Welcome back to the King of the Ironfist tournament, where teeth are constantly kicked in and the Kazama family feud makes Days of our lives look like an episode of My Little Pony.
Tekken 6 enters the fray as the first of its kind to appear on more than just the Playstation, bringing more goodness to more people. The story and characters have come a long way and with them the full set of features that have been added over the length of the series.
Full review, after the jump.
Since it’s birth back in the 1990’s Tekken has managed to amass a huge following and now, more than a decade later, the franchise powers on.
Tekken 6 will feel instantly familiar to fans of the series, with the same core fighting system still very much in place, if only with a few tweaks. One of the changes that has been received with mixed feelings is that right before death, the player gets a bit of a power boost to keep things interesting. While I can’t say that it feels like it has actually made a huge leap, the serious tournament players don’t really seem to be taking a liking to it.
One of the great things about the Tekken series is that pretty much any character ever conceived in the past finds their way into the new version. This means that Tekken 6 has a mind-bogglingly high amount (39) of selectable characters that include some new faces as well and when games like this are concerned, less is never considered more.
I can’t really say that Tekken is very accessible to newcomers though. When games like Street Fighter IV exist, that allows new players to have some fun jumping around and kicking each other’s faces in until they learn the more advanced stuff, the 3-Dimensional, more ‘realistic’ hand to hand style of gameplay is considerably harder to get into, not to mention that character move lists go up to 200 combinations and moves.
Even as an old fan of the series who played from Tekken 1 until Tekken Tag, I found myself bumbling around for quite a while, only hanging on to a few memories of moves and combos that still worked. Button mashing doesn’t really get you anywhere (we do not speak of Eddie), which is always a newcomer favorite so the learning curve can be quite steep.
Once mastered the combat system can be incredibly intricate and satisfying but until you make a lot of progress, you could find yourself feeling very helpless as your character refuses to pounce around like a Ninja that’s buzzed from too many sugary beverages (which is what all newcomers want).
Along with the standard fighting modes, you are also given the ability to play through a campaign similar to the previous Tekken Force modes that has you playing your character in a beat-em-up style game mode not unlike the Double Dragons and Final Fights of old. The major difference being that you can use all of your characters special moves while you play, which is a nice added feature when you are only expecting a standard fighting game.
When it comes to fighting games, we all know where the real fun is to be had, multiplayer. The game offers two player offline multiplayer but now also comes with the obvious next-gen feature of being able to play online with friends as well as watch replays and view data.
While offline multiplayer is always fun with some buddies, the online is somewhat hugely problematic at the moment. By problematic, I mean completely and utterly broken. You have probably heard by now that the game is suffering from terrible online issues which makes a simple local online game run in super slow motion with massive button delays making it completely unplayable in any way.
A patch is already in the words but at the time of writing I can tell you that it is basically unusable and there is no real indication of when it will be fixed. You have been warned, if you are looking to buy this game mainly for online play, you may want to hang on for a bit.
Visually, Tekken 6 is a little disappointing. That’s not to say that it’s a bad looking game, it’s just that with the power coming from the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 I honestly expected a much better looking game. For a game that only has to process two characters and a background, I felt let down by less than impressive character models, textures and a sub-HD resolution. The new motion blur effect is really nice though.
Tekken 6 has nothing that is so new that it will blow your mind. Online play should open up the experience a lot but until that is fixed you can’t really bank on it (playing with buddies is still great). If however you are a fan of the Tekken series (and by now almost everyone has played a Tekken game before) then you will find yourself content with a new Tekken game that will keep you busy for hours and hours on end.
Solid but with a little too much “juggle” to it and not so easy to pick up
Decent looking effects and characters but I expected better
Heeyah, crack, kerplow and thud. It’s all there and sounds good
Offline modes will keep you busy and the multiplayer is sure to have legs once fixed
Still one of the best fighters available out there today, a shame about the technical issues
[Reviewed on the Xbox 360 with the Mad Catz Arcade Fight Stick]
was reviewed by Nick de Bruyne