Tekken. Namco (1995) PlayStation



Going back and playing games that are released almost yearly is difficult. This is especially true for Fighting Games, as they don’t hold up too well. It always takes a few sequels and iterations before the combat becomes smooth and natural. But often they suffer from Mortal Kombat syndrome where they fuck with the roster too much and the story falls up its own arse.

Tekken follows some of this.


Tekken is a Tournament Fighting game. You pick your character, and you fight 7 enemies, a sub-boss and the final boss. Unlike other games at the time, each button controls a limb, rather than having a separate punch/kick/jump button like games such as Virtua Fighter, or slow/medium/fast power like Street Fighter II.


The difficulty is there, but it isn’t the bullshit like in Mortal Kombat where there is an impassable wall like Goro.

Each of the fighters has different attributes, so they suit different fighting styles. This means that some characters will be naturally weaker versus other opponents. But it alsi requires you to learn different tactics, and mix up strategy in each match. You don’t want to let Jack keep you at arms length, and you don’t want Kazuya to break into combos, Paul sucks versus Law, Law sucks Jack. It doesn’t mean you can’t beat those people, but it means you need to adapt your tactics and learn new things and not try to constantly faceroll the enemy.

Tekken is both splotchy AND shonkey

Tekken is both splotchy AND shonkey

The Fighting?

Is a little clunky. Do not try to faceroll the control pad, as all it will do is recognise a punch. To enter a combo you have to enter it precicely, but kinda slowly. You can’t roll your thumb to do the move, you have to manually press then one by one and make sure the presses are defined. It means pros will pronbably get frustrated playing, but it means somebody like me can have more fun. It means I can play mates and we all be roughley as good as each other, so for local multiplayer it is ideal (not that LAN/internet gaming exists). I can’t see any reason pros would engage in a proper tournament with Tekken 1.


It is a Tournament Fighter, so there is a story… The canon ending is if you play as Kazuya, but basically, Heihatchi the evil leader of the Mishima Zaibatsu conglomerate hosts a fighting tournament (King of Iron Fist Tournament) with the winner getting $1,000,000,000.



Everyone has their reason for entering, but ultimately, the one billion dollar prize is reason enough to not warrant all the added faff.


Played a Tekken game? Most of the characters appear here in some form.

With 8 regular characters, 8 unlockables (for beating the game with each of the original 8), and 2 semi-secret unlocks, mean there is a hell of a roster here. In 1995, 8-10 was still considered a good roster, so to have 18 was impressive. Yes, the second 8 are effectively pallate swap characters, but there is enough difference between Kuma and Jack for them to play differently, despite a similar move set. It isn’t a lazy 4 types of the same Cyborg, or 3 ninja ladies as seen in other series at the time.

Scroll off screen to find the unlockables.

Scroll off screen to find the unlockables.


Tekken has a surprising amount of strategy and depth to it, but it isn’t as immediately fun as say Clayfighter 63 1/3, but at the same time you don’t tire of it as quickly as Saturday Night Slam Masters, and it is much more balanced than Mortal Kombat. You can’t step in and out of the 3D plane, so while combat is in a 3d arena, you are tied to a 2D plane.

Tekken is much better than most other fighters from the same era.

Pros: Because the combat it a little clunky it allows newbs and pros to be a bit more even. Excellent first game in seires. Galaga minigame!

Cons: Story falls up its own arse, fighting can be clunky and slow,


Back in the day

Tekken received almost universal acclaim at release scoring 38/40 and 9/10 type scores (Famitsu and Edge respectively), and was the first PS1 game to sell over 1 million units