Big hair, big boobs, ridiculous revenge storylines, and endless juggling combos. And wait till we tell you about the females. Yes, boys and girls: Tekken 6 has finally arrived on next generation consoles. How does this brawling series legend fare in comparison to its ass kicking counterparts? Find out after the jump.
After much ado about Street Fighter IV, Soul Calibur IV, and BlazBlue this past year, it seems as if Tekken 6 (for the PS3) snuck in through the next-gen fighting game back door for some quick late night nookie. It’s almost preposterous to think that Tekken hit the PSP before it’s bigger brother counterpart.
Thankfully, however, Tekken 6 was worth the wait. Perhaps it a personal taste issue, but I find the weapons-based system in Soul Calibur more of a hindrance than help when it comes to executing combos. Sure, picking apart armor can be cooler than all hell, but requiring an extension of your fighter (a weapon) to properly brawl carries with it a slight hiccup in fighting flow. For an engine where juggling opponents in mid-air is often the difference between success and failure, old-fashioned punches and kicks trump weapons any day for fighting feel. Tekken 6 fights like a dream.
Moreover – and as loyal as I am to the Street Fighter engine – there is something to be said about a move system that doesn’t entail pinpoint precision on a fight stick to succeed. Case in point: If I ever get into a Russian style brawl with Zangief over some chick, I’ll have kicked his ass long before his five failed joystick attempts at a piledriver.
On the flipside, however, there’s little – if anything – new in Tekken 6 you haven’t seen before in the Series. Sure, there are six new playable fighters, but when you’re now up to dozens of selectable characters to choose from, do you really need more? And c’mon, people: ‘Bob’ is nothing more than a rip-off of Street Fighter IV’s ‘Rufus.’ (Apparently all failed American martial artists are both obese and possess plumber-inspired names.)
Logistically speaking, Tekken 6 features the usual fighting game suspects of online ranked/unranked mode plus offline arcade, survival and practice options. The online community is thankfully active.
Scenario Campaign (Tekken 6‘s story mode), however, couldn’t suck enough. Nothing more than a monotonous button mashing action/adventure, this mode – ala’ Konquest Mode in Mortal Kombat: Unchained – is a necessity in unlocking costume and skill upgrades. The opening cinematics of this mode are unfortunately the best part of it. It’s all-downhill from there. Why these upgrades weren’t tethered to actual matches is beyond me.
Graphically, Tekken 6 is next generation beauty at its finest, with lush, interactive backdrops, terrific lighting, and strong character models. Audio is what you’ve come to expect. Solid orchestral score, cheesy voiceovers.
Retrospectively and akin to Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny for the PSP, Tekken 6 immediately felt familiar…but almost to a fault. While I’m a firm believer in the old adage of not fixing a perfectly working model, a little bit more creativity would’ve been welcome. Still, Tekken remains a solid engine and series, one that fighter neophytes will find a lot to like, likewise veterans of the Series looking for their next-gen kick. In many ways, Tekken 6 is the most inviting of all its competitors in this genre.