Tekken 6

Tekken 6 was released a few days ago in Europe (October 30th), and I of course had to get my hands on a copy. My first impression of the game was “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, WTF HAPPENED!? D=“, since the changes were immense. Not including the graphics upgrade (which as absolutely STUNNING!!), new stages, and six new characters, all of the movement lists have gotten a major overhaul.

Estimations: 70% of moves have gotten new animations, 40% have gotten extended by an extra punch, kick, shoulder, whatevs, 20% of old moves have gotten new commands (with new moves taking over the old commands), movement lists have been expanded by 10 percent with entirely new moves, and about 95% of all moves have gotten new properties since Tekken 5. Needles to say, I was fucking confused when playing Bryan for the first time and he didn’t do most of the things I wanted him to O.o

Offline Mode

One of the things Namco advertised with before Tekken 6 was released was that time released characters was now a thing of the past and that Tekken 6 would have all characters available right from the get-go. This was only partially true. In all the important modes (arcade, vs, online battle, etc.) all the characters were indeed unlock from the second you load the game, which is a BIG plus.

However, none of these modes will unlock ending movies or prologues. To do this, you will have to go through the all new mode called Scenario Campaign (it’s like Tekken Force mode, but with a storyline), wait until you actually encounter that person as the stage boss and then defeat them before they’re unlocked in the Arena (the T6 version of Story Mode, or something :/), which you then have to play through with the character in order to get the ending movie. Big sigh, since to unlock all 38 characters, you have to go through like storyline 35 stages (about 3-7 hours, depending on how good you are) and three bloody annoying bonus stages. Also, like 70% of all the achievements are unlocked via SC, so you are pretty much forced to play it if you want endings, prologues, and achievement points…

Despite this, the story of Tekken 6 and Scenario Campaign is actually pretty good considering it’s a versus fighter game, and it’s much better rounded off than previous Tekken games. Another thing I liked very much about Scenario Campaign is that it lets you pick up items (random drops for defeating enemies) for the character you are playing as, which means you get to save a ton of money on custom parts for your favourite character’s outfit. And yes, I am SO pretending to be X-Zibit in “Pimp up mai Mokujin” 8D

Online Mode

Not owning a PS3, and thus not having been able to play Tekken online before, I was ecstatic to finally be able to play against awesome Tekken players from around the globe, or at the very least Europe. However, while I was, and still am, happy about the online feature, it has several flaws that needs to be fixed as well as one thing that strikes a nerve with all online fighting game players; movement lag. For those of you reading that don’t know what movement lag is, it is when you input a movement command on your controller, but the character doesn’t perform the action until a few milliseconds later.

Regardless of how great the connection with the other player was, I always encountered movement lag. Some times bearable, most of the time not. Out of 10 matches, 1 would have movement lag of ≤0.1 seconds, 2-3 would have movement lag of 0.1-0.4 seconds, and the rest would be >0.4 seconds (a recent match I played had a full second of lag!). Now, for people not really into the game, something like 0.4 seconds may not sound like much, but I’ll break it down to you.

In Tekken, the difference between a win and a loss often literally lies in a single frame of frame advantage. There are 30 frames in a second (the game is in 60 hertz), i.e. a single frame is 0.0333 seconds. So for any player who plays with a defensive (turtle) or interruptive (poker; breaking the opponents flow with quick jabs) style, even a 0.1 second movement lag can be friggin’ devastating. Aggressive players can usually use this to their advantage since even if the defending player sees the attack and responds to it, due to movement lag, jack shit happens in time and the move will connect, so you can bet your ass they’ll spam attacks you otherwise wouldn’t have problems countering (see example of this in the video on the left).

To make matters worse, you can’t search for opponents based on their connection to you like you can in e.g. Street Fighter IV. This is especially crappy in ranked matches, since you don’t wanted to be a turtle or poker and then end up against someone with a shit connection and lose just because of that. If you lose, it should either be because the opponent had more skill or luck, not because of fucking movement lag and an opponent spamming shit you respond to in time, but jack happens. Hopefully, Namco will realise this and add the search option in a future update. EDIT: I heard today that an update was in the works to “improve the online game experience for players of Tekken 6“, so I hope that is what the update is about. EDIT 2: It was \o/ The game is getting an extra half heart.

Despite the issues, I still very much(!!) enjoy being able to play online and have had several enjoyable matches. But again, because of these things, I strongly recommend that if you find an opponent you don’t lag against, make them a preferred person, make them your online buddy, do WHATEVER to make sure you can play some online sparring matches with them every now and again, because the CPU will often fall for things no human would fall for, and often block things most people would never anticipate.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention: Back in Tekken 4, it was possible to save the replays of a battle. That feature is now back, and I LOVE IT!! It only applies to Ranked Matches though, which is a bit =( but I get by on it. What’s even more awesome is that you can make them available for download so your friends (and other peepz) can watch your matches as well (and it’s all lag free, even if the match wasn’t!) 8D You can also download the ghosts (an AI that plays and reacts in theoretically the same way its owner does) of your friends, but you can unfortunately only play against them at random, which is a bit sux.

Achievements

There are a grand total of 50 achievements, 45 of which are offline (worth 900 points), and the remaining five are online (worth the last 100 points). With the exception of maybe four of the achievements, no real skill is needed to get them and you can do it in less than a day if you really wanted to. So if you are just an AP harvester, this would be a good game to rent for 800-ish quick points. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, the easy achievements also mean no bragging rights for being awesome and unlocking some semi-impossible “Break the Survival Counter by winning the 1,000th survival match in a row while only using a basic, standing left jab for attacking” achievement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, awesome game, albeit somewhat flawed. I absolutely love that you can save, upload, and download replays, and that you can get customize items by just playing Scenario Campaign. Another great thing was that ending movies would randomly unlock after completing SC, which is great since many players have those 7-8 characters that they just CANNOT play for shit with, so defeating Cheaposaurus Rex (aka Azazel) with them would otherwise have been a pain.

Score
Awesome.
Achivement points gotten # of Achivements gotten Game “status”
1000 Points 50 out of 50 Playing now and again

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