Please keep in mind that this is not a new review. This is an old review from the original OG that I'm posting because I want to keep a weekly schedule. If nothing else, it's an archive and a filler review, hence the lack of many screenshots.
I've been one to try different games. I'd never played 1 on 1 fighting games when I first got Soulcalibur II & III, and I enjoyed them. When it came time to give Tekken a try, I saw Tekken 5 for cheap. I knew reviews were good, and the price was right, so I picked it up. I thought that finally playing Tekken 5 would be a fun experience, since I'd seen it in action and it looked cool. I also noticed that it had 4 extra arcade games, and so I picked up Tekken 5 to kill five birds with one stone (joke intended). I got it home, and tried it with a friend and thought "This isn't very much fun..." after playing a few rounds and so I took it out and played another game. I come back to it a while later, thinking that I'd have more fun, and so I found the Devil Within mode (Will be elaborated in a later portion of the review, trust me, it WILL be elaborated on), and the arcade games. I looked for Starblade, but found that it was an unlockable. I found that I had to play through Devil Within to unlock it, and I thought, "This should be a fun experience."
Boy was I wrong.
Graphically, this game looks beautiful. While it doesn't support Progressive Scan, it does look good anyways. The textures look good, and none of the character models look very flat. It isn't very rough at all graphically, and that looks good, since after all, this is a 2004 PS2 release, and none of the 7th gen consoles had been released yet (HOME consoles), but it does still have some of that PS2 texturing, which makes some things look kind of ugly and flat, but that's mostly doing with some of the backgrounds. In some stages, it looks very nice, with individual blades of grass flowing in the wind, and it's visually impressive, especially since the graphics engine was completely rebuilt for this game.
The sound department is ok, but I don't have much to say. The music is good, but not many of the tunes are very memorable. There are a few that I enjoy, but the music is lacking in this game. I just didn't find that much in the way of good music, and I have searched the BGM of the game. There aren't too many that I just like listening to, even if there are a few that stand out to me. The audio quality is good, but not perfect.
The control is pretty good, and you can remap controls to buttons, and pull of combos. I personally have never been good at pulling off combos, and that might be why I've never really been a fighting game person, or at least, I don't play them as often as I play other games. You can also map button combos to different buttons on the controller, which is nice. The controls in this game are good, but I highly recommend using an arcade stick for this game.
The gameplay is standard Tekken gameplay. The game also includes the Arcade versions of Tekken 1-3, and that might be the reason as to why it's not Progressive Scan. They play identical to the original arcade, but again, I must stress, I recommend an arcade joystick for this game. It also includes an unlockable game, that being Starblade. It's the game that you play when the game is first loading, and it's pretty fun. I enjoyed playing through it, but it was kind of boring. It's a game where you fly through space, and it's a game best played with a light gun, hence you dragging a cursor to shoot. It can get boring, but the ending is neat. It's short, too. But as I've said, I've never been a person to be playing fighting games in general, (minus a few) but Tekken plays as it did in 4 on the PS2. You fight through the enemies as they get harder and harder, and you pull of combos to win, or you're like me and you spam the same moves over and over to win against the CPU. It's a fun game, but Tekken has never really been my thing.
But Devil Within is a masterpiece. A masterpiece of padding and boring waste of time to unlock a few things. This follows Jin Kazama as he goes through 5 stages to save his mother and rid himself of the devil gene.
I wish the game looked as cool as the title screen makes it seem...
This game is a boring slog. It's a beat em up without power ups (to be expected in Tekken), but you can transform into Devil Jin by pressing L1 and Triangle simultaneously when the red (Devil) Gauge is full, but it is recommended that this is used sparingly, since it will also drain your health. This game has 5 maze like levels, and they all suck. They're all very boring, and some of the puzzles are very annoying to do. The bosses suck too, since once you master their patterns, you still are going nowhere fast. They're difficult and not in the fun way. Especially the final boss. That took me more than 20 tries, and boy was I angry when I was trying to beat it, but I did eventually.
So, so much mindless fun...
Stage 1 is a laboratory theme, and I'm going to mention it now that the levels lack aesthetics. The levels feel like they're trapping the player, not allowing them to see the outside world and see more than just tiles everywhere. Stage 2 feels the same, just a different level layout. Stage 3 seems a little different, but the core gameplay and puzzles are the same, just now with different textures. Stage 4 is a little different, but the boss here will cause a lot of trouble, and this was the first level that took me a good hour and 15 minutes to complete, and I felt every minute of it. Stage 5 IS the final stage, but it feels largely the same as 4. The final boss is very annoying to beat, but if you master how he does things and then beat him up when he's open, you still won't do that well.
I'm going to mention again that these stages are bland and lack that much in ways of being unique. They share the same themes, the same textures, and the same music, and some of the same layouts, as well as some of the same puzzles sometimes too. The music sucks too. It shares music across levels, and the boss theme (which is also used in level 1) gets old after a little while.
The music is very forgettable, so just put something else on to listen to. It controls as you'd expect, but it sometimes is a little too easy, since sometimes you can just keep landing punch after punch, and while other enemies are getting up, you can beat other enemies up. The precise platforming that this mode also expects you to do is aggravating, but fortunately, the game has mercy to just take a chunk of your life instead of killing you. The platforming sometimes is a little irritating, but if I finished it, you can too.
The unlockables aren't much of a plus either. In level 4, by using some of Devil Jin's powers you can unlock Starblade in another room, but you have to finish the level to fully unlock it, so make sure you have enough time if you're going to unlock Starblade. Devil Jin for regular play isn't much of a plus either, but some might like it. Only play Devil Within if you have time to waste. Otherwise, find a way to transfer your saves to your memory card and do it that way. It is a waste of time to play through the game in my opinion, I'd just recommend downloading a save from the internet and playing Starblade that way. Something weird I have noticed though, is that it's oddly mesmerizing. I keep going back to it because it's addicting once you get the hang of it, but it's still really boring and slow, especially if you aren't using a guide.
And yes. I did end up listening to INXS's Devil Inside more than once while playing it. Had to have music other than the infinitely looping stage BGM.
There's also money and character customization, and arcade mode saves your fight progress with every character. I don't have much to talk about other than all of that.
This game is something for Tekken fans, but really, only for Tekken fans. If you want to get the game, then go right ahead, but I still prefer Soulcalibur III over Tekken 5.