Tekken 7 (PS4) Review

Tekken 7

So I didn’t know what to review alongside Tekken 2: Kazuya’s Revenge, but given that film turned out to be very… VERY loosely connected to the game series, I guess it didn’t matter! Anyway, this was on sale for a crazy price (probably because the three DLC seasons would cost more than the game did on release… ) so I thought “why not?” I normally buy Tekken games cheap a year or two after release anyway, so here we are! Tekken 7 is a lot of fun, especially the “Treasure Battle” mode, which I got lost in for days. Want to know more? Read on!

Background:

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I think “oof” would be underselling that kick a bit…

Tekken 7 was released in Arcades in March 2015, though it was noticeably very similar to Tekken 6, especially with the character models and stages. This was rectified with the release of Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, which really was more like an actual sequel, again at least visually (there were new gameplay mechanics added to the original 7, to be fair). Along with some additional characters and a full story mode, this “FR” version was the basis on the home port to PS4, XBOX ONE and PC.

I’m not going to list the roster, that would take too long at this point, but by the end of the DLC most characters from previous games are in. New to Tekken is the idea of guest “crossover” characters, specifically Akuma from Street Fighter, who is not only on the base roster, but actually written into the story, oddly enough. The DLC brought more lunacy, but I’ll get to that in the relevant section. New characters include Claudio Serafino, an Exorcist from Italy who has a strong resemblance to the Quincy from Bleach, right down to the blue arrows he fires from his hands, Shaheen from Saudi Arabia, Lucky Chloe, a cringy idol character (that will no doubt be really popular with a certain fanbase…), Master Raven, Raven’s female boss, weird giant red monstrosity known as Gigas, and Kazumi Mishima, Heihachi’s wife who can transform into a Devil like her son and grandson, and serves as the traditional final boss of the game.

Gameplay:

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I somehow made Lee look even more …. “Excellent”. Or like a cheap lounge lizard, one of the two.

The gameplay is still, at its core, the same as it was to start with: four buttons each corresponding to a limb, and combinations of buttons and single direction pushes are what create your movies. Less 2D quarter-turns and button press to fire a fireball, more button combinations to do a combination of kicks and punches that match the real world style its based off of (with some exceptions!).

The big new thing with Tekken 7 is actually the team “finally” embracing the idea of big finishing super-moves, in this case called “Rage Arts”. If you receive a certain amount of damage you then enter “Rage Mode” and have access to your Rage Art, a big flashy move that does a tonne of damage. This was controversial when announced as Tekken had always been about more technical combos and “realistic” styles (again, with a few exceptions, mostly bosses). I like it, but then I’m the literal definition of casual Tekken player, so… That’s not saying much.

While in Rage Mode you can also do one or two “Rage Drive” moves, which are powerful blows that don’t do as much damage as the Rage Arts but art often easier to pull off successfully and/or are more helpful in certain situations. There are also “Power Crush” moves, which mean you can tank your opponents attack and hit yours anyway, and “Screw Hits” which can hit your opponent into the air and make for long combos. This is where things get a bit out of my casual league… Anyway, I’ll also mention that some guest characters, like Akuma or Geese, have super meters and rules carried across from their own franchises, which is always fun.

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“So… Um… That’s some impressive nipple tubes you’ve got there…?”

As for modes, well you have a big story mode full of cinematics and a few fights (including a frustratingly hard final “bonus chapter” with a damn near unstoppable Akuma…), online multiplayer and then a good selection of offline modes, including the usual VS and Practice modes, but a severely stripped down Arcade Mode, where you fight, like, three people, then Heihachi, then the final boss and get no cinematic or anything. Turns out you get character specific battles and story chunks in a separate section of Story Mode which pretty much fills the same job as Arcade used to do in terms of rewards. Then you get “Treasure Battle”, which is where I had the most fun. You fight a variety of CPU opponents with weird customisation and clothes as you rank up every few fights, and get rewarded by unlocking various customisation items for you to use. It’s really easy to just keep going to the next fight over and over until you’ve realised you’ve sat still for two hours straight. I believe something similar to this was in the last one (certainly the rank titles sounded extremely familiar) but this was definitely the highlight of the game to me and will see me going back to it again.

The rest of the game is all bonus stuff, like customising characters, listening to soundtracks and watching cinematics from all previous Tekken games, that sort of thing. It’s very extensive.

Graphics and Sound:

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A lovely use of lighting… no idea what’s going on with either costume, frankly. At least I had the excuse of being bored!

The graphics are fine. I’ll say that the hair and backgrounds aren’t all that impressive for the 8th Generation era and in general you do get the feeling that this was more a game from the previous generation given a quick lick of paint (and more characters and gameplay improvements etc, but I’m just talking about graphics here…) Now obviously I find it hard to be too critical given I grew up in the 8-bit/16-bit era, I don’t put much stock in graphics generally, but the fact I noticed it means it must be pretty obvious…

Soundwise it’s great. Everyone speaks in their country’s language, the soundeffects are good and the background music does its job, though I’ve never found Tekken’s OSTs to be memorable (as proven by the fact that all previous OSTs are selectable in this game and when I put them on shuffle I had no idea which song came from which game…) but given there is so much of it, you can’t complain.

Story:

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Well, I suppose we were long overdue Tekken X Street Fighter, after CAPCOM’s unfortunate effort…

Jin has defeated the demonic entity known as Azazel, but the conflict between the Mishima Zaibatsu and the G Corporation he created to draw it out still rages on, engulfing the world in flames and warfare. In his absence Heihachi has taken control of the Mishima Zaibatsu, which presses his son Kazuya’s G Corp. to up their game, the one-upmanship eventually leading to a demon named Akuma to show up in order to settle an old debt and attack both Heihachi and Kazuya. They survive, but both their companies suffer major bad press after Kazuya’s Devil Form is revealed publicly, and the Mishima Zaibatsu’s satellite is blasted out of orbit and crashes on a city, devastating it. Eventually Heihachi and Kazuya decide to finish things once and for all by fighting to the death in the heart of a lava lake. After a long battle, Kazuya lands a deadly blow and kills his father, before tossing his body into the lava.

While all of this is going on Jin is found and nearly captured by the Mishima Zaibatsu, but he’s saved by Lee Chaolan and his Violet Systems group, with help from Jin’s Uncle Lars. Jin is pretty much told that he started this global war, and no matter the good intentions, it’s up to him to finish it. The tables have to be turned again, and it’s Jin who will now have to kill his father in Kazuya…

Downloadable Content:

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Noctis keeps popping up on this blog. Almost as if Square were desperately trying to get as many FFXV buys as they could or something!

As mentioned, Tekken 7 has received three Season Passes, each giving access to a variety of characters, stages and modes. While a lot of the characters are returning from previous games, there are some weird crossover ones, specifically Geese Howard from Fatal Fury / King of Fighters etc (which is fun!), Noctis from Final Fantasy XV, complete with teleporty weapon throws and the like (a.k.a. the complete opposite of Tekken’s usual gameplay!) and weirdest of all, and I mean possibly of all crossovers ever: Negan from The Walking Dead, complete with barbed wire baseball bat and a voice-alike for the TV character. Absolutely bizarre.

As for modes the main additional mode is the return of the bowling mini-game known as Tekken Bowl, which I’m sure is a laugh. I will say that I have yet to buy the DLC, but the extra characters appear in Treasure Battle, so I’ve seen them all in action at least. Weird, but fun!

Thoughts Now:

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So in order to rise higher in the martial arts ranks I have to beat Negan in a cowboy hat? …. Makes sense.

Tekken 7 is great fun. The story mode was fine, and the arcade mode a disappointment, but the Treasure Battle had me hooked, and will undoubtedly see me return time and time again. I’m not sold on the price of the DLC, especially since I see and interact with them so much already, but we’ll see… Either way, it’s a fun entry in the franchise.

4 Star Game New

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