ON: Coin-op, PS2 - OUT: 2004 (coin-op), 2005 (consoles)
THE PITCH: The mighty Tekken series continues as number 5 comes to fruition, albeit after the demise of head honcho Heihacki. It has been confirmed as a coin-op for 2004 and it will hit consoles in 2005. Consoles? We'd be surprised if Tekken broke its PS2 exclusivity but the trailer specifically states consoles in 2005, so maybe it'll make it to Xbox. Just maybe. New characters are on board and Namco have even - gasp, shock, horror - upgraded the fighting to include a buffer that allows you to input moves while performing another move. Frankly, this should have happened years ago but at least it's got there now. Expect more of the same from one of the best beat-'em-ups ever. Oh, and the trailer is as lovely as you'd expect from those clever boys at Namco.
- New characters revealed so far are Raven (Blade lookalike), Asuka Kazama (a female related to Jun, it would seem) and Feng Wei (kung-fu dude).
- Move buffering will allow you to input moves while performing other moves (great and about time).
- The terrain of the levels appear to have gone back to being flat (why the hell have they done that!?). Although stages in general are busier.
THE BUZZ: It's a great fighting franchise that may not appear as all-dominant as it used to be but it's still as popular as hell. Beat-'em-up fans will be honing their skills in anticipation of its barn-storming arrival.