Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Namco Bandai
Release Date: Q3 2006
This year's E3 featured an astounding number of PSP titles that were just plain fun to play, which is something that the handheld console has been lacking until now. Tekken: Dark Resurrection was among those titles, and it was perhaps the single game I put in the most time with during E3. While it is largely a straight port of the limited arcade release by the same name, T:DR is certainly more portable than an arcade machine.
The most important facet of any fighting game is the gameplay, which includes interface and control ability. T:DR is without flaw in this regard, and given a minor amount of time to adjust to the controller, a player should be able to execute his moves and combos without problem. Another point of importance is head-to-head and how latency/lag comes into play there; in past online-compatible fighting games, lag has made this style of combat nearly impossible, such as Guilty Gear on Xbox Live.
While I was able to confirm that the PSPs at E3 were not operating under a wi-fi connection (it would be impossible with the level of electronic interference in that place), the connection was flawlessly stable via the networking system they did use. While it is not as comforting as being able to get hands-on time with a wi-fi setup, it does show that the game is capable of running smoothly, assuming the connection is good enough.
Onto the meat of the game, T:DR promises to offer even more than the previous versions have, and all on a portable platform. Expect to see the full character roster from the arcade version, which means two more characters than were on the PS2 or original arcade release, Tekken 5. Also expect to see all of the new moves and character balancing that happened in both Tekken 5.1 and Tekken 5 DR. I wouldn't be surprised if there were yet a few more tweaks and changes in this version, but as of yet, that is unconfirmed.
There will be even more character customization items than in any of the previous Tekken titles, which is a big deal for those of us who enjoy making our characters look either as cool – or dorky – as possible. This is where infrastructure mode really shines, which allows players to upload their top scores, and if their scores are good enough, they can even share their customized characters with the world.
If that is not enough, the developers even added yet another, new mode called Dojo mode. I know very little about this other than information gleaned from gameplay videos, but it will incorporate some sort of tournament-style battle tree. I would expect that this mode will relate to the ghost/score system in some manner and likely assist with unlocking characters or purchasing customization items.
Last, but most likely not least, I was informed that there will be some bonus modes returning from the previous titles, but it remains a mystery as to which modes those might be. I am personally hoping to see Tekken Volleyball, but it could be anything.
Tekken: Dark Resurrection will be a must-have for any fan of the series, and it's one of the titles I am most looking forward to during this upcoming year. The gameplay is shockingly clean on a PSP, and the graphics are comparable to those at the arcades; it might not be quite as smooth, but it's portable, and that's a compromise I'm more than willing to make.
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