Tekken 4

Genre: 3-D Fighter
Platform(s): PS2/Arcade
Allegiance: Namco
Vintage: 2002
Rating: E
Intelligence Agency Report by: Drake
After failing to capture Ogre two years ago, Heihachi ordered his scientists to take samples of Ogre to create the Ogre gene cells. During the research, bioengineers discovered another gene was needed to properly splice the genetic code of Ogre. Along with this bad news came a mystery photograph of a burnt corpse that resembled Kazuya, Heihachi’s son, who was thrown into a volcano by his father twenty years earlier. Upon seeing the photo, Heihachi launched a raid on G Corporation, a leading biotech firm with unprecedented research. During the raid valuable data was stolen from G Corporation and Kazuya was resurrected to learn the true nature of The Devil. Kazuya planned to unite his two halves to enact revenge on his father. To lure out his son, Heihachi announces The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4.

Weapons Expert Report by: Drake 
Overall 6.50
(not an average)
Version Reviewed: PS2 I’ve never been much of a fan of the Tekken series, nor did I really know anything about it (save it was a 3D Fighter). So when I happened across Tekken 4 at Blockbuster, I thought twice about renting it. In the end, I figured why not, since it was just three bucks. To my surprise, I initially ended up enjoying the game immensely and bought it. One thing that really stands out in my mind is the combination of the individual character storylines that feed into a main storyline. Each character comes fully developed with a background and motivation for entering the tournament. In fact, I was actually quite surprised at just how many subplots the game held. 

The game itself is pretty straightforward: pick a character and battle another one until you win. The most interesting feature lays in the multiplayer action, with choices like one-on-one battle, team battle, survival, and time trial. Sadly, after two to three hours of playing multiplayer, the routine got old and dull. Single player story mode is fairly easy and can be unlocked in less than four hours if you know what you’re doing. Though the same level of difficulty did not hold true for Tekken Force mode, which really wasn’t worth playing in my book due to the insane difficultly of it. The basic gist of it is to walk around and hit random Tekken Force members within a certain time limit to advance to the next level, rinse and repeat a few times and you’ve beaten Tekken Force Mode. 

The gameplay has some ups and downs. I was pleased to see that the arena was closed off, making players fight in an enclosed space. In the past I’ve gotten considerably annoyed with the infinite backing up across a map that fighting games allowed. Also, players are able to avoid being cornered and getting pummeled to a pulp, as the characters can move to the side to avoid the blow. However, I was not entirely impressed with the combos. I found the combos highly confusing and difficult to pull off when needed. To remedy my lack of memorizing combos, I fell back on the infamous strategy of button mashing. Which was actually highly effective, and the skill level was comparable to a pro who knew all the combos by heart. 

Aesthetics-wise the game is decent. The levels are considerably detailed, with features like knocking over innocent bystanders and breaking windows…basically all the normal things you find in games like this. While the characters are well modeled and the environments look nice, there isn’t any real outstanding performance in that department to set it apart from any other game. The soundtrack has the same dilemma; it’s good but nothing spectacular to discern it from another game. 

I have come to the conclusion that this is a good game to kill boredom, nothing more. The single player will entertain you for a few hours at most, and multiplayer is only fun if you can locate a player who can give you a good challenge. So if you need a time killer, look no further then Tekken 4.