Tekken had once been a favorite of mine back in the PS1 days. I played Tekken 2 and Tekken 3 religously with a group of friends. I then skipped out on Tekken 4 and 5. With the hype of Street Fighter IV rekindling my interest in fighting games, I decided to go with the LE Version of Tekken 6 to get the fight stick to play it with.
+ Easy for the inexperienced button-mashers to play
+ A very large roster of characters with varied fighting styles.
+ New moves and rythms for veterans to discover and experiment with.
+ No time need be wasted unlocking fighters, but plenty of unlockable costumes
+ Fun story mode offer's adventure and a break from the 1-on-1 fighting.
+ Online play is now great since the recent Patch
- Gameplay is slower than it's contemporaries.
- Graphics are really not very impressive.
- Load times seem to be long even after installing.
LE bundle contents:
+ The fight stick is very easy to sync and set up
+ The fight stick has a good solid feel
+ No discernable input lag
+ High quality, hardcover art book is interesting to page through.
+ Fighting Stick can be used on PC games
+ Multiple wireless fighting sticks can be used at once
- No bluetooth, requires dongle
- Wireless Makes Fight Stick useless for tournaments
- Stock Hori parts can feel vague, buttons can be mushy.
- Fight Stick is not easily modified.
- Questionable Value at $150 (very much worth it at Amazon's discounted prices in the gold box though!!)
THE GAME: 8/10
Tekken 6 gave no trouble for me to get into after abandoning the Tekken series for the last several iterations. The gameplay felt familiar and I was pulling off some old staple moves and combos with Paul and Heihachi in no time.
Tekken is unique in that it uses more directional taps and button+direction type moves rather the all the directional charges, half circle and quarter circle of SF. Tekken has a unique button layout, assigning one button to each limb. This making combos and moves easier to replicate simply by witnessing them. It also is different in that blocking is achieved by standing or crouching in a neutral direction. additionally, The game plays more like a 2D/3D hybrid rather than using full free 3D movement like Soul Calibur, primarily reserving 3D movements for quick sidesteps and evasion rolls.
Combos are still easy enough for beginners to pull off. Tekken allows liberal juggeling of airborne opponents, which further sets it apart from it's competition. You can easily get 2-3 juggle hits on your opponent nearly every time you strike them or bounce them up in the air. However, the big 10 hit combos and the more technical moves simply won't happen by accident and take practice to not only know how to do them, but when.
Tekken 6 offers a "story campaign" mode, in the vein of the the Tekken force modes first seen in Tekken 3. While this mode does add more content to the game and help to flesh out the story, it doesn't play all that well. I found the Tekken Force mode of Tekken 3 much more enjoyable. Tekken 3 offered co-op right from the start, but not so in this campaign story mode. The hybrid 3d controls are ambitious, but flawed. Taking on multiple attackers is confusing as the targeting system is not very good. You must press R1 to switch targets repeatedly until your character faces the correct one. This can take sever cycles and leave you open to attack. The Campaign Story is a nice side-element to the game, but don't get the idea that it is the focus of Tekken 6 no matter how much Namco hyped it. The real game still lies in the Arcade and Vs. modes.
The online mode is not all that I would have hoped for in regard to performance. I have noticed games to be very laggy, only getting one good game out of maybe 10 at this point. It is frustrating, as I am a decent tekken player, but I lose to people using stale moves because my timing is blown from the latency maing it difficult to use counter and parrying. Essentially, this ruins the complexity of the game online and dumbs it down to just timing simple button-press combos. When I do get a good connection, it's great, but at this point I plan to do most of my vs. matching locally.
The online also allows you to save replays, which I am surprised it took this long for a fighting game to add. occassionally you will fight a laggy opponent, but when you both have good connections the game feels good. Perhaps not quite as good as SF IV's online feels, but on par with Soul Calibur's if not better.
Another area where Tekken 6 is a bit lackluster is in the visuals. The graphics look almost last gen. Some of the broken paralex stages just look bizzare. Comparing this game to Soul Calibur IV, which came out last year from the same publisher, it falls short. Character models almost seem to look polygonal, which I thought was gone from this gen of consoles. It is certainly not awful, but after seeing Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, SC IV and Modern Warfare 2, this game just seems very unpolished.Fortunately, great graphics aren't needed for fun gamepaly. Tekken 6 shines in it's accessability and smooth controls. It's any every-man's fighting game.
Tekken online has more features than Soul Calibur IV, but does not hold up to the performance of SF IV, SC IV or Blaze Blue. I won't be giving up SF IV for this, but Soul calbur IV will be gathering dust for a bit. Overall I would give Tekken an 8/10 due to the robust content, with a tilt of 7/10. It's a step up, but not the big improvement some may have hoped for. However, if you're like me and had been out of Tekken for years, this is much greater than Tekken 3 or 4, but only a minor improvement over Tekken 5.
LIMITED EDITION: 7/10
So, I'll get this gripe off my chest first. It is utterly ridiculous to use bluetooth if no accessories can use it. Sony needs to start allowing licensed products to use Bluetooth. That would have made this the perfect wireless stick. Since it uses a dongle, the stick will not work with PS2 games currently if you have a BC PS3. I was hoping to be able to play R-Type Final and Contra: SS with this, but it is just not possible currently.
That being as it may, The dongle is only a slight annoyance. Hori at least made synchronizing it as simple as pushing the X button. The arcade stick uses 2 AAs which may seem bad at first, but it does allow a longer battery life than if it were to use Lithium Ion like the Dual Shock 3. I have not noticed a hint of controller lag either.
Make no mistake though, this is closer to the Fighting Stick 3 than an HRAP3. The buttons have a decent feel, but can be a bit mushy at times. Replacing with high quality parts would be no simple task. The internal parts are not readily accessable since hori used a tri-wing screw type. Buttons are soldered to the PCB and the stick is not easily replaced due to the battery location and very slim profile case. Modding it can be done, but it will not be easy.This stick emphasizes convenience over durability and performance, and really it does quite well with that. To most gamers this will be far better than the control pad. Personally I am happy with it, even with it's shortcomings.
The Art book really looks nice and is a Hardcover. It has some info on the characters and how they were conceived. A nice compliment to the game for Tekken fans.
The added price of the LE bundle is worth it if you are looking to get an arcade stick and don't plan on entering tournaments or, if like me, you simply wanted the convenience of wireless stick. Otherwise, choose the Hori HRAP3 SA or Madcatz TE sticks if you don't mind the wire. As with all arcade sticks, transitioning from a control pad will be akward at first, but it will allow you much higher potential for fighting games. I have noticed having a fighting stick makes those who you would normally be turned off by the complexity of the DS3 jump right into playing on the more purpose-built, simpler arcade stick. Having 2 fight sticks is a blast for parties or family get togethers.