekken Dark Resurrection can look this good and perform this well then why do a lot of other PSP games struggle to maintain a good frame rate and suffer long loading times? With the amount of games that are problematic in this respect, it’s easy to assume the PSP is simply not up to it but Namco Bandai, with Tekken Dark Resurrection have shown this not to be the case. Tekken Dark Resurrection has shown that PSP games can look and perform much better if the hardware is utilised more efficiently.

Deaf gamers won’t have any real problems with Tekken Dark Resurrection. There are some omissions such as the announcer’s comments when selecting a character to fight with but that’s all there is to complain about. When you first load the game you’ll be offered the opportunity to take a tutorial. The tutorial is exclusively in text and you’re required to press the X button to progress to the next set of instructions meaning you can read it at your own pace. The Story Battle mode introductions are subtitled. The comments that are given, before and after a fight has been completed, are also shown in text. The Tekken Dojo mode displays all of its information in text.

Could it have been better? Well what would have made Tekken Dark Resurrection the complete package would have been the ability to fight online. The Network mode only supports ad-hoc play. We can’t comment on how good this is because we only have one copy of the game and the ad-hoc Network mode requires everyone to have a copy. I suspect most gamers will be in this predicament. Had the ability to play online been included it would have meant that you could find human opponents without any problem and this really would have been the icing on the cake.

Whilst no single game should ever make you want to purchase a console, there are games that are so appealing that you do start to think about purchasing a console or handheld just to play that game. Tekken Dark Resurrection is one such game and fans of the Tekken series will simply want to get their hands on this. Even if you don’t have any experience of the Tekken series (maybe you haven’t played a Tekken game in a while) or simply desire a fighting game for your PSP then Tekken Dark Resurrection is again highly recommended. In fact it’s arguably the best game on the PSP to date and definitely the best example of what the handheld can do when developers really get to grips with the system.

Overall Game Rating: 9.3/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Not only the best fighting game on the PSP but the game on the system altogether. Absolutely fantastic.