Tekken 6 Review

By Daniel Boutros - Posted Dec 02, 2009

Tekken 6 has finally arrived for the PSP and looks and feels better than ever on the handheld machine. However, unless you have friends who own the game, or you're happy playing through the limited single player modes provided, it may not be worth your time.

The Pros
  • Looks great on PSP
  • All characters retained from other versions
  • No lame campaign mode
The Cons
  • Still no dedicated online VS mode
  • PSP D-pad makes it easier to nerf moves
  • Single player value is thin

Tekken 6 has finally arrived for the PSP and looks and feels better than ever on the handheld machine. However, unless you have friends who own the game, or you’re happy playing through the limited single player modes provided, it may not be worth your time.

Tekken 6 PSP Review

POCKET-SIZED SOLO TOURNAMENT

The PSP version of Tekken 6 is essentially a graphically and technically stripped down adaptation of the high definition Xbox 360 and PS3 versions currently available. Those versions offer all 40 characters from the arcade game, plus online play -- recently patched, with new gameplay quality receiving mixed reports at the time this went to press --and a best-not-to-mention-it single player story mode.

That said, the core of the game itself is still a heavily refined version of classic Tekken, and if that, combined with online play, is something you can’t live without, you’re better off buying the console versions.

If however, you just want to beat-up on dozens of AI opponents controlling your favorite characters from the comfort of your cistern, and for $40 rather than $60, or you have a bunch of PSP-owning friends (who don’t own an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) who’ll be buying this for local match-up fun, then this could be the Tekken 6 for you.

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MATCH POINT

In the PSP version of the game, all 40 characters are included and selectable from the start, and multiplayer is possible by way of an ad-hoc wi-fi connection with those in close range with PSPs and the game.

Visually, it’s somewhere between Tekken 3 and Tekken 4. It moves beautifully with no slow down or other glitches, and the sound is as best recreated as it could be, complete with all character move lists and stages. 

Notable game modes include Arcade Mode, Story Mode, Ghost Battle and Challenge Battle. Arcade mode allows you to play through 8 or so characters including those represented by AI, and Story Mode is a handful of story-related fights that earn you an intro and ending movie telling you more about your chosen fighter and their motivations.  Ghost Battle lets you fight recorded AI, complete with comedic or just comically bad custom costumes, straight from the Japanese arcades.

It’s fun, and, if you can manage to make your fingers get the best out of the d-pad and buttons of the PSP, it’s a decent platform to experiment with combo ideas and basic strategies, in between finding some real people to play against. Though whiffing parries and the more sensitive move inputs can be quite common, even with the d-pad stick-on coin trick, so don’t expect super-high level play.

Finally, Challenge Battle is a collection of modes including Time Attack, Survival, and Gold Rush that are pretty self-explanatory and enjoyable venues for practicing with your characters.

Full character costume customization is available for all modes, with the player earning money through continued play, and spending it on items with which to decorate their character. Your version of the character is then saved as a ghost, complete with your player data with that character, and you can then choose to share it with friends.

The thing is, all this stuff would only really appeal to the diehard Tekken fan. And surely they’d already have the game on 360 or PS3 by now, wouldn’t they? And if they didn’t, would they be okay playing with less sophisticated controls?

Tekken 6 PSP Review

I DON’T SEE MUCH POINT IN THIS

The lack of a joystick is a turn off for serious fighting game players. Would serious Tekken players want to buy this? Would even casual Tekken players want to buy this? Would there be anyone else, other than the diehard Tekken fan, who would want a copy of this game, and if so, aren’t already playing it on Xbox 360 or PS3? The point is, if you picked this up, the only reasonable way you could play multiplayer would be through local multiplayer. Would you have anyone else to play with? You could theoretically use Sony’s newly launched Adhoc Party service via the PlayStation 3 to look for online opponents, but why wouldn’t any of you just simply play the PS3 version?

If you really don’t care about all that, and have plenty of PSP-owning friends with the game, then as it stands, it’s a great port of Tekken 6, especially when taken in the context of the less-powerful PSP hardware doing a great job running it smoothly and beautifully.

If you already have Tekken: Dark Resurrection on PSP, however, you may feel the package price is unjustified at $40 with only a handful of extra characters, no Tekken Bowl and still no online play (though most, if not all PSP fighting games lack online play).  You’re basically paying full price for updated move lists and a handful of new characters.

If you’re willing to think of the purchase as a “Championship Edition” of Tekken DR, you’ll probably be happy with it. I’d be at odds with spending $40 on what is essentially a poor platform choice for a good fighting game. Overall, if you’re buying this for solitary play, be warned that while there’s something here, it’s limited to acquired tastes as previously detailed. If you have a reliable source of friends to battle against (and possess neither of the HD game consoles), it’s a decent handheld fighter that might be worth your time.