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ESRB Rating
Written by  :  Greg Mitchell (74)
Written on  :  Aug 26, 2006
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  0.75 Stars0.75 Stars0.75 Stars0.75 Stars0.75 Stars

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An insulting mishmash of copycatting and stupidity.

The Good

At the very least, I can say that Tekken 5 does contain excellent arcade reproductions of Tekken 1, 2 and 3. These emulated arcade games load much faster than their Playstation counterparts, control smoothly and are an excellent history lesson on what made Tekken the popular series that it is.

The Bad

The first thing I was horrified at with Tekken 5 was the introduction, and the "wannabe Sum 41" soundtrack. An awful, post-pop metal complete with screeching vocals assaults the ear as you attempt to watch the introduction to the latest Tekken game.

Next up, a lineup of characters that are all about as interesting as a tablecloth. Sure, the old classics are here (Jin, Law and the gang) but all of the "new" characters are mystifyingly dull, including but not limited to an Eddy Gordo rip-off whom they've tried to make look like Jennifer Lopez (which also makes me lose my lunch).

On to the gameplay, it's a shocker. Shocking in that they've changed so little from Tekken 3, and what they have changed is most definitely for the worse. The system now "allows" for characters to be backed into the edge of stages, complete with inopportune camera angle changes and attempted transparency of objects in the way of the fight. It's absolutely awful and frustrating, and adds nothing to the enjoyment of the gameplay. New moves are incredibly few and far between, as are animations.

Further, every addition to Tekken 5 is stolen directly from one of the other fighting games that Namco is clearly struggling to keep up with, or to emulate (which is sad, Tekken 3 was at the top of the heap back in the day). Once you select characters you're "treated" to poor drawings of your character and opponent, stolen straight from Mortal Kombat 3 for the Super Nintendo. You've the ability to earn arcade money with which you can purchase things like hats and sunglasses in the shop, stolen straight up from Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution. The final boss is lifted directly from Dead or Alive 2 right down to his Japanese sandals, and then Namco's added a ridiculous belly-laser-cannon attack. If you're going to steal, at least steal good things, please!

And then there's the highly touted "Devil Within" action game. This game is about as interesting and involving as Fighting Force 2. Which is to say, not very much so at all. This adventure is so repetitive and aimless, I would easily play the adventure mode of Tobal No. 1 over this waste any day. Insult to injury, it takes a long time to load up and begin.

The Bottom Line

I really can't express any more fully how disappointed I was in Tekken 5, from head to toe. I wound up trading the game back in and reclaiming my copies of Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken 3 which I'd turned in after hearing about how excellent Tekken 5 was. Maybe Namco is busy putting effort into the Soul Calibur series, maybe they just don't know where to go with Tekken anymore, I'm not sure. But one thing I'm convinced of: Tekken 5 is a long way down the ladder from Tekken 3, and that's incredibly sad.