Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life
Tekken 6 Review
Tekken 6 is the latest installment of Namco’s popular 3D fighter, Tekken. Although, Tekken 6 just recently made it to console, it has been out and playable for a couple years. The game was first released in Japanese arcades in November of 2007. The following year, the game was updated (Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion) with new stages, characters, and tweaks to the game’s balance. Now, in November of 2009, the game finally has a console version, based on the updated arcade game.
The plot of Tekken 6 is similar to every other plot of Tekken… someone in the Kazuya family wants to be all powerful and for some reason the only way to do that is to through a hand-to-hand fighting tournament. In this game’s case, Jin Kazama is throwing the tournament. Now in charge of Mishima Zaibatsu, Jin has his plans set on world domination. The only thing in his way is his father Kazuya, head of the G Corporation. Jin plans to fight his father and win, taking Kazuya and G Corporation out of the picture, and securing his of dreams of becoming a global superpower.
The game itself is divided into three parts. There is scenario mode, online mode, and offline mode. Online and offline mode are the modes are the modes that reflect what I am going to refer to as “classic Tekken.” In these modes you can find the arcade mode, practice mode, versus (both on and off line) and more. All of these are set up with a one on one, hand-to-hand, 3D fighting match.
The controls at first seem relatively simple: one button for the right hand, one for the left hand, one for left leg, one for right leg and the D-pad (or analog stick) for movement. They can quickly become complicated though when you try to do the many juggling combos in Tekken, which the game heavily relies on. Once you land a hit on your opponent, it quickly becomes a test of your memorization skills and reflexes. It can be hard, but it’s fun to see on screen.
Tekken 6 also has a new game play element known as rage mode. When a character’s health reaches a certain low point, the character’s attacks will deal more damage and give you a better chance at a come back. Sometimes it give you just the edge you need, although sometime you get it while still in hit stun from your opponent’s combo and did won’t make a difference. It’s still an interesting mechanic that is getting mix review from the Tekken community.
Something that can be easily be loved by anyone who plays Tekken is the amount of choice that game offers to you. When starting Tekken, it will show your main character, which you choose, next to the menu. You can also tweak your main character’s appearance. You can customize their clothes, shoes, jewelry and even their hair. You get to choose the background for your menu… and you can even change the effect for rage mode. Of course, you have to unlock money to make most of these changes, but you can use the money for more than your main character. You can customize any of the games 40, that’s right, 40 character’s two default costumes.
In all, these “classic” modes are fun. Namco has done a nice job of adding and tweaking features from the previous Tekken games without losing any of the appeal that attracted fans of the previous Tekken generations. The fighting has felt energized and balanced. The fighting locations were great and the visuals were beautiful – not to mention that it includes a level with sheep (that you can kick around) and techno yodeling. I have had a lot of fun, and think that it’s a great game that most people, both veterans and new comers to the series, can enjoy.
Tekken’s 6-scenario mode is very different from the “classic” Tekken modes. Scenario mode is a 3D beat-em-up style game, where you can run around 3D linear worlds fighting several enemies at a time, and boss fights at the end of a map. In this mode, you play as Lars with sidekick Alisa the android in search on Lars’s past, as he has lost his memory. Scenario mode also has an area, which is essentially a mini version of arcade mode.
I didn’t care for scenario mode much at first, but as I played it, it began to grow on me. Although I think that this may be directly related to the fact that you unlock pieces of clothing for your characters as you play through… and I had Alisa in hot pants and star shaped glasses with green hair… It’s just amusing.
I was also able to see this game alive and in action went I went to the Redemption Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa a couple months back. The game seemed to be well received by the hard core Tekken players and I didn’t hear many complaints about the game play at all.