I still vividly recall the moment Tekken was released on the 32-bit Sony PlayStation. It was, following Ridge Racer, the first game for the format that truly illustrated what it was capable of.
An arcade game in your living room, Tekken was arguably the system’s first legitimate AAA release, and sent shock-waves through the gaming fraternity.
It would be incredibly naive to expect the game to still have the same impact after almost a two decades have passed, but Tekken stands up better than most fighters of the era, as this release on the Xperia Play (and other PlayStation-Certified Android devices) attests.Everybody was kung-fu fighting
Namco’s feisty reply to Sega’s Virtua Fighter, Tekken is less serious that its rival, and is all the better for it. It contains a roster of bizarre and eclectic characters, including a robotic ninja, a devil and a bear.
The lack of seriousness extends to some of the special moves these wild and wacky combatants perform, many of which are accompanied by garish, multicoloured explosions.
Unlike most fighting games, where each button represents a different strength of attack, Tekken maps a limb to each key.
While this initially sounds odd, it actually makes the game easier to follow. Combination attacks can be created by mixing up your punches and kicks, but being able to choose between your left or right limb (arm or leg) makes things more creative.Those kids were as fast as lightning
Getting to grips with Tekken’s massive selection of fighters (18, to be precise) poses a stern challenge, but what makes the game even more compelling is that many of those brawlers aren’t accessible from the off - you have to unlock them by successfully finishing the game with the eight ‘core’ characters. That lends Namco’s title a considerable level of replayablity.
While it’s true that the myriad sequels improved on this game immeasurably, Tekken still has the ability to entrain and captivate.
Granted, the visuals are rather rough and the combat system lacks some of the refinements that would appear in Tekken 2, but for the asking price it represents a solid purchase - and the Xperia Play’s physical controls offer the perfect interface to rekindle those glorious memories of 1995.
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