Review: Tekken 6
This morning’s edification.
I have always had a thing for the Tekken series. Tekken 2 was the first game I brought for my Playstation 2 (along with Ridge Racer Revolution and some horrid Sony basketball game) and loved playing it with friends and would become a multiplayer staple of our household for a couple of years to say the least. I was not blown away by Soul Calibur IV I have to admit, so I did not have high hopes going in to Tekken 6 which seemed a little odd since I have been a fan of the series since the start thanks to Namco’s wacky character design and Tekken’s great gameplay.
First things first, Tekken 6 is the same Tekken you know and love (or hate in some cases). Yeah, it still revolves around keeping your opponent pinned to the walls or up in the air implausibly with a flurry of punches and kicks and yeah there are still some cheap bosses as per every fighting game. With that said I can report Azarel is no where near as cheap as Seth from Street Fighter IV or Jinpachi from Tekken 5 but he can be controller smashingly infuriating at times with his tough skin and teleporting jump attacks and not to mention his eye beams let me tell you.
Other than a couple of new boss characters, Tekken 6 has added a whole bunch of new characters which not only suit the game but are in fact awesome to play as to. I consider these characters to be much better than the new additions in Street Fighter IV which is saying something. Another new thing added in to the game are the ‘Bound’ attacks which are powerful ground attacks that smack the enemy to the ground so hard they bounce high in to the air again which is useful for maintaining combos. Then there is ‘Rage’ mode which allows someone who is near defeat to glow a funny red colour and do more damage than normal.
The main game is still one vs. one fighting and runs at a smooth sixty frames a second at all times. The characters are well animated and look lush and the backgrounds are vibrant and lovely looking but while I was playing with Rich online we could not help feel like the textures for the backgrounds are a little low res in places. Perhaps Namco were taking some shortcuts for production costs or to keep the frame rate up on the arcade boards or something. That said Tekken is still a bright and colourful game with lots of charisma and charm which also carries though to the many FMVs throughout the game to which is nice.
The character balancing is tight although due to the *ahem* accessibility of the game it’s still possible to win ranked matches with Eddy Gordo with one hand (argh?! – Ed) which I have been known to do when eating dinner some times heh (phew! – Ed). With that said though there is still a lot of depth to the game that will please hardcore fans. There is a reason that this is the most popular game in Japanese arcades at the moment, because it can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels.
Oh, hi Tekken. How long’s it been? Well in my case, the last fun I had with a Tekken game was number 3 (I took cursory glances at 4 and 5 before rolling over and going back to sleep) and this iteration of the series is comfortingly familiar.
In a surprise move, those awful, awful bastards at Namco have actually done the right thing. The game is packed with content – including forty or so fighters and more stupid costumes than you could shake Wayne Rooney’s wife at.
Oddly, the game seems to be based around the fun but cumbersome story mode which is yet another attempt to crowbar a sophisticated fighting engine into a scrolling beat ’em up. 750 gamerscore and all the ending movies can be unlocked in this mode. Still, it’s pretty good fun. At least with the right character and once you’ve started skipping the ludicrous amounts of cutscenes.
As with life, ultimately the fun is wrecked by a cunt of a boss and in Tekken 6’s case we’ve got two chip pissers. NANCY the stompy bot has one hit kill moves that it unleashes when you are winning and Azazel is fucking stupid pink dragon thing that has round-wrecking moves that it combos until you resort to cheaping it out with one of the less balanced characters.
Tekken 6 has a stack of content, plenty of charm, a magnificent intro, interesting stages (although the graphics are a little low-res and, dare I say it, ugly at times) and game-ruining bosses.
Get the Arcade and Story achievements out of the way (the game is maxable in a few days) and you’ve got a comprehensive fighter to play with your buddies. With this many characters to learn, you won’t need to buy another fighter for a while.
Secondary Score: 7/10
That said while Tekken 6 is a massively fun multiplayer game it’s hindered by the fact that the multiplayer netcode is not as smooth as it’s competitors like Street Fighter IV or Blazblue although Namco have released a couple of patches since release to smooth things out a bit more in this respect. This is also compounded by the fact that certain members of the Xbox Live Community feel the need to bolster their ego’s by using cheap controller devices called ‘lag switches’ which causes massive latency in a game. This is a common problem with Xbox 360 gaming and nothing to do with Tekken 6 mind you but it just pushes the point that if you really want to enjoy this game make sure you know lots of people with this game or just play with friends locally.
While I could talk about the main game till the cows come home what you will be playing most, when you are not playing with friends either online or offline, is Story Campaign mode due to the fact that most of the Achievements/Trophies are earned in this mode as well as all the ending movies for every character and it’s also the easiest mode to earn clothing, items and money from. The controls are rough around the edges in this Final Fight style scrolling beat-em-up mode and it would be nice if the game explained the clothing customising system properly since in story mode you can gain clothes that increases the abilities of your chosen character.
The customisation options in Tekken 6 is fantastic, more so than Street Fighter IV and Virtua Fighter 5 but not as fleshed out as games like Soul Calibur IV but there are still a lot of options at your disposal and you can have a lot of fun with it.
Overall, Tekken 6 has done enough to warrant a purchase. It’s a genuinely good game slightly hindered by a few drawbacks most notably with most of the achievements being put in to the fun but ultimately flawed Double Dragon knock off Story Mode which may annoy hardcore fighting game fans.
While far from being perfect Tekken 6 is a worthy addition to anyone’s video game collection even if you just has a passing interest in fighting games due to the game being so deep yet accessible at the same time, more so than any other fighting game I have reviewed for this site and yet it has a charming style which is unlike any of fighting game series and I have to say that Tekken 6 is probably the most fun I have had with a fighting game this year, or at least a close second with Blazblue.