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) ...a bout of amnesia while embarking on a quest to overthrow the Mishima Zaibatsu. Bizarrely, the co-op experience is limited to online play only, forcing you to tackle the game on your lonesome with the AI standing in for Alisa’s character during offline play. Scenario Campaign essentially pits you against waves of generic goons ranging from robotic monstrosities to secret service sorts – all of who are just pallet swaps of existing fighters - while plodding through heaps of aesthetically bland locales such as docks, warehouses, back streets and corporate skyscrapers. There's also the chance to wield weapons for the first time in a Tekken game, such as mini-guns, golf clubs and flamethrowers. Sadly the quest is plagued by various quibbles, notably the fact the games controls don't translate that well to the shift in perspective, with battles becoming an exercise in sheer frustration when you’re faced with over half a dozen opponents proceeding to batter you simultaneously.
The lock-on system does alleviate this somewhat, though things are generally so hectic it can be difficult to formulate an efficient strategy. It’s not all bad news, though. Throughout the game you’ll acquire heaps of fight money and items in which to customize your fighters with for both the regular battles and Scenario Campaign itself, the latter of which allows you to commit sartorial suicide by kitting out both Lars and Alisa in ridiculous getups that endow them with various power ups, such as the ability to freeze enemies or increase their overall health, taking the sting out of an otherwise fairly brutal 3D Streets of Rage romp. Don't get us wrong, Scenario Campaign isn't unplayable, it's just heavily flawed and not as engaging as it could have been, especially given the fact the narrative strangely compelling for a beat 'em up. Elsewhere, the campaign world map also accommodates an abbreviated Arcade experience in the guise of Arena mode, which offers character storyboards and ending FMVs to unlock upon completion, an aspect that has always remained one of Tekken’s highlights and fortunately doesn’t disappoint here.
Tekken 6 pulls some fairly heavy weight punches in the visual department, though remains a decidedly inconsistent brawler throughout. Fighters are meticulously realized, sporting rippling muscles, animations, while environments – many of which support fully destructible walls and floors – are diverse in appearance and packed full of detail. Scenario Campaign is the worst offender, though, ranging from bland, uninspired copy-and-paste job locales to badly animated characters. At times we found ourselves cringing and wincing our way through the proceedings, as at times the action became virtually indiscernible from that of some dodgy, five year-old PS2 affair. Not pretty. Aurally things are mighty impressive, with bone-crunching sound effects and a thumping soundtrack accompanying each bout, the latter in particular offering a more melodic experience than Tekken 5’s onslaught of heavy rock/metal. Fortunately a select portion of the cast speak in Japanese, though we’re still subjected to the usual array of gormless English voiceovers uttering all manner of cheesy dialogue – and we bloody love it. One glaring technicality is the load times, which, even after installing the game on our hard drives are conspicuous in their inability to start up a match or load a character portrait within a half decent time frame. It’s a minor gripe, though one we feel shouldn’t necessarily be quite as pronounced as it is.
At the end of the day, 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. Still, the online experience could have been better, the Scenario Campaign feels decidedly lacking and the load times leave a lot to be desired. When all’s said and done, though, so long as you aren’t expecting any radical changes, this bout of Tekken is just as brutally compelling as it's always been.