We all know it, family fights which make you throw your son in a vulcano after you come out as winner in a self-organised tournament. Still it seems a bit harder to get rid of those blood relatives that keep trying to get control over the family empire. Therefore a sixth tournament is more than ever a necessity. Welcome in the world of blue eyes and crazy fighters, welcome in The King of Iron Fist 6!
Fight games stand or fall in the course of their career, only the cream of the crops that perfectly knows how to balance and innovate remains assured of its existence. Namco Bandai is more than ever aware of this situation and proves this with their already 15 year old Tekken series. The newest part was therefore added with the necessary innovation including a Scenario Campaign mode and new techniques like Rage and Bounds.
These are two techniques that influence the fights quite nicely. Rage mode gets activated if you’ve got less than 5% of your health bar left and makes your attacks a bit stronger, ideal for a late comeback. Bounds allows you to smack your opponents to the ground pretty hard so they bounce back and you can keep juggling them. These new additions are a welcome change but small stuff when compared to the completely new Scenario Campaign.
Here you follow the story of Lars, a rebel leader, and Alisa, the robot daughter of Dr. Boskonovitch, their fight against the Mishima Zaibatsu as well as the G-Coroporation. The entire mode is based on side-scrolling beat’em ups like Final Fight, Double Dragon & Caddilacs and Dinosaurs. Still the transfer of the Tekken combat system isn’t perfect in this 3D surrounding, selecting your target fails a bit but also performing combos seems to not always work as it should, even if you’re an ace in Tekken. The main goal is of course to smash the heads of countless brainless opponents, collecting treasure boxes with items that upgrade your character and a boss at the end of each level in the form of each represented Tekken character. The similarities with de Story mode of Namco Bandai’s other fighter, Soul Calibur, are striking.
For a main mode you’ll be quick through the campaign. Namco Bandai, however, doesn’t see the Scenario Campaign as the main mode but we tend to think differnetly. Scenario is first in the list and also over 50% of all Trophies and achievements are based on this. Quickly putting the tail behind the legs when you notice that the community isn’t so happy and asks for co-op which seems to be completely absent? The other modes we find back in Tekken 6 are old familiars like Time Attack, Survival, Ghosts, Team Battle and Arcade including the ridiculous endboss Azazel. The much too big crystal Anubis comes with the most cowardly moves. Laser beam? Check! Repeating the same moves over and over again? Check! Controller broken on the floor? Check!
Of course you can keep playing Tekken on your own, but the most fun remain playing against people from flesh and blood. Thanks to perfectly balanced fighters you never have the feeling that one character is almighty and you notice that in the online mode. The diversity in opponents is big, each character passes along thanks to their own style and control. You’re not so good in studying all those different combos? Then there’s still no problem as those that perfectly control the art of blocking and doing a counter-attack can still compete with the best. The only disadvantage of the online mode is the large amount of lag that cripples the gameplay.
Although Namco Bandai introduces some new elements, there’s still some weaknesses to be found in this game. The two year old graphics – Tekken 6 is already available in the arcades for two years – can’t compete anymore with current technology. Another big problem are the loading times. While in previous games the fight almost instantly started it now easily takes 10 to 12 seconds before the fight starts and this after installation on your PS3 or Xbox360.
The gameplay of Tekken 6 is still rock solid, especially the 1on1 fights play like a dream. The new Bounds and Rage make for the necessary innovation without adding a superforce. A better worked out Scenario Campaign Mode would have been more fun, especially the lack of co-op is unfortunate. A patch is planned to add this still, but I find it more important to have something like this included at launch. Despite these downpoints Tekken 6 remains a definite suggestion for fans of the beat’em up genre.