Tekken 4  
The legend continues on Playstation 2.

CarlitoWhile many will argue that Dead Or Alive 2: Hardcore is a more original game, Tekken Tag Tournament is definitely the fighting game on PS2 I prefer. Wonderful and strong characters, great graphics for a launch title and a deep gameplay made of this title a must have for all the fans of the series and the newcomers.

Anyhow, Tekken Tag Tournament was not intended to be the fourth chapter of the series. More than that it was an anthology of all the characters and their moves in a new, fast, astounding 128-bit greatness. For this reason many characters that were supposed to be dead were included in the game, with no risk to mess with the storyline behind the previous instalments.

Tekken 4 will be the first episode of the series featuring new characters to grace the Playstation 2. Namco has been developing the arcade version of the game for an Emotion Engine powered System 246 hardware that has now hit the Arcades in Japan since October 2000. The Playstation 2 version should arrive in the first months of the next year.

It seems that Tekken 4 deserves more than a surprise. The graphics seen in the arcade version look simply gorgeous, and the ones on Ps2 will look even better. The faces of the characters are wonderfully animated and the background issues present in Tekken Tag Tournament are completely missing this time (please note that all the screenshots available are from the Arcade version).

Characters

At present only 10 characters have been revealed but the game will feature at least 20 playable characters. For an updated list of all the heroes of the new Tekken, we suggest to keep an eye on the good Tekken 4 official site. The new characters revealed are just a few, but they all seem extremely interesting.

Steve FoxSteve Fox is a young English boxer who can't remember anything of his family and of the origin of the terrible scar on his left arm. One day, asked by the Mafia to throw a fight, he refused and won the battle. Since then he is a man sentenced to death. Forced to escape but still eager to find out all the truth about his past he enters the Iron Fist Tournament.



Christie MonteiroChristie Monteiro is the granddaughter of Eddy Gordo's master; Eddy taught the girl all the secrets of the Capoeira method. After Gordo's sudden disappearance, she decides to enter the 4th Iron Fist Tournament in search for him.




Craig MardukCraig Marduk, a powerful Vale Tudo fighter, was forced to leave the professional circuit because of a scandal in which he was involved. Consumed with his thwarted desires, he feels anger and violence growing in his soul. One day, during a fight in a bar, he killed a man; Craig was sentenced to 10 years for second degree murder but after only two years of imprisonment he was released thanks to the help of a mysterious man. The man sent him a plane ticket and an article about The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4...

Craig MardukMarshall Law is the father of Forest Law. He is not exactly a newcomer; in fact this character was one of the heroes of the first two instalments of the series. In Tekken 3 Forest Law took his role. Once a successful business man and a skilled fighter, he has lost all his empire of Chinese restaurants and his dojo. After a long period of depression he receives a letter of invitation to the next The King of Iron Fist Tournament. Thinking of it as a possibility to regain glory, Marshall Law decides to enter the contest.

The Story

Namco has created a deep story for Tekken 4. In the tradition of the series, behind all the several storylines releated to each character there is a major plot that Namco has recently unveiled. This time, the main hero of the game is Kazuya Mishima. The developers created the concept of Tekken 4's storyline, but a professional scriptwriter actually wrote it.

Kazuya is back!

"Two years ago, Heihachi failed to capture Ogre.

Not willing to give up, Heihachi ordered his researchers to collect blood samples, skin tissue, and hoof fragments left behind by Ogre (or known as True Ogre in its true manifestation) in order to conduct genetic experiments. Heihachi's goal was to create a new life form by splicing Ogre's genome with his own. However, the research was unsuccessful.

After extensive experimentation, Heihachi's bioengineers came to the conclusion that an additional gene - the Devil Gene - was necessary in order to successfully splice Ogre's genetic code into another living organism. Heihachi learned that his own genome lacked the Devil Gene, but he knew someone who did...

Jin Kazama.

Jin, who vanquished Ogre in The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, was shot and mortally wounded by Heihachi. As his life slipped away, Jin transformed into a Devil. Upon his transformation, he struck down Heihachi and took flight.

Jin's whereabouts were unknown after the Tournament.

Heihachi searched for Jin to no avail. However, Heihachi discovered a photograph during his investigation that stirred his curiosity. The 20-year-old photograph was an image of a burnt corpse covered with laceration wounds. Heihachi paid particular attention to the corpse's back, which had what looked like deformed, protruding wing-like limbs.

Convinced that the picture was of Kazuya, his own son whom he threw into a volcano 20 years ago, Heihachi diverted all his resources into a search for the body. This search eventually led Heihachi to G Corporation, a leading-edge biotech firm making unprecedented advances in the field of biogenetics research.

Heihachi discovered that G Corporation found the corpse and extracted and analyzed its genetic data. In fact, Heihachi learned that the company was in the midst of creating a new life form by using the data. Heihachi also determined that Kazuya's remains and research data were secured at G Corporation's Nebraska and Nepal research laboratories, respectively.

Friday, 25 December. The Tekken Force raided G Corporation's maximum security research laboratory in Nepal. The bottom floors of the building were obliterated, and the remaining data storage facility containing file servers was airlifted by a group of heavy-duty helicopters.

King

At the same time, a separate unit led by Heihachi infiltrated the underground research facility in Nebraska, where Kazuya's remains were preserved. As Heihachi observed from his helicopter, he soon realized that unlike the Nepal facility, the operations in Nebraska were not going according to plan. The tactical status monitor screens showed the first wave of the Tekken Force troops being blown out from the storage room where Kazuya's remains were supposedly kept.

A silhouette of a large figure slowly emerged from the room... When Heihachi could see clearly enough, he instantly recognized the large figure as Kazuya.

Kazuya was resurrected in G Corporation's research facility. After his resurrection, Kazuya offered his body as research material to determine the true nature of the Devil that resided within him. Kazuya's goal was to unify his two selves into one. Kazuya theorized that if he unified his body with the Devil, he would be able to truly harness its powers. He could then finally take revenge against Heihachi and the Mishima Zaibatsu (Financial Empire).

Enraged that Heihachi thwarted his plans, Kazuya obliterated the heavily armed Tekken Force and vanished into the flames of the lab's wreckage.

Heihachi was infuriated by Kazuya's escape and took out his anger on his hapless subordinates who reported the escape.

Abel, Heihachi's lead scientific advisor, urged the enraged Heihachi to quickly find a way to capture Kazuya. Once his anger subsided, Heihachi focused his mind and decided on a plan. An evil smile crept upon his lips.

Two years had passed since The King of Iron Fist Tournament 3.

The Mishima Zaibatsu announced The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4 and placed the massive financial empire as the top prize.

The champion who manages to defeat Heihachi at the end of the Tournament would inherit the Mishima Zaibatsu.

Well aware that the tournament is just a trap designed to lure him out, Kazuya nevertheless enters - it is his chance to defeat Heihachi." Source: NamcoArcade.com

Gameplay and Controls

The new Tekken will feature many new characteristic for the series, mixed together in what could be a new original way to intend the fighting genre.

First of all, the Arenas will include walls. Each stage will have a different structure thus making necessary for the player to take care of environmental elements. A wall could reveal itself a dangerous weapon to eliminate with ease your opponent. Driven in a corner, he will have a bad time trying to dodge your attacks.

But what's more important is that there is a possibility to escape a situation like this thanks to the so-called "position changes". Suppose you're in a corner and the enemy is going to hit you with a deadly move; if you act promptly you'll be able to turn the situation in your favour. Dodge the hit, rotate around the enemy and hit him in his back. Instinct and skill, experience and intelligence, as usual for the Tekken series, are needed to perform such complex moves.

In order to add depth to the battles, this time the terrains will have different heights. The developers revealed that the characters will be able to perform different combo moves when they are, for example, on an higher position respect to their opponent.

Waiting for Tekken 4

With titles like Soul Calibur 2 (Namco), sequel to what is considered the best fighting games of all times, Virtua Fighter 4 (Sega) and Tekken 4, Sony's Playstation 2 is going to become the number one among the next generation consoles in the fighting genre. It's true that Microsoft has Dead Or Alive 3 for its X-Box, but compared to the two Namco titles and the artistic Sega masterpiece, Tecmo's new large breasted girls and stylish idiotic fighters look really sad and uninspired.

Anyhow, The Gameplay and the Characters design will be probably the key to make of one of this titles the king of the genre.


- Carlito (October 25th, 2001)