Afraid you'll be lost? Missed the first 5 Tekken games, while you were building your dream house under a rock somewhere? Don't worry about it; there are a series of black and white animated "summary" videos that will bring you up to speed quickly when you start to play the Scenario Mode. Well, I say quickly. If you're familiar with the story to date, you can skip past the various chapters, if you feel so inclined. If not, you might want to set aside about thirty minutes, because it takes a while to watch all of the backstory and then fight through the first few fights of the Scenario Mode so that you can save your game. (I learned that the hard way.)
Tekken 6 has more characters than any of the previous Tekken games, including 34 familiar characters from the series, along with 6 new playable characters: Lars Alexandersson, Alisa Bosconovich, Bob, Miguel Caballero Rojo, Leo and Zafina. Lars Alexandersson is (secretly) a descendant of Heihachi Mishima and is the main character of the Scenario storyline. Actually, this is a bit strange, as the Scenario mode allows you to change characters once you've gotten through a couple of fights, yet the pre-rendered cut-scenes still will feature Lars Alexandersson, while the cutscenes that use in-game graphics will feature the character you've selected, complete with whatever costume customizations you've done. Alisa Bosconovitch is a female robot in the image of a Dr. Bosconovitch's daughter, and she features jets that spring out of her back to assist her moves, as well as arms and legs that can detach and shoot off as projectiles, chainsaws that spring out of her arms and a detachable head that will explode when she hands it to an unsuspecting opponent. Lars encounters Alisa early on in the Scenario mode and she accompanies him on his quest, her A.I. improving as she gains experience by fighting.
My favorite new character is Bob. According to his background story, Bob began as an America martial arts genius, but no matter how much he practiced and how he perfected his martial arts, he was simply overpowered by heavier opponents. His solution? He goes into seclusion, practices a strict regimen of diet and exercise and develops his own type of martial arts to accompany his newly retrained and redesigned body. His efforts result in him gaining a lot of mass and power, while retaining his speed. He is, however, no longer handsome. He doesn't care for this, but instead remains obsessed with achieving a perfect balance between speed, agility and power. Well, that's what the story says, anyway. It's a bit odd that all of his moves are named after food items, however. So, as far as appearance, Bob seems more like a "token" fat character.
Leo is a rather strange character. Leo has a very androgynous appearance and is always referred to in the game simply as "Leo." So, no, not anywhere in the game do you get even a pronoun to help answer any gender questions you might have about Leo. Leo is, well, Leo, and you can speculate all you like, but Tekken 6 isn't going to help you out.
Zafina is amazingly flexible, looking like she must have taken years of belly dancing and, perhaps, contortionist training prior to learning martial arts. Her moves can be unexpected, making her an interesting character to play, but she can be a bit, um, distracting as an opponent. You have been warned.
Miguel Caballero Rojo simply sort of leaves me cold. He's basically a snot-nosed brat from Spain who has lots of problems with authority figures and ends up living in a bar at the age of 15, harboring an unnatural attachment to his sister that leads him to want to kill her fiance. He resists this temptation, but when his sister is killed in an attack on the church by the Mishima Zaibatsu, he vows to take revenge on Jin Kazama, its CEO, for her death.
In addition, there are a couple of large (read, "LARGE") non-playable characters serving as major bosses in the game. These characters are so large that you're basically fighting their legs, so you'll need to work them over without taking much damage, if you want to last long enough to whittle them down to something more manageable.
As for the familiar faces that have returned, you'll notice a little bit of spit and polish, with more detailed models, as well as some new costumes, to keep things fresh. I especially liked the Panda (an alternate costume for Kuma) and the new models for Yoshimitsu.
The music in Tekken 6 is pretty much typical for the Tekken series: sometimes fast-tempoed, often brassy and always ambient. It just sort of sits there in the background and keeps your television from simply having grunts, screams and impact sounds. You'll have to go out of your way to notice it and it's not going to be something you hum on your daily drive to work, but it's not going to grate on your nerves, either, so no complaints here.