Remember when you'd bring home that brand new fighting game, anxiously rip off the packaging, pop it in, and then stare in disappointment at all those "?" boxes that indicated locked characters?
Well, Tekken series director Katsuhiro Harada says the days of unlockable characters in fighting games are over. In his eyes, anyway. Speaking to VideoGamer.com , Harada reminds everyone that the original intent of the "unlock" was to "increase the longevity of coin-op arcade machines." But somehow, this trend spilled over into the home, and ever since, we've had fighting games that require the player to complete a certain objective if another character is to become available. Take the recent Street Fighter IV , for instance; 9 fighters weren't playable from the start. But all 40 of Tekken 6 's impressive lineup will be ready and rarin' to go right off the bat. Said Harada:
"Why we locked the characters originally was that in the arcades, it was kind of to extend the life of the game by gradually unlocking characters. And also with the home versions as well, because you can rent games or whatever, it was to protect us against that. That’s kind of outdated now though, especially with online play. If we were to have locked characters it would irritate a lot of people, to be playing against others online and to not have all the characters available. So I think it’s no longer useful."
While some kinda like the idea of the locked character(s) – gives you something to shoot for, ya know? – Harada does have a very good point. What with the advent of online multiplayer and without much of a need to "extend the longevity" of a game like Tekken 6 , the unlockable character idea does seem old-fashioned. Really, who's going to complain about being able to select from the entire 40-member Tekken 6 roster the minute they start the game?
Related Game(s): Tekken 6