Being the Tekken fan that I am, I had hoped that Tekken 4 was going to find some way to outdo the previous excellent Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag games. Sadly, Tekken 4 took two steps back in its gameplay causing a backlash among fans. While Tekken 3 and TTT took the series to a new level making it one of the best 3d fighting games around, Tekken 4 dropped the series down to just another 3d fighting game.
Tekken 4 continues the storyline of Tekken 3. Heiachi Mishima is in control of his company and has his army search for the thought to be dead Kazuya Mishima. They found Kazuya Mishima and Kazuya is pissed. Once again, Kazuya aims to destroy his father and reclaim the position of Tekken Zaibatsu. This game has an inclusion of a few new characters as well as bringing back the main Tekken fighters. Each fighter has their own fighting style which mirrors the real life martial art. Although Tekken 4 has less fighters than TTT, that doesn't count since it;s more of a compilation of fighters.
As common in the Tekken series, the button layout consists of a right/left punch and kick buttons. Combing joystick movements, correct buttons, and proper timing will unleash a variety of moves varying from character to character. The big change in Tekken 4 comes with the usage of walls and objects creating a closed in fighting space. This creates more forced action but also causes tons of cheap tactics making use of the walls.
Time and time again the Tekken series has pushed the limits graphically with Tekken 4 being no exception. Each character is carefully detailed and looks great. Even during combat you can see the movement of fabric and hair creating an awesome looking action sequence. Voice acting is minimal but good being that it goes well with the action. The soundtrack matches up well with the levels ranging from heavy metal riffs to calmer, solemn tunes.
Tekken 4 marks the last time a Tekken game was released in the US arcades early since the arcade was on the decline. While the arcade version offers a joystick for better controls, the PS2 version adds quite a bit more to the mix. Most notably are the endings for each character, and the Tekken Force mode which is a beat 'em-up minigame that will star your favorite Tekken character.
This is the part of the review where I put the emphasis on why I dislike Tekken 4 so much. Tekken 3 really started turning heads making the Tekken series tops of the fighting game genre. When Tekken Tag Tournament came out, it propelled the series to another level making the series even more popular. So what happened? What happened was Namco didn't listen to Tekken fans. Instead, they listened to the stupid, fucking, casual, no fighting game knowing public that were going gah gah over DOA 3. Released on the Xbox, DOA 3 made flashy fighting popular and fooled a lot of people into thinking it was good. The game sucked and it was only made to show off the Xbox's power, nothing else. It had no substance hence these years later; we haven't seen or heard about another DOA game since DOA Ultimate. It was a fad that came and gone but it caused a stir with Namco getting them to change the Tekken formula to be more DOA like. By doing this, Namco nearly destroyed one of their best series for those idiots that wouldn't know a good fighting game if it shit on their head.
While I love the Tekken series, Tekken 4 comes in dead last in regards to overall quality. The series took a big hit with Tekken 4 and it's slowly rebuilding to bring the Tekken series into that great fighting game franchise it once was.