Tekken 6

Pandas and leopards and kangaroos, oh... good?

You'll have to imagine this preview is being whispered in your ear as we don't want Michael Gapper to hear this, but... Tekken is - in some ways - a lot more fun than Street Fighter. We make no bold claims for it on any technical level, to us it's always just been 'the silly scrapper', perfect pissed-up post-pub pugilism that will reduce you to a heap of giggles at a piece of outré inanity just as often as it will get you fired up for a fight. It's always been a button-masher with none of the complex nuance of SFIV's combos, but what it does have is balls, and humour, and the option to punch a kangaroo square in the tits.


Tekken 6 does open itself up to predictable scorn from hardened gamers for persisting its 'Force Mode' arcade adventure with your chosen fighter scrapping Double Dragon-style against a series of goons and 'bots, picking up guns and errant chickens in the process. Does it make for satisfying 360 gaming? No. Did we love every brain-squeezing minute of it? Yep.

One definite plus that Tekken 6 will have over the technically far superior SFIV is its sheer variety, with a personal record of 42 weird fighters to choose from, plus - best of all - a character cutomisation option that we're very keen to try out for ourselves. There's also an embarrassing array of arenas, with plenty of interactivity available on each one, plus old-school environmental weapons to pick up and club the opposition with.

Beat-'em-up connoisseurs will rightly point out that Tekken 6 is to SFIV what a doner kebab is to boeuf-en-croute, but you can't undervalue the fun element of Namco's beast of a brawler. No-one wants to take on a SFIV expert at that game; they'll be pasted in a second. But with Tekken? Pretty much anyone stands a chance of stepping into the ring and mashing their way to victory. Plus they can do it with their own choice of mad animal head. Tekken FTW!

We could expand on the franchise's new features - such a Rage, which builds up in near-defeated fighters and gives them a final chance to survive the bout with a crackling display of violence - but all you need to know for now is that Tekken 6 is fun, furious and funny. You can't take it seriously, but you can't fail to have a blast with it. We can't wait to play more.