|System: X360, PS3, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 24, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Generally speaking, when a console game is ported to a portable console, quite a bit is lost in translation. Whether it is graphics, gameplay, modes, or a combination of all three, ports almost never live up to the potential of the original console game. However, Tekken 6 on the PSP is one title that comes very close to measuring up to the high bar set by the console version. By preserving as many elements from the console title as possible, and replacing anything that couldn't be duplicated with alternate content, Tekken 6 on the PSP is definitely a title that portable fans would be remiss to classify as "just another port."
Tekken 6's main feature was its robust story mode, which incorporated new characters Lars Alexandersson and Alisa Bosconovitch. However, this mode was heavily cinematic and featured long melee-style levels. Since this mode was not ideal for the handheld platform, the focused story mode was swapped out for character-specific mini-story modes. Each character has a background storyboard cinematic that plays before their individual story mode, and after a few matches with familiar opponents, the story mode will culminate in a boss battle and a closing storyboard cinematic.
Though the different story modes aren't very deep or long-lasting, they are perfect for the handheld platform. With 40+ different character story modes to go through (each lasting between 20-40 minutes) there is plenty of content, and the bite-size format makes it perfect for quick bursts of gameplay.
Although the traditional story mode didn't make it into the final cut of Tekken 6 on the PSP, one mode that did make it intact was the arcade mode. In fact, one might argue that the arcade experience has been improved for the handheld format. While the standard format has been completely preserved, one notable difference is the loading times. The loading times in the console version were simply excessive; often lasting between 15-20 seconds. Fortunately, in the PSP versions, the loading times are much shorter and clock in at around 5-7 seconds. And, if you install the game, the loading times are halved. This is a huge improvement over the console version, and it helps keep you immersed if you are playing through marathon arcade sessions.
In addition to the story and the arcade modes, Tekken 6 also has several challenges. These challenge modes work a lot like the arcade, with your character battling their way through as many challenges as possible without being defeated. The different challenge modes include a time attack and a coin attack. While the time attack is a little bit on the forgettable side, the coin attack is particularly useful if you need money for character customization.
Character customization was certainly a big deal in the console version of Tekken 6, and I am happy to report that the customization aspects in the PSP version are just as robust. Each character has alternate clothing, hairstyle, and armor options that can be bought for a certain amount of gold. Though these customizations don't impact battle stats, they do give you extra incentive to keep playing the game, and I was personally very motivated to unlock all of my favorite character's new wardrobe choices.