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Tekken 6

Namco's other fighting series comes and has a go, thinks it's hard enough

Tekken 6 is a bit of a coup for the 360. The series has long been considered a Sony stalwart, and was PS3 exclusive until recently, so if MS has seen fit to wave cash at Namco to tempt them into multiformat-land it must be because the sixth outing is well worth having.

In terms of plot things are simple. Each combatant is fighting to become King of a tournament called the Iron Fist. Along the way you'll fight a panda, a man with unfeasibly large hair, and several insane ninja: as rich, character-led fighters go Tekken is one of the most established series' out there. The sixth instalment will see six extra fighters joining the line up including one who turns out to be the son of Heihachi, the PS2 exclusive character last seen in Soul Calibur 2.

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Punch drunk
Gameplay-wise, we can expect something that sits neatly in between Soul Calibur IV and Virtua Fighter 5. Tekken places a greater emphasis on twitchy punches and long combo-throws than any other fighter, which means that button-bashing can only get you so far. Eventually, someone is going to come along and crush you if you don't learn how to play properly. To try and balance out fights more, Tekken 6 has a Rage Mode, kicking in when you're down to your last sliver of health, making you stronger.

Also making its Tekken debut is character customisation, so you can kit your fighter of choice out with even more garish clothing, and destructable arenas, which should add an extra dimension to each scrap. None of these ideas are new, or particularly huge, but combined in one package they become quite compelling.

Throw in a little online play and the usual visual overhaul and Tekken 6 is quite the tempting prospect. It may not lever the hardcore away from games like Street Fighter IV and Virtua Fighter, but it will come as a welcome boost for one-on-one fight fans at the end of the year.

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