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Over the last year, the fighting genre has made its way to the newest generation of console, and it was only a matter of time before the Tekken series followed suit. For those unfamiliar with it, Tekken 6 is the newest installment of the Tekken series and brings fighting, style, and family rivalry to a new level. Longtime fans of the series will rekindle their love the game all over again, and newcomers will find it hard to put their controllers down. The smoother combat and updated graphics elevate fighting to a beautiful art form. Who said that the fighting genre is dead? Tekken 6 incorporates many improvements that make the game better than before. The biggest change by Namco Bandai is the upgrade to the franchise’s sluggish combat. Button delay and slow character motions aren’t an issue anymore. The new combat mechanics allow for combos to flow naturally; an improvement from the previous games that old fans will appreciate. Just make sure you don’t hit the pause button to often. Arcade and tournament players will find it easy to make the leap from the arcade box to console, but new players will have a tough time learning the ways of the game. It takes time to develop the combos, learn which moves work with which, and create strategies to defeat their opponents. Because of this, Tekken has a practice mode. Another thing to note is the effort Namco Bandai’s graphic design and special effects department has put into Takken 6. Christie Monteiro’s kicks have never looked better. It’s good to see that Tekken has come a long way from the blocks and triangles that were used in the original game. Great job, guys! Every punch and kick has new flare; characters and stages have depth and add new meaning to the word “gorgeous.”
The roster in Tekken 6 is larger than ever. With over forty playable characters and new bosses to fight you will never get tired of the single player modes. You can play for hours on end honing you skills and earning gold to buy new items for customization.
There are six new characters to take notice of: Lars, Alisa, Bob, Zafina, Miguel, and Leo. Many of the old-school fighters that we’ve come to know and love make a return as well. Everyone has new moves and combos that are well worth the trouble of memorizing, as well as the classics that make each character icnic and unique. Beware of Azazel, the final boss in Story and Arcade Modes.
Tekken 6 brings a new way to play with Scenario Mode (story mode), and is based around Lars and Alisa. Scenario Mode allows you to play any selected character in third person as you fight your way through the different stages, unlocking all the playable characters. Another feature in this mode is the arena area, where you can go and fight your way through story mode unlocking each person’s prolog and epilog as you challenge your way to win The King of Iron Fist Tournament 6. One last bonus to this mode of play is the history of Tekken mini movie that plays the first time you play in Scenario Mode. Soon Namco Bandai is expected to release a patch that will allow multi-player co-op so you and your friends can team up and take down the G-Corporation together. The crown jewel of the game is still the Arcade and Versus modes. The new battle system makes for explosive fighting that is far more action-packed than in previous Tekken games. Fighting is fast and responsive, making for a better feel and natural flow. Arcade Mode has gotten a bit more challenging with the range of difficulties to choose from. For years, players have been calling for a scaled difficulty mode, and they’ve gotten just that. Now the difficulty becomes harder as you win fights. This leads to some insane boss fights that are worth getting beat over and over again. Versus mode offers the same system as in Arcade with the added bonus of beating down your friends, displaying your skills, and showing what you’re made of. Players can save and record battles to upload to the online leader boards. Another interesting offline mode is Ghost Battle. In this game type you can go against other computer generated user at random difficulty level. Also you can level up your characters as you play Ghost Battle. The road to becoming a Tekken Lord is long and challenging. The higher you’re ranked, the more fearsome you become.
The online battle system is the only flaw in the game. Unfortunately, it’s a big flaw too. When the online component of Tekken 6 was announced, it was met with great anticipation. Instead, it turned out to be a decent disappointment. While online, the frame rate slows down significantly making the game sluggish and sometimes unplayable. Often during online battle the game will lose connection or freeze entirely. Other times the game lags. Some online users take advantage of this and spam attacks. It’s to be expected but is not Namco Bandai’s fault. To be honest even the few achievements and troupes that are in Online Mode are not enough to deem it worth of playing. Xbox owners of the game have it especially harder online, the problems occur more on Xbox Live than on PSN and Xbox Live users pay to have the game lag. The good news is Namco Bandai is working on the issue and expects to have a patch available soon. In the end, Tekken 6 game still serves its base function: having fun and beating down friends. Now you can do it in style by fully customizing your costumes and designs. With over forty characters to choose from and several ways to play, you’ll spend hours upon hours of kicking ass and taking names. Even with Online Mode flaws, nearly all of the expectations have been met. Tekken 6 is a must have for all fans, and a must buy for anyone looking to extend their collection. With its availability on both PS3 and Xbox 360 experiences may vary but fans will enjoy the show either way.