15 years, that is how long it has been since the release of the first Tekken game, in those 15 years the Tekken series has evolved with each installment, Tekken started it all, Tekken 2 improved the gameplay, Tekken 3 helped revolutionize the 3D fighter, Tekken 4 added scenery and walls, Tekken 5 improved the game even further.
So can Tekken 6 keep up the pace or has the series reached it peak?
Tekken 6 includes a new mode known as the scenario campaign, seeing how that covers the main story line I'll tell you about it first.
The scenario campaign is reminiscent of the Tekken force mini game that featured in Tekken 3 and 4 (which is why it is being referred to by fans as Tekken Force mode).
The scenario campaign is a simple beat'em up, your goal is to fight wave after wave of enemies until you reach the boss at the end of the stage.
The controls are split in this mode, both the L Stick and D-Pad are used to move around the map. When you encounter enemies the control changes it becomes more like the controls used in the regular game, the L stick still lets you move around as normal but the D-Pad is used in the same way as in the arcade game, with the D-Pad you can jump, duck, and run when fighting an enemy.
Besides the movement the scenario campaign has the excact same controls as the regular Tekken 6.
Being honest the scenario campaign mode is a bit dull at first but once you start to drive deeper into it you find that there is alot more to it than meets the eye, as beat'em up's good this one is pretty good, it's not Madworld good but it is still a lot of fun, it is also very rewarding, just playing it unlocks content like new items and extras.
The games story is also well put together as well.
Tekken 6 takes place where Tekken 5 left off, Jin Kazama is the new head of the Mishima Zaibatsu after winning the king of Iron Fist tournament 5, with the Tekken Force at his command he orders the complete take over of the world, months later small incidents turn into major conflicts with the Tekken Force dominating on all sides.
Unable to accept a world ruled by anyone but him self Kazuya Mishima (Now head of the opposing G corporation) puts a bounty on Jin.
In response the Mishima Zaibatsu announces the King of Iron Fist tournament 6.
The scenario campaign itself follows the story of Lars Alexandersson a Tekken Force commander who has gone against the company, only he can stop Jin's madness.
Also available is the arena mode which is a lot like the story mode from Tekken 5 only a lot weaker, it seems that the developers couldn't be bothered with it in this game, this time there are 4 stages as opposed to 8 and there are no cut scenes between fights, it is also very easy when compared to the regular arcade mode.
The scenario campaign also has the option to play cooperatively either online or at home with friends, if anything this improves the experience because the scenario campaign was originally intended to be played cooperatively anyway.
As for the arcade game it is the same deal as always two fighters battle it out to see who is better, this can be played both online and offline.
Now lets talk about the real Tekken 6.
This home port of Tekken 6 isn't based off the 2007 arcade version, instead it is based off the updated version of Tekken 6 known as Bloodline Rebellion which came out in arcades a year ago.
The game features what is easily the biggest and best character roster for any Tekken game ever, the game brings back all of the characters from Tekken 5 and Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection, it also features six new playable characters, these include Alisa Boskonovitch, a robot who can make jets and chainsaws pop out of her body, Bob, a morbidly obese freestyle karate practitioner, and Lars who I have already mentioned.
In all the game has 41 fighters to choose from, all available from the get go, no unlocking required.
The game is split into 2 modes, the online mode (which lets you play the game online) and the offline mode, where you can play the arcade version of Tekken 6, play time attack and so on.
Out of all the modes available in offline my favorite has to be the ghost mode, ghost mode is the same as the arcade mode from Tekken 5, the idea is to endlessly fight computer controlled characters or 'ghosts' as the game calls them, I know it dopesn't sound that good but there is one thing that caught my interest, in ghost mode you can go online and download 'ghosts', the ghost data is the records of other Tekken players, I'm a bit skeptical about this because of the ideal of being able to play a persons data offline, wouldn't it be the same as playing a computer controlled character?
Anyway as for the gameplay itself, two words, near perfection.
There is not such thing as a perfectly balanced fighting game but Tekken 6 comes as close as you can get, all the characters have their strengths and weaknesses (except for maybe Jin who was labeled as over balanced in Tekken 4 and 5).
The gameplay is really fast paced and well thought out I don't think I have every played anything this well built, the game tweaks and builds on everthing that was in Tekken 5, the result, better gameplay and more balanced characters, its a good thing they decided to base this off Bloodline rebellion because the original Tekken 6 was said to lack some fair character blance, some off the new characters were "too good".
Another thing that has been improved from Tekken 5 is the ability to customize characters. In Tekken 5 it was good but no where near the standard of the arcade version. In Tekken 6 it is just as good, the customization possibility's are almost endless, like Tekken but wish Street Fighter characters were in it, well now they can be. Thought the character customization was good in Soul Calibur IV well check out Tekken 6.
Now on to the negatives, so far this year we have several new major fighting games and they all seem to share the same problem.
All of these games have an over powered, unfair, cheap final boss.
You thought Seth in Street Fighter IV was bad well check out Azazel.
Azazel has got to be the most unfair boss I have ever fought in any fighting game ever. The first problem is defense, near enough every attack you do is blocked by Azazel, on the flip side some of Azazel attacks hurt you even if you have the guard damage switched off, too add no that it has some attacks that you can't even block.
The other problem with this boss is power, Azazel can kill you with a few hits, but to kill Azazel you have to be a master at juggling, because of Azazel's hard to break defense and extra large health bar you need to get in as many hits as possible while it is in midair (you can't defend in mid-air).
Cheap boss aside Tekken 6 is easily one of the best Fighters to come out this gen (if not the best), like most good fighters Tekken is easy to learn hard to master, you will become addicted.
Graphics and Sound
Tekken 6 is a beautiful game both visually and graphically, the games conversion from arcade to home has been a huge success, it looks almost as good as the arcade version.
The games sound track is the best since Tekken 3 no question, the sound track fits perfectly with all the levels, they hit all the right notes with this game.
Best Tekken game? Yes. Best fighter out this year? Possibly.
+ Well balanced gameplay
+ Stunning graphics
+ Amazing soundtrack
+ Character customization is huge
+ Scenario Campaign is good...
- ... but not for everyone
- Cheap boss
- Arena mode is weak.
NOTE: First of all I got the game 2 days before release, the review was put up the day the game went on sale, looking back I over rated the game, it is great but not a ten out of ten, the hype got the better of me. This is my first and only xbox 360 review no idea if I will do anymore.