When I first bought my PSP a year and a half ago I dreamed of the day when I would be able to play games like Tekken, Gran Turismo and God of War anywhere I want to. Considering the popularity of each of these franchises I never imagined it would take so long before I would be able to buy even one of those games, but after months of waiting Bandai Namco has finally delivered a portable Tekken worth playing. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
Tekken: Dark Resurrection is not the first portable Tekken game. Several years ago Namco released the disappointing Tekken Advance, a pseudo-3D fighting game for the Game Boy Advance. While Namco should be given credit for even attempting such a feat on the GBA's outdated hardware, the game just never felt right and left most fans wanting something more substantial. That "something" has finally reared its head, after four years of waiting Namco has created what may just be the greatest fighting game ever released on a portable game system. I might even go as far as to suggest that this is one of the best games you can buy for Sony's PlayStation Portable.
Dark Resurrection is not a true sequel in the Tekken canon. Instead it's a port of the Japanese-only arcade expansion to Tekken 5. But just because this is an update of Tekken 5 doesn't mean it's a rehash, Dark Resurrection features a number of improvements that go a long way to make this feel like a brand new game. This expansion to Tekken 5 features new characters, a whole host of new backgrounds and some of the best game modes you will ever see in a fighting game. There's no doubt about it, even gamers who have put hundreds of hours into Tekken 5 should make sure and check out Dark Resurrection.
This Tekken entry manages to get the most important aspect just right … it actually feels like a Tekken game. If the controls were off (and the game was too slow) then it wouldn't even be worth talking about the rest of the product, but Dark Resurrection controls exactly how you want a Tekken game to control. The PSP's hardware feels like it was built for this type of game, at no point will you complain that there aren't enough buttons or a missing analog stick, this really only needs the D-Pad and the four face buttons.
Some PSP owners have complained about the portable's D-Pad, especially when it comes to the fighting game genre. If you've played any other fighters (especially the Capcom variety) you will already know that the D-Pad can be a bit unforgiving and make your thumb sore. Thankfully this is not an issue with Tekken, the D-Pad feels pretty natural and it won't take you long before you're performing the multi-hit combos just like you would on the console.
The game's control is not the only thing that Bandai Namco got right; Dark Resurrection also plays as fast as it did on the console and in the arcades. This is exactly the same game you've grown to know and love, just because it's on a smaller system doesn't mean you should expect a smaller game. In fact, in some ways this game is actually larger than it was on the PlayStation 2. Tekken: Dark Resurrection is a testament to the power of the PSP.
The graphics in this game are simply awe-inspiring, they far exceed what I thought was possible on the PlayStation Portable. The character cinemas are all top notch, they look like something you might see on a movie screen. Each of the three dozen characters are large and highly detailed, they look exactly like they did in the arcade original. Every move and animation has been preserved, and the overall tone of the game is unchanged. If you're looking for a portable game to wow your friends then you can't do much better than Tekken: Dark Resurrection.
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