Tekken 6

Namco's Tekken series has been around for over a decade, solidfying the game's status as a token-crunching franchise.  Arguably the best 3D beat em up in the market, Tekken has been through alot of changes since the first game debuted in 1994.  Tekken 6, released in arcades last year in Japan, didn't make a debut in American arcades, due to the declining arcade market and high cost.  Console releases (most likely PS3 only) are scheduled to be out one year after the arcade release.

The first Tekken game is absolutely horrible to look at now.  I'm amazed it even got a sequel, considering how horrible the game played and looked.  The weirdest element were the "moon jumps" in the game.  Every character could jump over a skyscraper and then some.  The only reason this game did any decent business was due to the fact that there were hardly any other fighting games on the PSX at the time, which helped out Namco alot, although it didn't help much that Virtua Fighter was the other dominant 3D game at the time…

But thankfully we got Tekken 3, which helped bring out the game's brighter qualities, such as a larger cast, larger movelists, and balanced gameplay.  By this time, moon jumps were gone, and you could actually move in and out of the background. There was also a huge time jump in the story (19 years to be exact).  Few to none of the original Tekken 2 cast appeared in 3, which was quite refreshing to see a bunch of brand new faces.

Now we have Tekken 6.  Tekken 6 is the latest offering in the series, and quite honestly, the gameplay really hasn't changed much, if at all since Tekken 3.  There's only 4 new characters this time around, but the cast is the largest in Namco's franchise with 41 characters.  All of the original gameplay mechanics are back, with the only real difference being a rage system (e.g. moar pain) and a new "bound" system, which allows for ridiculously long and damaging combos.  Make a mistake, and you could kiss 70% of your life gone in an instant.  I had a few test plays in Japan, and this was by far the largest gripe I had with the game.

And if that isn't enough to convince you how broken this installment is becoming, combine both of those factors and you get unprecedented death combos:

Law Tekken 6 Death Combo by KYSG YOU

So what has Tekken 6 done for innovation?  So far, very very little.  A new bound system, even more customization options, and supposed online integration.  I'm iffy about the online integration part, since America is much larger than Japan, with an even less effective internet speeds.  There's nothing groundbreaking since Tekken 3 in terms of game mechanics, and the same characters in 3 have been around foreeeeeever.  At this rate, we can probably expect Tekken 7 to be the same game, but with just more of everything…

Still, Tekken dominates the arcade gaming scene in Japan and Korea, a true testament to its large popularity.

Tomorrow I'll turn the focus to Soul Calibur 4, Namco's weapon-porn franchise.

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1 Response to “Tekken 6”

  1. 1 ♥ Fefe-Phoenix!!! ♥ June 25, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I guess they take to heart of the saying "if ain't broke then don't fix it". With more of everything I think with that little innovation it can bring in audiences that want to buy it.

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