Friday, July 7, 2017

Review #419: Tekken 4

 The Black Sheep of the series takes a step forward...
 Tekken Tag Tournament was more than just another Tekken game, it was a celebration of everything that had come before it, but when it came to the next numbered iteration, they knew they needed something new, fresh, different... and thus came Tekken 4, which now earns the title of the black sheep of the franchise. But me? I think it's one of the most alluring titles in the series.

 Being a fighting game, it offers the usual assortment of modes: Story Mode is an 8 to 9 VS ladder with a narrated prologue and an animated ending for each of the 20 characters, Arcade and Time Attack are two variations of the time-based enemy ladder, VS, VS Team, Survival, Training and a Practice mode in which you can attempt to perform the simpler strings while timed for each character. There's also a beat'em up mini game, Tekken Force, which is rather good, for what it is, and gets really challenging near the end. It's a good offering, and it's bound to keep players busy.
 Returning characters have been entirely redesigned, while new moves are to be expected, Jin Kazama now has an entirely different style. The new characters bring their own new styles as well, except Christie Monteiro, who is just an Eddy reskin. While previous games had open-ended stages, now every stage has a lot of personality: They have walls, different widths and heights as well as uneven terrain and different objects that serve as walls for you to pummel your enemy against. While it has been called unbalanced by the pro-gaming scene, I find it to offer some of the more diverse and memorable stages in the entire series. All these new redesigns and these fantastic, diverse new stages make for a Tekken game that feels very different from one another. If I were to complan about Tekken 5 and 6 is that they tried too hard to be like Tekken 3, Tekken 5 and 6's art design being almost indistinguishable from each other. That personality, that uniqueness is what makes this entry so special.

 That said, there's a little big issue with Tekken 4... the fact that Tekken 5, 6, Tag 2 and 7 exist. As much as I adore it, the game has expanded every character's movesets massively, after playing future games it's hard to come back to the smaller movesets. While I'll defend Tekken 4 for the rest of my life, it's hard to recommend to someone who has already skipped it as something else than a curiosity.
 8.0 out of 10

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