Tekken 5 now bruising PS2s

Namco's powerhouse fighter returns; game comes with playable versions of Tekken 1, 2, and 3.

The PlayStation 2 is black and blue for a reason. After beating up Sony's Playstation with Tekken, Tekken 2, and Tekken 3, Namco instigated several beatings on the PS2 with Tekken 4 and the highly rated Tekken Tag Tournament, a current-generation upgrade of the PlayStation's Tekken 3, one of the most critically acclaimed fighting games of all time.

To mark the franchise's 10-year anniversary, Namco Hometek today announced that it has shipped Tekken 5 for the PS2. The fifth full edition of the popular fighting game makes it console debut in North America today. Already socking it to arcades, the Japanese PS2 version will launch March 31.

The game brings back several of the cast of characters who scrapped in the previous versions and introduces three new characters to pummel: Asuka Kazama, Raven, and Feng Wei. Competing in one-on-one slugfests, the 20 characters of the game's roster will fight their ways through several battles, and each character will have his/her own prerendered ending.

New features revitalize the franchise...after purists saw Tekken 4 as a step backwards. Tekken 5 takes character customization a step further. Gamers can now purchase accessories such as sunglasses, necklaces, and costume changes with winnings earned in fights. A new mode, titled "Tekken: Devil Within," is a story mode starring series hero Jin Kazama, and it gives gamers additional moves not found in the arcade mode. As a treat for fans, Tekken 5 will also feature the arcade modes of Tekken, Tekken 2, and Tekken 3 (a first for the PS2).

Namco and peripheral maker Hori have teamed up to offer a special Tekken 5 bundle for $99.99. The pack includes Tekken 5, a controller designed specifically for the game, and a six-disc DVD case to carry all the Tekken titles.

Tekken 5 is rated "T" for Teen and retails for $49.99. For more information on the game, check out GameSpot's no-punches-pulled full review.

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