I never owned a Tekken before so I figured, what the heck. So far I'm not too keen on the controls, the whole "one button per limb" thing. Does this mean that if I hit all four at once I do some kind of leaping four-limb crusher? No. Or do I do a two-hand Captain Kirk chop if I mash both the punch buttons? No. Unintuitive!
Well, seriously I do find the controls rather unintuitive, and having two sets of apparently equal attacks bugs me: there's no difference at all between a right kick and a left kick or a right punch and a left punch except that one may start one combo while the other one starts another. So there's always the horrible decision: now, do I take this guy lefty, or righty? There's no difference! Unless you're going to combo, which of course you will because it's so easy. And sort of fun. But I was surprised to find the hitting sound effects rather subdued: as you're fighting they don't really make you FEEL the blows. Odd.
The graphics are nice even if most of the Tekken cast look like goobers, except for Christie the new pinup-- I mean, character. But she fights like a goober so it all evens out.
That's the other thing: fights are kind of boring. You're just sitting here trying to hit your button combinations to get off your cheapest combo, and that's pretty much it. Sometimes for variety I just mashed the buttons to see what would happen--this worked great with Christie hehe.
However, this all works rather well for the beat 'em up mode, Tekken Force. The fact that the baddies you bash drop chicken and egg health powerups just makes it all the better (and they cluck!). If only the AIs thronging around you would actually attack more than one at a time, we'd really have something here.
Time to try this game again now that I've kind of gotten into the Tekken series. ; )
I was really surprised by how good this game looks in its 480p mode!
And I got so confused trying to think about the story while playing Kazuya in Story mode that I started pronouncing "Jin" like "gene." :P
Tekken 4 on PS2 may have suffered a bit from the growing pains of going from the PS1 hardware era to the PS2; they didn't get as many characters in the game--having had to remodel them all in higher detail--and the presentation overall feels a little less confident and bombastic than, certainly, later Tekken games would, and even maybe slightly less assured than the previous Tekkens. It doesn't have a bonus game like the previous two games did (Tekken Ball or whatever in 3, and Tekken Bowling in Tekken Tag Tournament), the Tekken Force mode, which started in 3, this time around has camera (and respawn) issues, and it experimented with major mechanics changes--playfields with varying elevations, and a function for shoving the opponent around that replaced one of the throw commands being the most noticeable--that didn't end up lasting in the series.
Perhaps the most insidious confusion (which, I admit, could quite easily be mostly in my head!) lies in the overall movement response, and the character moves: Tekken 4 uncomfortably straddles the stiff but crisp control of the early Tekkens, and the more fluid control of the later games: some of that initial stiffness and stickiness remains, fighting against the more modern fluidity; and characters I had no problem doing big bashing moves with out of the gate in earlier Tekken games--Kazuya and his spin kicks and big punches--or later Tekken games--Marduk and his big...everything--presented a surprising struggle here; in my usual mashing I couldn't even find Kazuya's launcher (hilariously insisted upon being called a "floater" in the manual :P) or spinning kicks, and couldn't easily inflict big damage with Marduk.
Even the mode selection gets jumbled, with Arcade and Time Attack jammed together into a single menu item you have to toggle with the d-pad, and separate, but redundant-sounding, "Training" and "Practice" modes.
This is a tricky one! I still have to unlock seven characters by completing either Story or Arcade mode seven more times (!), and seven is a big chunk of the roster, considering that you only start with ten unlocked, and I've only so far unlocked an additional two--so I don't quite feel like I've got a gauge of the full breadth of the game. And although I've struggled more here in the offing than I'd anticipated with characters like Kazuya, Marduk, and Christie (and what's the deal with Hwaorang's throws on just LP and RP buttons?), the control doesn't feel outright horrible or anything; it's just slightly harder to do the big damage I was used to mashing out easier in other Tekkens. And, I need to emphasize how much I like the direction this Tekken went with its incredibly well-designed, ambient, "real world" stages, and the emphasis on regular street clothes or martial arts outfits for the fighters.
And Marduk's hair! : ooo (Note to self: select with X button!)
I suspect the nifty ambiance, stage, and character designs won't quite keep me coming back to this Tekken too frequently, though; it doesn't have the roster to compete with TTTHD, DR, or 6, doesn't have "Ghost Battle" or character customization, and yes, does feel slightly awkward mechanically. It will really come down to how expansive it feels once I have all 19 characters going in 8-on-8 Team Battles.
You know, another thing it's missing is the sense of playfulness of other Tekken games; not only is the bonus game gone--Tekken Force here has some goofiness, I suppose, with its powerup eggs and "Peeps"--but it doesn't have the really silly characters like kangaroos or lizards (okay it does I think have a Panda/bear, if I'm reading the "Cheats" list on GameFAQs correctly), or the silly stages the other games have sprinkled into their selections. In that sense, the "real world" attempt here was doomed to failure, because Tekken is, at its heart, very silly and over the top!
Remember to save manually after adjusting options, because, in a bizarre oversight or omission, "Autosave" doesn't save Options changes!!
Hm, the lack of "silly" brings up an interesting angle on this "real world" Tekken, though: the only "silly" characters in this one--Kuma/Panda and Combot--unlock at or near the end of the character unlocking: Kuma on play-through 7, and Combot on play-through #9. #8 is Heihachi, who I wouldn't particularly miss anyway, especially as the random select would give him his giant diaper costume half the time. : o So, if I just stop saving play-throughs after #6--which unlocks Julia--I'll have a distinctly non-silly Tekken to play, for a different flavor.
Really struggled with Lee and I could swear that some moves that would normally launch the opponent in the air for a juggle only do it maybe 25% of the time in Tekken 4. : P Was this part of their idea of making it a more "real world" Tekken--crudely reducing the frequency of big juggles in this way--or is it all in my head?
And I'm gonna have to start my character unlocking over again--I deleted my save file; gotta be more cautious and keep autosave off next time!--after relying on bad info from GameFAQs; I didn't want to unlock Combot, whom GF says unlocks after the ninth play-through (also counter to what GF says, playthroughs can be in either Story Battle or Arcade mode)--but he unlocked when I played through Story Battle with Violet/Lee, in what was only my fourth total play-through! D-argh. So I'm just gonna have to not play through with V/L. (Also, Lee starts showing up as Lee rather than Violet on the character select screen by default after playing through his story.)
Doggone! Oh well, still plenty of characters to check out in Story Battle so that's fine I guess. Like (this is also from GF so who knows) apparently you unlock whatever the "Statues" stage is by doing Steve's Story Battle, and you get a costume or two by doing Xiaoyu's Story Battle (and in the JP version you get Eddy Gordo as an alt skin for Christie by beating her story battle! I only have the US version...oh well maybe I'll do her's anyway).
The statue in the unlocked "Statues" stage is "Laocoön and His Sons," a Hellenistic baroque sculpture probably made between 27 BC and 68 AD, "showing the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laoco%C3%B6n_and_His_Sons
There's a gold scorpion logo with "JACKLLR" printed on it on the stage's glass doors. Two versions of the stage unlock, although the only difference I could find was in their music track. Youtube viewer Tomasio Rubinshtein pointed out that one of the tracks is Jack-2's theme from Tekken 2.
Got obsessed with trying to find someone who could unlock Heihachi Mishima without unlocking Kuma/Panda and/or Combot. Nope. :P But in the process I played through Story Battle with Ling Xiaoyu, Lei Wulong, Paul Phoenix, Bryan Fury, Julia Chang, Hwoarang, Marshall Law, Yoshimitsu (twice! ;_; Forgot to reload my save after Law), King, and Craig Marduk!
Xiaoyu unlocked Kuma/Panda immediately, but that was it for the story direct unlocks among all those characters, as far as I could tell; Xiaoyu also unlocks two alternate costumes for herself: a skin swap to her schoolmate, Miharu (select Xiaoyu w/ Circle), and a schoolgirl outfit (select Xiaoyu w/ Triangle). (Otherwise, the nine locked characters just unlock in a fixed order each time you beat either Story Battle or Arcade: Jin, Violet, Nina, Lei, Bryan, Julia, Kuma, Heihachi, and finally Combot.)
So I just had to stick with my original plan of stopping after unlocking everyone except Kuma, Heihachi, and Combot, because I want to try playing random 8-on-8 Team Battles without "silly" characters, and eh who needs Heihachi's adult diaper anyway (but the main issue with him is there's no way to get him without unlocking Kuma, it seems).
Not sure how much more of T4 I will really want to play; they tried to restrict launching people into juggle combos, I suppose to have more "realistic" play to go with the game's overall more real-world look, but they didn't come up with anything compelling to take the place of juggles, so, a lot of fights just end up as single hits trading back and forth, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots-style. :P In theory if I knew how to do, for instance, Marduk's grapple moves, I wouldn't feel so useless with him in this iteration, but eh...that's never been my thing in any fighting game really, and jeez man just let us blow people up into the air, that's what everyone's liked about Tekken from the start! At least I found a few I could do it reasonably okay with: Law and Julia; and Paul, Nina, and Yoshimitsu (and Jin? I kind of forget now) are just pretty strong anyway.
Oops I said in a screenshot caption that King has a throw called "Big Swing," nearly the same as Wolf Hawkfield from VF's "Giant Swing")--but actually King's *is* also called "Giant Swing" so yeah just eh the same; King's is technically a forward, then half-circle-forward motion (then left punch) whereas Wolf's is just half-circle-forward--but the lone starting "forward" on King's move is super-bufferable, so as long as you had moved forward shortly before doing the half circle, it'll work and you only really have to worry about the half circle part.
10'52 - Hwoarang looks so good in 4--better than in 5/6, I think! 1'31"27 - hey, it's "Lee," not his disguise, "Violet"! Gosh, Team Battle randomizes that, pretty cool actually.
I'd spent a bunch of time trying to set up Tekken 5 for playing random 8-on-8 Team Battles, then when the time finally came to run them, I found them more of a pain than fun--I was really struggling switching characters after each lost round. So I started worrying I'd find that to be the case in Tekken 4, and maybe Team Battle just wasn't for me--in which case I wasn't sure how I'd play Tekken 4; Tekken 5 has Ghost Battle to fall back on, which ain't bad at all--but fortunately, I found Tekken 4's Team Battle mode more addictive than ever! It really does have that "just one more battle" quality about it for me; somehow I didn't have the struggle going from character to character like I did in 5.
Did 5's battle system differentiate the characters just that tiny bit more that made it frustrating rather than fun to switch off constantly? I don't remember feeling that way about the mode in 6, but I guess I haven't played a ton of TB yet in 6; and also, 6 smoothes off most of the numerous rough edges in 5's fighting moves. Anyway, even if I'm still much less effective with some characters (Bryan and Xiaoyu for instance, apparently) than others, Team Battle rocks in 4!
(At one point in comparing them in this video, I talk about being confused by the round win markers in 5, and suggesting they were backwards from what they are in 4, where I wasn't having trouble reading them--but no, they aren't. :P Maybe it's just they're kind of smaller and duller in 5, not big glowy rectangles like they are here in 4. Anyway here I have no trouble reading them in 4, or the very clear fight timeline at the end of the battle--top data visualization award goes to 4!)
I'm appreciating Tekken 4 (on PS2!) the more I play it. : ) It's the only Tekken with some kind of physics, and though they may allow some ridiculous infinite combos and things...well, that's pretty fun! : D (At least, so far; if I get too good at inflicting them or something and just dominate by physics bobbling that would kind of ruin the thing.) Here I am playing 8-on-8 Team Battle mode vs the Medium-difficulty CPU:
Fun with combos off Tekken 4 environment collision physics:
- Violet vs Steve on fight club curb: 24'38 - Christie vs Law on fight club curb: 35'56 - King vs Julie at beach wall: 40'12
False alarm: - King vs Law on mall steps ceiling: 57'20 (here I thought King had booted Law into the low overhanging ceiling, but on rewatch I think Law was probably hitting an invisible upward extension of the railing set in the steps, rather than the ceiling; also Law died with the first hit so there was no combo possibility anyhow :p)
Flailing around in the Tekken that makes you work for it, Tekken 4 on PS2, specifically mostly in the Team Battle mode--set to 8-on-8 teams vs the CPU, of course! Things would get slightly better after a pretty bad start:
0:00 - start 0:30 - secret stuff - Eddy Gordo, Miharu, Statues 3:09 - Team Battle 1 13:59 - Team Battle 2 25:22 - Team Battle 3 36:24 - confirming costumes Lee, Xiaoyu schoolgirl are locked 42:07 - Team Battle 4 55:58 - Survival w/ Nina Williams 1:01:50 - wrap-up & what's next!
9'36 - CPU Xiaoyu in locked schoolgirl costume 29'17 - I'm Lee 'p'
1'02"18 - I meant to say that I'll be playing Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection, not vanilla Tekken 5
So the locked Xiaoyu schoolgirl costume, the locked Lee costume, *do* show up randomly in Team Battle. I kinda don't think I've seen Eddy Gordo, a Christie Monteiro costume that I actually *do* have unlocked, or Miharu, another unlockable Xiaoyu costume, which I *don't* have unlocked, but it could've happened at some point when I just wasn't paying attention, I suppose. Definitely have not seen the full-on, still-locked Heihachi, Combot, or Kuma/Panda characters--which is good, because I took particular pains not to unlock them : P--well, not so much Heihachi.
Tekken 1 and Tekken 2 music playing in the unlocked "Statues" stage is pretty neat! And thanks to viewer E24K Lawson for that and most of the other cool tips!
Still the worst with Marduk but man his back + Left Kick has ridiculous range. :o
Survival mode's difficulty curve is too logarithmic for my tastes, really: too easy for a long time, then suddenly ouch. Quite possibly that's just a side effect of me not being very good though.
Really do love the indoor mall stage, and the outside mall stage!