No, it doesn’t. Not even a little bit.
Someone who’d been playing King since T2 could lose to a person new to the series that only played Jin for 3 weeks. JFLS made Jin broken, and boring. Unless you picked Nina, Steve, or Xiaoyu, fighting Jin was completely unfair. TTT Jin was also a monster, but it was easier to beat him with TTT King than it was to beat T4 Jin with T4 King. Nina’s 1+4 was a very cheap move, but doing her Hayashida cancels actually took some skill. Same with Lee’s Acid Rain.
The slopes didn’t work. Itagaki was right when he called out the T4 programmers. The slope dynamic in DOA2-3 is easy and intuitive. In T4 it’s confusing. Lots of chaotic and unpredictable things can happen on slopes in T4. Stages were visually impressive though, and the music was memorable. Wall push was an interesting idea, but not well thought-out. Wall infinites aren’t exactly practical, but some of them do look nice, even if they need some specific conditions to set up.
Backdash was toned down…understandably, but it was overkill. Sidestepping was toned down too much. Which seems to be happening every Tekken sequel.
I liked the addition of Steve and Craig, even though Craig sucked in that game. I didn’t think move steal Yoshimitsu was so bad, but his old flash is more practical. probably should have given him the option to do both. Combot sucked since he didn’t change styles between rounds. Overall the cast was way too small.
Replay feature and Force mode were nice.
But the new found lack of backdashing and power given to 8 framers made the game and in your face brawl fest, which made it impossible for 10 framers to compete, other than Heihachi and Broken Jin. Even without JFLS that was a problem.
T4 isn’t a bad game. In fact it’s a great game. It’s just that when you compare it to T3, TTT, and T5DR…it starts to look less and less impressive. As a fighting game it’s great, but as a Tekken game, it’s barely average.