A great return to the Tekken franchise, although a little disappointing.

User Rating: 8 | Tekken 6 PSP
First of all, let me tell you, that I'm a huge fan of the Tekken series. I've been in love with this series since 1999. I own every Tekken now, except for 1 and 2 (but the arcade versions are on Tekken 5 so I really don't care :D). I was very excited to by Tekken 6, but when I did, believe me on this, I was quickly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was amazing, but when compared to Tekken 3, Tekken 4 and Tekken 5 (especially Tekken Dark Resurrection), I found the game to be a step-down.

NEW CHARACTERS
I'll be frank. They are not so good. The only good assets are Miguel and Zafina. Both have very interesting fighting styles. Zafina is really creepy and her fighting style is a self-learning martial artist's heaven (yes, I am that). Miguel has a really cool, realistic style, that matches the pure, streetwise brawling we see in real life. Also, Miguel is truly a wonder for the rooster, as he's definitely the most masculine of the fighters (a pity he doesn't have more chest hair though). Zafina, on the other hand, is really elegant and has a great middle-eastern look and feel. Great addition.
Bob is useless and just plain ridiculous. We've had enough comic relief in Tekken, thank you. He doesn't work for me. Fail.
Alisa. .... .... Jesus Christ, a lolita looking robot with chainsaw arms?? Look, it's great to add something regarding the legendary Dr. Bosconovitch, but this is just plain ridiculous. Even though I have to admit that her fighting style is really interesting and kinda awesome, I consider her a fail as a new character.
Lars is just another Mishima. A character to ruin the well balanced trio that is Jin, Kazuya and Heihachi. We already had a shadowy Mishima, and his name is Lee Chaolan. He had an awesome plot in Tekken 4, marking his return and quest for revenge, and not it feels as if Lars had taken his place. Lars's looks are just plain ridiculous and cartoon-ish and his fighting style, although powerful and badass, just doesn't seem to work. Nothing special.
Leo is a character I really like and have actually played with him/her quite a lot. But to be frank, he/she just doesn't seem to work. Too many characters are now based on the Jin or Kazuya revenge things. Nice addition, but feels a bit off.
Regarding the new boss...no comment. He's the most annoying boss in Tekken history. Pure and ultimate fail. I'm talking about the gigantic demon Azazel of course....geez...

P.S.:If you're a Yoshimitsu fan (I'm a huge one), prepare for some truly serious surprise.

GRAPHICS
*I'm commenting the PSP graphics, just a small reminder*
They just aren't a great improvement over Tekken Dark Resurrection. Considering we're comparing the year 2006 to 2009, the graphics just aren't that good. The cinematics are of the same quality as TDR (maybe a slight bit better). Characters in-game look really flat, maybe even worse than TDR. The environment however, shines. I had really mixed thoughts regarding the graphics.

GAMEPLAY
Smooth and just plain awesome. Maybe a slight improvement over TDR. I found the new "rage" system unnecessary, but it does work sometimes in giving you victory over desperate situations. But then again, it also gives in loss, as the opponent sometimes becomes strangely aggressive when entering "rage" mode. The loss of replay videos at the end of a match is really a disappointment for the PSP version. I rarely watch them, but as to why remove them, I have no idea...

BGM'S and STAGES
I found the soundtrack to this game the worst yet. When speaking about music (I'm a great music lover), we enter the "de gustibus" area, but I really think that the Tekken 6 soundtrack is the worst yet. The songs feel really cheap and flat. They add absolutely no atmosphere to the stages, unlike previous incarnations (see Tekken 5 - Finalizer or Tekken 4 - Fear, for an example. Not to mention the Tekken 3 BGM's, which are absolutely untouchable). Stages are interesting and have a feel. The problem is with the BGM's, which don't give then a proper atmosphere.

MODES
As far as the PSP goes, they are a disappointment. HOW, just HOW can this game have less modes than TDR??? I was really sad, when I found out that the menu and the availability of modes looked similar to the Tekken 4 menu. No improvement's, and it feels just like TDR, but with less to do. What's the point Namco???

STORY
Story is really no strong point for fighting games, but with Tekken, I just always found it to be really interesting, with it's dark and almost depressing themes. But, the new story is just plain bad. Lars comes in and becomes...*drum roll*... A NEW HERO!! Cheap, boring and just plain bad. I mean, he's such an uninteresting character. I was hoping for a big thing regarding the Mishima trio or other veteran fighters, and now, this new, uninteresting character suddenly become the main centre of attention. Azazel as the antagonist is just ridiculous. A demon that should be in Devil May Cry, becomes the antagonist and the final boss? Sorry, I'm an old school Tekken fanboy, and this just doesn't work for me. Kazuya is completely mistreated, and e feels like he's just a minor character. Heihachi, being the pure badass and grumpy boss that he was, is suddenly transformed into an old rant who just screams "the zaibatsu is mine!!!". But no, dear Heihachi. Jin is invincible. So far he's beaten Ogre, Kazuya and Heihachi together, the transformed Jinpachi AND Azazel, who, as I said, should be a DMC or even a Dragon Ball antagonist. Lame, just lame... The dark, mysterious and King of Iron Fist-ish themes are completely gone. It feels like a f****** cartoon....

CONCLUSION
Don't get me wrong. Tekken 6 is a great game, with amazing gameplay and many moves to learn for your favourite character (but you know them already don't you? :)) ). Gameplay is truly, the only strong point of this game. The graphics are good and the stages look and feel really nice. As for me, the BGM's suck, the story makes no sense and is truly messed up, straying too far from "reality". A must play for fighting and especially Tekken fans, BUT prepare to be disappointed. But this is, after all a fighting game, so the only thing that REALLY matters is the fighting and learning the amazing moves. And trust me, this gmae has them a PLENTY.

Final score: 8/10

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