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Sept. 20 2006
Tekken: Dark Resurrection - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
12/9/2006SonySonyNamco Bandai
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King takes a painful kick.
If you're a fighting fan, and/or a PSP owner, then there's little doubt that you'll be salivating at the thought of Namco's Tekken series hitting Sony's handheld. Indeed, the wait since Namco first announced Tekken Dark Resurrection in February this year has been quite painful. The question that everyone has been asking is just how well Sony's handheld would be able to cope with the demands of one of the most technically accomplished - both in terms of graphics and gameplay - brawlers on the market. In this review we give you all the details, but in short, you won't be disappointed.

Tekken: Dark Resurrection is an enhanced version of Tekken 5 with new characters, items, moves, music, rankings and environments. The first thing that really hits you with this game is just what an amazing job Bandai Namco have done in porting the game. This really is Tekken through and through with superb visuals, fluid gameplay, tonnes of content and immaculate presentation. Interestingly, the decision was made to have all the playable character available from the beginning - there's no need to complete the game with different character to unlock more.

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As you can see, the graphics rock.
This game includes 19 stages and over 30 fighters to get to grips with including two newcomers - Dragunov and Lili. As well as the newcomers all your favourites have returned including Roger Jr, Eddy, Armor King, Law, Bruce and Devil Jin to name a few. The stages have appeared in the previous titles but have been tweaked for this PSP game with different lighting (due to different time of days), or different background details.

As a single player game Tekken Dark Resurrection will take considerable time to beat - especially if you plan to do it with all the characters. The PSP's D-Pad does about as well as it can but what really makes this game so outstanding is that fact that the development team has managed to cram in every single move that these characters had in the PS2 versions. The animation is silky smooth and the controls responsive to your every command. As you would expect the game modes include everything as expected including Arcade. Story and Quick battles - no surprises there really.

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The kangaroo, Roger Jr.
Of course being a fighting game it's the one-on-one battles with other human opponents that are critical to the game, and on that front we have been well catered for. Bandai Namco have included not only ad hoc versus modes, but also game sharing, and the ability to fight "Ghost" opponents. This is the most interesting mode as it allows gamers to record themselves fighting before making it available for others to download and battle against. It seems to work pretty well too. We set up a crap fighter, uploaded it and then easily defeated it. Uploading and then fighting against a better "Ghost" was much more of a challenge.

So as well as the single player game and the multi-player modes what is there? Well Bandai Namco have bundled in several mini-games. One of these is the Tekken Bowl mode which makes a return from Tekken Tag Tournament as well as Gold Rush which is an entertaining, if slightly too easy way to earn plenty of money. Another bonus game is the Dojo Mode which allows you to take on a series of other fighters, each of variable difficulty. This mode is where a large number of items can be unlocked.

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Remember this runs at 60fps.
In terms of issues there are very few. The biggest isn't with the game itself, but rather the PSP's D-Pad which, as we all know by now, isn't quite as accurate or sensitive as the ones on the Dual Shock controller. Having said that this isn't a major problem as you soon get used to the slightly different feel of the PSP's controls. Tekken: Dark Resurrection also has some small segments of loading but these are typically only a couple of seconds.

Yet another area which really blew us away was the graphics. I don't think I've seen the PSP pushed so hard to date. While it's not quite up there with the PS2 titles, it's certainly not far off. The biggest change is that the characters are a little more blocky and have obviously had some polygons removed, and there's a few more jaggies then in the PS2 titles. It's worth noting that each of the characters is fully customisable with various pieces of clothing and accesories. By reducing the polygon count Namco (OK, Bandai Namco) have been able to retain a rock solid 60 frames per second throughout, the the CG cut scenes apparently running at a still very respectable 30fps. The cut scenes, menus and interface are all second to none.

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Another stunning level.
Audio in the game should be familiar to anyone who has played the series in the past. The game contains a wide selection of audio tracks, meaty sound effects and plenty of ambient sounds. The PSP handles the audio remarkably well, even through it's small speakers.

Tekken: Dark Resurrection is a key title on the Playstation Portable. It yet again proves just how powerful the system is and while the controls aren't quite as slick as on the PS2's Dual Shock 2 controller they do a solid enough job. With plenty of characters, tonnes of game modes, and most importantly solid gameplay this is a title worth adding to your collection.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSAbsolutely spectacular graphics and presentation. Solid frame rate.
SOUNDGreat music and effects which are equal to that in the PS2 titles.
GAMEPLAYThe D-Pad takes a bit of getting used to, but this Tekken all the way.
VALUE30 characters and tonnes of unlockable content make this great value.
OVERALLTekken Resurrection is one of the greatest fighters of all time, on any system. This PSP port is a must have for every collection, and not just fans of the series. Stunning.

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