As fighting games go, the Tekken series still ranks as one of the most revered and successful. Its intricacy and well preserved sheen have kept it fresh and playable since its first iteration in 1994. Over a decade later and the franchise is still going strong, complete with finely honed gameplay, High Definition polish and most prominent of all: online tournaments. Fightin' 'round the world
Yes, for the first time Tekken has taken the plunge into vast online waters with the ability to fight against your friends around the world, and there's an admirable range of options to indulge in once you're ready to go. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online is blessed with a lobby where you can watch matches, study potential rivals' style and chat with others. But once you're ready to dip in, you can join a queue to challenge the current champion, take part in a tournament or just pick a random battle.
Rooms are ranked by ability to allow for a fair fight between players of varying skill, and there's also the option to search matches to your own criteria, such as Internet connection strength and host. Should you prefer a quicker set-up, there's the ability to find a room automatically with players of the same skill level as you. For anyone looking to dethrone the current Tekken champions, a news ticker posts the weekly, monthly and overall rank leaders so you can always keep your eye on the top slot.
Of course, if you only want to play against friends, you can host your own match, and reserve slots for anyone on your PlayStation Network Friends List. Tekken the time
For those wanting to stay offline and hone their skills, Arcade, Practice and the challenging Survival modes make sure your abilities are up to scratch before you take on the world's best.
Naturally there's the chance to take on other offline human opponents with the VS mode, but what may be of particular interest to those who can't get online is the intriguing Ghost mode, which aims to replicate the multi-layered challenge of fighting random human opponents. Rather than just take on fighter after fighter, each battle gives you the option of battling a rival of a different skill level, based on real life players. So the ability of each adversary can vary wildly, which makes every match-up unpredictable - much like going into a real arcade against real people.
All these assorted ways of fighting have the potential to earn virtual cash to unlock a wealth of extra goodies and personalise your experience, from end movies and gallery images, to alternate costumes and peripherals for the 34 available characters, such as a Santa's hat. Surreal, yes, but great fun all the same. Don't fight the urge
As well as a comprehensive wealth of modes, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online also packs a 1080p punch, resulting in some dazzlingly good visuals. Fighters are animated well, and the environments they fight in are superbly detailed, with a range of arenas each boasting their own level of interaction. The floors crack, support beams shatter, and penguins (inquisitive little birds that they are) flee for their lives from the ensuing brawl.
The expected depth of gameplay hasn’t been forsaken either, as Namco Bandai delivers an utterly compelling fighting feast. The wide range of characters, moves and techniques to master creates an abundance of fighting styles and matches to keep you playing, helped by the responsive and intuitive controls.
Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online is not only an essential download but an essential game, regardless of whether you're new to the series or a seasoned veteran. As a fighting title it excels, and the addition of its vast online options increases the value and longevity of what's already a gripping package.Prepare those iron fists - the fight is truly on(line).