Ten Coolest Things About Tekken 6

With Virtua Fighter 5 Evolution still perhaps a twinkle in the eye of Sega, DOA5 nothing more than an Itagaki ramble, Samurai Spirits Sen not really looking all that hot and Soulcalibur IV still nowhere in sight, the spotlight of fighting game fans is squarely on Namco’s flagship fighting sequel. Tekken 6 is out in Japanese arcades and here are the things we know about it.

Once Upon a Time. The story begins with Jin Kazama winning the last tournament and taking over the Mishima Zaibatsu. Well, apparently he turns dark side (or so it seems) and has the Zaibatsu and the Tekken Force meddling in all types of shady affairs all over the world. War soon erupts, with the Zaibatsu’s only real competition being the G-Corporation, controlled by Jin’s dad, Kazuya. A price is put on Jin’s head as the latest Tekken Tournament begins, and all the fighters converge once again.

Full Roster. Everyone from Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection is back, including the returning Armor King, long-legged rich girl Lili and undead soldier Dragunov. No sign of the longtime MIA’s a lot of fans are clamouring for, like Jun (Forget it, people. Asuka is here to stay…) or Michelle (she’s retired) or Kunimitsu (keep your fingers crossed). Jinpachi Mishima is almost certainly NOT returning as he was apparently KILLED at the end of the last tourney. It’s a whole new ball game now with a few new players.

New Faces. The four so-far revealed newbies are as follows. Leo is a blonde-haired, apparently flat-chested girl who likes dressing like a guy (think like King from KOF only more butch) and uses a fighting style similar to Julia Chang. Zafina is an Arabian/Egyptian woman who uses weird stances and contortions which bring to mind Voldo from Soul Calibur. Miguel is a macho bruiser who uses an unorthodox, brawling style of fighting. Last but not least is Bob, an very obese-looking but agile martial artist. Basically, Leo and Bob are both out for revenge. Zafina is looking into a prophecy about the end of the world tied to the Tekken Tournament. Bob is looking to prove he’s the strongest.

Looks can Kill. Graphically, Tekken 6 is said to be the Cat’s Pajamas. It looks smashing, and even the low quality Youtube videos proliferating around can’t hide the smooth animations, the realistic clothing and the detailed character models. Fighters now sport facial expressions improved from before, and lots of the fighters’ movements, stances, attacks and hit reactions have been given a redo. Most significant of the new animations are new ‘Knockout’ animations aside from the single ‘Bad Back’ spasmodic writhing EVERY character does upon being defeated. Now, opponents knocked out by a Low or Mid attack will have specific animations for their demise. It’s a little detail, but considering that Tekken has only had that ONE KO animation since Tekken Tag Tournament, it’s LONG overdue. In all, the game looks and moves refreshingly new, newer than any other game before since, TTT, and that’s awesome.

Who’s the Boss? Well, the sub-boss is none other than Zaibatsu head honcho Jin Kazama himself- regular Jin, not Devil Jin. He does however start off in Rage mode, which gives him a lot more power. Once defeated, players are left to face Azazel, the HUGE, dragon-like being shown in the previous Tekken 6 trailers. Azazel is one big mutha, and towers almost twice the height of the fighters. So far, he has been seen to use attacks that include streams of floating crystals that swarm around him, and the ability to raise smashing pillars from the ground.

Dress-Up. Character Customization will be a big part of the Tekken 6 experience, if Namco pushes through with their promises. Similar to VF5, players will be able to alter various portions of their characters’ costumes, add accessories or change/remove stuff. The extent of the control/options is as yet unknown, though it has been posted that the Tekken 6 character models are basically naked, so there is a potential for lots of layering and possibilities to make your characters look unique or as you would have them dress/undress.

More than just for Looks. Item Moves are special maneuvers/attacks that can be done by characters when they equip certain items. So far, we’ve seen Bryan Fury let loose with a shotgun, Anna Williams kick her shoe off at her opponent and Bruce unleash a parade of baby chicks (!). Also seen in screenshots are Leo firing a flare-like effect with an antique pistol, and Marduk wielding a type of club. Hopefully, these item moves will be more a novelty or taunt than anything else.

Bringing Down the House. Some stages in Tekken 6 will have multiple floors or levels, which can be reached when a particularly fierce attack slams a fighter into the floor. The fight will then continue in that new area unless the impact results in a knockout.

Still Going… Still Going… Namco is still tweaking the game as of this writing, and the game itself has questionable balance issues. Items are also incomplete, and what little that is available is extremely expensive. Updates are continually applied by Namco to continue improving the game for the eventual international and console releases.

As of yet, the game is still a PS3 exclusive. The home version of Tekken 6 is set for release in 2008, supposedly after the release of the home version of Soulcalibur IV.

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