So how has Tekken taken too the huge jump to the latest console generation? has it still got that quirky sense of humour that made it so funny, can we still slap the crap out of an old man with a guy wearing a lion head or a panda? well the answer is…. kinda
The old favourites like Jin, King, Eddy and the rest of the gang are back for a blast, but A convoluted story mode tries to tie up every loose end, but does it with too straight a face. So its good news, bad news really. I guess this is the guys at taken knowing their audience, for those of us like myself who have grown up with the punchem-up blockbuster its a great experience to get home from work and dive right into some thoughtless fist fighting, and for that alone Tekken 7 delivers in spades.
Born in the Arcade- Raised on the Playstation
Unlike most games that are made for cross platform gameplay, Tekken 7 like every other Tekken game down the years was built specially for the Playstation. Triangle and square work the punches while X and Circle are used for thumping kicks and the control just feels like it belongs in your hands. Simple and beautiful what’s not too like.
Better again, our past favourites are back with their signature moves- which are still as epic as ever with literally hundreds of variations, combos and multi-stage throw techniques to get your head around. A few new people have joined the cast, but one or two of the historical characters are missing. Smells of DLC content to keep the players gaming for longer.
Remember the Rage mechanics that first surfaced in Tekken 6? Well it has been transformed for this new iteration with two new attributes – although both only kick in once you’ve dropped below a certain health threshold. So there is Rage Attacks which are a more devastating version of your regular attacks, then add what has been called “Rage Art”. Its a cinematic attack with unreal graphics that do huge damage in a single burst. Its actually quite similar to the Street Fighter Super Attack, but they just look so god dam good. A good thing to remember you only get them when your hurt and if your opponent blocks it, so make it count.
Oddly enough this isnt the only thing borrowed from Street Fighter. One particular character makes the jump but you will have to play the story mode to find out why.
After 7 generations of Tekken one would think that the story would have finally gone beyond a very extreme family feud. Nope not even in the slightest but really who cares and at this point in time Heihachi and Kazuya have leveled half the globe in their fight and of course their is Jin, the half man half devil himself. These guys even make my family look normal, not once have I thrown my brother of a mountain. (never thought that would be a line I would ever write)
The story line cut scenes look absolutely gorgeous, seriously the graphics are amazing. However at times they take a but drawn out and over the top with usual Anime magic but its good and gives your thumbs a well needed break from going 90. But if you prefer to just jump right into the thick of things of course you have the ever useful skip button to help you out.
Not all of our heroes make the grade and are sadly degraded into small bit part side stories , mainly due to a severe lack of the “king of iron fists tournament”. It’s odd to see series stalwarts like Yoshimitsu, Paul and Law given bit parts, while a certain Street Fighter villain gets a huge chunk of story. More serious than any previous story modes which takes away some of the fun, but take it as it is and it’ thoroughly enjoyable all the same. Oh also before I forget, ask yourself what questions you had from previous story modes, they are all pretty much answered which is a relief itself. But Namco just couldn’t help itself and managed to sneak a sequel-baiting post-credits cutscene in there for good measure. We probably haven’t seen the final chapter just yet.
One for all the cheaters
I abhor this feature as it’s essentially cheating made easy so thanks a lot helping hand for making things just a little too easy. Press down L1 and boom the main trigger buttons suddenly become short cuts into special and combo moves.
It makes getting through a difficult battle a cheap victory, being able to special attack your opponent into submission without any true skill just takes away from the satisfaction of the moment, or is it just me?
if you feel like me you don’t need to use them, but when changing character every other fight scene its impossible to master the person’s move set, so the cheating option will start to look more and more enticing.
Just don’t and your eventual victory will be all the sweeter.
Value added extras
When not watching the beautiful cut scenes or making mince meat of your family members in the story mode there are a range of other game types to keep you busy.
First of the bat is the Treasure Battle, its a never ending fight series where the AI gets progressively stronger. Each win unlocks new gear and other bits like hairstyles. Lets call a spade a spade here, Heitachi is automatically less intimidating wearing a traffic cone or something else as mad. Also known as win some fights and customise the crap out of them You’ve got to grind your way through this one specific mode just to unlock everything, which is a shame because online would be so much better with this included. But we will come back to that.
Then we have a bit of nostalgia with the Jukebox and gallery modes. Use your in game currency to unlock music tracks or movies cut scenes from all the old games. The only thing that is missing is the old school insanity of Tekken Force or the Tekken Bowl. God i miss that random arcade style gameplay.
When the story is done and dusted and the Mishima family are done throwing each other of mountains, Tekken has something else for you to sink your teeth in. Online mulitplayer because whats better than baiting your mate, well now get ready for online tournament mode.
There is a single and double elimination mode and better again there is an intruiging spectator mode which will let viewers tune in to watch the action, with voice and text chat built-in for good measure, but the eight-participant player limit could be a bit small. Online gameplay is made of the usual ranked and unranked matches, win enough get on the leaderboard, job done.
The only real downside for online gameplay in Tekken 7 is that games like Injustice 2 rewards the players with prizes like loot drops, whereas Tekken is just for the pride of the being the best. Which should be enough but its not.
The Goosed Verdict
Timing is key here and at the same time Street Fighter made a return to the Nintendo Switch, while Injustice 2 is practically brand new and is slowly making its way to the top of the fight gaming genre. So where does Tekken 7 fall into place among the raft of fightem-ups currently on the market?
With a couple new characters added to the roster, amazing visuals and Rage art scenes that will blow your mind- Tekken 7 is as fun to play as it was back in the day. It lets you do what you do best, kick the living bejaysus out of opponent, smash out a few 10 hit combos and sit back and watch the slow mo scene as you finish them off.
If you love Tekken your gonna love this, it breathes new life into a series we haven’t seen for awhile. But in an ever crowded scene of fighting games will Tekken 7 stand out from the crowd? Honestly probably not, but enjoy the ride while you can.
3 stars…. button bash your way to a great laugh