JP March 28, 2002
|Arcade system||Namco System 246|
Tekken 4 is the fifth main installment in the Tekken series. It was developed and published by Namco. It was released as an arcade game in 2001 and on the PlayStation 2 in 2002. It is the first Tekken game to include walled stages and the only Tekken game to include a switch maneuver. The game has received generally positive reviews, getting an 81.35% from GameRankings and 79/100 at Metacritic.
Tekken 4 introduced significant new gameplay changes from the previous games in the series. For the first time, it allowed players to maneuver around an arena interacting with walls and other obstacles for extra damage. These "environmental hazards" in turn allowed players to juggle opponents for consecutive combos and allowed the designers to implement a "switch maneuver", which let players escape from cornering and throw the tide in their favor. Also, the game engine had been tweaked to be more focused on the environment, causing the characters to move more slowly and fluidly than in Tekken Tag Tournament. Finally, the game introduced a brand new graphics system, that featured increased lighting, dynamic physics, and smoother surfaces.
Four characters have their own boss characters: Kazuya and Hwoarang face Jin, Lee faces Combot, and Heihachi faces Kazuya. In addition, Tekken 4 featured unusual costumes for the returning characters, and replaced the character Mokujin with a similar one, Combot.
Tekken 4 includes a beat 'em up minigame available from the outset called Tekken Force. Similar to the previous minigame found in Tekken 3, it presents the player with an over-the-shoulder perspective as they fight wave upon wave of Heihachi's Tekken Force through four stages, eventually facing Heihachi himself. The player can pick up health and power-ups while they fight waves of enemies. In the minigame it is discovered that the Tekken Force possesses different ranks in the organization, evident in different amounts of stamina, strength and skill.
Two years after the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, Heihachi Mishima and his scientists have captured samples of Ogre's blood and tissue to splice with Heihachi's genome, in order to make him immortal. The experiment fails, since Heihachi lacks the necessary Devil gene. Heihachi searches for his grandson, Jin Kazama, who does possess the Devil gene. Meanwhile Heihachi learns that the body of his son, Kazuya, who also had the Devil gene and whom Heihachi killed by throwing into a volcano twenty years ago, is stored in the labs of the G Corporation. Heihachi sends his Tekken Forces to raid G Corporation and retrieve Kazuya's remains, but the mission fails when the Force is wiped out by none other than Kazuya himself, who has been revived by G Corporation. Meanwhile, Jin is unable to be located. Unknown to Heihachi, Jin went into a self-imposed training exile in Brisbane, Australia to unlearn the Mishima karate style and master traditional karate, loathing anything to do with his bloodline.
In an attempt to lure Kazuya and Jin out, Heihachi announces the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4, with the ownership of the Mishima Zaibatsu being the top prize, believing both his son and grandson will come to him for their own vengeful reasons. They do so and at Stage Seven, where Jin and Kazuya are scheduled to fight, Jin is ambushed and captured by the Tekken Force. Kazuya is declared the default winner of Stage Seven and meets Heihachi at the final stage. The father and son clash in battle. Kazuya fighting Heihachi and wins, After the fight, Heihachi leads Kazuya to Hon-Maru, a Mishima Dojo in the woods where an unconscious Jin has been chained. There, Kazuya's body is suddenly taken over by Devil, who knocks out Heihachi and then subconsciously taunts Jin, which causes him to wake up with his Devil powers activated. The father and son battle with Jin emerging as the winner. Heihachi regains consciousness and goes to confront the exhausted Jin, but he is still defeated and is about to be killed if not for Jin's reminiscence of his mother, Jun Kazama, which causes him to spare Heihachi in honor of his mother. Stretching his Devil wings, Jin takes flight, leaving the unconscious Kazuya and Heihachi in Hon-Maru.
The game features a total of 23 characters. Returning from Tekken 3 are Bryan Fury, Eddy Gordo (only as the palette swap of the new character, Christie Monteiro), Heihachi Mishima, Hwoarang, Jin Kazama, Julia Chang, King II, Kuma II, Lei Wulong, Ling Xiaoyu, Nina Williams, Panda, Paul Phoenix, and Yoshimitsu. In addition, there are three characters from Tekken 2 who make their return to the canon series (two of them have previously appeared in the non-canon Tekken Tag Tournament): Kazuya Mishima, Lee Chaolan and Marshall Law.
The game also introduces 6 new characters to the roster: Christie Monteiro, a Capoeira student in search for her friend and teacher, Eddy Gordo, Combot, a general purpose robot created by the Violet Systems who is able to mimic other characters' fighting styles, Craig Marduk, an undefeated Vale Tudo fighter who had killed Armor King and is joining the tournament under the lure of Armor King's student King II, Miharu Hirano, the best friend of Ling Xiaoyu who also serves as her palette swap, Steve Fox, a young boxing champion who seeks to find out about his past, and Violet, the alter-ego and palette swap of Lee Chaolan.
Tekken 4 has received an average of 81.35% at GameRankings and 79/100 at Metacritic. On release, Famitsu magazine scored the PlayStation 2 version of the game a 36 out of 40. Edge gave it a score of six out of ten, highlighting the game's experimental and pretty nature, and that overall it is a more solid and thoughtful proposition than its predecessor, but concluded that the game feels "over-familiar and curiously uninspired." GameSpot gave the game an 8.4/10, referring it to "one of the better fighting games in years" and "an extremely solid, long-lasting, accessible, and fun-to-play fighting game that comes from one of the world's best developers of the genre" IGN gave the game a 9/10, noting the walls and confined spaces as "Probably Namco's wisest decision". They call the game "a solid fighter in every sense of the word."
- Edge magazine issue E111, June 2004
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