Tekken 5
 

 

STORY
Following the conclusion of the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4, Heihachi Mishima defeated his son Kazuya Mishima and led him to Honmaru Temple, planning to let both Kazuya and his grandson, Jin Kazama, battle and steal their respective "Devil Genes". However, Jin defeats both of his predecessors and flies away, leaving the latter two unconscious. Shortly after, several Jack-4 robots invade the compound, programmed to take Heihachi's life. Initially, Kazuya and Heihachi fight the Jack-4s as a team, but eventually Kazuya throws Heihachi across the room as soon as he notices that Heihachi is getting tired. Then, Kazuya turns into Devil and escapes, leaving Heihachi to deal with the Jack-4s by himself. They quickly overwhelm him and self-destruct, leaving Heihachi seemingly dead.

The explosion however, revives Heihachi's father Jinpachi Mishima from his 50 year slumber chained up beneath the Temple, and proceeds to reclaim the Mishima Zaibatsu. Two months later, the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 is announced. It turns out that Heihachi in fact survived the explosion, and now pledges to find out and "break the neck of the one who started this ridiculous tournament!".
 

The core selection screen (sans the unlockable characters).

 
REVIEWTekken 5 runs on a new graphics engine (System 258) which supports vibrant new arenas and highly detailed character models. Tekken 5 came packed with a kicking soundtrack, hundreds of new moves, and a deep roster of over 30 diverse fighters. 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 colorful roster.

Graphically, Tekken 5 is a significant improvement over Tekken 4's, hosting a plethora of new animations, including all new pre-fight animations, throw escape animations and a variety of other attack animation tweaks which provide a smoother and more visually appealing experience overall. Character models are completely new from the ground up, showing off realistic anatomy and crisp clothing details. The stages, while less "realistic" than Tekken 4's, offer the most background details out of any stages in the series history. Many stages also show off special lighting effects which impressively reflect on the character models. Shadows are also sharper and more noticeable than ever.

Tekken 5's gameplay system is also a vast improvement over the prequel's, fixing many quirks & balance issues, along with hosting a new "open-ended" combo system featuring a much tighter (and more balanced) wall game. The updated combo system is more combo-friendly than ever, and allowing for the longest combos / juggles in Tekken history. Longer combos promote creativity and mix-up in high level play, and manage enhance the game in the long run. Along with having the longest combos deepest movesets in the series history, Tekken 5's characters actually form a few complete sentences before and after battles for once, showing off considerably more personality than in earlier games.
 

Tons of new moves from returning Tekken favorites.

 
Classic Tekken characters have certainly come a long way since their humble beginnings. Their latest iterations offer a huge variety of moves... an element that makes Tekken a very different game than it used to be. Due to the vast number mix-ups, movement options, stances and combos each character can perform; a skilled player can be incredibly creative with the fighter of their choice (but it will require practice).  There are definitely a wide variety of ways to play each character.  Over time, advanced Tekken 5 players became familiar with an advanced side-stepping technique that allows you to get behind, or to the side of your opponent while they attack. On that note, Tekken's sidestepping game is the smoothest and most strategic that it's ever been, and can be the key to winning in many situations. 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 that claim to be).

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 mindlessly 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 who enjoy a challenge in the 1-player modes. Naturally, Tekken 5 is seen at its best when two skilled opponents fight it out, but the developers have put some effort into making the characters slightly more accessible and well rounded this time around, which should help new players get the hang of things.
 

Still the hardest hitting fighting game around.

 
Many "superficial" gamers out there will 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. Ultra fast side-stepping can also appear a bit wonky, but it's an overlooked flaw among skilled players simply because the game "gives you" so much control over your character. Tekken 5's 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! Once players understand the mind games, they will easily overlook these cosmetic flaws, because the real action is the fight itself. True fighting game players love a particular game because it's fun and rewarding to become skilled at... they don't play it because of the graphics. I actually have a theory that 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 actually revolutionized arcade cabinets (especially in America) with its customizable player card system and PS2 ports which enables players to use their Dualshock controllers with the arcade machine (an awesome surprise for us Dualshock players)! The card system is basically a character customization system (formerly only found in Japan arcades with VF4) which allows players to use a data card to customize their character's color scheme and outfit. Player cards also save information such as win/loss ratio, player alias and rank (1 card per character). It sure was fun using those cards back in the day - especially when your wins/loss ratio was something like 857 wins / 93 ... ahh, those were the days.  It really was a huge innovation though, especially since no other fighting game in America featured any kind of card system like this.
 

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

 
The PS2 version of Tekken 5 includes all the greatness from the arcade version, and then some. Tekken 5 on PS2 was no doubt an awesome package at the time. Namco went all out with the console version, presenting a badass intro (generously updated from the arcade version), Jin Kazama'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 impressive endings for each and every character which never fail to show off Namco's trademark humor and creativity. The home package even includes the original arcade versions of Tekken 1, Tekken 2 and Tekken 3... a nice little present from Namco. Worth mentioning, not many other console fighting games in the mid 2000's came even remotely close to having the amount of bonus content that Tekken 5 did on Playstation 2.

As fun as Tekken 5's gameplay is... as balanced as the game seemed to be at first... there were some infinite combos discovered in the original un-patched version of Tekken 5 (AKA the PS2 version). Indeed, some would say that certain characters like Steve Fox are in fact "broken". While a few of the cheap tricks were an annoyance or a period of time, they didn't completely break the game. Some players made a huge deal about Steve's infinite in particular, but at my arcade, picking Steve and using his infinite was NOT a guaranteed win... not by a long shot.

Regardless, Namco fixed the infinites and tweaked character balance slightly with their
5.1 update to Tekken 5. While the balance tweaks might've pissed off a few players.... Then again, Namco also pissed off arcade owners when they released the home version of T5 so quickly after the arcade release! Thus, by releasing the 5.1 patch, players returned to the arcade to spend their money once again, and arcade owners we're happy all over 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: July 14th, 2014
Developer(s): Namco
Publisher(s): Namco
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation 2
Release Date(s): Dec. 2004  (Arcade)
Feb. 25th, 2005
  ( PS2)
Mar. 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 5: Dark Resurrection Online, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4, Tekken 6, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 7, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Advance, Tekken Revolution, Dead or Alive 3, Virtua Fighter 4, Street Fighter X Tekken
  

Gameplay Engine  9.0 / 10
Story / Theme  9.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  8.5 / 10
Animation  9.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  10 / 10
Innovation  9.0 / 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:

With over 30 fighters, personal stats, customizable characters, and a plethora of extras... Namco clearly enhanced the Tekken experience. 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), while providing 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 visual customizations. Not many other fighting games give players this many options... and that's why Tekken is awesome.

Worth mentioning, Tekken 5's beta testing was rather quick and sloppy, allowing 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 a great game for its time (especially the polished PS2 version), but the enhancement known as Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection nicely took Tekken 5's place about a year after the original release... bringing the dedicated players back to the arcades, yet again.
~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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