Beautiful and solid, the graphics are exactly what you would expect from Namco. Tekken 4, also thanks to the addition of the 3D arenas, looks definitely better than Tekken Tag Tournament. Locked at rock-solid 60fps, the game also supports progressive scan if you have a good HDTV. On a note for our European readers, the PAL version supports both 50Hz and 60Hz modes, so that you can play a game that is exactly as smooth as the one played in NTSC countries.
At a first glance, the character models are very close the ones featured in Tekken Tag Tournament, but the quality of the textures and of the animations has been slightly improved. Clothes are well realized, and sometimes they look an almost photo realistic look. I was particularly impressed seeing the real-time reflections over Violet/Lee or Christie's clothes, and I was even more impressed looking at the dark armour and the skull-face of Yoshimitsu.
Some of the 3D arenas are truly a sight to see. In the rooftop level, the fighting area is surrounded by shiny skyscrapers, and you can actually see the lights in their interiors, through the windows, while life-real helicopters fly around the arena; in the jungle level, beautiful trees, realized with a surprising amount of polygons and truly amazing textures, are shown, while you fight in the water of a little stream. Overall, all the 3D objects look beautiful, from cars to statues, and the Arenas are often enriched by special effects, like fire and extraordinary water effects, that are even more impressive if you have the chance of playing the game in progressive scan mode.
The only flaws in the engine are clipping issues, more frequent than one would expect in such a polished game, and some weird (and comic) hair animations that affect a couple of characters.
Tekken games have never shined in this section, and Tekken 4 is no different. The soundtrack is made of cheap unemotional electronic tunes that look back at the Eighties, an Era that seems to never end when it comes to Japanese productions.
Sound effects are exactly the same of the Arcade version and are really nothing to wonder about, even if a couple them, like the sound of Bryan Fury crushing the head of his defeated enemy, are surprisingly bloody and realistic.
Voice acting is pretty good, but strangely, not all dialogues have been re-dubbed in English. But don't worry: subtitles are always there to help you understanding what's happening on the screen.
As far as fighting games go, it's very difficult to find a game with a better Replay Value than Tekken 4. Hundreds of moves to be learnt, plenty of game modes, and an overall depth that's unique in the fighting genre.
Compared to Tekken Tag Tournament the game has less characters (22 against 36) and it doesn't feature the addictive Tag mode. On the other hand, Tekken 4 includes the well-developed Tekken Force mode that's a nice incentive to the replay value of the game. It's also important to stress the fact that unlike Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4 continues the Tekken storyline - and you'll absolutely want to complete the game with all the available characters to see the different endings.