To think that Tekken has been around for fifteen years is actually quite amazing. When you look back, it’s easy to see how far Namco has come, and how much it contributed to the advancement of 3D versus fighting. Tekken 6 is no exception, although unless you’re really into your fighting games, the enhancements to the core gameplay might be hard to recognise – but rest assured, they are there.
Just as in its predecessor, the developers decided that Tekken fans probably didn’t want to spend hours and hours unlocking their favourite characters. As a result, all characters in Tekken 6 are available right from the start – no unlocking required. So, if your sole goal in purchasing Tekken 6 is to jump right into the action, you’re sorted. However, if you’re the kind of gamer who likes sinking hours into a game to unlock cool rewards and extras, then you’ll find a lot of play time in Tekken 6’s Scenario Campaign mode.
Tekken 6’s Scenario Campaign mode is technically a glorified “Tekken Force” mode – which anyone who has played Tekken 3 and 4 will be familiar with. It allows players to pick a character (initially only Lars) and fight through stages full of enemies, Double Dragon style, with the ultimate goal of completing every stage. Players can also find hundreds of different outfit pieces and accessories which not only change their characters’ appearance, but also imbue them with all kinds of bonuses, like increased health and attack strength. This mode also features an Arena, where players can fight through a standard Tekken arcade mode to see their chosen character’s ending. All in all, it’s an interesting diversion, but that’s probably all it will ever be. I honestly don’t think that anyone who buys Tekken 6 will be buying it for this mode.
The more traditional modes are where the real meat of Tekken 6 lies, and with six new characters to learn and the entire roster of old faces from T5:DR, complete with new moves and tweaks, there’s certainly plenty on offer. Online Mode allows players to fight each other online – assuming they can stomach the lag associated with online versus fighting. Offline mode contains the Arcade version of Tekken 6 and Ghost Mode, which allows players to fight an infinite succession of bouts to advance their characters in rank and win money to spend on outfits and accessories. Offline mode also contains the mandatory Team Battle, Time Attack, Versus, and Practice Modes.
Tekken 6 is a noticeable graphical upgrade from Tekken 5, with highly detailed character models and wildly varied, colourful stages with some of the most extreme mid-battle lighting changes in a fighting game since Soul Blade. It’s quite trippy. The soundtrack is standard Tekken fare – anything goes. Some tracks will rock you, others will annoy you.
If you’re a Tekken nut, you’ve probably got this already, but if you’re sitting on the fence, then just know that it is the latest and greatest Tekken game with a whole host of improvements, both subtle and obvious. You decide.