Review by BBOYChaioth
"Smashing Into Homes Worldwide... It's The King Of The Iron Fist!"
Tekken... the one and only series I have been loyal to since its release. I have played many other series of a variety of games, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Mortal Kombat, Dynasty Warriors, etc. All of these series of games have lasted for a long time, and to be fair, I am very loyal to them. But none have grabbed me like Tekken.
When you talk to someone about fighting games, who have you seen that hasn't heard of Tekken? Being released for the PSOne back in the early 90s, it is one of the longest running fighting franchises around, and there's a good reason for it too. While majority of the fighting series have made evolutions, there's always issues. More games have drifted further and further into the unrealistic realm (Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, etc), and ones that become more and more realistic, like UFC games have choppy controls. But Tekken has by and far taken these weaknesses and crushed them. With the best and most fluid movement and command systems of all fighting games, combined with an outstanding graphics engine and realistic gameplay, Tekken is THE fighting series which will stand the test of time.
In the first 3 Tekken games, we saw polygon characters, and in Tekken 3, the beginning of the ability to use a 3d environment to fight, as well as 3D characters. This is where the sidestepping is introduced, as well as the move to make things much more realistic. In past installments prior to Tekken 3, characters were very choppy looking, and often disproportionate with huge heads and miniscule waists. This was taken out and replaced by still polygonal characters, but in much more realistic proportion as well as giving more detailed texture for a 3D appearance. The others were 3D, but if you did a comparison, the difference is amazing. In addition, the gameplay seriously evolved. In Tekken and Tekken 2, when characters went to jump, they were seemingly able to fly. They could jump 2 and 3 times the height of the other character. It was ridiculous. When knocked to the ground, you couldn't immediately move, which gave characters a free chance to hit you. All of these things were corrected in Tekken 3 and made gameplay much smoother and more fluid. This was possibly the biggest leap in the Tekken series, as all improvements in the fighting post Tekken 3 weren't necessarily changes, but improvements on the 3rd installment.
Once the Playstation 2 was released in 2000, Tekken again made a large leap forward with Tekken Tag Tournament, a non-canonical installment to the series with a culmination of all the playable characters to that point. Tekken Tag Tournament pushed the PS2 to its limits at the time, and was bested by Tekken 4 and Tekken 5.
With each canonical installment to the series, there has been the addition of new characters. New characters do two things. First, they do take away from the main story of games, as they usually aren't involved. However, from a gameplay perspective, and this being a fighting game, new characters are always welcome, as they give players a chance to master different styles and give more opportunities to find their key player. They add a new dimension to any fighting game, and Tekken is no different. With Tekken 6 boasting an impressive 40 character roster, it is one of the largest in fighting game history, bested by only Mortal Kombat Armageddon I believe, don't hold me to that though. 40 characters is quite an impressive feat. And so is giving them all an entirely unique style and moveset, which is quite extemsive for every character new and old (much more than any other series has), as well as their own unique story. Every character design is unique and incredibly detailed, and has seemingly limitless customization options allowing the player to create the perfect character to their liking. Another thing that the Tekken series does well as a whole, not just in this installment, is keeping each character's storyline consistent from installment to installment, even though that specific character might not have direct relation to the main story. There are a total of 6 new characters in Tekken 6 (ironic huh?).
On top of the amount of characters in Tekken 6, there have been significant graphics improvements as well. Previous Tekkens have always looked good for their respective times that they were released, but Tekken 6 has the exclusive feature of Motion Blur. Not even Soul Calibur 4, released in 2008 by Namco, has that same feature, and despite amazing graphics, does not compete with Tekken 6. Motion Blur allows character's movements to not be as pixilated as before, and alows movements to be crisp and precise, just as if they were being done right in front of you. I'm no expert on the specs of it, nor will I claim to be, but the Motion Blur makes considerable difference in the appearance of the game, especially on a HD 1080p television.
Another graphics enhancement that is immediately noticeable is the scenery. Allow me to preface this paragraph by saying that I am very disappointed with the amount of venues in which to fight, I was wanting more, but it's not up to me. Namco doesnt pay my bills, so I'll take what I get. But the scenery is meticulously detailed. Every crack in the wall, every explosion in the background, every splash of water, and each ray of light is very realistic. The environments are mixed in format, meaning that some are unlimited in size, some have walls to smash into, and some have floors to break through and drop into a lower level, allowing another new place to fight in. Another feature of the environments is interraction with bystanders. This is not new, as it was introduced in Tekken 4, but is still happening in Tekken 6. This is a small but cool feature. The greatest feature, in my opinion, is the shadowing effect. In one stage specifically, a temple area, you can see a sunset. And depending on where the sun is, there is extremely accurate shadowing, not only on the ground, but on the characters as well, giving a very realistic textured feel.
So, now that we have the graphics out of the way, let's talk gameplay. This is what? A fighting game... so it's not hard to figure out the setup of the game. One on One combat in setting of choice with the winner being the last one standing. That hasn't changed. This is the basis of all fighting games, and will never change. But with the new graphics engine, it looks unreal. On top of that, there is a small change to gameplay in the way the characters fight. Juggles are still a huge part of gameplay, but now moves can juggle characters off the ground. Moves are all harder hitting, which can visually be seen and heard with bone crunching audio. Juggling the characters off of the ground is the largest change to gameplay aside from teh expanding movesets of all the characters, and with the way it conveys the hard hitting, is a very welcome addition.
******S P O I L E R S******
The next gameplay feature to note is the Scenario Campaign. Scenario Campaign follows the story of Lars Alexandersson through his rebellion against the Mishima Zaibatsu, now ruled by Jin Kazama. Jin is starting wars across the world for an unknown reason. The G-Corporation, the only force strong enough to take on the Zaibatsu, is rising up as the world "savior." However, G-Corp. is headed up by Kazuya Mishima, Jin's father, so prepare for a clash of cursed blood. Lars was a member of the Tekken Force under the Zaibatsu, but now leads a rebel renegade unit, caught in the middle of the epic struggle. Follow Lars in the battle of a lifetime. Discover his past, and helkp him put an end to the corruption of the world powers.
******E N D S P O I L E R S******
The scenario campaign is NOT, I repeat, is NOT a one on one fighting position. It is often times a mob vs. you. Luckily you have a partner, although in order not to ruin it, I'll let you see for yourself when you play. It is more of an adventure game, very closely related to the previous Tekken Force modes in previous Tekkens and Devil Within in Tekken 5. It is a mini game, but in Tekken 6, is the main mode of the game which will unlock most of the customization options, gain the most money, and allow players a break from the monotony of simple fights... but it's a fighting game after all, so be prepared for many many fights.
All in all, here's how I break it down.
Replay Value: 8/10
Recommendation: OH YEAH
Bandai-Namco... fantastic job.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/06/09
Game Release: Tekken 6 (US, 10/27/09)
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