Tekken 5
 

 

STORY
Mere moments after Jin's departure from Hon-Maru, helicopters start to approach the Dojo. The noise wakes Heihachi and Kazuya up, and moments later, a squadron of Jack-4's burst through the walls. The Jack-4's target Heihachi and Kazuya, and Kazuya immediately deduces that they have been sent by G Corporation, who no longer need Kazuya and now want him dead.

Heihachi and Kazuya team up to fight the Jack-4s, and bring down scores of the androids together. But Heihachi starts to lose his strength. Kazuya takes advantage of this, and throws his father into the Jack-4's, who pile up on him while Kazuya morphs into his Devil form and escapes in triumph. Seconds later, Hon-Maru blows up. The only witness to the blast is a mysterious agent clad in black, known as Raven, who declares Heihachi dead into his communicator. Raven is attacked by a Jack-4, which he swiftly slices in half. The next day, Heihachi's death is declared all over the world (unknown to everyone, Heihachi is still alive), and everyone foresees the end of the Mishima Zaibatsu. However, someone else has already taken over the company and business continues as usual. Two months later, the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 is announced.
 

The core selection screen (sans the unlockable characters).

 
REVIEWTekken 5 runs on a new graphics engine (System 258) which supports vibrant new arenas and very well-rendered character models. Tekken 5 came packed with a kicking soundtrack, hundreds of new moves, and a deep cast of over 30 diverse characters. Of course all your Tekken favorites have been updated with a great variety of new fighting techniques, most of which looking nothing short of incredible (and look as painful as you'd expect from the series). The three new characters introduced are: Feng Wei, Asuka Kazama, & Raven; all of which offer their own unique touch to the series, adding even more variety to the great roster.

Graphically, Tekken 5 was a significant improvement over the prequel and hosted a plethora of new animations, including: all new pre-fight animations, throw escape animations, and other attack animation tweaks which allowed for a smoother and more visually appealing experience. The gameplay was also an improvement over Tekken 4, featuring a very open-ended combo system and tighter wall game. 

The updated combo system was more combo-friendly than ever, and also allowed for the longest combos/juggles in Tekken history. Longer combos promote creativity and mix-up in high level play, and overall enhance the game. Along with the deepest move-sets in the series' history, Tekken 5's characters actually formed a few complete sentences for once, and have considerably more personality than seen in earlier games.
 

Tons of new moves from returning Tekken favorites.

 
The fighters of Tekken have certainly come a long way, and have acquired a huge variety of moves, which makes Tekken a very different game than the old days. Due to the vast number mix-ups, footwork, stances, and combos each character can perform; a skilled player can be incredibly creative with the fighter of their choice... there are definitely a wide variety of ways to play each character.  Advanced Tekken 5 players also became familiar with an advanced side-stepping technique that allows you to get behind, or to the side of your opponent while they attack. The sidestepping game is the smoothest it's ever been, and is the key to winning in high level competition. Players that still play Tekken like it's a 2D game will easily be picked apart by a skilled or casual player that uses proper sidestepping... this is why Tekken is a true 3D fighting game (unlike some others out there).

In quite a few mainstream reviews of the PS2 version of Tekken 5, I've read..."The AI is great!" Yeah, suuuure it is... for people that don't play Tekken *sigh* Comparatively to how skilled human players play the game, the computer AI is pretty terrible, actually. The AI pretty much just does random moves, doesn't combo you very well, and doesn't mix up it's offense or defense (it's always offensive, which is a pretty stupid way to play). Even casual Tekken players should be able to mop the floor with the computer AI even on "ultra hard," which is somewhat disappointing for players that don't have any friends with Tekken skills. The game of course is seen at it's best when two skilled opponents fight it out, but the developers have made the characters slightly more accessible and well rounded this time around; which should help new players get a hold of things.
 

Still the hardest hitting fighting game around.

 
Many "superficial" gamers out there will of course nag Tekken 5's graphical imperfections, such as the odd and unrealistic ground shattering (which even distracts players at times), unrealistically long air combos, disappearing rocks & penguins, etc. Moving in 3D can also appear awkward at times during high level play (but it's an overlooked flaw among us skilled players because the game gives you so much control over your character). The physics are indeed unrealistic and silly at times, and this may be where other 3D fighters like DOA3 looks more appealing... but really, who cares about physics, this is Tekken! Tekken fans will easily overlook these cosmetic flaws, because the real action is the fight itself. Of course, true fighting game players play a particular fighting game because it's fun and a challenge against other skilled players, not because of the graphics. I actually think Namco made the ground "unrealistically explode" in Tekken 5 on purpose, just to show the world that people will still play Tekken even though it doesn't have the flashiest graphics or the most perfect physics. ;)

The Tekken 5 arcade cabinet isn't only sleek, it pretty much revolutionized arcade cabinets (especially in America) with its unique customizable card system and PS2 ports which allows players to bring their PS2 controllers for use at the arcade (an awesome surprise for us Dual Shock lovers)! The card system is basically a character customization system (formerly only found in Japan arcades with VF4) that allows players to use a data card to customize their character's color scheme and outfit. The arcade card saves information such as how many wins & losses you have, your alias, and your rank (all for one character). It sure was fun using those cards back in the day - especially when your wins/loss ratio was something like 93 losses / 857 wins... ahh, those were the days. 
 

Jack is back... and he's not programmed to be nice.

 
The PS2 version of Tekken 5 included all the greatness from the arcade version, and then some... Tekken 5 for the PS2 was no doubt an awesome package at the time. Namco went all out with the console version, including a badass intro (updated from the arcade version), Jin's 'Devil Within' mini-game (a fun third-person play-through backed with pretty sweet soundtrack), extra costumes, dialogue within the story mode between characters, and nicely rendered endings for each and every character, which once again shows off Namco's trademark humor and creativity. The home package even included the original arcade versions of Tekken 1, Tekken 2, and Tekken 3... a nice little present from Namco.

As fun as the gameplay is, and as balanced as it first seemed to be, there were a few infinite combos discovered in the original un-patched version of Tekken 5 (AKA the PS2 version)... and some would say that certain characters like Steve Fox are in fact "broken". No, I'm not going to lower my score because of the infinites... and besides, you can avoid getting caught in an infinite if you're a smart player. 

Regardless, Namco fixed the infinites and tweaked character balance slightly with their 5.1 update to Tekken 5, which probably pissed off a few Tekken players here or there. Then again, Namco also pissed off arcade owners when they released the home version of T5 so quickly after the arcade release! However, by releasing the 5.1 patch, players returned to the arcade to spend their money once again, and arcade owners we're happy once again. See, Namco has a way of making everybody happy, and it makes you wonder if they planned it all from the start (by having a sloppy and quick beta test). 

 
Page Updated: October 26th, 2013
Developer(s): Namco
Publisher(s): Namco
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation 2
Release Date(s): December 2004 (Arcade)
February 25th, 2005 ( PS2)
March 31st, 2005 ( PS2)
June 24th, 2005 ( PS2)
Characters Asuka Kazama, Feng Wei, Raven, Jin Kazama, Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, Lee Chaolan, Ling Xiaoyu, Bryan Fury, Bruce Irvin, Anna Williams, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, Yoshimitsu, Steve Fox, Craig Marduk, Christie Monteiro, Eddy Gordo, Hwoarang, King, Marshall Law, Julia Chang, Jack-5, Lei Wulong, Roger Jr., Kuma, Panda, Wang, Baek Doo San, Ganryu, Devil Jin, Mokujin, Jinpachi Mishima

Featured Video:

Related Games: Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online, Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 4, Tekken 6, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Advance, Tekken Revolution, Dead or Alive 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Street Fighter X Tekken

Gameplay Engine
 9 / 10
Story / Theme
 9.5 / 10
Overall Graphics
 8.5 / 10
Animation
 9 / 10
Music / Sound Effects
 10 / 10
Innovation
 9 / 10
Art Direction
 9.5 / 10
Customization
 10 / 10
Options / Extras
 9.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation
 10 / 10
Replayability / Fun
 10 / 10
"Ouch" Factor
 10 / 10
Characters
 10 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

9.6 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version
Final Words:

Over 30 characters, personal stats, customizable characters, rankings, etc... Namco sure added a lot this time! Tekken 5 is unquestionably a solid enhancement to the series, yet brought back everything fans loved about previous installments. The core gameplay of Tekken 5 sticks to its roots (as it should), yet features the most dynamic gameplay to date. The updated movesets and tweaked movement system allows players to use pure "creativity" with their fighting style, juggles, and not to mention customizations.

Worth mentioning, Tekken 5's beta testing seemed rather quick and sloppy, making the game very combo friendly (for players with fundamental Tekken knowledge, that is). The open-ended combo system isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it allows skilled players to destroy noobs with relative ease... but I'm sure the highly damaging combos might've turned some gamers off (business as usual, really).

Thus, Namco proved that they could clean up their act and "Resurrect" Tekken 5 into more balanced and respectable game. Tekken 5 was surely great for its time (especially the awesome PS2 version), but the enhancement known as Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection nicely took the game's place about a year after the original release. ~TFG Webmaster

 

 
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