Tekken 7 Xbox One Review
Tekken can be classified as one of the Titles that Defined the PlayStation Gaming Console back in the Early 90s. Tekken 7 sees a Redefinition and Return to its Primal Roots.
Tekken 7 has been playable in Arcades and Expo’s (like rAge) since it’s Initial Release in March 2015, so why do we get what feels like a “Doggy-Bag”, only now? More than two years have passed, which is exactly why we felt the need to take a deep look under the hood at what makes one of the most Iconic Fighting Games of All Time worthy of holding that Title in this delayed Console Release. Did it get stale like moldy-cheese or did it mature like a fine wine?
Enter the Mishima Family FeudA good place to start off with is the Single Player Campaign. The intro (and rest of the Story) is/are a few Panned Stills narrated over by an Investigative Journalist called Oscar Wilde (not sure why you need to know this, but they say knowledge is power right?) who is desperate to expose the “secrets” of the Mishima Clan soon after the death of his wife and child. His family passed in his home town during a blazing battle between the Mishima Zaibatsu and G Corporation, who are Rival Factions.
You then go back, in classic “flashback-style” to when Kazuya (Young Spikey Hair Guy) and Heihachi (Old Spikey Hair Guy) Mishima are Fighting/Training. You get to fight as Kid Kazuya and need to quickly learn the basics to fighting, which do not really help in this cut-scene, as you get thrown over the edge of a cliff after being knocked unconscious by your Father, Heihachi. If you have played Tekken before, especially the first Tekken in 1994, you know this story, and you would also agree that Tekken is not known around the globe for it’s fancy Cinematics or Revelation Inspiring Narrative. The true strength of Tekken lies within it’s Unique Fighting Style, and simple, yet frustrating Hit Combo Sequences to achieve Maximum Fluid Damage before getting Interrupted by your opponent and finding yourself with a Critically Low Health Bar.
I digress. After this first fight, you then play as Heihachi in Present Time, who comes to claim the Throne of the Mishima Clan while Kazuya “Jin” is missing. You face off against Nina, who then orders the Mishima Soldiers to lower their rifles and stand down. Nina is dead set on locating Jin, but Heihachi has a plan of his own, and to distract the world from his execution of this plan, he announces the Return of the “King of Iron Fist Tournament“, calling in Fighters from around the Globe. The Single Player Campaign is quite short in comparison to one of the more recent fighting titles that came out, but again, this is not what makes Tekken…well, Tekken. Most Fighting Games introduce all the Playable Characters and their Move Sets through the Single Player or Story Campaign, but not our glorious rebel Tekken. You briefly touch a few of the Fighters (Including the 10 New Fighters) in the Single Player Campaign, so learning the Moves will need to come through trial and error in the Built-In Practice Mode, but all 36 Tekken Fighters are relatively easy to get skull-cracking with right away.
However, there is a Story Mission Mode which you unlock while playing the Main Campaign. These Story Missions are Character Specific and give you a brief insight into the background of each Fighter. I found these Missions to be very entertaining, a few made me shake my head in disbelief of the hilarity of Character Interactions, but the Campaign is still good fun despite it’s length.
The Power is in the Moves and ModesAbove, I touched on the essence of this Timeless Title. Tekken 7 has modified and solidified the Rage System that was introduced in Tekken 6 into something that the game needed to keep up with it’s Competitor Titles, but still stay close enough to home to keep it’s foundations in-tact. I am talking about a move set called the “Rage Arts”, “Rage Drives” and “Power Crushes” that all play out similarly to an “Ultimate” Ability that chews out a chunk of your opponents health, but are very specialized in their application.
Rage Arts are an Uninterruptible Cinematic-Type Sequence of Special Moves that you Offload onto your Opponent. You activate them by pressing a combination of Two Buttons on your Controller and if you meet the distance requirement, you can eat out up to 30 Percent of your Opponents Health. The Intensity of your Rage Art Damage is dependent on how close your health bar is to being depleted, so it should effectively be used as a Desperation Move of Destruction. Rage Drives create an opening for you to prevent your opponent from attacking you while you enter a Window Period wherein you can Manually perform special Combo Moves to do as much damage as possible, these two are difficult for AI or Online Opponents to dodge. Lastly, you get the Power Crush, which is just a fancy title for finishing off a Separate Combo Strike with a Rage Art or Rage Drive, and this is easier to dodge or avoid, as it pretty much is a Two Phase Combo String that can be messed up by Human Error or Cramping Fingers (My downfall).
I am not sure if it was as a Review Bonus, Early Access Bonus or just a simple Nice Gesture from the Tekken Team, but I was given 10,000 Currency Points of Fight Money just for playing Tekken. The first place I considered using my Fight Money, was in the “Gallery Mode” which is a Collection of Stills and All Cinematics from the Previous Tekken Games! You are even able to Unlock the Music from the Previous Tekken Games as well, or at least so I have heard. Furthermore, you use your Fight Money on Character Customization, where you can do all sorts of Aesthetic Adjustments, ranging from Hardcore Looks to Cookie (Pun Intended) Combinations, where you can Accessorize with items like Pizza’s, Tennis Rackets, Hockey Sticks or even force your Buff Devil Kazuya to wear a Tutu! You can then be bold and take your Custom Fighter into the Ring in Online Multiplayer Fights (Ranked and Un-Ranked).
Tekken is a Fighter by Code, and a Fighter by Legacy.
With the customization, you can even earn Special Effects for your Fighters, Unique Player Frames, Title Boxes and Funky In-Game Health Bars. Yes, it may sound gimmicky, but again, Tekken never intended to be serious on the “content holding” of it’s purpose, it is a Fighter by Code, and a Fighter by Legacy. There is also an Arcade Mode which faces you off against opponents of Increasing Difficulty and a Treasure Mode which rewards you with Fight Money, so there are quite a few offerings that Cater for the Solo Playing, Button Smashing and Face Rolling Fighting Enthusiast.
Online is Where it’s At!I am sure by now you have seen the Bias Sheen in my approach to this Review. I am not ashamed to say that irrespective of what so many people may say, you cannot compare Tekken with the likes of the other Fighting Games that have come out recently. You need to “Compare Apples with Apples“.
There are a plethora of options available for Single Player Fighting Game Fans, that are geared specifically with the focus shifted toward Solo Play rather than Online PvP, but Tekken is the Odd-One-Out, doing what others do not, focuses more on the Online Variety. Take a look at the Release Trailer even, the payoff is “All Fights Are Personal”, so from the get-go, you should know what type of dedication you are going to receive.
Online Players can choose to enter the ring through Ranked Play, Casual Play or Participate and even Create their own Online Tournament! The Tournament Mode is an absolute testament to how an Online PvP Game should be Coded! When you create your own Tournament, Tekken 7 will Automatically Co-Ordinate all of the Fighters who have Joined into their appropriate matches and will sort out each of the Fight Match Brackets for you! This leaves you with more time to gather your wits, and focus on your Combo Strings to Fight your way to the Top of the Hill. With 36 Different Fighters at your fingertips, and each with their own distinct Counter Styles, PvP can and will keep you busy for a long time.
The Final Kick
Tekken 7 runs on the Unreal Engine, which speaks volumes about it’s Graphical Melody and Smooth Animations. I would be hard-pressed to say that I experienced any Tearing or Texture Issues during Solo or PvP Sessions, because they just did not happen at all. This is by far the best looking Tekken to date, but when it comes to the Music, the Title Screen had me sitting in a Trance-Like-State for quite some time while nursing my Goose-Bump Riddled Scalp. In short, the Music is flippen brilliant and the Sound Effects are reminiscent of the previous Tekken’s, which again, splices some Modern Aspects, but stays close to it’s roots by Retaining it’s Core, making sure not to stray far from what set it up as the Most Iconic and Memorable Fighter since the Original.
Tekken 7 is native to it’s Original Developer and Publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment, and has been available Globally since 2 June 2017. At the time of writing this review, BT Games has the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Versions available at R915.00 and the PC Version at R555.00. With the Classic Feel and Modern Hints, I am absolutely thrilled that we still get to enjoy the English Subtitles over the Japanese Dialogue on many of the Character Cut-scenes. I am satisfied beyond reason with Tekken 7 and even though the Console Versions are quite Pricey, it is worth the investment, specifically for the fans. If you are new to the Franchise, you can hop on the train with Tekken 7, thanks to the Gallery Mode and your Free Fight Money. Love it or hate it, you have heard the name Tekken, and you will still hear the name Tekken for a long time to come.