|Developer(s)||Namco Bandai Games|
|Publisher(s)||Namco Bandai Games|
Released under the Namco label outside North America
|Composer(s)||See music section|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable|
PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Tekken 6 (Japanese: 鉄拳6) is a fighting game developed and published by Bandai Namco Games. It is the seventh main installment in the Tekken franchise. It was released in arcades on November 26, 2007, as the first game running on the PlayStation 3-based System 357 arcade board. A year later, the game received an update, subtitled Bloodline Rebellion. Both versions also saw a limited release in North America. A home version based on the update was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 27, 2009. This was the first time a main installment was produced for a non-Sony console. It was ported for the PlayStation Portable on November 24, 2009. The game was produced by Katsuhiro Harada, who aimed to give the fights a strategic style while remaining faithful to the previous games in the series.
While this version retains elements from the earlier games, Tekken 6 introduces a new Rage system that increases the strength of the player characters when their health gets low. It also features a beat 'em up mode focused on a soldier named Lars Alexandersson who leads a coup d'état along with his underlings. Losing his memory in an attack against Jin Kazama's Mishima Zaibatsu special forces, Lars goes on a journey with a robot named Alisa Bosconovitch to learn his identity, so that he will be able to recover the subject of his mission. In this campaign mode, the player can win items by completing missions and enhance different power areas of any characters they choose to control.
The game received generally positive reviews. Critics praised the visuals and the new fight mechanics but had mixed opinions about the handling of the Scenario Campaign. Nevertheless, the PSP port was also well-received for how faithful it was to the initial console versions. The game's sales have reached 3.5 million copies worldwide. It was later re-released with the spin-off Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Soulcalibur V for the PlayStation 3. A sequel, Tekken 7, was released to Japanese arcades on March 18, 2015, and was ported to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and released internationally on June 2, 2017.
Tekken 6 features bigger stages with more interactivity than its predecessors, including walls or floors that can be broken to reveal new fighting areas. The character customization feature has been enhanced, and certain items have implications in some aspects of the gameplay.
A new Rage system gives characters more damage per hit when their vitality is below a certain point. Once activated, a reddish energy aura appears around the character, and their health bar starts to flicker in red. The Rage aura can be customized with different colors and effects to appear like fire, electricity, and ice, among others. Another newly added gameplay feature is the "bound" system. Every character has several moves that when used in a juggle combo will cause the opponent to be smashed hard into the ground, bouncing them off it in a stunned state, leaving them vulnerable to another combo or an additional attack. As of the Bloodline Rebellion update, successfully parrying a low attack will also put a character into a bound state.
The console versions (excluding the PSP version) include an extra beat 'em up mode titled "Scenario Campaign", which bears similarities with the "Tekken Force" and "Devil Within" modes from previous installments. In this mode, the player can move freely in an environment similar to that of a third-person role-playing game. Players can also pick up weapons like poles and Gatling guns, along with lootable items, money, and power-ups which can be found inside crates that are scattered throughout the playing environment. Players can move freely between fights, but when a group of enemies is encountered, the gameplay switches to the traditional, two-dimensional Tekken style. This mode originally included offline single player only, but on January 18, 2010, Namco released a patch that allows online co-op for the Scenario Campaign.
Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game include an online versus multiplayer mode over the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. It includes Ranked Matches mode, where the player can promote their character to a higher ranking, and Player Matches mode, where the player's fights are not ranked and they can invite friends to have matches with them.
The game uses a proprietary graphics engine running at 60 frames per second as well as a dynamic physics engine named the "Octave Engine", which simulates fluid dynamics and among other things, allows water to behave realistically according to how the characters move. The graphics engine has been designed with a focus on character-animation to make movements look smoother and more realistic. This led to many animations being remade to either reflect the impact and damage caused, or to create new possibilities in gameplay. The developers considered animation extremely important for a fighting game and wanted to make the game "look good in motion", whereas previous installments had been designed to "look good on still shots". Since Bloodline Rebellion, the game has supported dynamic full-body motion blur, making Tekken 6 the first fighting game to do so.
Following Jin Kazama's victory against his great-grandfather, Jinpachi Mishima, in the previous King of Iron Fist Tournament, he is now the new head of the Mishima Zaibatsu special forces. Jin uses the company's resources to declare independence, becoming a global superpower, severing its national ties and openly declaring war against all nations over the following year. This action plunges the world into an extremely chaotic spiral, with a large-scale civil war erupting around the globe and even among the space colonies orbiting the planet. Meanwhile, Kazuya Mishima, Jin's father, who has risen to lead G Corporation, places a bounty on his son's head. In retaliation, Jin announces the sixth King of Iron Fist Tournament to lure Kazuya out.
As the war continues to erupt, the field leader of Mishima Zaibatsu's Tekken Force, Lars Alexandersson, has rebelled from the army along with several of his soldiers. However, Lars loses his memory during an attack by the G Corporation and spends some time recovering it. Accompanied by an android, Alisa Bosconovitch, Lars ventures throughout the world, avoiding the Mishima Zaibatsu's manhunt for him while also trying to recover his past. It is eventually revealed that Lars is actually the illegitimate son of Heihachi Mishima, who has gone into hiding since his supposed demise in the last tournament, and has been trying to take the Mishima Zaibatsu from Jin's hands. After coming into contact with several allies, including his adoptive brother, Lee Chaolan, Lars confronts the G Corporation and Mishima Zaibatsu's headquarters. Jin reveals he had sent Alisa to spy on Lars' actions all along. Disabling Alisa's safe mode, Lars is forced to confront his former teammate, who leaves with Jin to Egypt.
Helped by one of his allies, Raven, Lars goes to Egypt. He meets an astrologist named Zafina who provides them with information about the clash of two evil stars that will awake an ancient evil who will destroy the world. This evil, Azazel, is a demonic monster responsible for giving birth to the Devil Gene and is currently bound in an ancient temple. Lars confronts his half-brother Kazuya in front of the door leading to Azazel's chamber and fights him. Lars and Raven enter the chamber and confront Azazel, whom they seemingly defeat. Outside the temple, Lars confronts his half-nephew Jin, who admits that his reason for launching the war was to awaken Azazel and destroy him, freeing the world from a greater threat than the war itself. Also, in doing this, he would free himself from the Devil Gene, as he can only have a physical form through negative energies of the world. Revealing Azazel can only be destroyed by someone with the Devil Gene, Jin confronts and attacks the revived Azazel, sending them both plummeting to the desert. Lars is reunited with a now safe Alisa, who has been fixed by Lee since her previous destruction, and goes on another mission. Raven unearths Jin's body in the desert and notes that Jin still has the Devil mark on his arm, implying that Azazel's demise did not free him from the Devil Gene.
The game features a total of 39 original playable characters in Tekken 6 in arcade version, and 41 in Bloodline Rebellion and the console version. Seven new characters are introduced in Tekken 6, but two are not playable bosses, and in "Bloodline Rebellion" and the console version two additional characters. Almost all of Tekken 5 / Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection have been added to Tekken 6. Only Jinpachi Mishima and Jack-5 are not there.
^a Added in Bloodline Rebellion and console version.
Development and promotion
Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu first announced in April 2006 that Tekken 6 was to be developed for the PlayStation 3. The first trailer was revealed at Sony's E3 press conference that year. According to Video Games Daily, feedback from the first trailer was negative. However, project director Katsuhiro Harada said at that time the team was not working on Tekken 6 full-time because they were busy developing Tekken Dark Resurrection. Harada's main concern with Tekken 6 was that it appeal to newcomers and older players. The game was released in Japanese arcades on November 26, 2007. It was the first game running on the PlayStation 3-based System 357 arcade board. Harada said Namco decided to make a Tekken installment for the Xbox 360 because of multiple fan requests. Response to the original arcade game was highly positive, but Harada said the team aimed to make more improvements to attract new players. He noted that feedback from the arcade's release in Japan had surpassed that of previous titles. For the updated release, the team wanted to include more playable characters than in Tekken 5, make the techniques unique as well as more intuitive, and make the fights as brutal as possible.
However, Harada revealed they had encountered difficulties making the cast balanced. As a result, Namco took notes from the characters' victories in the original arcades and modified the cast and rebalanced the game. To make battles more strategic, the Rage system was created. Another new element is the use of items by the characters. While Harada did not find this as unique as the Rage System, he felt it added more to the battles' fun factor. Like some games in the Mortal Kombat series, Tekken 6 is notable for adding the element that allows players to throw enemies down to another area of the stage. This was added to create longer combos if the player has the opportunity, not for the sole purpose of inflicting more damage. A major obstacle in producing the game was Namco's idea to include game modes that allowed four simultaneous characters. This took major rework, especially for online mode. They avoided this for the spinoff Tekken Tag Tournament, which only allowed alternating use of four fighters. Director Yuichi Yonemori also noted that the team wanted to make fights faster while adding these new mechanics. To provide more variety, each stage that could be destroyed was given its own sound effect and each character also had their own.
On October 23, 2009, Namco Bandai released a Tekken 6 themed Game Space on the North American version of PlayStation Home. Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion was first released as Tekken 6 to Japanese arcades on December 18, 2008. It featured new characters, stages, items and customization options and gave the game a balance update to its characters and items. The console version of Tekken 6 is based on this arcade version and was released for consoles, but under the name Tekken 6. In October 2009, Namco announced the game's development had been completed, and it would be released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. The online elements of Tekken 6 were based on the ones from Tekken: Dark Resurrection. Harada announced the game's roster would be the largest in the series, and that after Tekken 3 they were paying special attention to make sure each character is unique in appearance, personality and techniques and does not overlap with other characters. Preorders of the game included an artbook and a wireless controller.
This new version features two new characters: Alisa Bosconovitch, an android built in the image of Dr. Bosconovitch's deceased daughter, and Lars Alexandersson, Heihachi Mishima's illegitimate son and leader of a rebellious Tekken Force faction fighting Jin's tyranny. This expansion also features a number of new items and customization options for characters to use during fights. Unlike previous console games, all the characters are unlocked when the game starts. Harada said the reason behind this was his belief that unlocking characters was outdated, and that online gamers would find their favorite characters faster.
Unlike other new Tekken 6 characters who were based on fan input, both Lars and Alisa were created using a different approach, focusing on their importance to the game's story. As a result, in the arcade version of Tekken 6, most of Lars' identity was kept a mystery, leaving it to the console versions' Scenario Campaign mode to explain his role in the series, with Harada teasing about his potential attack on Jin Kazama's forces. Jin's characterization was changed from an anti-hero to a villain, something Harada had been planning to develop for years. However, his change of personality remained a secret to be explored in the story. Harada referred to the Scenario Campaign as a logical addition to the game. He believes the franchise is known for including bonus content in each installment, besides just being a recreation of the arcade game. He said the mode was meant to help the game appeal to a larger audience.
A number of artists joined the team to create new outfits for a few characters: Lars, Jin, Kazuya and Zafina were also given additional outfits designed by Masashi Kishimoto, Clamp, Takayuki Yamaguchi and Mutsumi Inomata, respectively. Outfits for Anna Williams and Asuka Kazama were made by Mamoru Nagano, and Ito Ogure did one for Lili Rochefort.
Although the scenario campaign was removed from the PlayStation Portable's port, the developers added background information for the characters in the arcade mode. Makoto Iwai, chief operating officer of Namco Bandai, said the developers tried to make the PlayStation Portable contain as much content as the original console versions. For this reason, the PSP port has new modes and stages not present in the original one. In late 2009, Harada hinted at the possibility of the game having downloadable content but said that whenever possible it would be made available free of charge. In January 2019, Tekken 6 became playable on the Xbox One, thanks to its backwards compatibility function.
Tekken 6 features a large cast of composers, including: Rio Hamamoto, Ryuichi Takada, Keiichi Okabe, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Shinji Hosoe, Yoshihito Yano, Ayako Saso, Go Shiina, Satoru Kōsaki, Akitaka Tohyama, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Yoshimi Kudo, Noriyuki Kamikura, Azusa Chiba, Kimihiro Abe, Mitsuhiro Kaneda, Keigo Hoashi, Keiki Kobayashi, and Kakeru Ishihama. Two soundtracks based on the main game and the PSP port were released. Shiina was in charge of the low key tracks. In retrospect he remembers enjoying the music for the game, most notably when rearranging tracks and composing a theme for Alisa.
Critical response to Tekken 6 among reviewers has been generally favorable, with the PS3 version scoring a 79 on Metacritic and the 360 an 80. IGN praised the additions to the game's mechanics and modes, as well as the large cast, which they felt should appeal to most gamers. GameSpot agreed, liking the new additions to the roster, most notably Zafina for her look and moveset. They noted that Tekken fans would enjoy the new mechanics as these meant practicing more combo styles, such as juggle combos. On the other hand, Eurogamer was more negative, stating that by the time the game was released there were other more appealing fighting games. At the same time, they conceded that it was far more popular than those in the East. They found the graphics superior to the recent fighter Soulcalibur IV but not as good as those of Virtua Fighter 5. Nevertheless, Eurogamer felt the returning characters' combos felt familiar, and long-time players would enjoy playing them. VideoGamer.com made a similar comparison noting that while other fighting games might entertain gamers more, Tekken 6 was faithful to the series' roots. This included its use of intense motion which the reviewer found easy to learn, though they had mixed opinions about the new mechanics that had to be learned.
The PlayStation 3 version of the game garnered some criticism for its excessive load times when run without installing it previously, and its initially laggy online multiplayer component, which was later improved via updates. At first 1UP.com was negative towards the game's poor online mode, but once Namco patched it the score was revised upward.
The game's Scenario Campaign mode was subject to mixed criticism as well. IGN regarded it as a disappointment, citing bland environments and repetitive enemies. VideoGamer.com also criticized the mode, saying it was not fun, and the plot involving the Mishima family was not enjoyable. GameSpy praised the game for its variety of traits taken from different types of games. GameSpot gave the plot-oriented Scenario Campaign mode far more positive comments, as well as the amount of replay value provided by the possibility of playing other characters besides Lars. Game Revolution also had mixed opinions. They noted the camera had some issues that might affect the moves' input—moves like Kazuya Mishima's Spinning Demon—which could easily still be performed to take down enemies without difficulties. The reviewer compared the style of the Campaign to role-playing games, referring to the way the player can power up the characters.
The PSP version received positive reviews, with Metacritic giving it 82 out of 100. IGN said the portable version had greatly improved loading times compared to its console counterparts. GameZone regarded it as the "definitive version of the game", despite lacking the Scenario Campaign and the graphics of the main console; the port still managed to retain good graphics, the console's d-pad was felt to be far more useful than the one in the Xbox 360 controller. GameSpot and Eurogamer also shared similar opinions on how the PSP port managed to impress, retaining the large cast, and for its responsive controls.
During its first week, the PlayStation 3 version of Tekken 6 sold 103,000 units in Japan. According to Media Create, this made it the fastest-selling fighter. It remained so until August 2012 when the PS3 port of Persona 4 Arena broke the record with sales of 180,000 units. In May 2011, Namco Bandai reported it had become its best-selling game from 2010 with 1.5 million units sold. The game got to number three on the UK sales charts. In North America, the game sold over one million units as of August 2010. Upon its release in Japan, the PSP port sold 25,131 units. As of May 2011, Tekken 6 has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.
In 2009, Tekken 6 was nominated for a Spike Fighting Game of the Year award but lost to Street Fighter IV. However, it still won the Best PSP Fighting Game and Best PSP Fighting Game Readers' Choice from IGN.
In retrospective, Harada believes Tekken 6, and Tekken 5, managed to attract a new group of fans, something Tekken 4 failed to do. For this game, Lars was given an alternate design created by manga author Masashi Kishimoto, famous for writing the series Naruto. In 2009, CyberConnect2 CEO Hiroshi Matsuyama read in a Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine that Lars' third costume had been designed by Kishimoto and thought he should be included in the Naruto video game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. As a result, Matsuyama approached Tekken 6 producer Suguru Sasaki and his team and asked them to allow him to include Lars in the game using Kishimoto's outfit. Once this was approved, the Tekken staff began assisting CyberConnect2 to adjust Lars' moves to fit the other characters in the Naruto game. When the work was concluded, Matsuyama was surprised at how well Lars fitted in with the game's cast.
Tekken 6 was followed by a spin-off titled Tekken Tag Tournament 2. A sequel, titled Tekken 7, was announced on July 13, 2014. More information on the sequel was made available during Bandai Namco's panel at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International event. The game had a limited arcade release in Japan on February 18, 2015, followed by a full release on March 18, 2015. Harada states that Tekken 7's story mode was influenced by the Scenario Campaign from Tekken 6 as he believes recent games in the franchise have tried elaborating more on the series' storytelling despite being a fighting game. Tekken 6 was rereleased in 2015 with Tag Tournament 2 and Soulcalibur V as PlayStation 3 Fighting Edition for its title console.