Fighting games are a genre that just seems to come back every generation. Despite the fact they are possibly the worst value for money in terms of longevity, they have remained one of the most popular genres since Street Fighter II hit the scene. Tekken was the game Sony wanted to be big on the Playstation console and it was. A decade down the track we have the fifth iteration of the famous fighting game and there has been a few spin off games in between and a lot of changes. Tekken 5 may still only be a fighting game but that money is a lot more valued with this one.
Tekken 5 continues where Tekken 4 left off after the King of Fist tournament was completed once again. A father and son feud turns nasty with a large explosion destroying the local town. With the father dead, there is no one to rule the land so the fifth King of Fist tournament begins with the winner emerging as they king. The individual characters also have their own story lines to go with the game but overall that's the main goal.
Tekken is of course a fighting game so there isn't much surprises to be had. It features a story mode,arcade mode, survival mode and a few other modes to keep the game going. Story mode pretty much plays out the storyline which is designed for the console only while arcade mode is where you will seethe individual storylines play out. So you choose a character, beat a number of characters and win the game. It sounds a bit of a yawn but Tekken 5 seems to avoid this somehow.
The thing is Tekken 5 is quite fun to play even for the casual gamer. Unlike many other games you don't need crazy button combinations to win, although they do help and are still there for the hardcore. It is a game which relies on martial arts as opposed to special moves and perhaps this is what made it so popular for so long. There is also some changes based on the spin off Death by Degrees, Nina for instance wears her DBD suit as opposed to her normal clothing for some of the fights. The modes are fairly self explanatory. There is one mode which is a sort of adventure mode where you play as Jin and run from room to room defeating enemies. It's been added to increase playability but it is very repetitive and does seem rather tacked on.
In terms of characters all the favourites have returned such as Nina but there are a few additions to make the game that little bit harder. That is one problem we have with this game and that is the difficulty ramps up at one particular point significantly. What makes this a bit silly is up until that point we thought the game was too easy so the game balance isn't done very well at all.
Visually the game is quite impressive and in fact appears to have some of the best graphics the PS2 has seen. The characters are modeled very well in terms of animation,look and general feel. The heavier characters have a heavy feel to them while the light characters are more nimble and quick. This is also represented in the fighting systems used by each fighter and their particular moves. Sound effects are pretty bland with general hits and "oohs ahhs" and the typical soundtrack for this series.
Tekken 5 really is a game that, if you like this genre, you will want, but if fighting games don't do it for you then it's not going to offer the best value for money, even as a casual gamer. It is very pick up and play which is cool for friends but it really can only be recommended to fighting fans. With that said though the fighting itself is high quality and thus deserves its high-ish overall score.