one of the best, and in many opinions, the most rewarding hand-to-hand 3D fighting
game in existence appears to be picking up some steam in the mid 2000's. I
suppose I should mention that Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection has been one of
the most popular games in my local arcade community (spanning 2 major cities), following
the release of Tekken 5.1.
In Summer 2006, the first true handheld version
of Tekken exploded onto Sony's PSP (which was in dire need of more fighting
games)! Luckily for us Tekken Fanatics, the first "true"
portable iteration of Tekken just so happens to be the latest
installment... Dark Resurrection!
5: DR Team
Battle on PSP! Umm... Wow!
Namco randomly tossed
the "5" out of the title for the handheld version, dubbing it
simply "Tekken: Dark Resurrection"
(perhaps to distinguish it from its arcade counterpart). PSP's
first solid 3D fighter includes every single character from the arcade version and packs a presentation you could only expect from
Namco these days. Tekken + 5 + DR + PSP =
an updated opening movie just for the PSP version, all the staple modes from previous Tekken installments, a new "Tekken
Dojo" mode, more character customization items and options, an ass-kickin'
soundtrack (in addition to an awesome BGM player,
complete with dancing bear), downloadable ghost fighters from human players
all over the world, a Theater Mode where you can watch character endings
/ stories, and finally, entertaining mini games like Gold Rush & Tekken Bowling
(back from Tekken Tag)!
Are you kidding me? Tekken: Dark Resurrection on PSP makes some other
CONSOLE fighting games out there look bad.... Really really bad.
DR simultaneously wins the titles of "Best PSP Fighting Game" and "Best
Handheld Fighting Game" (to date). Technically, it's also one of the most
complex (and most rewarding) 3D fighters you can currently play on any system.
Those are all facts by the way, not opinion.
Seriously though. (Geez Namco, quit making me brag about your damn games). Character models
on the PSP "shine" and look nearly as good as their Tekken
5 PS2 counterparts, only lacking a few minor details and polygons here or
there. Character faces
also seem to have translated almost perfectly from the arcade version, and even
include facial expressions!
All the stages are also incredible
eye candy (especially for a handheld game), although the textures are a much
lower resolution than those in the original version, but that's to be expected.
However, it must be stated somewhere on the web that "how Tekkenreally looks to the human eye depends on who is behind the
controls." It's true you know.
Superb character models
for a handheld game.
= Smart-ass Webmaster Rant..>
kids, when two random button mashers start playing Tekken, you'll
usually witness a lot of pointless jumping, overused
crouching jabs and kicks, and probably a few jump-to-ground-punches from
the likes of Tekken (1) or Tekken 2. Players like that will
always make Tekken look horrible for anyone watching.
For some reason, Namco hasn't taken these ancient,
"less impressive" animations from earlier installments out of the game yet. I
think the dev-team keeps those silly moves in the game just to laugh at how noobs
play the game, for their own entertainment... lol. Whatever the case, it's
always easy to recognize a "non-Tekken player" in the first 10 seconds of a match. Besides a few
cool moves that are easy to pull off, all together, you'll usually see boring "linear"
gameplay when watching two beginners attempt to play Tekken (and to think,
some of them will surely think it's the game that sucks, not their own
I don't have a problem with beginners who want to learn how to play Tekken,
but button mashers I can't stand. It's true some people haven't even learned
that Tekken actually includes sidestep mechanic (and it's important)... but don't worry, Namco
has them covered.
<Yeah, I went there>
Just for the beginners, Tekken:
Dark Resurrection on PSP offers a "Tekken for dummies-esk" Tutorial mode which
explains basic movement, commands, aaaand... take a deep
breath.... "It teaches you how to block!"
DR is your new Tekken guru, or something to that effect. I only wish
Namco would include this type of Tutorial mode in other console iterations of Tekken,
not just on PSP. Aside from
the Tutorial Mode, simply playing the PSP version of Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection can
actually improve your game if you're just starting out. Unlike the PS2 version
of Tekken 5 (and all previous console versions), the computer AI characters
actually combo you "correctly" which can be a great way
to learn combos (and ultimately, how to properly play the game). Thanks Namco, this may help
minimize the button mashers of the world... maybe.
5 made it somewhat easier for beginners to pull off "cool-looking" moves
by "moderately" button mashing or experimenting with different
"staple" commands, since Namco
is constantly adjusting the movesets to feel more natural, intuitive and comfortable when playing a character.
Regardless, the only way to understand and fully experience how complex
of a game Tekken: DR is, is to fully learn a variety of characters and
become skilled at defending against a good majority of the cast. I say this,
because I've heard too many people in the past say "Tekken always
looks the same." Little do they know, those "surface gamers"
would likely change their minds on Tekken after they witnessed two highly skilled players
go at it. Witnessing battles coming down to a shred of life left on either side,
mixing up gameplay strategies drastically with only a single character, mixing
up combos which "leave" opponents in various strategic situations...
it's such a different game at high level. Thus, Tekken is what you make it, like most quality
controls were clearly among Namco's top priorities when making Tekken: DR, and thankfully
the game plays close to arcade perfect. Namco even included an "alternate
D-pad" with the first print copies of the game, which conveniently fits on top of the default PSP's
default D-pad. In my experience, the alternate D-pad actually made diagonals
easier to hit consistently and allowed for slightly smoother sidestepping. Even
so, I'd say the biggest drawback of the handheld version is that the sidestep game
is slightly more stiff due to the limitations of PSP's D-pad. Many high level Tekken players use a "sliding" sidestep
technique (discovered in Tekken 5), which doesn't quite work the same on this version.
Of course, using an arcade stick or PS2 controller for Tekken is leagues
better than the PSP's D-pad... but the PSP version is a suitable substitute when on the road,
and a great way to practice your combos and timing at the very least.
Tekken Bowl is back!!!
Once you grasp the slight learning curve of the PSP controls,
the game literally plays exactly like the arcade
version of Tekken
5: Dark Resurrection. Tekken 5's earlier bugs and
balance issues have been fixed, and new combos and moves are waiting
to be learned. The game runs at a perfect 60 fps during gameplay, with cut scenes running
at 30 fps. Replays are still 60 fps and look as good as you'd expect.
Unfortunately, the camera angle during cut-scenes between rounds (where
both characters are usually seen), has been altered so that only the losing
character is clearly visible. It's not a huge deal, but it's kind of a shame, since
both characters were given brand new "between-round" animations in Dark
Most players skip the cut-scenes anyway. (I don't).
Some other graphic imperfections I noticed, including the opening and closing of
hands, which isn't animated smoothly like in the arcade version. Also when looking at a character model closely,
strange black dots between the polygons are visible. Again, not a huge deal...
but worth mentioning.
Now that I'm done nitpicking, let's talk about some other things that make Tekken:
DR totally badass! Once again, Namco went the extra mile
and introduced some innovative features never before seen in a handheld fighting
Team Battle with up to 8 characters per team (which is just awesome). Secondly, Ghost
Creation, which enables players to train CPU-controller characters who will
eventually "mimic" their unique combos when
fighting against other human opponents. No, it doesn't really substitute
a human opponent at the end of the day, but this is the closest way currently
possible to "fight against yourself" in Tekken.
Any of your friends that own Tekken: DR can easily fight against your ghost and vice versa.
It's a cool little bonus that Namco didn't need to include for this title, but
Thankfully, the computer
AI has improved vastly since Tekken 5's, and many of the higher
ranked ghost characters will actually combo you effectively and even low
parry... which is something Tekken 5's AI left out completely (as if combos and
low parries didn't exist in the game). The computer AI still isn't perfect,
which means the ghosts you and your friends create will also suffer from
"getting up too fast" and "doing predictable wake-up kicks" in addition to other
things that skilled players can anticipate and punish. In any
case, the ghost system is entertaining and not only innovative for handheld
fighting games, but console fighters as well. And if all that isn't not enough for you, you can always play a round or two of Tekken
July 25th, 2006
Sept. 14th, 2006
Sept. 15th, 2006
Tekken on the PSP requires even more of a learning curve than usual due to the
control layout, but
it's definitely worth your time if you want to become a better player. In fact,
for any Tekken player,
it's a must
have... along with the portable version of Tekken 6 of course. On that
note, Tekken: DR is actually a more polished, more "complete"
portable Tekken title. It's easily one of the best handheld fighters ever
made and features a slew of bonus modes that even some console fighting games
can't compete with.
Once you pop this UMD into your PSP, there's eye candy in every corner
of your screen (until you turn off your system).
The menus are slick, and the diversity of
modes can keep you busy for a long time.
It seems Namco gave new players every reason to want to play this game... and
like I stated earlier in this review, if you're a beginner at Tekken, Tekken:
Dark Resurrection on PSP is an excellent starting point!