Tekken 6 is more of the same from previous games, but satisfies when you want a solid fighter.

User Rating: 8 | Tekken 6 PS3
Good things (or bad) tend to come in threes. Movies, events, even games follow this pattern. Non-fighting games rarely exceed three because the franchise begins to look milked. Unless all of the games can tell a unique story that layers upon the original trilogy like God of War does, they're usually destined to fail. Fighting games tend to get off a little easier in some respects, being a bit closer to a sports game. The faces change, but the core gameplay remains the same. This is true for Tekken 6.

I've begun to lose faith in the series to be quite honest. Fighting games that have gone on beyond three or four incarnations can get pretty stale. Mortal Kombat comes to mind. It's had to reinvent itself multiple times to stay fresh. Tekken in and of itself remains the same four button system that it's had since the beginning. Tekken is a pure fighting game in that there are almost no people or creatures with projectile attacks. Those that do are very rare indeed, or usually end bosses.

Because Tekken is so purely melee driven, much like its weapon driven cousin Soul Caliber, the game plays a lot slower than most fighters. However, what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in complexity. Tekken has some of the deepest combo capabilities of any fighter. Thankfully, the difficulty in which you approach the game can vary based on who you pick. Executing combos with Law may much easier than say Paul Phoenix. This and the fact that each fighter has variable speeds. It really helps ease the learning curve quite a bit in the game because there's a lot to pick up on.

However, if this were just you're average yearly release, it'd probably rate much lower. Tekken 6, thankfully, introduces new characters this time around that are truly unique as opposed to the palette/move set swaps of old like King/Armor King or Eddy/Christie. New characters like Lars and Zafina are truly unique and help prevent the entire roster from becoming a stale loaf of bread.

Still, the gameplay isn't all that good. The PS3 version in particular suffers from atrocious load times, even with the data install. A simple match can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to load. This doesn't seem like a lot, but when you consider how little the game actually has to load (fighters, environment, background characters and effects) it's a nasty black mark on the game.

The other issue I have problems with is the final boss. There's nothing wrong with a solid challenge for the final boss of the game. However, when the end boss violates almost every principle the game stands around, it's really frustrating. The final boss can fly, shoot lasers, teleport, and is roughly twice the size of any regular character. Taken together, the event becomes more button mashing rather than skill, even at the lower difficulty levels.

Other than the core modes that Tekken has been known for, Tekken 6 adds the Scenario campaign you can play through. This is very reminiscent of Final Fight or Streets of Rage. You initially start out as Lars, but you can change to any player you wish after the first level. I didn't find this mode boring nor terribly exciting. It's not a bad addition, but for those that don't like it beware, this is where a majority of your trophies are going to come from.

Visually, the game runs butter smooth with excellent motion blur effects. As the first Tekken for the seventh generation systems, Namco has really raised the bar on the visuals. The characters are looking more and more life-like every incarnation.

The sound for the game is alright in my eyes. Fighting music is generally ignored with me. I didn't find any of the music other than perhaps the final boss battle that stands out. However, I applaud Namco for making all of the characters speak in their native language. It creates a bit more realism in spite of the game trending farther away from it with each version.

Aside from the scenario campaign, value with Tekken has always came down to mastering the characters and versus. Tekken 6 comes off as more value packed than previous versions, but this is really all dependent on how much you play. One person may get bored with the game in a couple of hours, others may play for weeks on end.

Being a part of the greatest hits collection, I see no reason for you to not purchase the game. I think Tekken may be in dire need of a refresh soon, but this game does feel like an incremental step up from five, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The Good: Wonderful visuals, deep combat, approachable by just about anyone.

The Bad: Long load times even with data install, final boss is very cheap, background music is so-so.

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