Tekken 4

STORY:  Tekken 4 picks up two years after Tekken 3. Heihachi and his scientists have captured samples of Ogre's blood and tissue to splice with Heihachi's genome and make him immortal. The experiment fails, since Heihachi lacks the necessary Devil Gene. Not willing to give up, Heihachi searches for his grandson, Jin Kazama, who does possess the Devil Gene, with Heihachi learning that the body of his son, Kazuya (who also has the Devil Gene and died twenty years ago) is stored in the labs of the Mishima Zaibatsu's main business rival, G Corporation.

Heihachi sends his Tekken Forces to raid G Corporation and retrieve Kazuya's remains, but the mission fails when the Force is wiped out by none other than Kazuya himself, who has been revived by G Corporation and is now stronger than ever before. In a desperate attempt to lure Kazuya and Jin out, Heihachi announces the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 4. The plan works, and at Stage Seven, where Jin and Kazuya are scheduled to fight, Jin is ambushed and captured by the Tekken Forces. Kazuya is declared the default winner of Stage Seven, and he meets Heihachi at the final stage. The father and son clash in battle once again with Heihachi emerging the victor. After the fight, Heihachi leads Kazuya to Hon-Maru (a Mishima Dojo in the woods where Jin is).

There, Devil takes over Kazuya's mind once again, and tells Heihachi that he has come to extract the part of the Devil Gene he lost the night Kazuya was thrown into the volcano. Meanwhile, an unconscious Jin was being stored inside the dojo bounded by chains. As a reward, Devil knocks Heihachi out of the room with his telepathic powers instead of killing him outright, then attempts to steal Jin's Devil Gene. Kazuya overcomes Devil and regains control of his body. Kazuya decides to kill Jin himself and absorb his Devil power. Jin has visions of his father taunting him until he awakens by his voice. In an uncontrollable rage, Jin attacks Kazuya and engages him in combat, emerging the victor.

Heihachi then wakes up and prepares to take advantage of the exhausted Jin by defeating him in battle, but Jin overpowers Heihachi and prepares to kill him as the Devil Gene begins to consume his mind. Jin almost delivers the final blow, but the memory of his mother, Jun, stops him. Jin hesitates and finally releases Heihachi in honor of his mother, telling him to: "Thank my Mother--Jun Kazama." Once again, the feathery black wings sprout from Jin's back, and he flies off, making a huge hole inside Hon-Maru's roof.

A bold new direction for the series. Arcade time releases = Still Hype.

Two years after the smash hit, Tekken Tag Tournament, Namco decided to return to the storyline of Tekken... and the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4 was at hand! New gameplay additions in this installment include: The Position Change (enabling you to grab your opponent and "move" them strategically in any direction), Side Walking (an advancement of Tekken's 3D gameplay), and more realistic environments featuring walls, obstacles, and even multi-tiered floors.

As expected, a few new faces (and authentic martial arts fighting styles) joined the Tekken roster. Sadly, many fighters from the prequels were M.I.A. in Tekken 4, which surely disappointed some fans. However, all returning characters' movesets were updated generously, making them even more dynamic and fun-to-use than before. The newcomers also offer distinct new fighting styles, which animated and played unlike any other fighting game characters to date.

Learn how to play Tekken properly... Sidestep in 3D!
(if you're not side-stepping, you're not playing Tekken.)

Among the newcomers is Steve Fox, an unorthodox and flashy boxer who adds a much needed touch to the series... if you ask me, it's about time a boxer made an appearance in Tekken (not counting kangaroos)! The other new fighters include Craig Marduk, an aggressive Vale Tudo fighter (arguably taking the place of the Jack robot series as the powerhouse), and Christie Monteiro, a sexy Capoeirista who fights very much like Eddy Gordo (whom also happens to be a secret playable character in the PS2 version). Along with the 3 new faces, Jin Kazama could also be considered a "new" character due to his completely revamped moveset and animations. Basically, if you used Jin in Tekken 3 or Tag, you're going to have to relearn him! His new style is a bit more aggressive... and a bit more badass.

Influential newcomers introduced with huge fighting styles!

The brand new "wall game" adds some interesting new strategy to Tekken's classic gameplay. When Tekken 4 first released, some players took to the wall game with open arms... others hated it. In certain situations, walls can be used to further punish a stunned opponent and inflict massive damage. While innovative, Tekken 4's wall combo system definitely needed to work.

The addition of interactive environments also changed the game of Tekken, requiring a bit more sidestepping. Thus, the inclusion of the "side walking" is an appreciated addition, offering an easier (but slower) sidestepping strategy. Certain stages also contain areas with slanted and uneven ground, which also effected gameplay. In fact, uneven ground opened up new (and some would say "cheap") combo possibilities with certain characters. Pro players could actually exploit this and add many hits to their juggles (which is why multi-tiered floors were later taken out of the series).


Yoshimitsu can steal his opponent's moves in Tekken 4.

Following series tradition, the arcade version of Tekken 4 featured several time release characters, which kept the game fresh for many months after the original release. The later home version of Tekken 4 on the PS2 was a solid package. In addition to the staple console modes, it also included a new take on Tekken Force Mode (introduced in the home version of Tekken 3). The new Tekken Force features an updated over-the-shoulder camera view, and a much greater challenge! Mowing down hordes of bad guys using your favorite Tekken fighter (and ALL of their moves) is practically timeless. Tekken Force in Tekken 4 was no doubt a very entertaining & fun bonus mode in accompaniment to the main arcade game. 

The graphics also translated nearly perfectly from arcade to PS2, making it one of the best-looking console fighting games to date. The home version still ran at a smooth 60 fps with minimal slowdown. Tekken 4's awesome CGI introduction was also extended on the PS2 version, setting a really cool and now memorable "mood" for the game. The PS2 version also packed console-exclusive character endings, which used the in-game character models instead of FMV graphics (ala Tekken 3). The prequel's character endings were a bit better if you ask me, but there are several memorable endings in Tekken 4 as well... certainly worth watching more than once.









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Page Updated: May 11th, 2024
Developer(s): Namco
Publisher(s): Namco
Designer(s): Katsuhiro Harada         Director
Hijame Nakatani
Artwork by: Takuji Kawano, Aya Takemura, Yoshinari Mizushima, Kenji Kimura, Shoichi Shimizu
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 2
Release Date(s): July 2001                           Arcade
Mar. 28th, 2002
Sept. 13th, 2002
Sept. 23rd, 2002
Characters Kazuya Mishima, Jin Kazama, Marshall Law, Hwoarang, King, Christie Montiero, Steve Fox, Craig Marduk, Nina Williams, Ling Xiaoyu, Bryan Fury, Lei Wulong, Paul Phoenix, Yoshimitsu, Violet, Lee Chaolan, Julia Chang, Combot, Kuma, Panda, Heihachi Mishima, Miharu Hirano, Eddy Gordo (PS2)

Featured Video:

Related Games: TEKKEN, TEKKEN 2, TEKKEN 3, TEKKEN Tag Tournament, TEKKEN 5, TEKKEN 5: Dark Resurrection, TEKKEN 5: Dark Resurrection Online, TEKKEN: Dark Resurrection, TEKKEN 6, TEKKEN 6: Bloodline Rebellion, TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2, TEKKEN 7, TEKKEN 7: Fated Retribution, TEKKEN 8, TEKKEN Hybrid, TEKKEN Advance, TEKKEN 3D: Prime Edition, TEKKEN Revolution, Street Fighter X TEKKEN, Virtua Fighter 4, Dead or Alive 3, Bloody Roar 3, Fighting Vipers 2, SoulCalibur 2

Gameplay Engine  8.0 / 10
Story / Theme  9.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  8.5 / 10
Animation  9.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  9.0 / 10
Innovation  8.5 / 10
Art Direction  8.5 / 10
Customization  7.0 / 10
Options / Extras  8.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  9.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  7.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.0 / 10
Characters  8.5 / 10

 8.7 / 10

 Review based on Arcade / PS2 versions    


Final Words:

Say what you will about Tekken 4... but this installment marked a significant turning point and was an important stepping stone for the series. In terms of story presentation, character design, rendering quality (check out the art galleries below), and gameplay evolution... Tekken 4 made a big statement in the fighting genre at the time. Very few fighting games of the era (and years after) could live up to the artistry, depth, and polish of Tekken 4.

While Tekken 4 took the series took a step forward with its innovative new gameplay elements and deeper character movesets, many Tekken fans were still enjoying Tekken Tag Tournament's fast & furious tag-team gameplay (and larger roster)... even long after the release of Tekken 4. While the game's "hype factor" didn't quite live up to the epicness and fun that was Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4 was an earnest attempt at returning the series to its 1-VS-1 roots.

Even though Tekken 4 is widely considered "broken" in high level play (due to insanely damaging combos & infinites)... I think most Tekken fans have a special place in their heart for good old T4. The art style was amazing, the music was beautiful, the graphics & animation were a huge step forward, the character evolutions and newcomers were top quality, and just about everything else in the game was memorable and polished.

Even though some fans seemingly preferred the prequels, Tekken 4 was still a hugely successful arcade and PS2 title... raising the bar for console fighting games at the time. Overlooking the issues found in high level play, Tekken 4 was fun on its own... and definitely a quality sequel in many ways. The console-exclusive Tekken Force mode, endings, arcade-to-console quality, and presentation made Tekken 4 one of the best PS2 fighting games of the era. 

About three and a half years after Tekken 4... the highly anticipated Tekken 5 released in arcades (and later on PS2), remedying many of the prequel's gameplay flaws and streamlining the classic 1-VS-1 gameplay further. Tekken 5 also brought back a handful of classic characters who went missing in Tekken 4.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


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