This great fighting game pushes the PSP almost to its limits.
One of the things about this game that makes it so unique, are it's controls. Tekken Dark Resurrection uses quite unusual controls. The square and triangle buttons are used for punches while the x and circle buttons are used for kicks. When any one of those is pressed with the up arrow, you will perform a heavy attack. For example, if you press x with the up arrow, your character will kick the opponent in the head. Heavy attacks are slower but deal massive amounts of damage. The right arrow is used for medium attacks, which deal moderate damage and are not as easy to dodge as heavy attacks. And finally, the down arrow deals light attacks - the fastest but also the weakest attacks. If you press the left arrow twice, you will do a quick dodge and move a back a bit. Pressing the right arrow twice will take you faster to your enemies and can be used for charging at opponents. I found Tekken's controls quite difficult to master but eventually I got used to them. So, even though these controls are quite new to the fighting game genre and (when mastered) can be used very efficiently, they are still not very friendly to newcomers so they aren't necessarily great.
In the review's index, I wrote that Tekken Dark Resurrection "pushes the PSP right to it's limits". By that, I mean visually. This game really is beautiful and it's rare to see games with such amazing graphics on a handheld console. Characters look great and are well animated. Environments look good as well and they also tend to be quite interesting, whether its just a few chickens running around in the background or a helicopter flying right next you and your opponent. Add to that the fast techno music and you've got yourself one action-packed fighting game. Personally, I'm not a fan of techno music… I hate it. But this game has some really good soundtracks which definitely fit the battles really well.
Characters in Dark Resurrection are wonderful. They vary greatly and look fantastic, it is a really mixed cast of spectacular fighters. Plus, you can customize every one of the 34 characters in the game + unlockable characters. That includes changing their clothing, equipment and colour of nearly everything they wear. There isn't a massive amount of customization items for every character, but there is quite a lot and it should be enough to satisfy the average gamer. Every character in Tekken has a story. You can play through every character's story by playing the 'Story Battle' mode. This mode has 9 stages, each stage has 2 battle with one opponent. Enemies get harder as you go and the game tends to become frustrating fast. As soon as you are past half of the stages, you will find yourself losing repeatedly which will be very frustrating however it will convince you that you have to win the next time you try, that's also how the game gets very addictive and forces you to change your tactics if you want to succeed.
There is quite a few game modes in Tekken Dark Resurrection. There is Story Battle, which I mentioned in the paragraph above; Quick Battle, where you battle CPU opponents in an unlimited series of battles and last but definitely not least, the Tekken Dojo mode. The most interesting one of these has to be Tekken Dojo. You select one character and then choose a dojo. You then fight through battles to win the tournament in that dojo. As you fight, you progress in rank. As your character rises in rank, he or she will get more powerful and your rank with that character will be saved so that character is also stronger in other modes. While Tekken Dojo is the best mode in Dark Resurrection, I still think that Story Battle is really cool because it has cut scenes and shows you what the characters are like. Of course, there is more than just three game modes in Tekken. There is also Arcade Battle, Network (multiplayer mode), Attack, Practice and the bonus games like bowling.
Overall, I must say that Tekken Dark Resurrection is one of my favourite games for the PSP and it is a great game but the controls could have been done a bit differently, Namco could have included some more customization items, character creation would have been awesome and story is probably the weakest part of this Tekken game however it is not uncommon for Japanese arcade-like fighting games to have a weak story because they concentrate more on gameplay, graphics, animation, fighting moves and character looks so there's plenty of stuff to cover for a weak story. Fans of fighting games will love Tekken Dark Resurrection but normal gamers will not find it as appealing so it is not a game for everyone.