With the release of Tekken 6 less than two months away, the Tokyo Game Show will be one of the last chances people will have to play the latest installment in the long-running Tekken series. So as you'd expect, publisher Namco Bandai has dedicated plenty of space to Tekken 6 at its large booth, showcasing both PS3 and 360 versions of the game for passers-by to duke it out in arcade mode. But straight-up versus isn't the only thing on show: the game's Scenario Campaign is also available for play. We took it through its paces to see how it has evolved in the months since we last played it.
What's New: Just to recap, Scenario Campaign is a mode in Tekken 6 in which you'll get to take your favorite character on a beat-'em-up trip, similar to Tekken Force in Tekken 3 and 4. In this mode, you'll get to play cooperatively with a friend online or be accompanied by an AI-controlled pal if you're playing solo. When we last played this at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, only a few characters were selectable, but this time around, the entire 40-character roster was available.
There's probably a story of some sort to go along with Scenario Campaign, but since all the text in the game we played was in Japanese, we weren't able to decipher just what was going on. We first jumped on as one of the new characters--the robot gal Alisa Bosconovitch. The first level took place on a pier, with several enemies coming at us at once. The game's camera would shift depending on the direction the character was facing, which made it a little difficult to pull off moves (although not impossible). As well as busting out your normal moves, you will be able to pick up weapons, such as an ultrapowerful minigun halfway through this pier scenario. The lower-level enemies were easily dispatched, with game character Miguel acting as an end-of-level boss.
After we dispatched Miguel, the next level shifted to a city alleyway at night. After beating on some lower-level enemies, we entered a gym, where characters King and Craig Marduk were waiting as the next two bosses. This fight took place inside of a wrestling ring, with the two brawlers having plenty of support from some flunkies.
The next level was the strangest we played and took place on a hilly road. Our opponents this time around were cute bears (no, not Kuma) and boxing kangaroos (no, not Roger). These opponents came at us in plenty of waves, with the smaller bears proving a little trickier because with their lower height they could easily fall under mid and high attacks.
What's Different: What we noticed this time around was that Scenario Campaign will allow you to heal downed opponents simply by standing over their prone bodies and pressing a button. They won't come back with full health, but they will spring back with about a quarter of their stamina. You won't be able to do this constantly, however--you can do it once per life, and it seems like you'll need to pick up the appropriate power-up from a downed opponent in order to do it again.
Speaking of power-ups, we also came across a power-up shaped like an energy drink bottle that adds electrical damage to your character's physical attacks. And while you can choose any character to battle in Scenario Campaign, it doesn't seem that the storyline within the campaign changes. We played subsequent games as Lei Wulong and Kazuya Mishima and were presented with what looked like the same text dialog boxes and level progression. Of course, this may very well not be the case, so we'll have to wait until we can get our hands on an English-language version before we make our final call.
What's The Same: If you've played Tekken Force mode before, then you'll know what to expect from Scenario Campaign. The mode is a fun little distraction from the main fighting portion of Tekken 6. We also played a few rounds of straight-up versus mode, and we can report that it runs as smoothly as Bloodline Rebellion in arcades.
What Impression The Game Made This Time: Tekken has always been a rock-solid fighter with deep yet easy-to-pick-up mechanics, and Tekken 6 looks to be no exception. There's already plenty to experience with the large character roster, and it looks like Scenario Campaign will add even more longevity to the game. Look for more on Tekken 6 on GameSpot soon.