Apart from the Game Boy advance release of Tekken Advance in 2001, the Tekken series has always been made exclusively for the PlayStation brand. That all changed when Namco made the surprising announcement that Tekken 6 was also going to be made available for the Xbox 360. The question on everyone’s mind was whether Tekken can still pack a punch outside of Sony’s systems. You bet it does!
Graphically, the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are almost identical. I did notice however, that the character models were slightly smoother in the Xbox 360 version. Other than that, you'll be hard pressed to notice the difference. The levels are bright and luscious – one in particular sees you fighting in the middle of a flock of sheep! The animations are fluid, too, with bone-crunching sound effects to go right along with them.
The only significant difference I found between the two versions is the loading times. The PS3’s times are much slower than those of the Xbox 360. Upon saying this, it isn't something to really worry about as both versions are addictively playable.
In a nutshell I could say that Tekken 6 is like Tekken 5 in a lot of ways: the costumes are the same, as are the victory poses, with only a handful of new moves added to the repertoire for the older characters in the franchise. That's not to say that Tekken 6 doesn't have that much to offer; it's just that it feels more like you’re playing Tekken 5 with HD graphics. This may deter some gamers wanting a reboot from the series for its HD debut.
One difference I discovered is that the AI has been tweaked, and not for the better. Although the game will be more challenging to veteran Tekken players, beginners will struggle to find their stride. It's also worth noticing that the end boss is one of the cheapest bosses of all time. Even setting the difficulty to easy mode, this huge dragon-like creature (named Azazel) is still a pain and a half to beat. It'll probably take players more than a few tries in order to unlock each character’s endings.
A new feature is the Scenario Campaign. It’s more or less similar to the Tekken Force mode seen in previous games, albeit much larger with a few new additions. These include the ability to pick up weapons such as steel pipes and even a flame-thrower! Although the story is centred on the two newest characters, players do have the option of choosing whomever they like to play through the 40-plus stages that are on offer.
The aforementioned Scenario Campaign is pretty lengthy and is littered with many cutscenes. However, a title of this nature is best played with a few friends. This is where the game truly shines, as the gameplay is still addictive, especially when you’ve got two veteran players fighting for Tekken supremacy. You can even take the fight online to show off your skills to players locally or abroad.
The ability to customise the appearance of your favourite Tekken characters has been given a major overhaul since it was last seen in Tekken 5. Before, you were only allowed to alter the colour of the characters’ costumes. Now you can change combatants’ hairstyles, pants, shirts – you name it. I even gave Heihachi the same white underwear he wore in Tekken 4! Many other players will probably find dressing up the Tekken ladies a bit more entertaining…
While I was playing Tekken 6, it felt many times like I was playing Tekken 5 all over again. Sure, the graphics are in HD but the core gameplay remains exactly the same. There’s still a lot on offer, however, and arguably the Xbox 360 version is mildly better to play due to the shortened load times. It may not be breaking any new boundaries, but Tekken 6 is still a great title for any fight fan.