Tekken 4 (鉄拳4) is a fighting game developed and published by Namco as the fourth main and fifth installment in the Tekken series, following the release of the non-canon titled Tekken Tag Tournament in 1999. It was released on arcades in 2001, and on the PlayStation 2 in 2002.

Tekken 4
European PlayStation 2 box art
Director(s)Katsuhiro Harada
Masahiro Kimoto
Yuichi Yonemori
Producer(s)Hajime Nakatani
Programmer(s)Yoshihito Saito
Junichi Sakai
Kenji Ozaki
Artist(s)Yoshinari Mizushima
Takuji Kawano
Writer(s)Kazuaki Fujimoto
Yoshinari Mizushima
Shinsuke Sato
Composer(s)Akitaka Tohyama
Yuu Miyake
Satoru Kōsaki
Hiroshi Okubo
Keiki Kobayashi
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
  • JP: March 28, 2002
  • EU: September 13, 2002
  • NA: September 23, 2002
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemNamco System 246

Placing distinction on the plot in the console version, the tone of Tekken 4 was noticeably darker than other installments of the series.[2] The game also harbored many gameplay revisions, such as the series-unique ability for the player to move about before the round begins and the introduction of walled stages. There are up to twenty-three characters to choose from, including six newcomers. The game's story reveals that Kazuya has been revived following his death 20 years prior and enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4 to take back the Mishima Zaibatsu. Tekken 4 received generally favorable reviews. Community reception was generally negative, with competitive players pointing out its balancing and gameplay issues. However in recent years, Tekken 4 has been widely praised for its innovation, atmosphere and attention to detail. Its sequel, Tekken 5, was released in 2004.

Gameplay edit

Tekken 4 introduced significant new gameplay changes from the previous games in the series.[3] For the first time, it allowed players to maneuver around an arena interacting with walls and other obstacles for extra damage. These "environmental hazards" in turn allowed players to juggle opponents for consecutive combos and allowed the designers to implement a "switch maneuver", which let players escape from cornering and turn the tide in their favor. The game engine had been tweaked to be more focused on the environment, causing the characters to move more slowly and fluidly than in Tekken Tag Tournament. Finally, the game introduced a brand new graphics system, that featured increased lighting, dynamic physics, and smoother surfaces.

The console version of Tekken 4 includes a beat 'em up minigame available from the outset, called Tekken Force. Similar to the previous minigame found in Tekken 3, it presents the player with an over-the-shoulder perspective as they fight wave upon wave of Heihachi's Tekken Force through four stages, eventually facing Heihachi himself. The player can pick up health and power-ups while fighting waves of enemies. In the minigame it is discovered that the Tekken Force possesses different ranks in the organization, evident in different amounts of stamina, strength, and skill. A new Story mode in the home version unlocks cutscenes when played, in contrast to previous installments in which such cutscenes were unlocked from playing the Arcade mode.

Characters edit

The arcade version features a total of 23 characters, consisting of 17 returning and 6 new ones. The returning characters include a couple ones who did not make the cut in the 19-year time skip between Tekken 2 and Tekken 3. The console version adds two characters, both palette swaps of existing ones. 10 characters are available by default, with the rest being unlocked by clearing Story Mode multiple times.

New characters edit

  • Christie Monteiro: A Capoeira student in search for her friend and teacher, Eddy Gordo.
  • Combot a: A general purpose robot created by the Violet Systems who is able to mimic other characters' fighting styles.
  • Craig Marduk: An undefeated Vale Tudo fighter who had killed Armor King and is joining the tournament under the lure of Armor King's student King II
  • Miharu Hirano a b c: The best friend of Ling Xiaoyu.
  • Steve Fox: A young boxing champion who seeks to find out about his past.
  • Violet a c d: The alter-ego of Lee Chaolan.

Returning characters edit

^a Unlockable character
^b Only playable in console version (make a cameo appearances in arcade version)
^c Skin/palette swap
^d Skin/palette swap when Lee Chaolan unlocked

Plot edit

Two years after the King of Iron Fist Tournament 3, Heihachi Mishima and his scientists have captured samples of Ogre's blood and tissue to splice with Heihachi's genome, in order to make him immortal. The experiment fails since Heihachi lacks the Devil gene. His grandson, Jin Kazama, possesses the Devil gene but has been missing since the previous tournament. Meanwhile, Heihachi learns that the body of his son, Kazuya Mishima, who also had the Devil gene and whom Heihachi killed by throwing into a volcano twenty-one years ago, is stored in the labs of the G Corporation, a cutting edge biotech firm making revolutionary advances in the field of biogenetics research. Heihachi sends his Tekken Forces to raid G Corporation facility in order to retrieve Kazuya's remains. However, the mission fails when the Tekken Force is wiped out by none other than Kazuya himself, who has been revived by G Corporation a few days after his apparent death. Unknown to Heihachi, Jin has been in a self-imposed training exile in Brisbane, to unlearn the Mishima karate style and master traditional karate, loathing anything to do with his bloodline since Heihachi's betrayal.

In an attempt to lure Kazuya and Jin out, Heihachi announces the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4, with the ownership of the Mishima Zaibatsu being the top prize. Ling Xiaoyu remains a ward of the Mishima Zaibatsu during this time. One day, an anonymous e-mail warned her that her so-called protector Heihachi was actually planning to have her assassinated, and advised her to run away as soon as possible. Xiaoyu replied to the e-mail, but she did not receive any further messages from the anonymous individual. Guessing that the message could be from Jin, she took it to heart. Xiaoyu willingly complied with Heihachi's suggestion that she should sign up as a contestant, hoping to be reunited with Jin and unravel the sinister secrets of the Mishima Financial Empire. Xiaoyu is saved from Heihachi's evil plans by Yoshimitsu, who informs her of the Mishima family's tragic history. Xiaoyu dropped out of the tournament and began to believe that the root of all misfortune surrounding the Mishimas started with Heihachi's cruel upbringing of Kazuya.

After Jin won his match against Hwoarang by default when the South Korean Army took him into custody and Kazuya defeated Violet, Jin and Kazuya were scheduled to fight at Stage 7. Jin is ambushed and captured by the Tekken Force and taken to Hon-Maru, a Mishima Dojo in the woods. After Kazuya was declared the winner of Stage 7 by default, he meets Heihachi at the final stage and questions him about Jin's disappearance. They clash and Heihachi emerges victorious.

After the fight, instead of killing Kazuya outright, Heihachi leads him to Hon-Maru, where an unconscious Jin has been chained, planning to enchain Kazuya as well, in order to take their devil powers for himself. Devil, however, unexpectedly takes over Kazuya's body, and reveals to Heihachi that, 21 years ago, after Kazuya was thrown into a volcano, half of its entity split from it and possessed Jin, to which it plans on retrieving it from him and recover its full power. With Jin within its grasp, Devil knocks Heihachi out with telekinesis and then subconsciously taunts and torments Jin via images of Kazuya. Kazuya, having figured out how to assimilate his own entity with Devil's, takes control of his body back from it, resulting in him and Devil becoming a unified entity. Kazuya then calls Jin, which causes his son to wake up with his Devil powers activated. Breaking the chains, an enraged Jin fights his father Kazuya and defeats him. Heihachi regains consciousness and goes to fight against an exhausted Jin, but is also defeated. As Jin is about to land the killing blow on Heihachi, a vision of his mother, Jun Kazama, causes him to spare his grandfather in her honor. Stretching his Devil wings, Jin takes flight, leaving the unconscious Kazuya and Heihachi in Hon-Maru.

Reception edit

In Japan, Game Machine listed Tekken 4 on their September 1, 2001 issue as being the most-successful arcade game of the month.[12]

Tekken 4 has received an averaged score of 81% at GameRankings[4] and 79/100 at Metacritic.[5] Edge gave it a mediocre review, highlighting the game's experimental and pretty nature, and that overall it is a more solid and thoughtful proposition than its predecessor, but concluded that the game feels "over-familiar and curiously uninspired."[3] On the other hand, GameSpot's Greg Kasavin referred to it as "one of the better fighting games in years" and "an extremely solid, long-lasting, accessible, and fun-to-play fighting game that comes from one of the world's best developers of the genre"."[8] GameSpot named Tekken 4 the best PlayStation 2 game of September 2002,[13] and nominated it for the publication's "Best Fighting Game of 2002" award.[14]IGN's Jeremy Dunham noted the walls and confined spaces as "probably Namco's wisest decision," and called the game "a solid fighter in every sense of the word."[10][15]

Notes edit

  1. ^ Published in North America by Namco Hometek and in Europe by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

References edit

  1. ^ "ミラクル未来ウェブ|鉄拳4" (in Japanese). Bandai Namco. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  2. ^ "The Grounded, Dark Tone of Tekken 4". 19 February 2021. Archived from the original on 22 March 2023. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Edge magazine issue E111, June 2004.
  4. ^ a b "Tekken 4 for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  5. ^ a b "Tekken 4 for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2023-11-09. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  6. ^ プレイステーション2 - 鉄拳4. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.74. 30 June 2006.
  7. ^ "Review: Tekken 4 for PS2 on GamePro.com". GamePro.com. 2002-09-23. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ a b Greg Kasavin (2002-09-23). "Tekken 4 Review". GameSpot.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  9. ^ "PlanetPS2 - A Member of The GameSpy Network". GameSpy.com. Archived from the original on May 29, 2006. Retrieved 2013-06-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ a b "Tekken 4 - IGN". Ps2.ign.com. 24 September 2002. Archived from the original on 2022-10-17. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  11. ^ "2003 Interactive Achievement Awards". interactive.org. Archived from the original on 2023-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
  12. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - TVゲーム機ーソフトウェア (Video Game Software)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 641. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 September 2001. p. 17.
  13. ^ The Editors of GameSpot (October 5, 2002). "GameSpot's Game of the Month, September 2002". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 18, 2003.
  14. ^ "GameSpot Presents: The Best and Worst of 2002 - GameSpot". www.gamespot.com. Archived from the original on 10 April 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  15. ^ The Best Fighting Game for Playstation 2 Reviewed by Jejakterkini "Tekken 4 PS2". Archived from the original on 2023-01-28. Retrieved 2023-01-28.

External links edit