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Sean Pettibone


Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection (Playstation 3)

Namco brings their arcade fighter Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection to the Playstation Network with a fine port that adds a few extras but maintains a relatively low price. Featuring enhanced, upscaled graphics, the game supports 1080i mode HD and looks sharp and slick on the system. Once you go deeper and look underneath the visuals, you'll find that the game's familiar gameplay mechanics remain. There are also a few extras to keep them going such as a ghost fighting mode. Sadly, the game lacks online play and doesn't offer bonus features, but Tekken Dark Resurrection is an excellent port of the arcade game and is definitely worth downloading.

Players familiar with recent editions in the Tekken series will feel right at home once they download and start playing Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection on the Playstation 3. Unlike many other recent arcade fighting conversions, Namco hasn't put an excessive number of extra features into the game. Instead, they have streamlined the game into a straight port of the arcade title. You can select from one of 30 different characters, including the boss character from last time around. Each fighter has a number of different costumes you can select from the menu, and further customization options are also offered. There's a broad range of characters including many returning favorites and the series' trademark oddities like a punching kangaroo and giant panda. Players will find a number of different, slick looking arenas to battle in that range from rooftops to open fields and even satellite stations. Players can choose to play Tekken 5: DR in one of several modes. You can select an arcade mode, where you fight a number of other characters until you reach the boss battles. There are different difficulty levels available for players to choose from and you can see a huge difference when you move up the ranks. If you want to compete against another human opponent, you can select Versus mode and battle it out head to head. Sadly, players won't be able to fight online against other gamers since this isn't supported, which is disappointing. The game also allows you to set various options such as match length, difficulty and time in the options menu as well, which shows there's some depth under the hood.

In addition to offering these standard game modes, players can also choose to compete in Ghost Battles. In these battles, you face a succession of enemies of varying degrees of difficulty. When you defeat them, you are given a choice of which character you'll face next time around, which can range from beginners to experts. As you defeat opponents in Ghost battles, you can earn money that can be used to purchase unlockable content such as movies and artwork. You can also use this money to purchase accessories and items to customize your character's appearance and this adds to your motivation to keep playing through the rounds. Interestingly, these take the form of downloads and aren't included in the main title download, apparently. The ghost mode is the only major addition to this arcade port. This is probably the most challenging part of Tekken 5 since the pace is relentless and the harder opponents are much less forgiving. These modes are fairly standard and the game offers pretty much what you'd expect a Tekken game to have when you get down to playing. The classic Tekken-style play mechanics are very much in evidence and whether this is appealing to you depends on whether you think it's approach to the genre is accessible and intuitive or merely senseless button mashing. The game hasn't undergone a major revision with this installment and offers what players have come to expect. The range of characters and their different fighting styles is excellent, and while the AI seems a bit easy at first, your opponents become much harder to defeat as you move up the rankings and fight smarter foes who know how to perform combos and special moves effectively.

From a visual standpoint, the game looks razor-sharp in 1080i, with richly detailed textures and colors that accurately ape the look and feel of the arcade game. It doesn't look quite as sharp as Sega's Virtua Fighter 5, but Tekken still offers some decent graphics. The characters models don't sweat and its fabric models seem a little bit flat, but the gameplay is much faster and more adrenaline fueled than the previous games in the series. Anyone who played the PS2's Tekken 5 will see an immediate upgrade and the title also improves on the PSP version of the title released last year. Those used to these standard definition games will immediately notice the many improvements that Namco has made in the visuals, and this makes for a stunning appearance with sharp textures and smooth animation. Tekken 5's sound and music are excellent as well and the numerous cut-scenes add to the atmosphere. While extra modes aren't as elaborate as you'd expect them to be, their execution is decent this adds replayability to the title. All of these features make for a more enjoyable game that should make fighting game fans happy. Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection plays well with the standard controller, but players who own Hori's arcade stick will be happy to know that the game supports this and plays smoothly when it is plugged in.

While releasing a standard port of the game at full-price would probably have been met with derision, the fact that Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection is available for a third of the price of regular disc based releases helps to mitigate this to some degree. It took some time to download the game via the PS Network, but the process was relatively smooth and wasn't as painful as you'd expect it to. The game's large selection of characters and arenas means this wasn't really a compromise title with basic features taken out. It doesn't offer the bonus modes or mini-games that other fighters do, but it offers what really matters: a solid and challenging fighting game. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection isn't as technically brilliant as a full-fledged release probably would have been, but it is still a polished enjoyable title that offers a highly enjoyable and polished experience that's well worth the time and money to download.


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