Welcome to the Iron Fist Tournament!
Tekken (or “Iron Fist” in Japanese) is no stranger in the fighting game genre. What started out as a 3D model test for Namco soon captured the hearts of fighting game fans worldwide. Now after nearly 5 years, the Iron Fist Tournament opens once more to fans at home.
Tekken 7 is the latest entry to the console. This is the first time the Tekken series is using the famous Unreal Engine. The game has all the latest updates and characters from the arcade version. The console version has some additional modes like story mode which has the main story and several chapters, an online mode the ability to create private rooms and tournaments.
Japanese Version of Family Feud
Fans of the series are no stranger to the story of Tekken since it was introduced. For those who aren’t, it is basically a family feud between the Mishima family members. It all started with Heihachi Mishima and his son Kazuya Mishima. Without spoiling much, the main story plot is slightly better than the previous games but it still feels like an afterthought. To my disappointment, other characters who didn’t have any part in the main plot are push aside and given only a written introduction and a single fight with a short cinematic ending. This might be okay with the fans who have never cared for the story, but it still hurts as it is one of the weakest story modes overall in the Tekken series.
One does not punch simply to the sky
What makes Tekken a good fighting game in the end is the gameplay. Tekken is and always have been one of the more technical fighting games around. For the uninitiated, Tekken controls are mapped to each hands and legs of a character. This makes button mashing somewhat viable in this game but understanding each move is the most effective way to play. This game embodies the term; easy to play, difficult to master. Even movement and positioning in Tekken is technical because of its 3D environment and wall damage.
Newcomers to the series might feel a little overwhelmed at first but luckily this is also one of the most newcomer friendly among other Tekken games. First it is notable that combos and juggling deal somewhat a little less damage. Second there is an update to the Rage system. In previous Tekken, Rage is a mechanic that increases the damage dealt when your character life is in a certain threshold. This have not change but the damage increase is reduced. Additionally, we now have Rage Arts and Rage Drive. Rage Arts is a single attack that if connected properly. It will launch an attack string that will deal significant damage. Rage Drive on the other hand is a powerful version of a move which usually helps extend combos when use and is indicated by a blue glow on the character. Both moves will consume the Rage effect even if it is blocked or miss. With these systems in place, it is more common now for comebacks and turnarounds in Tekken 7.
Sir!!! There is a Capcom in my Namco game
Having new character in a new series is nothing surprising and Tekken 7 manage to add quite a list of new characters. Though it has a smaller character roster compared to the previous installment, each new character introduced this time will please every player style from button mashing (*coughs* Katarina *coughs*) to the very technical. The kick this time is the introduction of Akuma (or Gouki for you Japanese nerds). Fans of Akuma will be happy to heard that his movesets in Tekken are almost identical to his Street Fighter counterpart. There is also an EX meter for his to execute attack cancels and Super Moves. His Rage Art is the iconic Demon Rage with its iconic controller input intact. To be honest Akuma playstyle is out of the norm in the Tekken universe of juggling and combos. It provides some freshness to the game’s already diverse fighting styles.
Iron Fist Dress Up Simulator
Tekken is no stranger to character customization on the console or the arcade. Many players spend countless hours in customization (or playing dress up as Zozi calls it) to make their fighters stand out from the pack. This iteration of Tekken is not different. It has one of the most variety of customization ever in a Tekken series. Some items can be purchase using gold and some must be unlocked by earning chest. Chest are earned either randomly by playing Arcade Mode or winning matches in Treasure Mode (This is the best way). Notable that some items are missing from the arcade version because of rights and maybe censorship (no sexy bikinis you perv). Usable items also are back with more variety and fun ways to taunt your opponent or shame them. Though customization is there, it will in no way affect any gameplay like damage or health.
Tekken Tournament Online
Tekken on console has a history of being one of the worst way to experience public matches. Previous Tekken online was drowned by the massively bad lag and buggy net code that will just disconnect players during gameplay. This was also the issue during the first couple of days in Tekken 7. Luckily, the development team got their act together and manage to fix the net code and disconnection issue. Feedback from friends using TIME and Unifi has been positive with a few cases of disconnection now and then. The game modes online are sufficient but nowhere perfect. Private room customization is still limited to the basic stuff and has no feature to have concurrent matches like tournaments when the room has 4 or more players. Truthfully as a previous Tekken series owner, I am happy enough that the online component works this time.
Unlockables…. Unlockables as far as the eye can see…..
This game features tones of unlockables and players will be happy to hear that all soundtrack and videos from the previous games can be unlocked in this game. There is even a jukebox mode given for you to customize the soundtrack you want to listen too while playing. Those who are interested in the history of Tekken may go through the movies and concept art from previous games. Interestingly, the developers left a way to unlock every content without spending any gold. The only set back is you have to complete 2000 games on any mode win or lose. That’s a LOT of Tekken but there is an easy way if you google (*cough* Katarina Again *cough*).
Help us to Support…. Buy our DLC
Tekken 7 brings a first to the franchise to dip their hands into the future of DLC. Announced earlier this year, Tekken Producer Katsuhiro Harada said that DLC of future content was a decision made to help maintain and support Tekken 7 in the long run. Future DLC include not only customization items but also new or returning characters to the game. So far no official information about what future content are (albeit some leaks from data miners).
Tekken 7 manage to make a splash in their console debut during a time where fighting games are having somewhat of a bad reputation (Thanks Capcom). It manages to push through and excel to not only please their long-lasting fans, but also newcomers who are now curious about the Iron Fist Tournament.