by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
In my younger days, one of my favourite titles on the original PlayStation console was the fighting game Tekken 3. I didn't really spend time at arcades, so that was my first real encounter with the series. I fondly remember spending nights attempting to work my way through the Arcade mode. I'm pretty sure I stuffed up a controller or two with the constant button mashing as I fought to defeat the likes of Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix and Brazilian capoeira fighter, Eddy Gordo. But with Tekken (and many fighting games) limiting themselves to the consoles, and I to PC, we were destined to spend time apart. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and so it was the case when I heard that Tekken 7 would indeed be heading to PC. I would get the chance to take on the powerful Heihachi again.
A family affair
Story mode introduces (or in many cases re-introduces) many of the characters, although the main story focuses mainly upon characters Heihachi, Jin (Heihachi's grandson) and Kazuya (Heihachi's son) and their family feuds that would make North Korea quake in their goose-stepping boots. In the story mode, you do get a feel for these three characters moves more than the other game characters, but Tekken 7 addresses this by including side-stories based on each of the other characters. Apart from the practice mode, these missions provide the best place to learn about each character and their special moves. The story itself is a reasonably short collection of cut-scenes and single battles, that don’t really offer much in the way of entertainment.
The controls learned throughout the story are smooth and responsive, with the front buttons controlling each of the limbs in a way that feels rather intuitive. Basic combos are very easy to pull off, but the more powerful combos take some practice as the combos can be reasonably complex. And of course, each character has their own moves, so it does take some time if you want to become the master of all. Random button mashing only gets you so far, but learning the combos, either through the practice mode or in actual combat certain helps.
Combos to master
All your favorite Tekken characters return, as well as characters that are better known from other gaming franchises such as Akuma from Street Fighter. I'm still a huge fan of the gorgeous Nina and have a soft spot for Panda...he’s so cute. But there are also some new characters that you'll have fun trying to learn all their special combo moves. And there are plenty to learn, with each character having dozen of different combinations that can result in some brutal blows. And if you find you’ve been on the end of a beating, then the Rage Art feature becomes available. Performing a Rage Art or Drive (the latter generally requiring a more complex set of moves) can potentially turn the tide of a contest. After testing out each of the characters, gamers will probably find that certain character to suit their own style.
Apart from the story mode, gamers will be able to compete in the Arcade, Treasure and Versus modes. Arcade mode is the staple of the franchise, pitting gamers in a series of one-on-one battles against increasingly tougher opponents until the final boss battle is won. Treasure mode is similar, except that for every win, gamers are rewarded with a customizable item for their character or the entire roster. The more wins in a row, the better the items that the gamer wins. Versus Mode, as the name suggests, allows gamers to take on a friend in a one-on-one battle locally, whilst the online modes allows gamers to test their skills against competitors from anywhere in the world in tournaments or simple ranked matches.
Winning bouts in Arcade and Treasure mode will provide gamers with funds with which they can use to further customize their characters. The Treasure mode already garners some random prizes, but spending your own hard earned in-game cash often feels more rewarding. The amount of costumes and accessories that can be purchased for each character is astounding. Money can also be spent on customized power bars and flashes of color. There are plenty of in-game purchases that gamers can buy for their favorite characters, and although they do not add anything to the contest, they allow gamers to add their own flair to the characters appearance.
Audio is superb and is a feature of the game. I was particularly impressed with the choice of soundtrack. The music is upbeat and places you in a suitable mood. Characters' speech is also outstanding, with each of the characters speaking in their native tongue prior to each bout. Map locations and backgrounds are wonderful too, with many of the locations having destructible environments and multiple platforms. It is a bit unfortunate that the combat is often over so fast that you don't get to fully enjoy the locations.
King of Iron Fist Tournament
It has been an absolute joy to be able to take on Heihachi and co again. Tekken 7 is almost perfect as a fighting game. The story is so-so, but let's be honest...it is a fighting game, does there really need to be a story? The game play and controls are practically flawless, and that is of utmost importance when you're attempting to knock out your opponent. The basic combos are simple to learn, whilst if you take the time to learn the more complex combos, they can pay off big time. The visuals are clear and crisp with some wonderful locales. Going through the images, there has been a marked improvement in visual quality since the last game in the series and the music sets the mood wonderfully. My excitement at being able to once again perform in the Iron Fist Tournament has definitely been fulfilled with Tekken 7.
Game is easily accessible to newcomers, heaps of customisations
Story doesn't make a lot of sense