Normally when GM gets hands-on with a preview, that's literally it, 'hands-on'. But when we went to see Tekken 5 we were more fingers, hands, legs and bums-on. You see Tekken 5 doesn't come on some tiny sliver of a silver circle; it arrives in the colossal arcade-shape of a sit-down, two-player, widescreen, wide-seated cabinet. Which did make it harder to lug back into the office without everyone wanting a go.
But size isn't the only reason that Namco's named kicker counts as a big game - there is so much more to this sequel than that. After the disappointing Tekken 4, the team have chucked out that game's realistic approach and so they've returned to the kind of basics that have made everyone of the last decade of Tekkens a massive success. So the walls have been pushed back to make the 15 arenas bigger, the floor is flatter and they've also returned the controls to their traditional type.
Everything in the game is also now fully breakable too. From the floor to each one of the 20-plus fighter's faces, it can all be completely deformed and shattered as your blows are landed and opponents grounded and gouged.
For the cultured scrapper there is also the chance to take their character from arcade battle to coin-op contests through something called Tekken Net, a credit card-sized plastic card that will enable you to save your character, keep your scores and even leave a ghost version of your brawler for other card carrying combatants to challenge.
The coin-op version of Tekken 5 is out now and it'll be released for PS2 in the summer