Tekken 6

December 16, 2009 at 2:35 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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See full review here

The daddy of beat em up is back in its sixth installment, the game promises a lot, but does it pack the full punch?

The beat-em up platform is a desolate area. With no new IPs in the genre, the golden oldies have made their comeback in the new generation of consoles. Dead or Alive, Soul Calibur, and Street Fighter have returned swinging and a kicking and its time for the iron fist of fighting. Tekken, to make its sixth impact on the world like a haymaker to Santa’s face! Is the sixth installment ready to take the crown with full force? Or is it just Tekken the piss?

Back in the day, Tekken was my game. It was one of the first titles I’d ever played in the beat em up platform, and the series soothed all my side fighter needs. It wasn’t until the launch of the Playstation 2 that I ventured into other means, including titles like Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, Bloody Roar 3 (bout time that was revamped I say), and Dead or Alive 2. After that, Tekken faded out for me with the dull and confusing Tekken Tag.

When it comes to fighting games, both back then and now I’d like to call myself a ‘middleweight’ I didn’t know the massive combos but I’d still give a damn good fight to those who did. I always had a good bearing on the games unlike some of the lightweights you may encounter. This meant when even playing the computer, some bouts Id sail on through, and others would need some going at. It was a rewarding difficulty and position to be in. But after the launch of the next gen consoles I feel something changed. The games had something to prove. And now, they had the means to do it.

So, the story so far eh? Well…Once upon a time, there was a lad called…Hei…actually. To be perfectly fair. Despite number 6 being claimed as the title to tie up and bring the story more fully out and really make it understandable, after unlocking a few ‘ending’ videos. The stories for most characters are just as obscure as they always have been with yet more cryptic, head scratching FMV’s. From what the general jist is, Jin Kazama has hosted a sixth Iron Fist tournament. As usual, the winner gains control of Mishima Zaibatsu, along side all this, Jin, heading Mishima Zaibatsu has gone to war with the G Corporation, secretly headed by that of Kazuma himself. Like normal, its all just as crazy and hard to understand, but who cares its Tekken…oh you do care? Ack, my bad.

The main focus around Tekken 6 single player is the Scenario Campaign mode. Whilst a heavy revamp of the old Tekken Force Mode first seen in Tekken 3, the game takes this sort of style and greatly expands it into a story campaign. We follow the character Lars, as he leads a rebellion of Tekken Force soldiers to fight back against the Mishima Zaibatsu, he meets a girl named Alisa and we go from there.

Most of the levels are fairly short, with about 10-15 minutes in each level. They’re linear point A to B style layouts and it’s literally punch your way through. And the end of each level we’ll bump into a familiar Tekken faces that we’ll end up needing to defeat. Once defeated, there able to play in the Arena mode. Arena mode is the Arcade mode but shortened. This 4 stage mode gives us the prologue story and ending to each character in which you’ll combat 2 contestants, Jin Kazama and finally Azazel, which…I’ll go into later. Whilst the Arena isn’t compulsory, if you want to try to squeeze ANY form of storyline from the game, it’s where you’ll have to spend a little time. Otherwise, you can continue with Lars scenario campaign as you please.

Fortunately if the scenario mode isn’t for you, the old classic arcade mode is still around along with plenty of offline modes to enjoy against the A.I. or with a friend. Survival, time attack and team battles all make a more than welcome appearance. This is best to hone your skills; to take on your mates in a quick button whack frenzy to become king of your sofa!

Now let’s talk about Azazel. Azazel is the main reason why you probably won’t want this game much longer after you encounter him. Azazel is the new big boss, similar to True Orge. These days, fighting normal humans isn’t good enough, so they decided to keep up with the Tekken story randomness by adding in this fella. Much like True Orge and just as unwelcome to be there. Azazel is a pain. Attacks on him are ineffective unless he’s about to start a combo. Where as your attacks are useless as quite a lot of the time you’d do more damage to tell him that his outfit looked way to 12th Century. As a character he fills half the screen, meaning his attacks are massive and almost always unavoidable. And his attacks are as fluent and take around the same amount a standard grab attack. Maybe I’m not that hot at beat em ups anymore as much as the next guy. But I know what’s fun to play and what’s rewarding. Azazel isn’t. That joyous feeling you get for K.Oing him for the last time as actually your blood returning to your body from your face.

Now the world of Tekken has moved online, so now you can get the chance to actually come fist to face with those guys who used to get the high scores in the arcades and set their winning title as ‘ass’. They were a genius in their own mind, I assure you.

There’s limited things to do regarding online, besides beat people up. The lobbies are rather restrictive and it’s basically just standard versus, with a few changeable variables like how many to a room and how many rounds. Sadly, no Team Battles or anything like that comes online. Sadly.

What tore me apart about this game was how it looks. In arcade and normal game play, the characters, and arenas look beautifully created, whilst not making the processors work to push the boundaries of visuals, Tekken takes what’s available and makes what is more than great looking to play with and enjoy. But then the Scenario mode, a part of the game you’ll be spending a fair bit of time in, seems to have been knocked down a few pegs. With manageable graphics and the often addition of 2D walls and barriers this part of the game, wont be treating your eyes to anything spectacular, its one of those visual downgrades you’ll come to grow to and just get used to.

The Scenario mode is quite long, not to mention there’s the arcade and arena modes that require a good dragging through as each character. But something’s lacking again. It feels like developers are getting a little lazy on the rewards side. No unlockable costumes (you can dress them up yourself but who wants to do that?) no mini games, there’s not much in the rewarding sense this time round. Unlike that of Tekken 3. Lets bowl! Or not in this case.

With beat em ups becoming more of a smaller community to cater too, the game definitely stands up to those who are already massive fans of the franchise. Meaning it difficult for those who want the game for something a little fun and different to be kicked to the side lines in a hurl of fists and fury. It’s disheartening, but for those who will stick with it, you’ll find the game your after. Just don’t expect your mates to be as good when the come over. Unless they button bash. In which case, there not really your friends.


See footage on my coverage of Eurogamer Expo 09


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