Tekken: Dark Resurrection

If there’s one thing that’s clear from Tekken: Dark Resurrection, it’s that Namco have obviously sold their souls for the ability to get more out of hardware than anyone else. Tekken 5 was already an impressive looking PS2 game – in fact, it was probably one of the best looking games on the system. But Tekken: Dark Resurrection is the most impressive use of the PSP technology yet.

This is Tekken 5 for the PS2 with some new characters, some revisions to the design, a remixed catalogue for customizing characters, and no Arcade History. Graphically, the stages are all toned down slightly but are still simply jaw-dropping, and the characters live up to the standard set by their PS2 counterparts. To be blunt, this game looks amazing.

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As far as the gameplay goes, nothing has changed; but then again, Tekken’s only changed once and it wasn’t well-received by fans. The Dark Resurrection does make some concessions in terms of gameplay: it only has 6 buttons. While this won’t affect purists, anyone who is used to mapping doubles to the shoulder buttons will have to decide which 2 they can live without. Fortunately, the d-pad isn’t a problem, thanks to Tekken’s general lack of required crescent motions.

As far as the game modes go, there is the traditional story mode that gives some small premise, sets players against the computer with a few mandatory character match-ups and ultimately leads them to facing Jinpachi Mishima – who, thank God, has been neutered in this version and is surprisingly easy to beat. In fact, Jinpachi is so weak that Namco have seemingly gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in terms of difficulty.

Then there is arcade mode, where players can face off against a range of opponents ever increasing in difficulty. Beating each opponent will yield a cash reward and will put a player one step further towards achieving the ultimate rank: Tekken Lord. There is more coin of the realm to be earned per fight in story mode, but only on your first use of each character.

The money that can be earned can once again be put towards customizing your characters in often the most ridiculous of ways. Some of the classic items, such as Marduk’s Big-Poppa-Pump-style chainmail helmet and Xiayou’s Chun-Li buns, return amongst a whole new range of accessories. The game is extended merely by virtue of the sheer length of time it would take to earn the money to purchase all the items.

Other modes include a versus mode, which is only available over Ad Hoc, and the practice modes that are expected. Additionally, there is a new-for-PSP feature called Tekken Dojo. In this mode players will take their characters round to a selection of virtual dojo, where they will fight that dojo’s best until the competition is depleted. The mode feels similar to a cut-down version of Soul Calibur’s adventure modes, but it does provide an excellent distraction.

The only modes that are missing, obviously due to size restrictions, are The Devil Within and Arcade History, thankfully and regrettably, respectively.

So Tekken: Dark Resurrection is an excellent game oozing with quality and quantity. So why isn’t the score in the 9.0s? Simply because Tekken: Dark Resurrection lacks value when all things are considered. It is essentially a remixed version of a game that now retails for $35 on the PlayStation 2. Additionally, battles against a human opponent are easier to find on the PlayStation 2. Tekken: Dark Resurrection also lacks Arcade History that is included in the PS2 version. Considering that Tekken: Dark Resurrection retails for $90, it seems that you’ve really got to want a Tekken on the go. A nut you can play outside indeed.

Tekken fans who want to play Tekken on the go will be glad this easily replaces the need for Tekken Advance. And people who own a PSP and want a technological showcase to show off with, this is for them as well. And if you pick up a PSP at the moment, you’ll also get Tekken: Dark Resurrection for free, which cannot be sniffed at. However, everyone else might want to think about how much they want Tekken on the go when you can get the home version for a lot less.

"A great remix of Tekken 5."
- Tekken: Dark Resurrection
Follow Own it? Rating: M   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 5 Min


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