Tekken 6 Review

Ah, Tekken. How I missed you.

The latest installment of the storied fighting franchise is a powerhouse of a game, succeeding in (finally) delivering the Tekken experience to the new generation. Tekken fans will be pleased with the sixth installment, which offers familiar fighting with enough tweaks to make it feel fresh.

The roster swells to 40 this time around, including all 34 characters from the previous installments and 6 brand new faces, ranging from the Spanish brawler Miguel to a new Mishima descendant Lars. Some characters are similar, like King and Armor King, but for the most part, each character brings a unique move set for players to master. The fighting is fast and furious, not suffering from a single frame-rate drop. The new motion-blur feature adds a new coat of paint to the already incredible graphics, making the characters seem like they are truly moving faster than meets the eye. Of course, if you don’t like the new motion blurring, you can always turn it off. The stages are beautifully rendered and range from the expected (a dark chamber with blue flame) to the ridiculous (in the midst of a giant tomato fight). This is also the first time the stage can interact with the fighters, as floors will fall from under their feet and animals will bounce around the stage if knocked into.

Tekken 6

The scenario campaigh accomplishes something that not many other fighters can: it gives Tekken 6 an interesting story. The story centers around Lars Alexandersson and Alina Boskonovitch, two of the newest faces in the franchise. Lars finds the cyborg Alina in cryosleep, then loses his memory in an explosion. Together, they take on the Mishima Zaibatsu, now headed by Jin Kazama, and the G Corporation, headed by Kazuya Mishima. Every character will take part in the story at some point, though most have to be unlocked. The way the campaign plays is reminiscent of Tekken 3‘s Devil Within mode — full 3D free-roaming beat-em-up combat. The scenario campaign mode adds a lot of playtime to the game, even if you only planned on taking the fight online against the best of the best.

Speaking of the online, I experienced no lag during the 20-plus ranked matches I took part in. All of the fighting was as smooth as the offline fights. During the final replay of the match, however, there were some obvious “I’m disconnecting now” stops, but other than that the game ran like a dream. The only load times I found, oddly enough, were the load times between matches in single player. I must say, though, that these load times are un-friggin’-bearable at times. During the scenario campaign, I was literally able to make a sandwich while waiting for the next stage to load.

Tekken 6

If online isn’t your thing, you can still fight against hundreds of pre-loaded ghost characters based on some of the best Tekken 6 fighters in the world. Of course, the ghost characters aren’t nearly as smart as their human counterparts, but the challenge is still there if you want to take on the best. If you’re tired of the ghost characters, go online and download more. If you want to know what kind of fighter the ghost you’re downloading is, watch their uploaded replays as a preview of what you can expect. Tekken 6 is one of the most online-friendly fighters out there, adding replays and ghost data to the already robust matchmaking system.

The soundtrack is similar to the previous installments: techno beats with lots of heavy drums. Though they can be a bit generic, each song fits its stage, most notably the techno yodeling that plays in the mountain stage with the bouncing sheep (yes, I did just write that). The sound effects are the only virtually unchanged aspect of the game, as the yells, “hi-yas,” punches, and kicks are the same as they’ve been since Tekken‘s introduction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’d be nice to hear the fighters’ voices in taunts to their opponents in the midst of battle, a la Soul Calibur, instead of just in the cutscenes (which are remarkably well-acted, by the way).

Whether you like a good single-player mode or mindless fighting action, Tekken 6 will not steer you wrong. If you enjoy fighters at all, make sure you give this a try.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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