Tekken 6 Review: The Lag Of Iron Fist

One of the only fighting games I've ever bothered to try and deeply understand outside of Street Fighter is Tekken. There's something about the mechanics, and ability to button tap control each limb, that I love.

While Tekken 6 hit Japanese arcades in 2007 and 2008, those of us without a booming arcade scene have had to patiently wait. For those of you who only own an Xbox 360, the wait has been even longer. Was it worth it? Let's see.

Loved Really, Really Long Campaign: If you're a fan of playing through a single-player campaign in a fighting title, than Tekken 6 is the game for you. The single player experience is a seemingly never ending trip of branching choices, boss fights and low-level thug brawls.

Roster: With more than 40 characters to choose from, Tekken 6 offers gamers a virtual bounty of play styles to learn and try to master. The single player campaign even has a mech suit you get to ride around in for a bit. All of the characters, even the silly ones, are a delight to control.

Controls and Tweaks: Liquid smooth controls and a design mechanic that relies more on rhythmic button tapping and stick slapping is one of the reasons that Tekken is my other favourite fighter. This iteration adds a few new touches to the core mechanic, like a low-life rage mode that boosts damage and the ability to bounce an enemy off the ground and prolong your chain of attacks. What it doesn't do is mess with what already works.

Graphics: This time around you can play the game with motion blur, which does knock the resolution down to near-standard definition, but if you would rather skip the blur Tekken 6 plays at 720p, the same resolution as in arcades. Graphically, Tekken 6 is an artistically crafted game with fluid movements and an eclectic, colourful cast.

Online Options: The game offers both ranked and unranked matches online, but more interesting are its data options, which allow you to upload or download a players replay and ghost data which can be used to tweak the play style of enemy AI offline.

Hated Slippery Slope: In the single-player campaign there will be times when you fight in areas with drops, drops that seem to want to pull you over the edge and kill you instantly. Worse still, sometimes performing a special move will make your character, apparently unaware of their location, flip, kick or punch right into a chasm. It's incredibly frustrating.

Identity Crisis: If I'm going to spend the amount of time it takes to play through Tekken 6's lengthy campaign the least Namco could do is make sure that the character I'm playing is the one who shows up in the many and lengthy cut scenes. I'm Law, not some other guy. It's very off-putting.

Odd Save Points: The game saves at the end of every level, the problem is that later on in the games some of those levels have two, three, even four incredibly difficult bosses. If you die you can start right back up with the boss, but if you want to switch out your powerful items you need to start the entire level over again. It's a fairly annoying issue tied to what amounts to a wardrobe change.

Online Play: I only played a half dozen matches or so online, but even in those I experienced a bit of lag in my battles. Games like Tekken 6, fighters, are all about the mutiplayer, more so then even shooters. If you can't get your netcode right, don't bother releasing your game.

Loading: Tekken 6 is lousy with loading screens. You load between levels, you load between battles, you load to go online, load to get offline. You even sometimes load going from one cut scene to the next. Seriously.

I'm a big fan of the Tekken franchise, but I don't care about the single player, all I want is to be able to smack other people around online, at home or in AI-controlled arcade mode. So I can forgive almost all of the issues I pointed out. They're almost entirely about the, for me, completely needless single-player campaign. What I can't forgive, won't endure, is online lag. Let's hope Namco gets right on patching that, because until they do I won't be risking my piddly ranking

Tekken 6 was developed and published by Namco Bandai for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on Oct. 27. Retails for $US59.99/$AU119.95. A copy of the game was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Played through single player campaign mode and multiple matches off and online on the Xbox 360.

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Comments

    No two player (single console) scenario mode!

      Lag is to blame due to whoever is host and you'll probably be playing from people way out of your area if you are from AU as the article suggests.

      Also are you playing on PS3 of 360? PS3 is a free service which comes with a horrid lag-fest experience to match the freeness of it.

        "PS3 is a free service which comes with a horrid lag-fest experience to match the freeness of it."

        That is ridiculous. All of these games are peer to peer. That means the consoles just talk to each other once the game is going (bypassing the online service). All the service does is matchmaking. Its ignorance like that which keeps people paying Microsoft for providing a service that should be free.

    I was really looking forward to the death of loading screens for fighters this generation, but now they seem even worse than they did on the PS2.

    Street Fighter IV and KoF XII had stupid waits for what amounted to two minutes of gameplay

    Excardon is probably right in that the oponents are not local. All of the oponents I've played with are japanese - no Australians. We'll have to wait and see when the game is released.

    Having said that, the engine seems less capable of handling the lag than DOA - which gets pretty laggy on occasion, but somehow remains playable. Not so with Tekken.

    As far as the loading screens go, I don't know about the 360, since I'm playing PS3, but once you install to the hard disk they become pretty much what we're used to, in other words, noticeable, but tolerable.

    Stop using wireless for gaming. 6ms ping is not lag... if you are whining about that you have problems. And if it's choppy then the problem is with you or the other player(s)

    lol poor fat ugly morons can't handle getting off their chair to an arcade to get their asses beat live. this gaming generation makes me sick.

    yeah i don't think it works for 360 owners but once you install the game on the HDD on the PS3 the loading times are a breeze. its not surprising loading times took so long before. i mean, 40 characters, beautiful graphics....im amazed after installing it that it only took up 4 GBs!
    i do hope that they release DLC sometime though. or let you download replay data directly onto your hard drive.

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