I first played Tekken around 15 years ago and the enjoyment I experienced has stuck with me ever since. Whilst I haven’t religiously followed Tekken in recent years it’s always been my favourite fighting series, thus why I was extremely excited to pick up Tekken 7.
For those of you who might be unaware, Tekken follows the story of the Mishima bloodline and the rivalry between Heihachi Mishima and his son, Kazuya Mishima. Long story short: Heihachi killed his wife, Kazumi Hachijo and Kazuya sort revenge for his mother’s murder. At the time Kazuya was only a boy and stood no chance against his father. All we know is that Heihachi threw the boy off a cliff, but for what reason? The story in Tekken 7 explains everything but I’ll let you uncover the mystery for yourself.
As with previous instalments, there are various game modes for you to hone your skills. We’ve got the Story Mode, Arcade Battle, Treasure Battle, VS Battle, Practice and Online. Arcade Battle is the original arcade version of Tekken 7 Fated Retribution. The development cycle for Tekken always sees the game introduced to arcade machines first, before being released to other platforms. Personally I think this is a great idea as it gives a greater period of time for user feedback and allows the developers to make changes, if necessary, for the console release.
Treasure Battle is your opportunity to battle your way through endless AI opponents to unlock new items and gear for the characters. These can range from a new pair of sunglasses to a jazzy new shirt, there are countless items to unlock and Treasure Battle is a fun way to acquire them. VS Battle and Practice are fairly self explanatory; fancy playing against your mate when they’re over? Head on over to VS battle to find out who’s best. If you’re new to the Tekken franchise or want to learn a new character, then Practice is the mode for you. You can choose who you play as, which character to play against and have the move list appear on screen for you to master.
Online lets you battle it out with opponents all over the world in varying modes. There are ranked matches, player matches or tournaments. Player match is the most straight forward, you can start searching for a quick match and start playing almost immediately. But if you want to play online against a friend then you’ll need to create a session. You can set the session name, which area players are from, the connection quality, time limit, number of rounds to win etc. Once it’s created you can then invite friends or wait for other players to join. Of course, you could always try searching for sessions yourself and see who’s out there. If you fancy taking on the big leagues, then head over to Ranked Match. Here you can prove yourself to be the best and work your way up the leaderboards. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to play any games online due to connection issues. Searching for games wasn’t a problem, but when accepting the match, my connection to the opponent would drop. Normally I would put this down to my internet, but I’ve spoken to others and they’ve reported similar issues.
Tekken 7 has a huge roster of characters with many favourites returning. The usual suspects such as Kazuya, Heihachi, Eddy and Law are present, along with new characters; Lars, Kazumi and Akuma. The selection is broad and there’s a character to fit everyone’s play style. If you like quick, fast combos then pick Xiaoyu or Hwoarang. If you prefer a slower pace, then go for Jack-7 or Bob. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with even half of the characters yet but I’m excited to give each one a go. As mentioned earlier, you can acquire new items and gear for each character but this isn’t for nothing. You can have up to 10 custom slots for each character and you’re able to change everything from their hair and top to the hit effect and aura. The combinations are limitless; some look really cool whilst others are simply a bit too gimmicky.
This iteration of Tekken really has a sense of nostalgia for me; the music is familiar, the characters look just how I remember and the style of gameplay hasn’t changed. In previous reviews of fighting games, I’ve mentioned that they don’t include 10-hit combos, or anything similar – boy is it good to be able to pull these off again. The last instalment I played was Tekken 5 and I spent hours mastering Kazuya’s combos and moves, I jumped right into Practice mode and I’m still able to land the hits. I love how I can spend years away from a game only to find that nothing has changed. For some people this may be a bit boring or samey, but for me this is glorious.