TEKKEN 6 - PSP - Review
6 on PSP, Bandai Namco is trying to emulate the tremendous success it saw from
Tekken: Dark Resurrection, the PSP version of Tekken 5. Dark Resurrection was
critically lauded, and a commercial success as well, but has Bandai Namco made
lightning strike twice?
The short answer is yes. Tekken 6 on PSP is a brilliant fighter. What you might not expect however, is that for many gamers this may actually be the definitive version of the game. The adventure mode of the game is absent, but I doubt there will be too many people mourning the loss. Also, there's no online play. That said, if all you're looking for is a single-player fighting game, then the PSP version is quite possibly the best choice.
Obviously, the graphics aren't on the same level as the PS3 or 360, but for a PSP game they're quite good. Dark Resurrection stood as a symbol of what the PSP's graphics chip was capable of, and Tekken 6 will follow in that legacy.
It's in other areas though, that the PSP version makes its mark. Notably, load times are considerably shorter than they are on the consoles, cutting down on the long, often boring waits the console versions were heavily criticized for.
In addition, the PlayStation D-Pad continues to be the best available means of controlling a fighting game outside of an arcade stick. The imprecision of the 360 D-Pad leaves it in the dust of both the PS3 and PSP versions for discerning fight fans.
Those aspects aside though, this is essentially the exact same game, which is
still an impressive feat. The massive roster of fighters is fully included, and
each character remains as fleshed out and individual as we've come to expect
from the Tekken series. No character feels anemic or underdeveloped. During our
play time we found that no matter which character we chose to fight with, we
were having a really good time. Each one is individualized and interesting in
their own way. Whether its the nigh-UFC-esque Marduk with his ground-and-pound
tactics or Christie's free-flowing Caporeira dance fighting each character has
several layers that slowly reveal after you play more.
Along with the huge character list, the Rage system is also making the jump to the PSP. This somewhat controversial system gives players a significant boost to damage when their health is low. In effect, what this means is that more of your matches will be closer contests. On an individual basis, your matches are more likely to be exciting because opponents who are about to lose, get a buff which can help get them back into a match with just two or three hits. However, this also somewhat stains the purity of the fight. Oftentimes a fight will be close, but towards the end one player will dip below the threshold for gaining Rage, and the opponent's health remains slightly above the point where they would gain Rage. So even though the fight is still close, one fighter gains a huge advantage.
This system turns landslide victories into close matches, but it also unbalances matches that were already good. So it's a double-edged sword.
Despite the few questionable aspects of the game, this remains the finest fighting franchise on the PSP, and if Bandai Namco keeps the quality level this high, it's unlikely any game will be able to unseat Tekken. The fact that they're able to achieve this kind of quality in a 3D fighter is still astounding.
It seems odd to say, but if you think you'll get some use of out the game being on a portable system, would like to save a few bucks, and don't care about the omitted modes, this is a great choice that stands toe to toe with the console version.
Review Scoring Details for Tekken 6
The Tekken fighting engine hasn't undergone a massive overhaul here, but it's still very sound, and with lots of characters there's a ton to do.
Tekken continues to offer some of the best graphics around on any system, and it excels once again on PSP.
There's nothing here that's going to impress you, but it's good enough that it never becomes a distraction.
The difficulty is little bit wacky at times. Especially when you reach the final boss where it goes through the roof.
This is Tekken, nothing spectacular. If you've ever played Tekken or another 3D fighting game before you then know where this is going. This game is about refinement, not reinvention.
The fighting engine is still amazing, and there's a ton of fun to be had. The drastically lowered load times, and portability of the system make this a compelling option even when compared to the console versions.