- Namco has always been ahead of the game in the 3D fighter stakes, owning two of the superlative stallions in the four-horse race - Dead or Alive and Virtua Fighter would be the only two other games that are in the same league.
And although its Soul Calibur series has arguably never hit a duff note (discounting Soul Calibur Legends in the same way you wouldn't consider Death By Degrees part of the Tekken lineage), its longer-running stablemate Tekken can't be afforded the same praise.
The series evolved seamlessly from its debut in 1994 to its seemingly unstoppable high point of Tekken 3, but then things started to go a little off-course with the follow up, Tekken Tag Tournament. Although not a bad game per se, Tag Tournament just wasn't the evolution fans were hoping for, offering up only a few returning characters, better graphics and a poorly implemented tag system.
And then when the fully-fledged sequel was released, it felt unrefined with sporadic environments and unbalanced characters. By this point, many among the 3D fighter hardcore felt that Tekken was no longer capable of reaching the dizzy heights of its heyday and were looking to the likes of Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter rather than the up-and-coming Tekken 5.
But with Tekken 5's release, it seemed as...