By Keith Harris, Guest Writer and Tekken Lackey Nerd Extraordinaire
Tekken is one of the most notable game franchises in the world. One where multiple real martial arts techniques are almost brought to life in video game form, eg. Tai Kwon Do, Capoiera, Karate and more. The franchise carried over from the arcade, to the original PlayStation, PlayStation Portable ( PSP), and then the PlayStation 2 (PS2). This is the story of the end of the PS2 Era of Tekken.
After a three year hiatus, Tekken returned with a vengeance in 2004 in the arcades. One short year later, Tekken 5 made it’s debut on the PS2. Like it’s predecessors, Tekken 5 can be played in a single player, or local co-op versus, up to and including an eight character team battle. It introduced such characters as Asuka Kazama who is a fiery teen who utilizes the Kazama style Karate like her spiritual predecessor, Jun Kazama. Raven is a mysterious shinobi who, unlike Yoshimitsu, and the former Tekken 2 character Kunimitsu don’t use the same, or similar martial arts styles, differentiating him from the previous shinobi in the series. Devil Jin is the identity taken by Jin when his ‘devil gene’ activates. Devil Jin takes on portions of both his parents martial arts forms, Jun and Kazuya, as well as gains the ability to shoot energy beams from his eyes, and flight incorporated into a at least one of his throws. There were ‘more characters than you could shake a stick at’ when Tekken 5 hit the shelves. If it was meant to impress, impress it did.
Tekken 5 also brought in a new game mode called The Devil Within. It replaced the more clumsy Tekken Force mode of Tekken 3 and 4. In this mode, Jin Kazama is the focus.. Unlike the last two 3D side games, this one is not a standard beat’em up. This is a full on platforming game, with armies to be fought. The maze of levels have you figuring out which way to turn, as it’s not made to be a straight, linear journey. You face a returned Ogre from Tekken 3 (who is not playable in Tekken 5, sadly), and other bosses which made for an interesting adventure.
Tekken 5 also allowed you to play a quick demo of one of their earlier attempts at a 3D star shooter called Galaga as the game initially opens, and before the title screen is ever seen. But not to worry. If that is your type of game, or you truly enjoyed it, the full game is unlockable, but not for extra cash. Tekken 5 was a game brought to us before the world of DLC invaded Tekken so heavily. This game also rewarded you for your determination. After completing certain criteria, the arcade versions of Tekken 1, 2, and 3 are unlocked and available for single, or local co-op action.
Tekken 5 was also the last Tekken game for the PlayStation 2, leading the way into the next generation of systems. It ended the era of some of the fiercest and most well balanced of 3D fighters. While I could go on about the ins and outs of how Tekken is about the story of the Mishima Zaibatsu and the ongoing feud between three generations of Mishima/Kazuma, why take away that experience from you. It is something to be taken in on it’s own and played to a gamer’s content. To avoid any confusion, I will avoid the Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection on the PSP, although it will be mentioned for a brief reference in the Tekken 6 article as it introduces two new characters not seen in the standard edition of Tekken 5 on the PS2, but are seen in Tekken 6.
Next time we will go into something far deeper, far more intense than any Tekken before it. I refer to the first foray into the Tekken franchise on the PlayStation 3, and for the first time… The Xbox 360. Tekken 6, and the notoriously brutal Scenario Campaign.
Keep on rocking gamers, and remember to keep the fighting in the game!