With the international arcade release of Tekken 6 creeping up fast… Tekken fans outside of Japan have to be wondering… What can we expect?! Aside from the tons of videos popping up online, it would be nice to hear some new insight on the game as a whole… Well, you got it! Our very own Masakun spent the last few weeks in Japan… Enjoying the Holidays and of course… TEKKEN 6!
SDTEKKEN.COM – Tekken 6 Review
by Masafumi Iino aka Masakun
After a long wait, Tekken 6 arrived in Japan in late November, and we still don’t know when it’ll reach the masses in the United States. I had the opportunity to play the game for a few days in Japan in late December, and as of the writing of this review, the current version is “version B,” which appeared on December 24th.
With a grand total of 39 playable characters (40 if you add Panda separately), this is easily the most voluminous game in the Tekken franchise in terms of the available martial arts styles at hand, which also means you have to have a basic grasp of anti-character strategies for almost as many characters. Love it or hate it, it’s the strategy Bandai Namco is using to keep the series going.
As of late December, Bob is considered the best character in Tekken 6 by far. With an uppercut that reaches far and is safe on block, a low that leads into high damage combos, and an array of pokes that are incredibly difficult to interrupt, one is left to wonder if the gut is actually a clever disguise for a more sinister, otherworldly force (because people shooting laser beams from their eyes is completely normal).
The androgynous character that we all thought was a guy who looked like a girl, except Leo turned out to be a girl after all. Great 50/50 character with massive combo damage, although her mid/low game isn’t as good as Bob’s.
Good mixup character with oki mixups to boot. One false move, and you’ll find yourself in the air against this guy.
She is the most difficult to use of the new characters, and her unique range of motions conjures images of Voldo from the Soul Calibur series. Sorry, she doesn’t shake her hips… At least not yet. Most of her moves are unsafe on block, making her a very unpopular choice among Japanese Tekken players for a character to pick up.
Her win pose where she slowly crawls on the ground is a sight to see, though.
Azazel looks like a enlarged deer that had a really bad day. For the Berserk fans out there, a resemblance to Nosferatu Zodd would make more sense. With an arsenal of crazy moves and a size that makes True Ogre look like a chimpanzee, I had no fucking clue what was going on when I was up against this monstrosity, and I got killed pretty quickly.
Okay, they KIND of look like each other…
Law must have gone through some serious training, because all of his moves look much more like those of Bruce Lee.
Yoshimitsu is basically a completely new character. With or without his sword, his playing style perhaps varies the most from what worked for him in DR.
Lei is also often cited as a character whose tactics in DR are utterly useless now (but for the better).
The Mishimas are still pretty good, of course. Tactics that worked in DR will translate extremely well for these characters.
Oh yeah, Anna must have taken out those breast implants (see below diagram).
Tekken 5 Anna, and now… Could it just be the angle?
Your life bar flashes red when you have 5% life or less, and the videos we have seen on the internet tell the rest of the story. It’s not a necessary system, and they could tone down the damage you do if rage mode is enabled if they want people to be less upset about it.
You will have to bring your own copy of Galaga to play while you eat an air combo, since they take forever to finish. Seriously, this has got to be the worst part about Tekken 6.
The presence of ground combos where you can slam your opponent to the ground and then hit them out of the ground with most moves that hit mid greatly enhances the tactical advantages enjoyed by characters who have low moves that lead into combos. In Tekken 5, such characters are Devil Jin (hell sweep combos), Baek (db+4), and Roger (d/b+3, side step into 4).
This system guarantees around 50% damage for a low, yet, depending on the character you’re up against, does not pose the risk of losing 50% of your life.
This is when you take a sip of that coffee and watch chunks of your life bar go away…
Not a necessary addition, especially if you consider how disrupting these are to landing combos that are already too long to begin with. Having the ground break under you after you smash your opponent to the ground still lets you continue your ground combo (after a 3-4 second hiatus where you’re sitting there behind the joystick doing absolutely nothing).
These are for comic relief and do nothing to the game other than to eat a big hole in your virtual wallet and give you another way to taunt your opponent.
Sidestep / Sidewalk
The evasive capabilities of these actions have been toned down. For instance, slash kicks are no longer sidewalk-able.
Again, the videos tell more than what I could say here. Now, anyone can air combo off a low parry – the opponent is already in the air if you low parry against them!
Jump cancelling is gone now, which means characters like Lei and Jack no longer have throws that came out faster by holding u/f. Likewise, Yoshimitsu’s u/f+3 will not have different properties if you hold u/f.
One order of the DX version of Tekken 6 gives arcades two versus setups (a total of four cabinets, each with its own 16:9 aspect ratio flat screen display) and a large flat screen display for rematches, ranking information, and more – almost virtually identical to the setup that Tekken 5 had. The hardware itself is PS3-compatible, so we can expect that Namco can push out a PS3 port with relative ease.
The large flat screen display has an hand sensor that lets you skip to the next match replay (taken from various arcades in Japan). This is especially useful if you aren’t interested in watching local rankings or match replays between beginner players.
The flat screen display and the hand sensor.
The SD version is the board for use with regular 4:3 aspect ratio displays. The major downside to this setup is that the game runs in letterbox mode, much like a widescreen DVD playing on a regular TV set, with the black bars on the top and bottom. Very uncool.
I won’t repeat what we already know. In 60 fps, however, the beauty of the graphics really stands out, even compared to the high quality Challenger tournament videos that run at 30 fps.
My own opinion is that the series should have stuck to using 2-D portrait art in the character selection screen; resorting to 3-D models slows down the perceived time between selecting your characters to actually starting the match, which I consider a minus.
Virtually every body part of the character will have an item associated with it – you can even change the color of the character’s trailing motion when he or she goes into rage mode. Very cool items in general so far, including a variety of swords that Yoshimitsu can use, and shoeless / gloveless options for everyone, to name a few.
The score for Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection was the best we had seen in a while, and it would have been very difficult for the Tekken team to produce a new game with equally impressive music.
Indeed, we are seeing nothing of the sort, and while the music isn’t bad on its own, my personal feeling is that the techno tracks were kept in Bandai Namco’s secret music vault to use for their next Ridge Racer game, but were siphoned off to Tekken 6 for some extraneous reason.
Long story short – it’s not as good as it was in DR, but better than the farting noises of Tekken 4.
What could happen to a lot of players the way things are going…
I am somehow hoping that Tekken 6 is still in a prolonged beta test that Bandai Namco corporate wanted to rush out the door to keep their investors happy. It looks pretty, and is a fun game to play by yourself, but the level of seriousness I can put into this game rivals that of Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64.
If the game is kept in its basic form with no major updates like Tekken 5, Yotoriyama and Project Soul will be happy to see that demand for Soul Calibur IV will skyrocket – a similar phenomenon observed for Soul Calibur II when Tekken 4 caused a mass exodus away from the Tekken series.
- A more diverse selection of characters now includes a girl with A-cup breasts, a female who is presumably from the Middle East, a Spaniard seeking revenge, and a well-fed American
- The graphics are fantastic
- Item customization options are far more detailed
- Combos take too much time
- Combos take too much damage
- The music seems horribly misplaced
The BOTTOM LINE:
It’s still Tekken – yes, it’s fun, but so long as you don’t get too serious about the game. I’m going back to DR until the console version of Tekken 6 comes out.