Tekken 6 (PS3) Review

I first played Tekken at a coffee shop near my school when I was 12 years old. I instantly became addicted. The cutting edge 3D graphics, the simple controls, and the endless combos had me ditching class to stay and play. Fast forward 15 years. Namco has already released 6 Tekkens. The game is still an arcade smash hit, and sells millions across the platforms. How can you improve what is already one of the best fighters ever? Simple. Add characters, a crazy storyline, and adventure modes.

Gameplay
Namco has perfected the gameplay engine. The controls are not much different than they were 15 years ago. Each face button on the controller corresponds to a limb of your character. The directional pad controls the movements of your fighter, and allows you to block devastating strikes. The controls as usual, are top notch. If you are good with the controller and learn combos, you can start a combo that won’t finish until the other fighter is totally finished. It is quite satisfying pulling off a string of wrestling throws with King and finishing the guy off with a giant throw. Namco has added a few things. The scenery is more interactive, as you can now fall through floors to different stages.

There are several modes in the PS3 version. You have your traditional arcade mode, training modes, vs modes, and now a fantastic online mode that pits you against the world’s best. Trust me, they are good. I’ve been playing this game for years and I severely got my butt kicked. The best part of the new game is the Tekken “Force” mode. It is an adventure game built right into a fighter. There is a deep and developed story, upgrades for your characters, and twists and turns that keep you glued to the screen. I highly recommend playing through the story mode atleast once. It really explains the underlying story which you won’t see in arcade mode.

Graphics
Graphics have always been a strong suit in the Tekken series. Even Tekken 1 had revolutionary 3D graphics back in it’s day. The developers haven’t dissappointed us even 15 years later. The graphics are crisp, colorful and extremely detailed. Each character has a unique look, and the depth of detail on their outfits and hair styles is unmatched in 3D fighting games. I have yet to see a 3D fighter come close to looking as good as Tekken. The backgrounds are equally beautiful. Ripples in water look totally real, smoke in the background seems like its closing in on the fighters, and the crowd in the background has a lot of detail. Namco did a phenomenal job with the lighting, character models, and effects. The game is simply gorgeous.

Sound
Sound and music have also been a strong suit in the Tekken series. I still remember the theme song from Tekken 3, it was that catchy. The background music is always well suited to the stage you are at, and the sounds are never off key. The voice acting in the story mode is ok. Some of the characters voices do not suit them. For example, Julia, the aboriginal girl, sounds Russian. It may have been the conversion from Japanese to English. The Japanese voice actors sound really serious which suits the characters, and a lot of the voice actors from the previous games have stayed on for Tekken 6.

Overall, this game is incredible. It is by far one of the best fighting games EVER. The presentation, graphics, sound and controls are all unmatched. My only gripe is that on PS3 the loading times are frequent. I guess that is the price you pay when you have such a complex, detailed, fantastic game. I recommend it to fans of the Tekken series, and fighting game fans everywhere. Even if you don’t like fighters, but enjoy button mashing and stress relief, this game is for you. You could honestly buy it just for the adventure mode and not be let down. It is THAT good. The funny thing is, 15 years later I am still addicted to Tekken. In another 30 years who knows if I’ll be an old man sitting in front of a futuristic TV mashing the buttons controlling my favorite Tekken fighter. Only time will tell.