Tekken 6 Review
|Game Name:||Tekken 6|
|Platforms:||PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, Arcade|
|Release Date:||October 27, 2009|
Game Description: The beloved franchise is back for another intense round of hand to hand combat. With it’s debut on HD consols, Tekken 6 has largest roster yet, improved visuals, online play and several different game modes. Fans of the series can expect the most complete Tekken experience yet.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of fighting games out there; Street Fighter, Virtual Fighter, Dead or Alive, Soul Caliber, King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat etc. For me the best out of all of them has been Tekken. I remember being at school in the small dark arcade room with my quarter up on the cabinet waiting my turn. This was when 3D was new and Virtual Fighter was just too slow for my taste and the King of Iron Fist tournaments were just my style. Now 5 sequels later we have Tekken 6 hitting our home consoles.
“If it ain’t broke…”
I like to think that when Tekken 3 came out I had witnessed fighting perfection. I venture Namco thought the same thing as most of the mechanics are unchanged. The fighting is still fast and furious, with input reaction dead on. Each fighter’s limb is assigned to a button on the controller. Combos can be both easy and complex, catering to both seasoned players and to newbies. Throws are pulled off by pressing a punch and kick button together and air juggles are aplenty. By taping up or down on the controller a character can side step left or right with a chance to dodge an attack setting up your opponent for a counter. Of course the famous (or is that infamous?) 10 hit combos return as well. That’s not saying there are not new things to be found in this edition of Tekken. The biggest new addition to the game has to be the Rage mode. When a character is near death they get a red aura, not unlike the glow in The Last Dragon, which increases that characters strength giving them an opportunity for a comeback. I find this both good and bad and can see that it was not added for the hardcore Tekken player but more for the casual fighting fan, giving them a chance to turn the tide of victory.
I got your Options right here!
Like most of the fighting games that Namco Bandai puts out there are plenty of options to choose from. The biggest being the Campaign Scenario which plays out a lot like the Tekken Force side game in Tekken 3 and Devil Within from Tekken 5. It’s a throwback beat ‘em up that stars the two newest characters Lars and Alisa. This is mostly a throw away game like in every other Tekken but it does offer you the opportunity to get a story (and I use that term loosely), some cash and items.
Some of the other modes are Arcade, Ghost battle, Survival, Time Trial and Practice. All of which are fun to play especially the ghost battle mode which lets you play various leveled fighters that branches off and lets you select your path. If you feel your skills are good enough, go for the higher ranked fighter to maybe earn a promotion in your rank and more money, or you can go the safe route and fight the lower leveled enemy for a more guaranteed victory. It’s something they introduced in Tekken 5 and it was a good move to keep it alive in this one.
Character customization is back and more robust this time around. I’m not that into it myself but it does add a bit of variety to a game and it’s a nice diversion. There are some special items that you pick up during the scenario mode that can enhance your abilities in both attack damage, elemental damage, health increase and money increase. It’s a cool idea that kind of sucks when you end up with a mishmash looking character, that is based more on the enchantments you get then the actual cool looks you can make.
Tekken vs Load Time
One thing I’ve never had a problem with in Tekken was load times. It’s always been quick and almost non-existent. So then why oh why is there such long load times in Tekken 6. It’s painful! We’re talking a range of 30-40 seconds to load one fight. It becomes very apparent when you play the Campaign Scenario. Each and every cut scene requires a long load time, and we are talking about 4 to 5 scenes linked together. There is a way to turn off the cut scenes but then you miss out on the story so what’s the point? It doesn’t take away from the fighting engine but it sure gives me no incentive to play for long periods of time.
Tekken vs Online
Besides Tekken Dark Resurrection, online fights are new to the series and boy did this not turn out well. I’ve got my PS3 hardwired to the internet because I don’t want to take a chance on any lag that may occur with wireless. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter with this game as lag plagues the online fights rendering it into a button masher where the outcome is a flip of the coin. I know that updates were supposed to fix this but I still encountered lag, making it hard to finish out combos, pull off reversals or make a counter. I hope improvements keep coming because right now I’m finished with online.
Fresh Faces and a new look
Tekken has never looked better but there but it’s not the best looking fighter out there. For all the load time in this game I thought that the characters would border on looking real but no such luck. It’s a good looking game, but there is a lack of detail in the characters and the skin looks a little plastic. The backgrounds are great sometimes and overly cluttered other times.
The roster is gigantic with 43 playable characters out of the box. Most of the new characters are fun to use and cool to look at. Especially Bob and fat guy with incredible speed, Zafina who is just creepy (but cool animations) and Alisa a robot girl that has chainsaws coming out of her hands. This all is in line with Tekken’s tongue and cheek personality and it keeps things just fresh enough.
All in all Tekken 6 is a nice addition to the franchise with an increased roster, loads of customization, deep fighting engine, lots of options and an updated look. However some of the things that were added such as the Campaign Scenario and Online fights just fall short. Load times are annoying but if you really want to play they are tolerable. I love Tekken but I’m starting to sense that the series has reached its limit. There is nothing here that I couldn’t play in Tekken 5 or Tekken Dark Resurrection. Great stuff but it’s all stuff I’ve played before.