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Tekken: Dark Resurrection

The King of Iron Fist is resurrected as PSP champion.

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NOT THE HANDS
Success in the main game and dojo missions yields gold to be spent in the upgrade shop. You can buy new colours, clothes and accessories for your character - in fact twice as many curios as found in Tekken 5. Some are just utterly bizarre - like a squirrel who hangs from your shoulder or the Prince from Me and My Katamari who sits on your head while you fight. Weird stuff. However, you can have fun giving frilly Lili a properly Goth makeover, complete with black eye shadow, then pitting her against Devil Jin in what could easily be the next My Chemical Romance video.

Problems? Not too many. The difficulty level is a touch unbalanced, even within single matches. A perfect victory can be followed with a crushing defeat without any major changes in approach from either you or your opponent. There never seems to be any reason why this happens nor anything you can do - you've just got to take it on the chin and try again. But then, you can sometimes beat the computer with the tactics of a rank coward. For instance, backing away from an enemy while blocking, then waiting for their attacks and firing in cheap shots between moves. It's a wimpy technique, and sometimes you'll face justice when your back's against a wall, with zero chance of escape. Two-player Wi-Fi games don't have this problem, of course, because you can smack your mate in the face for real if they try anything so low. And remember, PSM3 does not condone violence.

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NOT THE PANDA
There are other little things which may annoy, depending on how sensitive you are. The more ethically-minded may well raise an eyebrow or two at some of the stories. Marduk's approach to women is unsettling to say the least and few characters are entering the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 with honest intentions. There are some heroes too, of course - and we felt truly emotional by the end of Ganryu's tempestuous romantic sub-plot.

Bear in mind that Tekken is still a little clunky compared to Soul Calibur 3 - we daren't even imagine how great Soul Calibur PSP would be. So although Dark Resurrection is a magnificent Tekken game, it can still alienate those who prefer more intuitive fighting. Think twice if you've played Tekken 5 to death on PS2 as well. There's not much extra on offer here, so it probably isn't worth it, unless you're desperate for a portable version.

Minor flaws aside, Dark Resurrection is a masterpiece of PSP gaming. You'll get sucked into its world of trying to learn 10-hit combos and striving for better dojo ranks. As a showcase for the console and a perfect example of pick-up-and-play fun, it's one of the best games you can get. Tekken's found its home.

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The verdict

Home console-quality scrapping that doesn't hurt your thumbs. An essential purchase for fight fans.

8.9
Format
PlayStation Portable
Developer
Namco Bandai
Publisher
Namco Bandai
Genre
Beat 'em Up

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