Tekken 6 Review
- Posted November 3rd, 2009 at 08:36 EDT by Michael Harradence
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While offering only incremental upgrades to the formula, Tekken 6 is a worthy successor to Dark Resurrection and ultimately one of the best entries in this venerable franchise to date.
- The superb fighting mechanics
- The heaps of game modes unlockable goodies on offer
- The sprawling and diverse character line-up
- The dodgy Scenario Campaign
- The lag during online matches
- The load times
(continued from previous page) ...however, nothing is more paramount to your survival than the ability to juggle – that is, keeping your opponent in the air for as long as possible while dealing as much damage in the process. Pretty much all characters have a specific move – colloquially dubbed “launchers” - that sends their opponent flying helplessly sky-bound, allowing you to subject them to a thorough airborne pummeling. However, Tekken 6 ups the ante in this particular aspect with the introduction of the bound system, allowing you to bounce your opponent off the ground while you continue to juggle them for a couple more seconds before they can roll to safety. Given their inherently tricky nature to pull off, it’s particularly rewarding to unleash a seven-hit, health-draining juggle leaving your opponent a cripple on the floor after an arduous practice session – the sense of accomplishment when you actually take your skills against a living and breathing opponent is worth the trouble alone. Needless to say, we found some particular brutal ways in which to apply this new feature with some of our old favorites, notably Kazuya and Heihachi Mishima, who both possess a copious and destructive range of juggle attacks at their disposal. There’s also a Rage system similar to the one that appeared in Tekken Tag, which powers up your character when they’re about to hit the dirt at around the 10% health mark, though ultimately this is the least impactful of Tekken 6’s new features for the simple reason it kicks in too late in order to facilitate a miraculous recovery. Still, pros may be able to use it to tip scales in their favor in times of desperation, though we found it had little impact on our fortunes.
In terms of game modes, Tekken 6 offers your bread and butter Arcade experience, along with the obligatory offerings such as Ghost Battle, Team Battle, Versus, Time Attack, Survival and Practice. As in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Ghost Battle again pits you against an endless stream of AI bots masquerading as real-life players (by that, we mean your opponents are kitted out in outlandish costumes and sport their own, unique identities in an effort to simulate an online experience) in order to increase your rank. As with previous installments, Tekken 6’s AI can be tweaked in accordance to your playing ability, ranging from the absurdly easy to insanely tough. Still, chances are you’ll want to pit your skills against the world’s finest, so taking the action online is a must. Here, you’ll able to compete in both ranked and unranked matches, though if you want to increase your reputation beyond a certain point you’ll have to participate in online matches, offering further incentives to tread beyond the offline component.
Unfortunately, while we were itching to mix it up with the rest of the Tekken 6 community, our online experience was marred by some noticeable lag, essentially rendering each and every bout all but unplayable. While it would be disingenuous to suggest we’re not able to put up with or expect a little lag now online in this day and age, it’s difficult to make a compromise when it comes to beat ‘em ups of Tekken 6’s caliber (or any fighter, for that matter), where timing is instrumental in pulling off the complicated juggles and other in-depth techniques. As a result, however, we had to make do with relying on bog standard punches, kicks and throws, which accomplished very little given our character performed the moves a few seconds after we input the command. When you take a look at the robust offering Capcom put up with Street Fighter IV, it boggles the mind how Namco wasn’t able to replicate that same stability with one of their own flagship brawlers – and we’d like to point out that we’ve only just upgraded our connection, too. Suffice to say, however, we left the online arena with our arses kicked and our tail between our legs.
Chief among Tekken 6’s fresh offerings comes in the form of the Scenario Campaign. Playing in a similar vein to Tekken Force and The Devil Within from past games, this cut scene-heavy adventure focuses on new boy Lars and his robotic sidekick Alisa, as he attempts to recover from a bout of ... (continued on next page)