Tekken 6
 

 
STORYShrouded in mystery, the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 came to an end with the defeat of Jinpachi Mishima at the hands of Jin Kazama. Jin took control of the Mishima Zaibatsu and began using the special Tekken Force unit to carry out covert disinformation and paramilitary operations. As a result of its efforts, the general public became paranoid and minor incidents around the globe soon evolved into major conflicts. Governments around the world grew increasingly impotent as chaos spread. At the peak of the carnage and confusion, the Mishima Zaibatsu arose from the darkness, flexing the full potential of its military might and declaring its dominion over all governmental rule.

The Mishima Zaibatsu took control of the world with overwhelming force. In response, G Corporation materialized in opposition to the Zaibatsu, setting-out to subdue the Mishima forces globally. Hailed as civilization's savior, The G Corporation offered a generous bounty to anyone who captures Mishima Zaibatsu's leader, Jin Kazama. In an effort to lead the next steps in the deadly dance between organizations, The Mishima Zaibatsu set the stage for battle with its announcement of The King of Iron Fist Tournament 6. Some seek fame. Some seek the bounty on Jin's head. Some seek solely to banish their own inner demons. Each fighter has a unique agenda. Welcome to The King of Iron Fist Tournament 6.
 

40 characters... and it takes 100's of hours to "master" even one.

 
REVIEW
In a world... where Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection was still fun & one of the most rewarding fighting games for loyal players... comes the long-awaited Tekken 6. The original Tekken 6 was released in winter of 2007 in arcades of Asia, with very few cabinets finding their way to American shores. Tekken 6 hit arcades in a very raw state and was patched several times to remedy balance issues and 100% "death combos" found by top players. About one year later, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion hit the arcade scene overseas and was the more complete sequel that fans demanded, but again didn't see a widespread international release. Tekken players worldwide waited patiently for the next ten months, and finally, the definitive version of Tekken 6 was released on consoles in late October of 2009... it was surely a long wait for fans overseas, but was it worth it?

You'll most likely hear mixed reviews if you ask that question to a panel of gamers, but if you think Tekken 6 in particular is some sort of "rehash" or not different enough to be a called sequel, you're sadly, sadly mistaken. With that said, not one... I repeat, NOT ONE mainstream review bothered to comment on the noteworthy changes that occurred since the prequel (Tekken 5: DR). So in this review, I'll be making up for their total disregard (or perhaps ignorance), because I feel some things must be pointed out, especially for the potential players that may not know the differences. Not only are there 6 dynamic new fighters to try out, but every returning character has been updated dramatically... and that's saying a lot for a roster of 40 characters.

First off, one of the most impressive visual upgrades in Tekken 6 are the attack animations. If you didn't spend a significant amount of time closely watching replays in Tekken 5 or Tekken 5: DR, you probably won't notice how nearly every stance, attack & throw animation was slightly tweaked. As a whole, the new animations make attacks even more fluid and generously add to the ouch factor. Most classic moves simply have a bit more "ooomph" behind them, and the new moves look nothing short of bone-shattering. Connected attacks are highlighted ever-so-nicely by some of the most thunderous sound effects to date, along with the trademark Tekken sparks & hit effects which also received some notable visual enhancements.
 

Intense and vibrant hit effects FTW.

 
Unfortunately, it seems Namco's effort in re-imagining these classic animations has fallen short of the mainstream's radar. I found it disappointing that no mainstream Tekken 6 review bothered to mention the improvement in animation. I guess it's generally overlooked since many staple Tekken animations like walking, jumping and the infamous juggle animation have seemingly stayed the same for years. But seriously... have casual fighting game players & "pro" game critics become that jaded? Revamped animation certainly isn't something that many fighting game sequels (or video game sequels) bring to the table very often. Worry not Namco, TFG is here to set the record straight... yet again.


Tekken's tried & true gameplay engine has also undergone quite a few tweaks in itself, including a re-worked wall game, new ground "bound" combos, and the new Rage System which activates automatically when your character's health is reduced to 5% or less, increasing their power and making combos even more deadly. First introduced in Tekken Tag, "Rage" definitely ups your chances for a dramatic comeback but isn't something that can be abused or causes any imbalance in the game. If you're a smart player, you can prevent your opponent from even entering Rage and you'll know which moves to watch out for when your opponent is in Rage. Overall, the Rage System adds a nice touch to the gameplay and makes for some highly intense (and sometimes scary) moments during the fight.

With each successive sequel, overall gameplay has improved slightly if not significantly. Still, Tekken's core gameplay mechanics from the prequels are always preserved. Namco clearly follows the principle of "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" when releasing a new installment. Hence, long-term fans of the series have been continually rewarded with a game we can pick up & play easily, with our favorite characters retaining their familiar play-styles and most (if not all) of their classic moves! The deepest corners of Tekken 6's combo system show some truly strong design components, offering countless "mix-up" options and strategies along the way.

Although Tekken 6 still feels very much like the Tekken of the recent past, there is no doubt a handful of new gameplay nuances to master this time around. Actually, the vastness of the new content can be quite overwhelming from the start, even for a seasoned Tekken player. With a seemingly countless number of new moves and combos to learn, at first it can be very intimidating for a casual player to attempt to memorize even a single character's move-set... "What? This character has over 100 moves?".... Yup, welcome to Tekken.
 

Tekken 6's character anatomy and clothing detail is spot on.

 
The deep and dynamic characters have always been among Tekken's strong points, but ironically enough, this fact alone may actually "scare away" some potential players... especially since Tekken 6 is a hardcore player's best friend. It's true that Tekken 6 can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels, but the true complexity of the gameplay can only be discovered and fully appreciated in high level play. The vast number of mix-ups, strategies and combos that can be done set the groundwork for an exceptionally fun and satisfying 3D fighting game experience.

Getting to such a level requires a considerable amount of studying and practice, something that many gamers these days are far too lazy to do! It's no surprise why so many gamers & mainstream reviewers went "gaga" over a simpler fighting game like Street Fighter IV, but can't really seem to get into Tekken. Have 3D fighting games become too technical and deep for the casual gamer? Only a few years ago, the mainstream was saying "2D fighting games were dead," but now it seems as if 3D fighting games aren't getting the respect they deserve...
Moral of the story: F*ck the mainstream!!!

To quote producer Katsuhiro Harada: "Tekken's control scheme is designed foremost to be intuitive and responsive. After a player inputs a command, the move is executed the next frame and in exactly one frame after the input, you see the result displayed on screen. This is something that is not widely known, but this is unique to Tekken." Though sometimes appearing erratic in high level play, the "movement controls" of Tekken 6 are as responsive as ever and feature a variety of offensive & defensive maneuvers for each character.

Unfortunately, Namco didn't include a Tutorial Mode in Tekken 6, so beginners have a lot to learn on their own... and without sincere dedication from the start, most beginners won't even scratch the surface of the gameplay. Thankfully, Tekken 6's Practice Mode features a ton of convenient training options and is set up perfectly for players who take the game seriously. It's actually the best and easiest-to-use training mode I've ever seen in a fighting game. Furthermore, gameplay is intuitive enough for experienced fighting game players to grasp rather quickly. Any respectable fighting game player knows it's best to stay a moving target (like in a real fight), in Tekken's case, frequently using forward & backward dashing and sidestepping. Now that most characters have special dashing & evasive techniques, there's even more diversity between fighters and equally more strategy involved in fighting against them. Learning how to move properly is key to playing Tekken, and it's certainly not all about combos (which some people fail to realize).
 

Still the hardest hitting fighting game around. Ouch factor = 10/10.

 
The "ouch factor" found in Tekken games was always among the best of the genr,e and there's definitely no shortage of it in Tekken 6. The authentic fighting styles are highlighted by accurate & well-executed martial arts techniques that would hurt, cripple, or possibly kill you in real life... Tekken 6 is actually a pretty realistic game when you look at it that way, but as you probably know, Tekken doesn't take itself too seriously and there are a handful of less-authentic (yet cleverly entertaining) fighting styles thrown in just for fun and entertainment value.

The brand new (and long overdue) KO animations add another refreshing visual element, as certain mid & low attacks will cause your opponent to fall in a certain way... but I do wonder why they haven't completely removed the old one from Tekken 3 In any case, I never seem to get tired of watching those hard-hitting replays in slow-mo! The new bound combo system is technically fantastic and, in my opinion, makes Tekken combos look flashier and more painful than ever. Thanks to the bound system, there are nearly an infinite amount of new combo possibilities, which also means players are less likely to use "the same old combo" over and over again. Tekken 6's combo system > Spamming.

Graphically, Tekken 6 was a powerhouse at the arcades, boasting incredibly crisp character models & stages all at 60 frames per second. The home versions of Tekken 6 also run at a smooth 60 fps, but unfortunately the overall resolution has been downgraded from its arcade counterpart. The new "motion blur" graphical filter correlates well with the action and adds a nice touch to the visuals, but unfortunately having it turned on lowers the overall resolution. The default setting for Tekken 6 has motion blur turned on, but ironically enough, the graphics will appear a bit crispier on your HDTV if you venture to the Options menu and turn it off.  

Alas, some people may end up being slightly disappointed with the graphics, but there's really not much room to complain. Although nearly 2 years old, Tekken 6's graphics are superb... from the unique muscle anatomy that each individual fighter has, to the noticeable differences in the fabric textures & folds in countless clothing items, to the reflections of the actual backgrounds in shiny parts of clothing... Tekken 6 is crispy! The strength of Tekken 6's visuals lies within its fluid animation and the incredibly detailed character models (which were completely redone for this sequel from the ground up). To sum up the graphics, unless you're sitting too close to your television and looking for imperfections, the console version is fantastically gorgeous at the end of the day.

Tekken 6's Customization Mode is much improved over Tekken 5's. All of your favorite fighters can easily acquire some all-new costumes if you grow tired of their original threads. The new Customization Mode also allows you to freely move the camera around the intricately detailed character models which, as I said before, are freakin' incredible! Character anatomy is spot-on and the models are practically "naked" at their core, allowing you to remove or switch out shirts/jackets, pants, gloves & footwear or just set a character's default color scheme to your liking.

Another new feature introduced in Tekken 6 are "item moves," customization items that have an actual use during gameplay, giving your fighter an extra move or taunt.  Each character has several specific item moves and it'll probably take you a long while to actually see them used during gameplay. Some of them are awesomely badass (like Kazuya's, where he puts a gun to his opponent's head during a throw) and others make little sense but are hilarious (like when Lili summons penguins that follow her around). The new item moves add flash & entertainment value, but thankfully don't effect balance or gameplay in a negative way since they don't take off much damage when they connect. The dev-team was clearly just having fun, which is always nice to see in a fighting game.
 

Top notch clothing detail & lighting effects... but water effects could be better.

 
Now onto aesthetics.... As in Tekken 5, certain high & mid attacks will occasionally make contact with a grounded opponent, oftentimes picking them up to extend an air combo and inducing guaranteed "how did that even hit me" moments. It's primarily a visual flaw (and not a gameplay flaw), but those jump kicks and uppercut punches really shouldn't touch a grounded opponent. Some "surface gamers" might see this as a flaw, but it's one of Tekken's familiar quirks. In order for the game to be balanced, every character has those "pick-up" type moves, and some look more convincing than others. Having the advantage for a period of time in a battle in the form of a combo, has always been an enjoyable feature about Tekken. In the history of fighting games, longer combos and a more open-ended combo system equals more fun for the hardcore players, so it's a reasonable trade-off.

To continue my nitpicking... the ground bound animation looks natural during combos, but as "the low parry animation" it occasionally looks out of place. Unless you use your imagination, seldom does it make sense why a character ends up on their back, with their legs up in the air, after their opponent anticipates their low punch or kick. If you remember correctly, this is only apparent in the Bloodline Rebellion update to Tekken 6 and, in my opinion, there was nothing wrong with the original Tekken 6 low parry animation.  It doesn't look too bad once you get used to it, but I think a low parry deserves its own unique animation.


The breakable walls & ground adds a nice change of pace to the gameplay, but the effect could've been done better visually. Ground damage and large chunks of the floor still disappear after a few seconds, and it gives off a rushed/cheap vibe. Several low-quality floor textures are also apparent on a couple stages, but the stage designs themselves take your eyes away from the floor and look excellent. Each location contains an impressive amount of background animations & detail, as well as some interesting lighting effects (although lighting effects in the arcade version are superior to console). One flaw about some of the stages, however, is that "walls" are sometimes undefined or even appear invisible when a character is knocked against them. It's another solely visual flaw, because once you learn the stages you'll know exactly where the walls are. 

Online Mode contains the staple modes you'd expect and offers some cool features like ghost & replay sharing, but isn't perfect. Ranked matches can be set for "connection priority," so the option to opt out of a potentially laggy match is there, but unfortunately, you can't see your opponent's disconnect rate before the fight (like in SC4) to avoid those annoying rage quitters. Overall, Tekken 6's online mode gives the current gen of online fighters a run for their money. But as someone who put countless hours into Tekken 5: DR Online, I definitely miss some of the previous (and rather basic) battle lobby features, like being able to name your room, and the ability to show off your rank to your friends in the casual "player match." Aside from a weird and annoying "random disconnect" glitch, T6 has a fairly solid netcode, and playing online is a great way to meet other players and improve your game.

Page Updated: June 11th, 2014
Developer(s): Namco Bandai
Publisher(s): Namco Bandai
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation 3, PSP, Xbox 360
Release Date(s): Nov. 26th, 2007  ( Arcade)
Dec. 18th, 2008  ( Arcade - T6: BR)
Oct. 27th, 2009  ( PS3/360)
Oct. 29th, 2009  ( PS3/360)
Oct. 30th, 2009  ( PS3/360)
Nov. 24th, 2009  ( PSP)
Dec. 11th, 2009  ( PSP)
Jan. 14th, 2010  ( PSP)
Characters Jin Kazama, Leo, Zafina, Miguel, Bob, Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, Yoshimitsu, Asuka Kazama, Bryan Fury, Lili, Hwoarang, Baek, Jack-6, Sergei Dragunov, Steve Fox, Ling Xiaoyu, Devil Jin, Paul Phoenix, Bruce Irvin, Marshall Law, Lei Wulong, Lee Chaolan, King, Kuma, Panda, Craig Marduk, Ganryu, Roger Jr., Raven, Eddy, Christie, Julia, Feng Wei, Wang, Nina Williams, Anna Williams, Armor King, Mokujin, Azazel

Featured Video:

Related Games: Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4, Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online , Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 7, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Advance, Tekken Revolution, Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken
  

Gameplay Engine  9.5 / 10
Story / Theme  7.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  9.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  9.5 / 10
Innovation  8.0 / 10
Art Direction  8.0 / 10
Customization  9.5 / 10
Options / Extras  9.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  10 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  10 / 10
Characters  10 / 10

BOTTOM LINE

9.2 / 10

 Review based on PS3 version

 

Final Words: So is Tekken 6 the best installment in the series to date? If we're talking gameplay, the answer is YES... but when it comes to the story and presentation, definitely NO. The presentation value that the series became known for early on is definitely a bit compromised this time around. Firstly, the opening movie is an updated version of the "original" Tekken 6 arcade introduction. It's done well in some areas, but overall it's kinda "sleepy" and the fight scenes look unrefined. I wish they put more time into the console opening or at least made it flow right into the badass Tekken 6: BR intro (which is at least viewable in the Gallery). Still, it doesn't make any sense why they didn't include the awesome Jin VS Kazuya sequence in the main intro of the console version (which would've so much for the game's first impression).

The character prologues are also less impressive than those in Tekken 4 & Tekken 5, and the endings leave much to be desired. Some endings aren't bad, some offer nothing more than a "WTF" moment and/or leave you wanting more, and finally, some are just plain stupid. The overall presentation of Tekken 6 doesn't nearly match up to what we were treated to in earlier installments, which very well may turn off the "casual fans" (as shallow as that may be). As far as character endings go, Tekken 6 seems to be going for comedy rather than the more serious tone of past games... and the endings don't do much justice in terms of storyline or character development. On the flipside,
the production value found in the animation, the graphics, and the amazing soundtrack makes up for it.

Gameplay-wise, I love the reworked wall game, the improvement of side-walking and the dynamic combos that can be done off of bound. Tekken was always a rewarding game to the hardcore players that have stuck with it for all these years, and thankfully, it still is.
Namco clearly knows what loyal players want, and they know we don't want a completely new game... we want Tekken.

Tekken 6 delivers gorgeous visuals and some of the hardest-hitting, most authentic and most fluid martial arts seen in any video game, period. Even though there are several less-than-authentic and off-the-wall fighting styles introduced in this installment, the returning "serious" martial artists stay true to their roots and still accurately represent their traditional fighting styles, all of which looking notably more impressive than ever before. That said, players who appreciate fighting games with authentic martial arts will still prefer Tekken over many other titles out there.

Namco tried valiantly to attract a larger audience with Tekken 6 by going multi-platform & launching various advertising campaigns (and I hope it worked for them). Sadly, many "surface gamers" who might be disappointed with Tekken 6's first impression & presentation may never appreciate the brilliance and polish behind the gameplay... the actual game. Tekken 6 doesn't quite "draw you in" like earlier titles in the franchise... you have to already be a fan of Tekken or truly want to learn the intricate gameplay system to get the most out of the game.

Beginner players should find a lot to like about Tekken 6, as the developers have further streamlined movesets to make characters feel more natural to play. Thus, it's pretty easy for new players to pull off a fair amount of "cool-looking" moves with minimal practice. Still, I really think Namco should've included a Tutorial Mode, which would greatly diminish the number of button mashers online (it's bloody pathetic I tell you). Due to the deep controls and the style of animation, Tekken is still one of those games that looks eons less impressive with newbs & button mashers behind the controls... unless of course they are appropriately being obliterated by skilled players... then it looks pretty cool.

One final point I'd like to bring up: Because of the fact that many titles in this next-gen of video games seem to somewhat "play themselves," technical masterpieces like Tekken 6 that require hours/weeks/months of practice will ignorantly be overlooked by many casual gamers. Like I've already stated,
the true brilliance of the Tekken 6's gameplay can only be discovered and fully appreciated in high level play. It's 1000 times easier to find a reason to say "I don't like Tekken 6" than to become a skilled player. Many "next-gen gamers" also don't like losing unpreventably and Tekken 6 is a game where pros will relentlessly destroy amateurs (with style & finesse to boot).

With that said, it's easy to hate the game if you're a newb, and many will quit before they even start. It's a sad truth, but also a bittersweet one since the fighters of Tekken will seem to "magically come to life" when under the control of a player who knows what they're doing.... That's the magic of Tekken.  In closing, the fact that Tekken 6 lasted as a tournament-level fighting game for over 4 years legitimizes the high score I've given it. Not too many games of this era have kept such a presence in the tournament circuit as long as Tekken 6 has. ~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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SCENARIO CAMPAIGN MODE
 
Scenario Campaign is a bonus mode included in the home version of Tekken 6, and a spiritual successor to the earlier Tekken Force mode. SC Mode features an epic opening movie and some rat
her good BGMs (exclusive to the mode), but the gameplay doesn't take itself nearly as seriously. As you destroy hordes of baddies, "arcade beat-em-up" style, you'll run around collecting eggs & chickens for health, money bags for extra cash, and gain silly power-ups along the way by equiping the random customization items you obtain. Your character (of your choice) will potentially end up looking ridiculous by wearing the most effective items, since " wearing matching clothing" and "looking cool" probably won't take priority while you're playing this mode. If you were hoping for a more serious, story-driven playthrough (which would compliment the series), you'll be disappointed. However, if you enjoyed Tekken Force Mode from Tekken 3 & 4, you'll find something to like about Scenario Campaign.

In Campaign, using the analog stick allows your fighter to freely move in 3D, and only a few random moves will be at your disposal. However, using the d-pad will allow you to stay on the same plane of your targeted opponent, allowing you to play Tekken as you know it. It should be noted that if you just "run around mashing buttons" and expect "cool stuff" to happen (like it will in most button masher friendly 3rd person action games of this era)... you're shit out of luck, and if you're an ignorant person, you might say this mode "sucks" before learning how to play it properly. However, if you have some basic knowledge of how to play Tekken, you'll have fun with this mode.
 

Take to the streets with your favorite Tekken characters.

 
Basically, every move & combo you can perform in the regular game, you can perform in Campaign! What "beat-em-up" do you know of features 40 playable characters, each packing 100-150+ moves?!? (The answer is none). It's practically a game in and of itself, and for a "bonus mode" in an arcade fighting game, there's not much to complain about. Campaign offers a wide variety of locations to fight through, including quite a few hidden stages with hilarious "non-human" enemies.

The default control layout is actually a bit uncomfortable if you're using a controller, but it can be remedied. Since most Tekken players who use Dual Shock use the "two fingers" technique, simply changing the "Switch Target" command to L1 makes a world of difference. In general, the controls and targeting system could be better... but with some practice, targeting enemies is a fairly simple & smooth ordeal. Those who complain about the camera in this mode (like Adam Sessler) are most likely not using the targeting system correctly. *sigh* Gamers these days... expecting the game to do everything for them.

Once you get the hand of it, Scenario Campaign is actually pretty fun. I'm one of those guys who likes to juggle an enemy for 10 hits after they're already dead... so for someone who loves Tekken's combo system, there's plenty of fun to be had. The inclusion of ridiculous weapons that characters can pick up (lead pipe, chaingun & flamethrower) adds to the "arcade style beat-em-up" vibe, but seems very out of place for Tekken... (although, as much as I hate to admit it, mowing down hordes of fools with a flamethrower is strangely satisfying at times (primarily when you're low on health).  

Sadly, the story element of SC Mode isn't nearly as compelling as it could be, and is agonizingly slow paced at times. On the bright side, Campaign has its fair share of entertaining moments & cut scenes. SC Mode also features an online co-op option, where you and a friend can take down the bad guys in style. The lack of local multiplayer co-op is disappointing though. At the least, Scenario Campaign is one of the best "bonus" modes in any console fighting game to date and is also the best way to unlock extras & customization items. Where the mode went wrong is that it was presented as the "main attraction," which it surely is not. Another flaw of Scenario Campaign is that it has slightly lower quality graphics than the main game. 
~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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Click here for all character art!

 


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