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  • Game Review: Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PSP)

    Tekken: Dark Ressurection
    Publisher: Namco Bandai Group
    Developer: Namco
    Genre: Fighting
    Players: 1-4
    Reviewed by gdf

    Tekken, a series seeming to have lost it's way in recent years, has always been a friend of Sony. This hasn't changed for the legendary series' first outing on the Playstation branded handheld. Dark Resurrection was originally a spruced up version of Tekken 5 for the Arcades, but the PSP seemed like a perfect format for the title to be given a commercial release on, and it works a treat. The Namco brawler feels like it has found its true home and somehow, you seem closeer to the action than ever.

    The player feels every kick, punch and special move like they have just been smashed in the face with a rock covered in diamond spikes. The absence of rumble on the portable seemingly makes no difference to the intense fights and you hardly notice its not there. The bouts are fast paced and fun, great for (I hate this phrase) "Gaming on the go" (Eugh), as they come in tiny bitesize chunks and can be done one at a time if you need to keep putting the PSP on sleep. Loading times are very impressive- even for a PS2 game these would be quick- so you can get into action quite quickly. Of course, the Intro movie when you load the game up is great and looks mighty fine on the LCD screen.

    This moves me along to the next point: the visuals. The graphics in Tekken were always fairly impressive, even on PS1, but here the game properly shines. The character models are especially excellent, with curves and smooth lines rather than bumps everywhere. The backgrounds are impressive too, and the small, constrained arenas also look the part, with shattering ground or flying coins (in one level). The PSP has often been susceptible to awful (occasionally game-destroying) ghosting, but that it not in evidence here. Movement is smooth and swift and doesn't seem blurred that strange yellow colour you can get. All in all, I'd go as far as to say this is the best PSP graphics have gotten so far.

    The action itself is instantly gratifying and is finely balanced between button bashing and combo mastery. Combos are usually simple and effective and there is a wide enough variety to satify both extremes. Noobs to the fighting genre will be able to string together a couple of moves and oldies (have their fingers not succumbed to arthritis yet) should go for the ludicrous 10-hit combos and suchlike. There is a training mode for fighters to try out and a combo challenge, where you try to nail each characters' moveset in as quick a time as possible. The action feels right as well, as opponents provide sufficient challenge to those who want it. Bouts can just as easily time out as be over in seconds and there always seems to be a fine-line between victory and loss, though it never looks to be unfair. The PSP's often limited and flawed control layout doesn't seem like a problem either and you always feel in total control of your characters. When you lose it is most definitely your fault.

    Though Arcade provides the main meat of the action, there are a raft of other modes to take into account. Story is fairly self explanatory, and sees you guide a character through their KOIF tournament. Quick Battle is just as simple but very fun, and is great for diving into a fight without fear of losing your ranking, which I'll come back to later. One of the more interesting modes is Dojo, which sees you work through an Island of martial arts training houses to become the champ. Dojo is a lengthy trudge, and can feel a little repetitive at times, but mostly proves quite a fulfilling alternative to arcade. There are also dozens of options to be tampered with, and a rather fun Edit mode, where you spend Gold earned in-game on new costumes for your characters.

    And there are a lot of characters. Two new additions Lili and Dragunov feel useful in a fight, especially the former, whose devastating kicks can whip even the largest opponent. Another commendable part of the game is that the list is well balanced. The big, slow ones aren't always the useless *******s they had been before and the light ones don't feel like a bunch of weak ass pussies. My personal favourites are Jack-5, the superpowered robot, and Lili, the aforementioned newcomer. When you use a character in either Arcade or Dojo they are given a percentage and ranked, so after prolonged play you can see who you are the best with. The system works surprisingly well and makes you really determined to win each round.

    Tekken seems to have found a new lease of life on PSP and proves an excellent companion to the system. Not only are the fights rapid and violent (not MK violent mind), but you feel every blow and look absolutely sumptuous to boot. It is a well balanced game and another good example of "How to port a game to PSP". It seems to have found its spiritual home on the system and is a highly reccommended purchase. As an added bonus, the legendary minigame Tekken Bowl returns and is a nice distraction to the main game. The edit mode is also a laugh and flaws are few and far between so if you own a PSP then buy this freakin' game! One of the best on PSP and excellently balanced in almost every aspect.

    Replay Value 5/5
    Sound 3/5
    Graphics 4.5/5
    Gameplay 4.5/5
    Score:


    A complete package; you'll never need another fighting game on the system.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Game Review: Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PSP) started by gdf View original post
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