I used to play a lot of Tekken. Especially Tekken 3, which – along with Wipeout – really brought the Playstation to fore in my circles. There was a time when I knew several characters well, being able to play very tactically. Since then I’ve been much more into Dead Or Alive and Soul Calibur, coming to regard Tekken’s combo-smashing as a more primitive affair. (I believe this was a defense mechanism to excuse myself for not keeping my iron fist skills up to date.)
I didn’t really expect much when I slotted in Tekken Dark Resurrection. For starters, I didn’t recall its positive reviews, and come on – it’s a beat em up on a portable. How could it work? You need precision, smooth framerates and a stable controller.
I bashed away for a couple of hours, really just mindlessly button-mashing, until I hit a brick wall and couldn’t progress. Then I came across Forrest Law, doing the torso punch combo and switching stances, and it all came flooding back. Jack’s annoying sitting punches… Yoshimitsu’s sewing machine… Within minutes, I was in practice mode, going through moves for the characters I want to learn.
Tekken’s visual design doesn’t always appeal to me these days, and indeed the gameplay requires a lot more memorization than the more recent contenders, but you can’t keep a quality brawler down. That it works flawlessly on a portable is a miracle. I haven’t played many PSP games yet, but this one I’d rate as a must-have.