The lastest (and possibly last) iteration of Tekken is, in my opinion anyway, the best. Tekken 3 is a very close second, but this takes it with the inclusion, through DLC, of Ultimate Tekken Bowl. With the announcement of a new Soul Calibur, even if we do get a new Tekken it’ll be a good 4 or 5 years unless its a new Tag Tournament game or some sort of spin-off. The first game was released some 24 years ago now, and since that time has gone from strength and strength, the only blip being the unambitious Tekken 4. If you include Tag Tournaments and the PSP version Dark Resurrection, there’s been 10 games in total. Over 24 years and roughly 14 different platforms if you include mobile and the Wonder Swan, that’s quite the legacy. But I’m not here to talk about that, I’m talking about number 7.
I was tentative at first, owing to the fact theres not a traditional story mode for each character. Instead, the focus is on the Mishima clan, one battle segments for the rest. It’s actually quite intriguing if you’re into the lore of Tekken, expaining the different story arcs, the Mishima Zaibatsu, Tekken Force and G-Corperation all came to be. As a fan of story telling anyway, this was quite interesting to me, but its a 50/50 split of story and actual fighting, so if your interest is more battles than story, you may wanna rifle through this quickly to get the acheivement. Theres still an arcade mode, with a series of best-of-3 round fights, culminating in a boss fight against Kazumi, who seems to be the original carrier of the Devil Gene. Another possibility, supposing you didn’t lose a single round, is Street Fighters’ Akuma. Namco has built a tradition of borrowing characters from other franchises, with Tekken 7 getting the aforementioned Akuma, aswell as Geese Howard from SNK’s Fatal Fury, and in a future DLC, Noctis from Final Fantasy 15.
Asides from Arcade and Story modes, theres also Treasure Battle, a never ending series of battles in which you gain money to buy customisation options for your favorite fighters, aswell as new custom pieces, and fighter specific outfit pieces. You still have promotions aswell, going from beginners through kyus, dans and on. With each level the fights get harder, but the rewards are better. Theres added effects too such as double damage and increased speed, and special battles against Akuma or Kazumi in her devil form. Online still has its place, a simple PvP affair with an online promotion seperate to offline modes.
Aesthetically, it’s everything you’d expect from this generation of consoles. It’s crisp, clean and wonderfully detailed. Every character looks great, and there’s none of that “it’s Japanese so all the women must have massive boobs and revealing outfits” nonsense that makes the likes of Dead or Alive hard to take seriously. I’m not a prude at all, but it has its time and place and a beat ’em up isn’t one of them. Of course if you want to outfit Katarina in a bikini or Nina in a mini skirt and crop top, the option is there but it’s not rammed down your throat. And for all you indy wrestling nerds like me, the addition of Bullet Club shirts are a welcome addition, as Tekken 7 and New Japan Pro Wrestling have some sort of ad deal going on. Theres also different menu pictures and hit effects to choose from, which dont do much.
Your fighting is the same, with buttons for each limb and an 8-way run mechanic, but they’ve added “rage” which is, in essence, a super move to be used when your health gets to a certain level. You can also use rage arts, which is a super charged counter attack, but if you miss, its gone. They’re a one shot deal. Each character has their own depending on fighting style. The only exception is Kazuya, if you hit his just right he’ll morph into Devil Kazuya! Which looks awesome, but is, unfortunately, the only way to play as him briefly. Devil Jin v Devil Kazuya needs to happen Namco. Make it happen. Theres only two things I’m dissapointed about here. One, theres no story ending for each character, and two, a few glaring omissions on the roster. No Christie, Marduk, Anna, Julia or Michelle Chang. Its a bit odd considering King, Jack, Nina and a few other have been there for quite a few games now. (N.B. if you get rid of King, I will riot).
In summary, this is easily one of the best fighters I’ve ever played. It’s a 9/10, having a story mode with an end cutscene for each would make