Tekken 6 launches as a pint-sized port of the console version that stacks up commendably. PSP owners, this is one tournament you will not want to miss.
Tekken 6 obviously had to be downsized from the Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 version. However, instead of that being a negative aspect, it actually turns into a positive one. See, Bandai Namco (or Namco Bandai) has removed a small piece of content that makes the game better. This piece that I am referring to is the horrible campaign mode from the full console version. This poorly made beat em’ up featuring several of the characters from Tekken 6 did nothing to add value to the package, and trust me here, it will not be missed. If you read our review of Tekken 6 for the Xbox 360, and Playstation (HERE) then you know that this mode did not sit well with this Tekken fan. There is no need to continue harping on it, but the Tekken fan is glad they did not waste the space.
A Bountiful Brawler
As a portable fighter, Tekken 6 is an impressive entry into the PSP library. Bandai Namco did not skimp out as Tekken 6 has many playable characters with full customization options, local multiplayer support, unlockables, and a fair amount of game modes. Like 'Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny', Tekken 6 comes in really close to matching its console roots. Who knows, perhaps the Playstation Portable will lend a helping hand to a fighting revival, I know it is a long shot, but one can hope.
Let the Tournament Begin
The fighting can start immediately on the PSP, with all 40 characters being unlcoked from the start. This immediately gives you a lot of choice as you enter the tournament. For those who are long time Tekken fans, all the familiars are included, along with a few new entries including, Leo, Jack-6, Bob, Migue, Zafina, Lars and Alisa. Truly, Tekken is instantly appealing and its character design has always had its own unique twist. Long time fans will instantly gravitate towards their favourites. However, the roster is so large that it warrants exploring the rest of the fighters as well.
Character customization has also made it over in the porting. This expensive dress up game might cause you to keep playing longer than you expected as you save up to purchase new costumes and accessories. The money in Tekken (called Fast Money) is earned in the Arcade mode, and there is a lot of alternatives when customizing your character.
Easy- to-Learn-/ Hard-to-Master
Into the action, Tekken 6 is exactly what you expect as you head into battle against the rather tough computer A.I. Like most fighters, Tekken 6 follows the same philosophy of letting you feel powerful as a competitor as the first rounds are easy, and then they hit you with a roadblock challenger. Thankfully, there is no penalty to replaying tough rounds as Tekken 6 supplies unlimited continues. This is a good thing because you will need them, and I oddly found the PSP fighter to be even more challenging then the console version, go figure.
More Ghostbusting Action
The quickest way to get into the action is the arcade mode. However, if you want more of a connection to the characters you can hit up the story mode. This gives simplified short cut-scenes that give you a little more depth with an unique intro and ending cut-scene for each character. On top of these two modes are, a practice dojo, a few challenge modes (time attack, survival, and gold rush), and Ghost Battles. Ghost Battles is a lot of fun, and how I like to spend the majority of my Tekken time. In this mode you fight "Ghosts" which are randomly generated characters that come into battle one after another. This is the best spot to earn cash, and one that is a lot of fun to jump into on the go.
Hey Good Looking
Obviously, Tekken 6 on the PSP has to sacrifice the polish HD resolution with the hardware limitations of the PSP. However, this jagged little pill ends up looking decent on the portable machine. The visuals only lack in its backgrounds and textures, and stand up nicely in all other respects.
The load times are even fairly quick which is surprising, mainly because I have played other fighters on the PSP and they can take a long time to load up. One contributing factor to as why Tekken performs so well on the PSP is a 380MB data install that acts like a Hard Drive, improves the load times of the game. Fighting games need to be fast in-game, and equally fast when loading, and thankfully Tekken 6 has this down. Using the memory card as a buffering tool is something all portable developers should look into. If it works for Tekken, it can work for any game.
Ho Hum, Ad-Hoc Online
Tekken 6 also supports online gaming in ad-hoc, which is better than nothing, but not as satisfying as infrastructure support. Local matches can be fun in short bursts, but it is not a game you will want to sit around and play for hours on end. Compared to the full console version, this would be the biggest difference between both versions. On the console Tekken 6 is an excellent reason to sit around and blow an evening playing a videogame, the same can’t be said here.
Tekken 6 is a viable choice if you want to play a solid, quick-action fighting game for the Playstation Portable. The PSP version of Tekken 6 doesn’t lose too much value in its downgrade on the PSP, and in some respects it could be considered a purer version of the classic fighter. Like Tekken's last portable offering 'Tekken: Dark Resurrection', Tekken 6 is the shining example of how you can port a game and make it better. If you want a excellent gift idea for fighting fans, I'd sincerely check out Tekken 6 on the PSP.
Gameplay:8.8, Graphics:8.5, Sound:6.5, Innovation:7.0, Mojo:8.5 Final: 7.8 / 10
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 12.23.09