Let me start off by stating that I am a casual, but passionate, Tekken player who loves getting into Tekken, but not to the point of counting frames and taking away from the fun. I have played Tekken 3, Tag and now Tekken 6 and I can say that I am as happy as ever. If you are looking for higher-level information about the game, one site I have found useful is TekkenZaibatsu.com (http://www.tekkenzaibatsu.com/tekken6/index.php)
This is my first review, so please let me know what you did or didn't like about it so I can make my next review that much better.
The most important thing I want to make clear is that if you have enjoyed previous Tekken games, you will enjoy Tekken 6 as well. You are almost guaranteed to have access to your preferred fighter as well as a few new ones to choose from. The gameplay and controls are very fluid and compliment the stunning HD graphics and silky smooth fighter animations very well.Clearing the air about some of the negative press out there...
I have read numerous articles and forum posts about lag-filled online performance, the lack of coop Scenario Campaign Mode until their FREE DLC is released, etc. While there is truth to these statements, I can say that I have had several positive online matches recently with little to no lag. As for the missing coop mode... I was a little disappointed by this as well, but I do not feel that this is the CORE mode of the game that you should be concerned with. It is a fun & entertaining side-game that WILL get patched. For the time being, it works great in single-player mode and will give us something to look forward to when the free DLC is released.
If you are new to Tekken or are on the fence about picking up this latest iteration of the game, let's see if we can help you make up your mind.What's different about Tekken 6 compared to other fighting games?
Well, in general, the Tekken series of games tends to rely on simplified input structure where each face button X,Y,A,B is mapped to a limb on the figher. This is great because it makes the game very easy for a novice to pick up and play. Despite the seemingly simplistic controls, a player can dig very deep into the extensive system of combos, throws, parries and more. It isn't odd for a given fighter to have over 100 moves available to choose from. Whereas games like Street Fighter revolve more around arcs, quarter circles and half-moons with the joystick, Tekken games tend to be more about hitting the face buttons in sequence with well-timed rhythms in order to execute well-choreographed juggles which can devastate an opponent if done correctly. With a few exceptions, Tekken doesn't really have to many ranged attacks or projectiles. It is about short to mid range fighting - up close and personal. Having a good arsenal of combos as well as know how and when to block and/or parry is key.What do I get with Tekken 6?
Well, you get a lot. See below for details. I have denoted which modes are Online (on), Offline (off) or both (on/off) to help you out.Arcade Battle (off) / Versus Modes (on/off):
These modes are what Tekken is about. Not scrolling story modes. If you are into fighting games, you want to fight - one-on-one against the CPU or ideally against other players online. You will earn money/gold (G) for each fight - more if you win obviously!
You can choose from 42 players right off the bat without needing to unlock any characters. Characters can be customized by purchasing items or unlocking them in Scenario Mode.
The controls are very responsive and the fighter animations are very smoothly animated and look amazing.
New to Tekken 6 is "Rage" which is basically activated when your health goes below 5%. While in Rage you do extra damage. It isn't quite doubled, but maybe 25%-35% more dame with each hit. In general, I think this is a bit cheap, but I have had some matches with friends, where it kept us on our toes and made us think a little more before we tried to finish someone off. So I can see how this may make fights a little more interesting.
As expected, offline modes work great and lag free. I did experience a good amount of lag the first night this game game out. it was more of an overall slowdown than choppy lag. Either way it WAS unacceptable. Lately, I have played several more matches online with little to no lag at all. I am not sure if this was due to the traffic online or maybe some fixes have been put in place. Either way, I am sure this will get better with time and this should not prevent you from buying the game.
Online mode also allows you to upload/download "Ghost" data which is basically a representation of your fighting technique and skill level. What is really cool is that you can download other players' ghost data as well - including your friends! These ghosts can be fought in "Ghost Battle" mode - see further down.
One last point. Tekken 6 has a ranking system which is new to me, but I think it is well implemented. Even in offline mode, you will occasionally fight a "Ghost" fighter to help evaluate your current ability and appropriately help you rank up. You can only rank up to a certain level offline, though, before you will need to fight online to continue ranking up. It is very addictive playing online and trying to constantly improve your rank.Scenario Campaign Mode (off currently / on planned):
This is the mode that has received a lot of criticism. Think of this like a 3D brawler similar to Streets of Rage of Double Dragon...but in 3D. You fight your way (currently with an AI partner) through various levels and boss fights. You can do many of the same combos as the traditional arcade/vs modes, but the camera and open environment make target and hitting enemies awkward and difficult. As you kill enemies and complete stages, you earn money that can be used to customize your character. Some of these customizations give you bonuses within Scenario Mode like increase health or other special abilities. This mode was planned to allow online coop at launch, but is not currently present. The developers have stated that a patch or free DLC is in the works. Don't get me wrong, this mode is weird, but if you are a Tekken fan, you know this isn't that unusual to find in a Tekken game. The problem is that people expect this to be THE GAME and it isn't. This is a fun, side-game that can be very enjoyable, but has to be taken with a good sense of humor and/or a friend to play along with. Tekken is about 1-1 fighting...not 3D scrolling story mode games.Survival Mode (off):
See how many consecutive enemies you can defeat without dying. You will get a small amount of health added on after each win.Team Battle (off, but I hope for online as well):
Choose up to 8 characters for your team and go up against the AI's team of 8 characters. Last one standing wins!Ghost Battle (off):
This is interesting. "Ghosts" are CPU controlled characters that are based on the fighting styles of real-life online fighters - including your friends. You can download Ghosts of any player online who has uploaded their recent Ghost data. This mode was very fun for me as it seemed a little more challenging as you progress and not as robotic as the standard CPU fighters.Other Misc Notes:
• Some of the main CG Animations Are very high quality, but can be a little lengthy with confusing plot lines. All unlocked media can be accessed through a Gallery.
• Final Boss is very challenging (if not cheap) for an average fighter like myself, but that just gives you a reason to improve.
• Tons of character customizations should allow everyone to have their own unique fighter, BUT there is no full-fledged "create a character" like some other games have.
• [UPDATE 11/6/09]: I recommend purchasing the strategy guide if you are a casual player who is looking to dig deeper into the game. I bought it and can say that the 300+ guide is well worth the $20 or less you might pay for it. In addition to the expected moves lists, scenario campaign walkthrough, etc...it also goes into some of the core techniques that are essential to improving your skills. Some of those things I wasn't even aware of but found very interesting - like Wall Run Kicks, Electric Side Stepping (can't do it, but sounds great!), parrying/reversing tips, Wave Dashing. It also discusses the strengths ad weaknesses of each character and how to best utilize your chosen fighter.
• Load times are supposedly long, but I installed Tekken to my Xbox 360 right away. I wouldn't say load times are FAST, but they are definitely tolerable.
• As my friend, Tigger 360, added...the SFIV Tournament Stick does work well with Tekken 6 and is easier for pulling off some moves as compared to the standard controller, BUT the standard controller is definitely usable - at least it was for me.In summary...
If you like 3D fighters (especially if you have enjoyed previous Tekken games) you won't be disappointed with Tekken 6. The core fighting modes of the game are near perfect. Some blemishes the game may have are sure to go away as time goes by.