Outside of notable exceptions like Street Fighter, Tekken is one of the longest surviving fighting game series with mass appeal that garners the love of both casual and hardcore fans alike. With the recent golden age of fighting games with its prominence in eSports and even nationally televised competitions, Tekken is in a prime position to release another title and entice more fighters to the King of Iron Fist Tournament.
What I Liked
Wide Selection of Characters: As a franchise on its seventh canonical release, Tekken has gathered a large cast over the years. As always, no two characters are the same and players are bound to find one that will fit their playstyle, especially with Street Fighter guest Akuma who still retains many of his Street Fighter IV roots, including focus attacks and supers. Likewise, newcomers Lucky Chloe and Claudio Serafino bring their own style into an already diverse cast.
Story Mode is a Welcome Addition to Tekken: Unlike previous titles in the franchise, players no longer play through the arcade mode, guessing which set of cinematics are and are not canon. Rather, story mode is split into the main Mishima story and individual episodes for minor characters. Thankfully, the Mishima story includes easier commands for players who may want the title for the canon rather than the actual gameplay.
Uncompromising Gameplay: While other fighting games in recent years have taken to dumbing down their titles and making them more accessible by sacrificing nuances that have been in the game for years, Tekken 7 does not compromise and retains many of the elements that make it one of the more difficult titles to master. Even though we have lost the bound combos that have been in recent titles, the core gameplay that requires players to put hours into training mode are still present.
Yes, your characters can still look weird: Customization remains intact and is one of the more whacky, yet fun elements to the Tekken franchise. Though it adds absolutely nothing to the gameplay and only gives players more to grind for, there is nothing I would like more than to grind for weird hairdos and bullet club gear.
This Game is Ridiculously Optimized: Quite frankly, I’m surprised it ran on my old GTX 570. Bamco is one of the few Japanese companies that have put their faith in PC gaming and it shows through the variety of optimized titles and Tekken 7 is no exception.
What I Didn’t Like
Why do the Characters all Understand Each Other: Though it certainly makes sense that many of the characters speak their own languages, which now includes Japanese, English, and French among others, it makes little sense why they all understand each other. It’s as though every participant in the King of Iron Fists Tournament are actually language majors in college.
Absence of Trial/Challenge Mode: It’s been eight years since the release of Street Fighter IV and gamers have been graced with a trial mode that allowed them to learn the basic combos in a game. Furthermore, other difficult fighters like the Guilty Gear series have even added in a full tutorial mode. It’s baffling why Tekken still does not have one.
Still a Little Barebones: Many have criticized other fighting game titles for being barebones, but Tekken is just as bad of an offender. Other than the story mode and a treasure mode where players fight for in-game currency, which is just as easily obtainable playing online, there is nothing else awaiting players. This is from the same company that gave us the likes of Tekken Bowl and Tekken Force. I would be satisfied with a rehash of either of those modes, to be honest.
Despite some small concerns, Tekken 7 remains a noteworthy entry in the series. Its additions, both in the form of characters and features like Rage Arts, only add to the title and do not replace the core game that fans have come to love over the years.
Reviewed on: PC, PS4, Xbox One; Publisher: Bandai Namco; Developer: Bandai Namco; Players: Multiplayer; Released: June 2, 2017; ESRB: Teen; MSRP: $59.99; Official Site