UPDATE: Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection has been replaced by Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online and is no longer available. Owners of Dark Resurrection can download the online portion of the game for £3.49 through PSN, or buy the full game for £14.99. This is an updated review which includes comment on the online portion of the game. For the original review of Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection see page two.

Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online

Finally, we can now enjoy Tekken 5 online.

Lag is such a horrible thing. It's the destroyer of dreams. One dream, where I was playing classic 2D beat-em-up Street Fighter 2 online against some of the best warriors in the world, has already succumbed to its nothingness. And now another dream, where I'm playing 3D beat-em-up Tekken online, has joined the club.

I know, it's impossible to get true lag-free play. I understand that. It's just disappointing to see Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online, a downloadable PSN game I've been anxiously awaiting for ages, succumb to it.

At best you'll get playable matches, where there's little delay between when you press a button and your character performs a move. At worst, there can be about a half-a-second delay. Of course the quality of everyone's connection, and game experience, is different, I understand that. But for me the lag in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online makes it difficult for me to play as well as I do offline, and is therefore frustrating.

So, for example, if I can see my opponent attempt to hit me with a low attack, my low block will be too late to do anything. Or, when I hit my opponent into the air in an attempt to juggle them with a combo, I'll miss my next hit. The game is playable, for sure. But it will be very annoying for experienced players.

For those of you unfamiliar with Tekken (where have you been?), Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online is a downloadable patch for Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. It's got 30 characters, including Dragonuv and Lili, the two new characters that were added for the Dark Resurrection arcade update, 19 stages, full 1080p HD visuals and a ghost, arcade and versus mode. It's pretty much the complete version of Tekken available right now.

You can now battle for kudos on the Tekken leaderboards

The online play works like this - you connect to a game room filled with up to eight players - like winner stays on in an arcade (remember those?). Your skill level determines the skill level of the room and your opponents, so you won't be pummelled by players miles better than you. Once you've connected to a game room you'll have to wait your turn, like putting 50p down on the cabinet, and watch the other matches in a spectator mode. When it is your turn, it's set up just like any multiplayer game.

You've got various options, including searching for a game room or creating one for you and your friends only. If you can't be bothered with that you can select opti match so the game automatically searches for an appropriate room for us. Once you get a game on, it's standard online fare - with battle points up for grabs and ranked leaderboards to climb.

Of course, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection should have come with online play enabled already. At £3.49 though it's perhaps not too much of an inconvenience. If you haven't got the offline version of the game and fancy some Tekken action now you can play it online, the full game will set you back £14.99, which to us is perfectly reasonable.

Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online isn't as good looking as Virtua Fighter 5, but it does have online play, which the PS3 version of VF5 lacks. So if you're a PS3 owner looking for some online beat-em-up action, Tekken 5: DR Online should do a good enough job - if you can tolerate the lag that is.

Original Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Review.

This is the most complete version of Tekken yet

Seven British pounds goes a long way nowadays. It'll get you a London day travel card and a bottle of Coke, for example. It'll stretch to a Sunday roast and a pint down the local too. You've even got enough for Queen's 1994 Greatest Hits album, if you were so inclined. Now you can add Namco's 500MB+ downloadable Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection for the PS3 to that illustrious list.

The price is particularly important with this release. For one, it's about 20 quid cheaper than the PSP version. Two, when you think about it, it's better. You're getting the latest version of one of the most popular game franchises ever, it looks better on a big screen than on PSP and it's easier to set up a game against your mate.

The PS3 release isn't a port of the PSP game; it's the downloadable version of the arcade release, which came out in Japan in December 2005, and is based on PS2 architecture. To that effect, it's not got the next-gen gorgeousness of other full-priced retail beat-em-ups, like Virtua Fighter 5, but that's not the point. While the graphics look nice enough for an end-of-life cycle PS2 release, essentially this is Tekken 5.5, a stop-gap till Tekken 6 comes out. Your PS3 will run this lounging by a pool sucking on a margarita.

DR on PS3 will please high level Tekken players most of all. Beat-em-ups are all about scrapping with your mates, and, to that end, despite the solidness and multiplayer functionality of the PSP version, it's simply easier to play versus matches on the PS3. Add to that an HD polish (if you're fortunate enough to own a HD TV of course) and the fact that split-second button presses are easier to input on the SIXASIS than a PSP, and it's happy days for Tekken enthusiasts.

Tekken isn't as good-looking as Virtua Fighter 5, but still looks great.

Perhaps that's why Namco hasn't bothered to include the more single-player focused features that were in the PSP version. There's no theatre mode, training mode (a pain for newcomers to the series - the only way of learning moves is accessing the command list while in a fight) or story battle, for example. But you have got ghost mode, which allows you to choose the skill level of your AI opponents, work on your rank and win accessories and costumes. It's a stripped down version of VF5's quest mode, and is as good as it gets playing DR on your own. Apart from that, it's classic Tekken.

Traditionally one of the more accessible of beat-ups, DR has loads of characters, 34 in total, all available right from the start, and half of which are only there for comic value (Roger Jr anyone?). Tekken favourites Paul, Law and Yoshimitsu soldier on. Lili and Sergei, the new characters added for the PSP version are available. Unlike on the PSP however, big bad boss Jinpachi Mishima is selectable. This is a straight port of the arcade after all.

As it has always been, you've got two buttons for punches, two for kicks and a simple counter and throw system. You can get by button-mashing as a beginner (God-damn you Eddy), but invest some time and there's a solid, technical beat-em-up lying underneath waiting to burst out.

I reckon you'll be interested in DR on PS3 if you're a long-time fan of the series and need a fix to tide you over till Tekken 6, or a proud owner of a spanking new PS3 and fancy an accessible and great value beat-em-up with which you can have a laugh with some mates. A great start for new PS3 owners and a great start for PS3's downloadable game's service.