Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection First Look

Namco shows off its stylish update to Tekken 5.

One of the biggest draws at this year's Amusement Machine Show was Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. The game is essentially an update to the current arcade version of the game and includes some new features. You'll find revamped stages, new items, gameplay tweaks, and, most significantly, two new playable characters: Lili, a female powerhouse with a wicked array of kicks, and Dragunov, a surly goth with devastating grapples.

Cardboard standees of Lili and Dragunov prominently flanked the rows of Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection machines on display, although many attendees seemed more interested in the costume and subtle changes made to their favorite characters in this update. Lili appears to be a demure, young, blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty. Of course, since this is Tekken, she comes packing some deceptively powerful moves that remind us of Krav Maga. A fast, lithe character, Lili can spin herself out of the way of attacks to make setting up counterattacks easy. However, despite her solid defensive abilities, Lili can also throw down thanks to awkwardly thrown hand strikes, which require some practice for opponents to block, and strong kick combos that include lunging double kicks that can be chained to take out a chunk of your opponent's life bar before he or she knows what hit him or her. Though we obviously want to spend more time exploring how she handles, Lili makes a strong first impression and stands as a strong new competitor.

The second character, Dragonov, has the pale complexion of Bryan Fury and even has similar facial scarring. The two costumes that were readily available in the version shown offered the choice of a clean-cut military officer's outfit and a rugged black outfit that included a tactical vest. As far as handling goes, Dragunov played a bit like Bryan Fury, minus the heavy direct punches. However, whereas Lili featured a very accessible array of moves that made it possible to hop in and start kicking tail, Dragunov feels like he's going to be more of a technical character. Some of his moves were a bit mysterious, as we found ourselves pulling off one move only to find him perform some animation that would undoubtedly unleash a deadly attack if we had him in the right position. Despite our uncertainty with the full complement of his attacks, we can say that Dragunov definitely has a lot of interesting grapple maneuvers that include some impressive ground-work attacks. One of the notable moves we saw was a lunging tackle that includes a series of erratic punches while in the mounted position.

In addition to the two new playable characters, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection also includes a grip of new items, such as sunglasses and haircuts you can use to customize your character. In addition, the update will revamp the old stages, as well as add an all-new one to the mix. The original forest stage is a moody arena set in a moonlit forest. You're watched by a pack of wolves, which circles you and your opponent as you fight, offering a nice, creepy touch. Finally, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection will include the unique costumes added for the PlayStation 2 version of Tekken 5.

From what we saw, the various additions to Tekken 5 help an already strong game shine even more. The new characters and additional content help keep the game fresh and offer even more possibilities when playing against friends. Hopefully these new characters, stages, and other changes will make their way home at some point.

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