Tekken 7, 2017
Signed up the 22/06/2017
GET READY FOR THE NEXT BATTLE
Tekken 7: Fated Retribution (or simply Tekken 7, as it's been dubbed for consoles and PC) is the 7th canon installment in the Tekken franchise, and the 9th installment in the series overall.
Young Kazuya against his father, Heihachi
In one line, Tekken 7 serves as the conclusion to the Mishima feud and follows the Mishima clan (particularly Heihachi and Kazuya), explores the family history, and most importantly gets to the crux of WHY the execration exists & where it started. The story is quick and is pretty cliché, but that's Tekken. It's always had a pretty simple storyline with slightly ("slightly" is a lie) over the top narration. It does a fine job at bringing to a close the Mishima story, but will probably have you rolling your eyes into another dimension at the very end - particularly that final scene.
Playing through Tekken 7 feels like playing through every (canon) Tekken predecessor. It effortlessly weaves old Tekken scenes into the story, and makes them playable. For example, one of the early chapters has you actually playing through the opening cinematic of Tekken 5 [remember when Devil Jin had just escaped his imprisonment and left Kazuya and Heihachi in Hon-Maru to fight against the Jack-4 robots? Remember? Remember? Aah, good times :") ].
Every battle feels like a boss battle in the sense that they're challenging (in the beginning). Once you lose a few times they become predictable, even on the hardest difficulty. Case in point: Fighting Heihachi using Akuma (as seen in the trailers) - Heihachi keeps bringing out his Dragon Uppercut, which can be either boring or annoying (or both).
Speaking of Akuma, his addition to Tekken from Street Fighter actually fits well and makes sense (which I was worried about when I first heard he was on the roster). It doesn't seem far fetched that a character from Street Fighter has a significant role in this game. "What about his use of projectiles?" you ask? Well, Devil and Devil Jin shoot lasers from their 3rd eye, so again it makes sense.
Akuma's controls are almost, if not entirely, identical to those in Street Fighter. Basically, if you could play with him there, you can DEFINITELY play with him in Street Fighter.
Gameplay, Graphics and Mechanics
Let me start off by outlining an issue: The problem with Tekken 7 is that there isn't really a tutorial for newcomers to get a feel of what Tekken is all about. It's not "newcomer friendly". You can still get away with button smashing though and feel like a god (nobody likes a button smashed though :/) as you could with previous installments, unlike with games like Injustice: Gods Among Us where button smashing DOES NOT WORK and will remind you of how much of a mortal you are (insert upside down smile emoji here). That being said, once you get used to it and get a hang of the basics, becoming the King of the Iron Fist Tournament becomes fun as opposed to irritatingly challenging.
For long time fans of the series, despite the new features (which will be highlighted shortly), it still feels like the same old Tekken with familiar faces, control scheme, combos and music.
The 2 newest features of Tekken 7 are Power Crushers and Rage Arts. Power Crushers are very similar to Focus Attacks from Street Fighter. They're the types of attacks that still go through despite taking a hit (particularly taking a hit from mid or high attacks). Rage Arts are the "Supers" of Tekken 7 - they are like taking the Street Fighter Ultra moves and adapting them to Tekken's style of play. Everyone has a unique Rage Art that does quite some damage, but they are blockable.
There's also a slow motion feature for when opponents are about to hit each other at the same time, or when the final blow is about to be dealt. It's amazing enough to make your heart stop (without killing you). In the former case, you don't know who's gonna land their hit first, putting you on edge. Gives you a moment to soak in the greatness of that final blow, and take screenshots :D.
In terms of graphics, Tekken 7 is the first game in the series to make use of the Unreal engine - Unreal Engine 4, to be specific. The graphics are drool-enducing. There's beautiful detail in everything, the costumes are dynamics and the environments seem almost real. The graphics also bear quite a resemblance to those of Street Fighter V, which happens to use the same engine.
The Story Mode gameplay isn't like Tekken 5 - Devil Within or Tekken 6 i.e. that action adventure style story mode similar to Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 that has you controlling a particular character moving around the world and fighting along the way (basically, AN ADVENTURE! Yaaay! -_-). It's back to the classic, intimate, one-on-one, bone-crushing action with cut-scenes inbetween. The main story has you following those central to the Mishima feud, such as Jin, Kazuya, Heihachi, Lars, Lee, etc. You can also play through short "Character Episodes", which focus on all the other characters. They're pretty short, though - one fight and a cut-scene.
Another big part of Tekken is its online experience. I personally haven't been able to play through more than 6 or so matches online, but from that little experience and the live streams I've watched on Youtube, their previous online connection problems and glitches have been addressed, delivering a fluid online experience. Of course, this all depends on your internet connection and where on Earth your opponent is located. The best way to test your skill is online, as opposed to a battle with the CPU on the highest difficulty. The highest difficulty level for the CPU isn't THAT difficult compared to Tekken 6's highest difficulty where you played, and by "played" I mean button smashed, against Azazel. If you've played a game like Street Fighter, or better yet Call of Duty online, you'll understand why online play is the best test.
Characters and Customization
A few new characters enter the Tekken realm. There are a total of 37 playable characters, 10 of which are new. As usual, the new characters have their unique fighting styles and back stories. More characters means more opportunity for players to explore and find someone that their fingers can have fun controlling. Side note: one of these new characters, Claudio Serafino, bears quite a resemblance in look and powers, to a certain character from the anime Bleach, Uryū Ishida. Check it out!
The Customisation is on a whole new level compared to what we got in Tekken 6. It's never been more fun to make your favourite character look the way YOU want them to look - from a Shark-mutated Yoshimitsu to a Prince of Saiyans, Vegeta looking Kazuya (have a look on the internet for more out-of-this-earth customizations). There are 1000s of customizations available not just for characters, but for Titles and Health Bars as well.
In a nutshell, whether you're a long time fan or a newcomer, Tekken 7 is a fantastic sequel that doesn't disappoint with its hardcore action on and offline, delivers a good end to the Mishima feud, and allows your to release your latent power of creativity. Do best and get yourself a copy. It's definitely worth it.
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