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Tekken 6 for Sony's PlayStation Portable redefines the handheld fighting game genre with its excellent controls and engaging style. The new High-definition graphics and flawless 60 frames per second mean that this latest iteration of the popular fighting game is the best yet. With forty unique characters to master and destructible scenery you can punch your enemies through, Tekken 6 for PSP is the best fighting game you can buy for a portable system.
Ports of fighting games have always struggled to replicate the look and feel of the arcades and have done an even poorer job with console translations. But Tekken 6 for PSP shows that it's not only possible to deliver a decent fighting experience, but you can actually create a game that benefits from being on restricted hardware.
This isn't a true one to one port of the Xbox 360 / PS3 game as Tekken 6 PSP strips out the story mode of the console version and concentrates on delivering satisfying and responsive game mechanics. The decision to excise the story mode might have been made due to technical limitations, but considering that part of the console game was excessive and quite dull it gives this PSP version a much leaner feel.
Itís clear development of the game concentrated elsewhere as the visuals look great on the smaller screen. Even though the backgrounds tend to look a little less sharp than on the console, the fluid animations and overall polish of the game is exemplary. The controls map superbly to the face buttons and as thereís no more than four attack moves, the fighting style of the game seems to be perfect to the PSP.
Multiplayer is handled in ad-hoc mode, which means you can play against local players without the benefit of online matchmaking. It's a small concession as the lag present going online would have rendered the title useless. As it is the ad-hoc functions very well - there are a few hiccups at times when one player gets out of sync but the overall experience is very pleasing and playing against friends in the same room is pretty awesome.
Tekken 6 offers forty unique characters to play with and this large roster means there's a fighting style for anyone who picks up the game. Although some of these characters are barely different from each other the sheer number of them means there's enough variety to make the game endlessly repayable.
Aside from the story mode most of the other game modes are present, including time attack, survival and arcade battle. There is a small story-like mode in this PSP version but this is where Tekken's singular flaw raises its ugly head. Simply put, the game is far too hard when trying to go through the single-player areas. The final boss of the game on the consoles, Azazel, was tough enough but here he's stupidly over-powered and even if you're a veteran Tekken master you're going to struggle to beat him.
Apart from this, Tekken 6 is by far the best handheld fighting game I've ever played. It's a testament to the quality of the game that I enjoyed it far more than the console version which felt bloated and slightly unresponsive. Here the controls are much tighter and whenever I was beaten it was down to my lack of skill rather than the controls messing things up.
It might come as a surprise to many but Tekken 6 for PSP is actually a better fighting game than its big console brother. It's the superior fighting game than any other on any handheld, carrying with it the full roster of characters and slimming down the game modes to give players the best experience possible. The lack of online play is irritating but the seamless ad-hoc play makes this a must-buy for any fans of the genre.
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