Sometimes when waiting for a game, especially in Australia, the best thing to do is bite the bullet, jump the gun and go straight to the source; and so it was with Tekken 6. This preview is a little different because earlier this year we were able to head over to the land of the rising sun, explore Tokyo and check out Tekken 6 the only way an unpaid game reviewer can- by entering all and every game arcade and playing it over and over. Did we beat the Japanese at their game? Not quite; but it is a very good game.
Xbox fan boys can finally rejoice, because after a long hiatus Tekken is making its way across the PlayStation 3, XBOX 360 and PlayStation Portable. A few things we took away from our time in Japan though, is that there is nothing quite like playing a game the way it is meant to be played: In the middle of the day, in an overcrowded arcade against smoking businessmen in suits.
Now it may have helped our egos that we couldn’t understand the local dialect of smack-talk, but in my humble opinion there is nothing quite like taking a friend over and watching him summon the courage to ‘beat the Japanese at their traditional pastime’. From our short time immersed in their culture this is no understatement in that, there are arcades on every street corner in Tokyo and every single one had at least one floor dedicated to arcade fighting games.
Seeing Tekken presented like this, puts it in perspective, namely that through and through, at the end of the day, you are better off playing it at your local Time zone, standing up, the way it was designed. Also though, surrounding the myriad of machines were Street Fighter 4 and Virtua Fighter 5. Save for Soul Calibur this almost sums up the extent of current gen fighting on either the PS3 or XBOX. Now while my ‘friend’ was off trying to teach the locals how to fight, I was actually able to spend a lot of time playing Virtual Fighter which in stark contrast to Tekken has only three buttons to master.
Currently for Australia there is an arcade-stick bundle available when Tekken drops, but comes with a hefty price tag of over $200. This begs the question of who will buy it except the most dedicated of fans.
Speaking of the fans, unless you go to Japan you may also be denied the Bloodline Rebellion update to the series, released almost a year ago which includes another two new characters (on top of the currently announced eight) and two new arenas. Australia can only hope they release it as DLC.
The feeling that Tekken left us with was that of an excellent game, as tough to master as ever, but one which is surely showing its age. A game for purists and followers of the convoluted storyline, It was evident stacked up with the others, that Street Fighter had come some way to re-invent itself while Virtual Fighter was happy being the odd one out, with ridiculous costumes and a myriad of collectible items and character customization.
New features to Tekken include a rage mode, last seen in Mortal Kombat vs. DC and some physics, where at certain times characters ‘bounce’ after being forcibly hit, allowing continuation of combo’s mid-air.
All in all, it stays true to form. When it finally lands down-under the best bet is for the PS3 which also includes cross platform compatibility and play with the PSP. On top the XBOX controller is still less accommodating than the SISAX to really nail those combos.
If this is all too much, there are arcade-stick options for your console, but then again, save the money, buy a train ticket and head to your local arcade. That’s what the Japanese do!
(For the record, we only ever beat one Japanese guy, in 3 rounds using Brian Fury, out of 10 days of playing it!)
1. An eclectic range of new multi-national characters
2. Tekken on the XBOX360
3. ‘Rage’ mode for balance, ‘bounce’ for combos
1. Street Fighter 4 and Virtual Fighter 5 are already out
2. Price point on the arcade-stick bundle
3. Graphics are underwhelming
Release Date: 5th November, 2009
Previewed and Written By Ian Crane