#258 Tekken

Posted: 6th January 2012 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , , ,

113th played so far

Genre: Fighting
Platform: Arcade, Playstation
Year of Release: 1994
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco

Ah Tekken, you were the franchise that started my love for the humble beat ’em up game. Technically Tekken 2 is the game that got me into them… but since this is where the whole thing began I guess I can see why this is on the list.

In a genre which was pretty much dominated by Street Fighter and newcomer Virtua Fighter it took a big game to make a mark and Namco’s Tekken was he game to do so.

Our Thoughts

If I am being completely honest… as much as I am a fan of the Tekken franchise I really do question the placing of this game on the 1001 list. Whilst I do not question its place in gaming history as the beginning of a major franchise it is curious that this made it whereas Tekken 2 did not. I mean the first Street Fighter game to make it onto the list was Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting and in the same vein SoulCalibur II makes it onto the list whereas the previous two releases in the franchise (that were equally acclaimed) were missed out. It is one of the many inconsistencies of this list which (at time of writing this) seem unlikely to be righted in the near future. I don’t mean to start off all negative but as a self-proclaimed fan of nineties beat ’em ups it just all just felt a little bit off. At the same time, I’m not as much of a fighting game fan (having mostly played these sort of games to play with others, rather than just to play these) and for me, it just felt underwhelming.

Anyway, being the first in a very successful series it established a lot of what has made Tekken a household name and later led to one of the best fighting games in gaming history. Firstly there is the variety in fighting styles which is something that has been truly expanded on in later additions. Everyone knows Yoshimitsu since he crops up in any game Namco can think of (even Anna Kournikova’s Smash Court Tennis)  and the fact that he is some sort of weird mechanical ninja mutant beetle alien with a kickass green sword. Then there is the assassin Nina Williams equipped with her ‘fighting swan’ move, the Bruce Lee rip-off Marshall Law (I see what they did there!) and the apparent devil-incarnate Kazuya Mishima. Care and attention has been paid to every character here to make sure they are all fighters with unique characteristics and this is pulled off better here than in Virtua Fighter.

When played in comparison to modern fighters, however, this has really not held up as well as Tekken 3. We are not just talking in terms of graphics where the 3D looks chunky beyond belief and the sound which is a little bit off but gameplay too. The joy of a fighter is quick reaction times married with a complex movelist and interesting characters… this just feels incredibly sluggish compared to its comtemporaries which is a real shame. Possibly my first comment about the game while playing was ‘This is slow’. Now, this should, I suppose, be a good thing for me, as I don’t have the reflexes Peter does… but no, it doesn’t. It makes the whole thing feel dragged out and slow and not really something I wanted to investigate much further.

The graphics themselves aren’t nice, but that’s excusable as an age sort of thing. More annoying however is the semi-3D it tries to create. I know, it’s supposed to look pretty and impressive, but the random changes of plane – where your 3D background rotates so it seems like you’re fighting in a different direction in the arena. Thing is, it still is a fully 2D game, just with a momentary change in a cutscene sort of thing, making it gaudy rather than impressive. Same with the inexplicable ‘look at the game from above’ function that seems to have no other purpose. Look, nice, but I’ll agree with Peter. You can do better. You have. This just isn’t as good.

Final Thoughts

Some bridges once crossed should not be revisited. I heard this in a poem once and it really sums up how I feel about this. The nostalgia factor is absent since the far superior Tekken 2 has a place in my heart and as such I am viewing this game with far more of a modern bias than I would care too.

I would say more but I am now in desperate need of another more modern fighting game to vent the disapointment.

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