Tekken: Dark Resurrection

“Two men enter…one man leave.” The classic franchise is back with all your favorite characters…only portable. There are also some new faces and makeovers to revitalize the games image, without sacrificing the winning formula of sweet kung fu combinations and signature moves (Law still has the brutally devastating “Dragon Punch”). The fighting control system still utilizes a variety of directional and button combinations that can be linked (or sporadically mashed) along with special charged moves to break down opponent defenses. As with all Tekken games, there is a high level of frustration when you get smoked soundly in a few deft power moves or mercilessly juggled by a giant freaking panda who shouldn’t be able to move that quickly…*ahem*…sorry…(I hate that f#*@in’ bear!). For those who have never played a Tekken game, Dark Resurrection is as good a place as any to start (though if you go back to the original Playstation, you might be disappointed in the graphics). The difficulty is customizable and the learning curve for the controls is relatively shallow—granted, the combos are nearly impossible unless you’ve devoted your life to Tekken or your name is Jimmy Woods. On easier difficulty settings, you can get by with button-mashing techniques; however, you’re going to want a special move or two if you have any aspirations of progressing in the game or not embarrassing yourself against a human opponent. Graphically, the game is superb—the characters are sharp and rendered, animations are fluid and responsive (with the standard Tekken style that isn’t quite a delay, but it mimics actual body recovery), and hit recognition…well, it’s close enough. The backgrounds could use a little polishing, but that’s the area of least importance in a fighting game. The level of character detail is what counts (you can even see internal organs on “undead” Bryan Fury…okay, he’s a cyborg…there’s still a hole in him that displays his heart). Because it is such a solid fighting game AND it’s a portable title, Tekken: Dark Resurrection becomes a fantastic PSP game. In a wasteland of squandered potential, strong titles like Tekken provide an oasis of hope for the future of the PSP. The button response reflects damage and more realistic motion. Initial load times are a bit long, but game play is fluid. SHORT AND SWEET: BUY THIS GAME. If you like fighting games or want a graphically impressive and solid port title, Tekken: Dark Resurrection will satisfy pick-up-and-play requirements as well as replay and fun-factor demands from serious and casual gamers alike.

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