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Namco's 3D fighting series makes its second appearance on PlayStation 2 with an arcade port offering enhancements designed specifically for home use. Over 20 characters are featured in Tekken 4, four of which are new to the franchise, each playable in nine game modes: Story Battle, Arcade, Time Attack, Vs. Battle, Team Battle, Survival, Practice, Training, and Tekken Force. As in previous titles in the series, the object is to win a specific number of rounds by reducing an opponent's health meter to zero. This is accomplished by using a variety of punches, jumps, kicks, parries, throws, and special moves — all of which can be linked to form up to ten-hit combos.
The stages in Tekken 4 are more interactive than in versions past, with some featuring breakable objects, such as pillars that will cause extra damage if an opponent is thrown against them. Environments incorporate walls as well, which can also be used to harm opponents if they are cornered. Defensive minded players can implement position changes, perform two methods of guards, sidestep into the foreground or background, evade throws, and recover from being slammed into a wall. Each environment has also been designed with multiple levels of elevation, which can affect a character's follow-up attacks. The advantage is given to players fighting on lower ground.
Story Battle follows a specific narrative for each character in the eight opponents he or she will face. The mode begins and ends with a CGI cinema of the selected character, designed to explain his or her motivations for fighting. Arcade Mode has players trying to defeat all remaining characters in the game, while Time Attack consists of eight consecutive fights as players attempt to establish a record time. Vs. Battle is the two-player mode, where friends can select the stage, fighters, and possible handicaps. Team Battle lets players create teams of up to eight characters per side before entering series of one-on-one fights using an elimination format.
Survival is an endurance test to see how many computer opponents can be defeated before players run out of health. Practice consists of learning a specific character's moves, while Training involves rapidly inputting a series of commands in an attempt to develop a player's speed at performing attacks. Tekken Force is played like a 3D beat-'em-up. Players fight multiple thugs while advancing through different levels from a view positioned behind the character. The object is to defeat all enemies within an area, including a boss, before time expires. Tekken 4 supports PlayStation 2's progressive mode (525p) for those owning both a component video cable and a compatible television. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide