Tekken 5 Update: Impressions, Media

It's coming. Time to pay attention. Detailed first impressions, and the E3 screens and video.

For many years the arcade-fighting scene has been dominated by four fighting game franchises. While Capcom and SNK's fighting games have dominated the 2D realm, Sega's Virtua Fighter and Namco's Tekken series dominated the 3D arena.

After the somewhat disappointing reaction to Tekken 4 on the home and arcade front, Namco returned to the drawing board to refine the process and is finally ready to unleash the next installment of the series, complete with new features and enhancements.

Kick starting the new additions is the new arcade board, which while enhanced over Namco's PS2 compatible System 246 board, still remains arguably within the limitations of its predecessor, making the forthcoming PS2 conversion 'almost' as painless.

Another new feature will be an optional data card system that allows players to customize the appearance and costumes of the characters. While the feature does sound cool so far, it's unknown as to what type of data cards will be used and whether it will allow for compatibility with the PS2 version, ideally where players can hopefully modify their game data and upload it to the arcade version and vice versa.

Fans can look forward to a new game engine, one that will bring Tekken's graphics to a whole new level and hopefully do the same for the gameplay as well. From the video available below, you can see Tekken 5 is shaping up quite nicely. The visuals have received the Midas touch, featuring sleek and stylish character designs with smooth flowing animations.

The backgrounds are also worth mentioning as the gameplay footage showcased some beautifully detailed and active environments complete with blinding lighting effects, fire and particle effects that enhanced the visual presentation of the game.

But even with Tekken 5's accomplishments in the graphics department, none of its impressive visuals held a candle to what was the most memorable scene shown in the trailer, a bear dancing among penguins.

Moving on. Graphics and new technologies aside, some are probably wondering about what new gameplay and characters. Tekken 5 will feature a solid cast of fighters, with a total of three new characters joining the roster.

Feng Wei is a fast and fierce kung fu fighter who appears to be a well rounded offensive and defensive fighter. Raven is a character I initially referred to as a futuristic-looking Dennis Rodman. From the looks of it he appears to be a power hitter used mostly as an offensive fighter whose well-balanced strength and speed can knock opponents into next week.

Last but certainly not least is Asuka Kazama, the newest female to Tekken. She's cute as a button and deadly to boot with her Aikido style. She seems to be more of a defensive fighter than anything else as her beautiful holds and take downs were highly reminiscent of my beloved Aoi from Virtua Fighter. Even with her weak offensive moves there's no doubt she's going to be my favorite fighter in Tekken 5.

Tekken 5's story takes place some time after that of Tekken 4 and presents fans of the series with the untimely demise of long time Tekken mainstay, Heihachi Mishima. Yes, he's dead and he's probably not coming back. Ever! So start getting those online petitions ready cause Tekken 6 is a long way off.

After the relatively diappointing Tekken 4, which was wiped all over the floor by Sega's verious Virtua Fighter 4 releases, the fifth game might be just what the doctor ordered.

Tekken 5 hits arcades this year with PS2 gamers having to wait until 2005 for the conversion. Stay tuned for more developments.

Joseph Jackson
Staff Writer, Kikizo Games

Video Coverage
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Tekken 5
Direct feed trailer (640x480, 1Mbps)
3.56m 29.96 MB WMV

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