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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tekken 6 on PS3 and PSP Impression

Tekken 6
As long as there has been PlayStation there has been Tekken. The latest entry, Tekken 6, was released in late 2009 on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. Both games offer up what fans have come to expect but what else? Is there more than a roster update or has Tekken 6 redefined the fighting game genre yet again? Let’s take a look as the answers are good and not so good.

Gameplay – Both the PS3 and PSP share the same core gameplay elements. Front and center is the arcade experience where gamers progress through each fighter’s story. Training and challenge modes are also present but what really separates the two is how they handle online and ad-hoc multiplayer. The PS3 offers a very easy to navigate online mode which pairs fighters based on skill. Easy to get into, easy to get pounded, good times. The PSP offers ad-hoc that is a bit disappointing but still serviceable. The use of ghost fighters/data on the PSP will give gamers on the go a bit more of a fo-online experience but it’s still not a deep as the PS3 component. The PS3 also offers gamers the noob Lars in his own, amnesia driven, story that feels like Final Fight but gets old fast. The controls are instantly familiar but beating up the same baddies stage after stage gets old and really the story driving it is not as good as each characters core story. The best aspect of both versions is that gamers don’t have to spend hours unlocking characters. All 40 are available to play right off the bat which is great since gamers are dishing out so many duckets for this cart they should get all the fighters at once.

Graphics – The PS3 looks freaking amazing with level detail to spare and mucho customization available eon characters, one of the best aspects of the game. The PSP version looks equally as impressive which could be thanks to Namco Bandai’s previous outings on the PSP with both Tekken and SoulCalibur. All the character models have been set for a few games, minus the noobs of course, and facial, body, clothing, and hair look great especially in the FMV’s. In game there is no loss in detail but the characters still have that ‘not quite real’ feel that permeates most games mainly in the hand movement.

Sound – The background music has some catchy tunes, as always, and the soundtrack is worth picking up. The music in this franchise has always been solid and unique. The voice work can be as cheesy as the lines dictate but when the main characters speak in Japanese with sub-titles, that’s just rock solid. With such a large roster the voice work did receive a nice amount of care. The campaign has basic level sound effects, not super great but so be it. Both the PSP and PS3 sound great, nuff said.

Design – Character design, unique is all that need be said for 40 characters. Every type of fighter is accounted for. The truly nice design is in the levels themselves which have breakable components but they are not forced upon gamers. Hit the right spot and spill into another level of the level or in multi-player on PSP span the fight over four levels. For a long established franchise there is not too much more to be done with level design so improvements are minimal on both PS3 and PSP. The PS3 scenario campaign is about as generic and cookie cutter (and enclosed) as you can get in a game. It does not feel original or unique and really is not as much fun as Tekken Bowl.

Miscellaneous – For fans of the series it’s got to be the story. Six games in and the Mishima family is still butting heads. The King of Iron Fist Tournament is always entertaining with wacky characters (Panda) and bosses ranging from long since sealed away great grandfathers and Aztec gods to crazy Egyptian monstrosities. Anyone who’s play from the beginning is going to love the story and for those new to the franchise the recap of the previous tournaments is very handy.

Overall, Tekken 6 is not about the new but rather the polished. The online, ad-hoc, vs. and adventure ‘Final Fight-ish’ mode offer up more of what fans love, feels instantly familiar and will satisfy but not innovate. It’s more Tekken which for this gamer is just fine.

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