Friday, October 30, 2009

Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion Review (PS3)

So the king of Iron Fist Tournament has "officially" arrived for this generation of gaming consoles, and it's arrived in a big way!

The reason that I write "offically" with quotations, is because there has already been a Tekken released on PS3: Tekken 5: Dark Ressurection. This game was actually released for the console as Tekken 6's original incarnation was being released in Arcades. While Tekken 5: Dark Ressurection does boast impressive 1080p natively rendered graphics, and, arguably one of the most technically solid and competitive engines in a fighting game to date, it's not reverred in the same sense as Tekken 6 because of the fact that it's a revision to Tekken 5, which was released during the Playstation 2 era. In fact, the revision was released in arcades during the PS2 era as well... they just held off on a console port until the Playstation 3, which was, in a sense, nice for fans of the series, as the wait for Tekken 6 would prove to be a long one.

Tekken 6 was original anounced as a launch title for the Playstation 3 (No arcade release: straight to console). However, after the PS3 debuted, there was no Tekken 6, or even mention of it in sight. With Tekken always having been an exclusively playstation ported series, fans, including myself, bought PS3s eagerly awaiting.

Long story short, Tekken 6 was released in the arcades in fall of 2007, with a console release being slated for fall of 2008. However, Namco decided to push back the release on console, and release an update to the arcade version named "Blood Rebellion" which introduced new characters as well as tweaks to the gameplay in the original Tekken 6 release (as Dark Ressurrection did with Tekken 5).

So here we are... October of 2009... nearly 3 years after it was originally anounced to be released... was the wait worth it? Read on to find out:


This game has story going 6 games in gamespan and over 40 years in length, so, it'd be way to much for me to try to encompass in this review. However, the long story short of it is as follows:

The story revolves around 4 generations of the Mishima bloodline (Oldest first: Jinpachi, Heihachi, Kazuya, Jin). The Mishima's are a family reverred for their power, whether it be physical or monetary, and have had a corporation (Mishima corporation) that they've all fought to gain control of with Jin finally coming out victorious. However, Jin uses the new power welded to declare a war between Mishima corporation and the rest of the world in the hopes that the evil intent of it all would unlock and unleash a monster thousands of years old. This ltest installment to the series represents the climax of a family feud spanning 4 generations, and even bringing a new member of the family into the mix (Daytime soaps couldn't handle this!).

I understand that this can be "confusing" to someone new to the series, so for a detailed account of the plot as well as the stories for non-main characters click Here

Tekken 6: Blood Ressurrection brings arguably the most gorgeous character textures and lighting effects to a fighter to date (Including Virtua Fighter 5). Watching these characters in motion is truly astounding, and Namco spared nothing in the character animation department. The backgrounds, however, while vast and deep, don't feature quite the same level of graphical detail as the characters themselves, but still hold up enough to make the game look all around astounding.

The gameplay, as a standard for the series, is solid. It brings the technical aspects that the series is known for while bringing a few new ones that add a bit of "flavor" to it. It's a great thing, because, if you're a seasoned player, you can pick up your favorite character and get to work while not feeling like you're playing the same game that you played in the last installment.

The two new aspects that it most notably brings are destructible environments and the "bound" system. As said, the game now features destrucible environments... it's not a standard for all stages (icons indicate if levels have destuctible elements when selecting as well as wwhether or not walls are present), however, it does add excitement whe being in the midst of play, and a hard hit sends both characters falling through the ground onto another level of play.

The "bound" system is an element that Namco added to the combo system. Now, each character has certain hits that will make the character fall to the ground in a "neck first, feet up" position, that let players continue their combos. To balance this, combo damange has been drastically reduced to allow for competitive matches while skilled players are still able to show off even longer and more impressive strings of combos than ever before.

Tekken 6: BR has most features standard in fighting games: Arcade, survival, practice, vs., online, etc... however, the biggest feature that comes with this game is the revival of "Tekken Force" from Tekken 4... which pits the characters from the fighter in a 3-D beatemup adventure game! It's called the scenario campaign, and it's the method that player will use to see the main story of the game (while still being to play an arcade-styled playthrough and unlock CG endings in the "arena" mode). It's a deifinite plus for the person who buys this and isn't strictly a fighting gamer.

However, there's a catch to this. Up until the release of this game, Namco touted that the scenario campaign mode would have an online co op, and made it a major selling point for the game. I, as well as other fighting gamers told friends who weren't really into the genre to buy the game, under the assumption and expectation that we would be able to play the adventure mode online together. However, Namco, since the release, has revealed that they will patch the online co op into the game at a later date (tentatively december). False advertising at it's finest, and a shame on Namco for taking away something that could add infinite replay value to the game.

Since we're on the subject of things wrong with this installment to the series, I need to bring up what is arguably the biggest letdown for people who bought this game:

As of today, October 30th 2009, Tekken 6L Blood Rebellion on PS3 has to have the most inadequate and lag-ridden servers that I, as well as the vast majority of purchasers for this game have EVER seen on a fighting game.

This is a killer, because, a big reason people by fighting games in today's gaming is to be able to play competitors online, and, are held back from it on a game that we've waited YEARS for, because the online is literally unbearable to play. Theinput lag for me personally has been as bad as 3 seconds in between pressing and character movement, with many people online giving similar accounts. This is bad, and, it's a shame that Namco has not released so much as a peep about a patch to this thus far.

With that, here's the overall review (Scale of 1-10)

Graphics - Although not "flawless", Namco did a damned impressive job with creating a fighter wiith graphics that are not only pleasing to the eye but scenarios that are easy to become "engulfed" into while playing.

Sound - Namco brings an impressive soundtrack that perfectly fits the wide variety of stages. Although the Tekken series doesn't have that memorability factor in the music that the Street Fighter series does (Which is because, unlike Street Fighter series, Tekken changes the soundtrack with every game), it still manages to deliver with an impressive soundtrack and sound effects that definitely shake the room with impacts, and have a great sense of being "in" the game with it's surround capabilities.

Playability - From casuals, to the hardcores that have been playing Tekken since day one of the first game's release, it has a very fluid, and consistant control system that's definitely easy to pick up and play but extremely hard to master and get to a truly competitive level.

Entertainment - This game brings a variety of modes, that provides hours of play each. The Scenario Campaign mode is definitely something that makes it stand out from other games inthe genre, and Namco did the right thing to allot a good amount of trophies to that mode to make sure people check it out.

Replay Value - As said, this game brings hours of gameplay in a mulititude of modes, but, without a solid online and the co op mode promised, it laves little to nothing besides mulling through the computer A.I. and replaying scenario mode to do upon completing it all.

Overall - 8/10: A very good outing from Namco, with a flawed online and a lack of a key selling feature that keep it from being the "it" fighter for this generation of consoles... however, once these things are fixed, it could easily move into the 9 to 9.5 area and be the one to beat!

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Just showing some combos implementing the new "Bound" System.

Tekken 6's Scenario Campaign Mode

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