REVIEW: Namco has
finally given us Tekken-fanatics what we've been craving for years,
Tekken battles with other players across the country (and sometimes the world). Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online sports 1080p graphics
for those of you with the latest HDTV sets, but also looks great on regular
HDTVs that are not 1080p. And if you don't yet own an HDTV, Namco says
you're out of style... because Tekken is now in full HD, and looks
ohh so pretty on optimal settings.
Tekken is finally online
baby!!! Time to rack up some streaks.
5: Dark Resurrection released for the PS3 originally as a download
via the Playstation Online store. It didn't feel like a "home release"
as much as the PSP version did (Tekken: Dark Resurrection) because the PS3 version lacked endings, Story Mode, Survival Mode, Team Battle,
and Practice Mode. Tekken 5: DR Online remedies a few of the missing
1-player modes by adding in Survival Mode, and the always appreciated Practice
Mode. Unfortunately there is still no story mode or character endings; so you'll have to go back to Tekken: Dark Resurrection
for all those goodies.
So, how is
the first official online-enabled Tekken? Well, that all depends on your connection
(and whom you play against)... simply put, if you don't have access to a top
notch connection, you can pretty much forget about playing
Tekken Online. So for this review, feel free to insert the phrase "when
there is NO lag" after every positive thing I say about this game.
Tekken 5: DR Online includes all the online features you'd expect.... Online
rankings, battle lobbies, headset support, and in-match spectating. Basically,
you can either create a room (up to 8 people) or join a room, where you
wait in line to play the winner. It's just like "putting your quarter up"
at an arcade machine, winner stays, loser pays... old school.
One round? Hahaha... good
one. Be a man and set it to three.
Online match options include
Pick-up Match, Opti Match, Quick Match, Custom Match and Friend Match;
a good variety of ways to find challengers. You can of course see which of your friends are
currently playing Tekken 5: DR Online via your PS3 friends list, and you can receive invitations to play
as long as your profile is "online". Even if your playing another game
on your PS3, as long as you're signed in to PSN, you can still receive
invitations to play Tekken... pretty cool. The head-set support in this
game is also an enjoyable feature, allowing for some funny (and sometimes
not so funny) live commentary and/or trash talking. However, choosing to
create a room with headset support will increase your chances of lag, so
I usually play without it... I prefer not talking while playing anyway.
Solid online battle
lobbies. Love that music too.
T5: DR Online is
a mixed bag as far as stability goes.... Sometimes it's smooth enough to play,
other times (most of
the time) it lags significantly. Lag is definitely
the biggest issue with Tekken 5: DR Online and once again greatly
on who you play against & their connection, as well as your own.
no way to tell who will lag before a match, but if you do notice someone
is lagging more than usual; you can easily kick them out of your room before
wasting your time.
lag appears during random fights (and it will), expect to mistakenly drop
your opponent after a launcher, and mess up your air combos that you usually
hit 100% of the time. Missing a combo of course can change the pace of
the fight, and needless to say you can very well lose the match because
of lag. It comes down to who can play well with a little bit of
lag; and who can't.
With that said, the "Online Rankings" shouldn't
really be taken too seriously, but there is some truth to the ranks.
If you go up against one of the higher ranks, no doubt you're going up
against a skilled opponent who knows some decent combos & strategies.
rewarded with and judged solely by "battle points," which are earned for
defeating opponents close to their rank or above. Players are given little
to no points for beating a much lower rank. It's a simple yet fair ranking
system, and thankfully, Namco seems to have fixed some of the annoying
disconnect glitches. Before they patched it, disconnecting during a match
for any reason (for instance your power or internet connection goes out),
you will be penalized and lose battle points. You only get one warning,
and after any future disconnect, you can say goodbye to "1000" of
your hard earned battle points (equivalent to winning 7-10 ranked matches). This
"penalty" for disconnecting is obviously in place to remedy those "sore
losers" who might disconnect during a battle on purpose to save themselves
from a loss... and it seems to work properly at least.
"Disconnects" also show on each player's profile, which you can always
take a look at before deciding to fight someone. Handy. ;)
35 characters... each with
100+ moves. Practice up!!!
Online is about the fun of being able to play a live opponent at pretty
much any time. Unlike some people, I don't whine about the lag issues so
much because I appreciate the heart of the game and what it provides.
I've had a ton of great matches online, and have also learned quite a lot;
including more advanced combos for several characters and character tactics...
no doubt this game can improve your Tekken skills if you don't know a
lot of skilled players in real life.
also gives "newbs" the ability to experience what a real Tekken
battle if they've never had one, and exposes many different playing styles all without having to step foot inside an
arcade to meet skilled players. With the
ability to watch a live match between two skilled players, novices and mediocre players are sure
to see a lot of moves, combos, and strategies that they have never seen
or perhaps never even thought of... thus, pick up a few tips from the pros!
And remember, you're never too good to learn new combos. This "learning
experience" will surely hold true for other next-gen online fighting games
coming out in the future... "WELCOME TO THE NEXT GEN, TFG!"
Tekken 5: DR Online is a lot of fun, when there's no lag. The intense matches,
open-ended combos & strategies, and great gameplay that us fans know and
love is all present (even with mild lag).
Some people are way too hard on T5: DRO because of the lag,
and many of them don't realize it might be mainly their connection. Once
again, you need a very stable, if not ultra fast connection
to play T5: DRO smoothly; and if yours isn't that great, you should
try out some different connection options. For your information, I use wired Verizon Fios, and unless I play against someone
with a completely crap connection (or from another country); Tekken Online
is actually very playable and quite smooth for me most of the
aside, I appreciate the fact that one of my all time favorite fighting
game franchises has finally gone online! Why
is Tekken still one of my favorite games? Maybe because there's
35 or so different ways to play it... not counting the different ways you can
play each character of course.
Yeah, the characters are still so much
fun to use, and now with Online, players can study and learn from
each other's playing styles. It's awesome to be able to play against other Tekken players that otherwise you
may never have been able to play against. Once you find some players that
you get a good connection with, it's great fun! When you mess up your air
combos and have to change your playing style too much because of lag, it
will surely frustrate even the most passive of gamers... myself included.
on my giving DR Online a 8 overall score;
first off, I was hoping for a few more extras from this "add-on" to the
home version of Tekken
5: Dark Resurrection. I do appreciate the new buyable artworks
thrown in randomly with the old ones, but some more would have been nice. The practice mode isn't bad, but
where are the cool practice stages from the PSP version? (and the awesome
practice mode BGM?!?) I was also hoping for Namco to graphically fix
a few of the stages, which are strangely set at a lower resolution than others...
nope! I even had my hopes up for the updated intro, as seen in the PSP
version; but unfortunately it's still the (shorter) arcade version,
with the new "Online" logo flying across the screen near the end. New customization
items or alternate outfits wouldn't have hurt either...
and as expected, Namco didn't make any "fatal" mistakes with Tekken Online...
and I do appreciate the many fundamental things that they actually did
right. For example: NO Jinpachi in Online Mode, character change at continue
(just the way I like it), solid 8-player battle lobbies, the ability to kick laggy players out of your
room, and the relaxing music while waiting in a battle room. Namco also
answered my prayers with their downloadable update on (4-17-08) by adding
a sound (and vibration if you're using a Dual Shock 3) when someone enters
your battle room!
At the end
of the day, I played the hell out of Tekken 5: DR Online (the screenshots
at the bottom left are the proof). It was a proud day when I tagged "Top 10" and Tekken Lord (circa
Nov. 1st, 2007) rank, as well as my player profile. For the record, I earned all those points
fair & square... unlike those disgraceful boosters on there.