The Consensus: Tekken 6 PSP Review «

GameSpy’s Take

Here’s a rare case: a game that’s more enjoyable in its portable incarnation than on its highfalutin home console. Since Tekken 6 for PSP plays almost identically to the console versions, you’re probably asking: why is the PSP one more satisfying? Partly it’s a sense of expectations; you generally accept that the portable version of the game is going to lose some oomph, and it’s pleasantly surprising when it doesn’t. But it’s also a series of small things in Tekken’s case — shorter loading times (even without installing the game to a memory stick), more responsive controls, and stable netcode, among others. All of these show that effort’s been put into the PSP iteration, so it doesn’t have that “tossed-off” feel that so many ports do.

For those unfamiliar with Tekken 6, let me break it down. It’s the latest in a venerable series of 3D fighting games, expanded to feature a wide cast of weirdo characters and plenty of nonsensical, Japan-o-rama backstory. To its credit, the PSP version allows you to play every one of the characters from the console version (about 40 altogether). And while not all of them are significantly different from one another, and not all are particularly good at fighting, Tekken 6 has something for every playstyle and then some.

Tekken 6 Sony PSP Gameplay – Gameplay

Most of the game modes from the console are here, including time attack, survival, and good old arcade battle. What didn’t make it over is the console game’s Story Campaign, which follows the exploits of two of Tekken 6’s new characters (Lars and Alisa) — although a new “Story” mode explains each character’s story with captioned still frames and a few arcade battles. Both the PSP’s Story mode and its arcade mode suffer from one fatal flaw, however: the final boss. Azazel, Tekken 6’s official nemesis, is perhaps the most badly designed, frustrating to play against, and overall worst boss ever. Somehow he became even more ridiculously overpowered on PSP, so you can pretty much forget about ever unlocking the conclusions of any character’s story. Hope you like looking at intros!

Another misstep is Tekken 6’s network modes — or, really, the lack thereof. While it does have smooth, easy gameplay and matching with local PSPs, it’s awful that you can’t play against anyone outside of your immediate vicinity. Add to this the fact that both players have to have the UMD in their PSPs to play and the ineluctable conclusion is that the developers didn’t want anyone playing their game against any other real humans. This is nothing short of mystifying, since the whole Tekken series is focused on versus mode and ranking.

Tekken 6 Sony PSP Gameplay – Gameplay 2

But hey, do you like beating virtual people up with the likes of cyborg chicks and kangaroos? If you do, and if you own a PSP, you will not find a better way to put busters in their place than Tekken 6. Sure, it’s got flaws and omissions, and whoever approved the inclusion of the final boss should be made to suffer, but as fighters on the PSP go, this is as good as it gets.


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