Kyle Nakasaka ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Between the disappointment that was Street Fighter 5 and the all too disappointing franchise that is Injustice, Tekken 7 manages to be a satisfying fighting game that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. How, you might ask, does the Tekken franchise manage to do this? Simply by being Tekken. Tekken 7 is similar to any other Tekken game before it, but truth be told, that’s something that everyone needed. The genre just needed a game where you punched people and they punched you and at the end of the day, it was a good fight no matter who won, so when Tekken came along, it filled that niche perfectly.
Tekken 7 continues their tradition of confusing the heck out of players when trying to tell the story of the Mishima Clan, only this time they decided to add Akuma of Street Fighter into the mix. There must’ve been a good reason to put Akuma into the story mode, but honestly it’s hard to tell. They could have just put Akuma on the roster and just been like “here’s a cool character we got the license for when we let Capcom make Street Fighter x Tekken” and it would have worked fine. Instead, they decided to make the entire Mishima clan tie back to Akuma for some reason and now the canon couldn’t be more confusing. Other than that, we get some cool background on Heihachi, Kazuya, and a small bit about the rebellion trying to stop the war between them, but other than that, we get nothing. While challenging and at times infuriating in terms of the fights themselves, the plot doesn’t really shine through. The story mode is way too short and doesn’t tell much of a story at all. If you’re looking for a good challenge, then give it a shot on a harder difficulty, but if you’re looking for plot, I’d look elsewhere.
In addition to the story mode, we get the five fight Arcade mode to test your prowess, Treasure Battle, which is a kind of a survival mode where you see how long you can last against various fighters while winning cosmetics along the way, and, of course, your local and online multiplayer. While it doesn’t seem like much, the modes actually take you quite a ways. Arcade mode is fun to train your characters and make your fighting styles a bit more cohesive. Treasure Battle ends up being a mode you go to when you need to cool off after facing one too many Eddy Gordos online, while also getting cool stuff to make your favorite characters more nifty and stylish. Treasure Battle also has unique events that pop up every so often that switch up the rule set and keep the endurance battle more fun. Online is, of course, the ultimate test to see whether you have the chops to become a good Tekken player or not. In Online, you have casual matches, ranked for the truly hardcore, and tournament mode where you have the chance to take home a chunk of in-game currency if you can make it to the top.
Tekken maintains the same fighting style it always has in that you can walk in a button masher and walk out a master. The Tekken learning curve is very accommodating to new players as it is very possible to mash buttons and get stuff done, but over time you will come to learn that there are more effective lines of play. Another great feature for the new player is that there is a neutral block, meaning that standing still will block attacks. This again makes the learning curve easier as you don’t have to memorize the timing for an additional button input.
If you are considering picking this game up, you should take note of a few things. This game is an absolute must-buy if you’re a fan of the series due to all of the cool new characters and the little bit of plot you derive from the story, but even if you’re not, it’s definitely worth a shot if the characters and the fighting game scene interest you enough. It is a very easy game to pick up and there tends to be at least one character that everyone gets the hang of. If you weren’t a fan of the Tekken franchise before, however, you probably won’t be now as there is very little difference between this game and recent iterations. Also of note, one of the achievements is glitched currently, so if you’re a completionist, you’ll be smart and avoid this game for the time being. With that said, Tekken 7 is great for newcomers to fighting games as well as seasoned veterans as there is a lot of content and a lot of players who are ready to take you on.