Tekken 6 Review

The King of Iron Fist goes multi-format, as another generation of Mishimas fetch the hair gel and gloves. PS3 version reviewed.

By Rupert Higham, November 6, 2009

These changes to Tekken’s mechanics are not what Namco are screaming from the rooftops about however. No, in the two years they’ve taken to bring the arcade game home, Namco have been hatching a far more sinister plot for console gamers – scenario mode. Anybody familiar with Tekken 5’s “Devil Within” mode will be remember how easy it is to turn Tekken’s wonderful gameplay into a mind-numbingly pedestrian dredge through generic enemies, bland backgrounds and genuinely tedious cut scenes.

Clearly the budget (and sadly the volume) of scenario mode has been upped, and at least you now have the option of selecting any of the 40 selectable characters and playing with the same in-game controls and moves list, but the end result is still miserably dreary. Cut scenes are longer, loading times lengthier and the whole experience drags horribly. This would not be such a big deal if this weren’t the most efficient way of procuring money and items to modify your fighters, and at with at least 80% of the achievements/trophies collected in scenario mode, Namco really want to torture fans for their Tekken devotion.

Scenario mode's cut-scenes use the rather shabby-looking in-game engine. They will also bore you to tears.

Scenario mode's cut-scenes use the shabby-looking in-game engine. They will bore you to tears, so don't feel bad about skipping them.

Modest players who care little for gold and achievements can of course head straight for the online mode, though sadly they will be met by one of the worst net codes to ever grace an online fighting game. Even when the game gives you the green light of max connection speed, games are riddled with lag and with timing-sensitive combo-based gameplay out the window, it descends into button mashing frustration. Namco have since announced a patch to fix lag issues, and this is essential if Tekken 6 hopes to build an online community to match the silky-smooth SFIV and exemplary GGPO-driven BlazBlue.

A subject that very rarely has need to be discussed in modern times in the ugly business of arcade perfection. Indeed, when graphical showcases like VF5 and SFIV can be ported flawlessly, you may expect that the not-exactly-cutting-edge Tekken 6 wouldn’t present an issue, but sadly this is not the case. Neither the PS3 nor 360 port manages to match the 720p resolution of the arcade game and no matter how many graphical filters Namco have added, the visuals just don’t match up. Be assured, the difference is negligible, and only the hardcore minority of players who’ve has access to the arcade version will notice, but it’s still surprising given Namco’s track record for exceptional conversions.

Crunchy hit-connections have always been one of Tekken's strong suits and number 6 is as brutal as ever.

Crunchy hit-connections have always been one of Tekken's strong suits and number 6 is as brutal as ever.

Ignoring the minor discrepancies with the conversion, Tekken 6 is a beautiful game, with stunningly rendered backgrounds. Highlights include a Sound of Music-inspired mountainside that allows you to rough-house sheep and a Laputa-style floating island guarded by fighter jets. As usual CG movies are up to Namco’s impeccable standards, even if you do have to suffer the scenario mode to see them all.

If you are the kind of beat ‘em up fanatic that has regular access to like-minded individuals for local bouts, Tekken 6′s deeply rewarding gameplay and overflowing character roster will provide endless hours of entertainment, in the same way previous iterations have – This is after all what competitive fighting games are all about and Tekken 6 is one of the best. Namco however have already shown us their ability to create satisfying single-player experiences and serviceable online modes with SoulCalibur IV. Tekken 6 deserves much better.

8 out of 10

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5 Responses to “Tekken 6 Review”

  1. tommy says:

    great review, the comment about lars’ amalgamated super haircut made me lol. sad to agree with the game’s flaws pointed out here. I do quite like the scenario campaign mode though. yeah, namco aren’t great at producing interesting cutscenes. even alisa’s aerial combat against a helicopter lacked any punch. oh well, at least tekken 6 made it to console eventually! x

  2. Lars says:

    Good review although a 8/10 sounds a little too high for a game with so many flaws.
    The only good thing is that it’s the great Tekken gameplay we’ve always loved.
    But everything else in the game has been done very sloppy.
    Laggy online, bad graphics, worthless scenario mode (with NO on-line co-op so far), fewer customization items than Tekken 5 on the PSP, bad balance of the achievements and even the soundtrack was disappointing IMO.
    As you said, Tekken deserves better.

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