You don’t necessarily have to be a competitive player to enjoy fighting games, and as of late a lot more curious spectators are now itching to mash a few buttons to see how far it takes them. Ever since the resurgence of the fighting game genre back in 2008 when Capcom breathed life into the scene with Street Fighter IV, many other companies notable for their fighting game experience started to follow suit. Fast forward 9 years later and the fighting game scene is at the apex of popularity, with an array of titles to choose from and so many more players to battle it out with. Tekken has always been a staple franchise and since it’s first iteration back in 1994, the series has never slowed down always managing to evolve over time. Unlike other fighters which are based around a 2D battlefield, Tekken 7 takes things to a whole new dimension throwing players into a 3D world where movement becomes more of a factor than anything else. Since you have more options of maneuvering around the opponent, the strategy of being able to safely weave in and out to avoid damage is pivotal to landing consistent victories. Taking notes from its past rival Virtua Fighter, Tekken 7 has made constant changes to ensure that the playing environment is not only fun for casual players but an excellent place for aspiring players to sharpen that competitive edge.
What to Expect
Tekken 7 is perhaps the best 3D fighting game out there hands down, and while others have come and gone, this is the only series that has managed to stand ground, ensuring the best for its community at all times. Here in Japan, the likes of Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown still have a large following, and when you go to the local Sega arcade in the evening you’re bound to find people grinding away at the cabinets. Tekken 7 has that same effect as you walk through the arcade halls to find an amass of people sitting in front of the cabinet, throwing their 100 yen coins in and work to get a high rank. Sadly not everyone has the luxury of coughing up thousands of dollars to fly over here to Tokyo, so placing Tekken 7 on home consoles along with the PC is one way to keep that fire burning as if you were right in front of the cabinet.
As a competitive fighter myself, playing Tekken 7 really feels right at home with all of its new changes and improvements to its fighting system, and an incredible customization infrastructure that rivals that of the classic Virtua Fighter series. What to expect? A lot! There’s a lot to learn especially if you’re coming into the game with a fresh slate, but on the plus side that may give you an advantage since you can pick up on things a lot faster than someone who perhaps is coming from another fighting game. Of course having prior experience with fighters is justified but jumping from the 2D world into the 3D one is like night and day, so learning to adapt to that can sometimes be taxing even for those with a good amount of knowledge. With a very smooth online infrastructure, a worthy story mode, along with offline features to boast, Tekken 7 is the game to get right now. As a heads up we should remind you that Tekken 7 is pretty hefty in the graphics department, so make sure your PC is able to run it smoothly to get the best experience possible.
For the sake of spoilers we’ll leave the story to you to explore, but we will say that the war between the G-Corp and Mishima is not over yet. Pertaining to the overall story itself, it took us around 2 hours or so to complete all 14 chapters along with an Epilogue and special chapter that you’ll unlock shortly after. Of course that time will differ depending on the difficulty settings you choose since the CPU will behave differently, which can affect your progression. More or less, the story section will not take too much of your time, but if you do complete it you’ll be rewarded with a plethora of items along with a hefty 3,000,000 fight money to spend later on. There are also separate stories for each character so that too becomes another added bonus, should you feel the urge to unlock everything. This is the plus side of Tekken 7 because let’s face it, not everybody picks up a fighting game to spend hours in training mode then take those skills online to rank up. A lot of players really just want that offline experience where they can sit down and mash buttons for a while, perhaps maybe to let off some steam or play with local friends. Giving players that option is such a plus for Tekken 7 because you can still have a great time without feeling intimidated by the online competitive environment.
For competitive players, however, this game provides all the nuts and bolts that are pivotal to becoming one of the best, with a solid training mode to refine your skills and a solid online mode where you can join in on player matches, create your own lobby, or even create your own tournament via the new tournament mode. The latter plays such an important role in the competitive scene right now, and Tekken 7 is at the forefront of it all by giving tournament organizers a way to set up events with its easy to use format, and already built in rules to make things seamless. Speaking of seamless, Tekken 7 is arguably one of the best looking fighting games out there at the moment, we’ll even go as far to say that it IS the best looking fighting game right now. The team at Bandai Namco have clearly invested hours into ensuring that the production value is top notch, with its spectacular story mode providing enough proof of that. Since Tekken is a Bandai Namco franchise we weren’t surprised to see some other gaming references within the game, for example Time Crisis. Again we won’t spoil anything pertaining to the overall story but there’s a moment where you’ll notice that the game switches into a very Time Crisis-esque camera view, and you’re shooting enemies down with your machine gun.
Having so much variety in a fighting game is what more games need to take advantage of. Tekken 7 offers an array of options for just about everyone and it’s customization allows players to really personalize their favorite characters, making the overall experience feel more enriching. A lot of character changes have been made both cosmetically and on a deeper level pertaining to movesets. We won’t dive too much into the nitty gritty since it may not sit well with everyone reading, but new characters have made their way into the game, one of them being a total eye opener and that’s Akuma. Capcom and Bandai Namco have always had a pretty tight knit relationship and so it was only a matter of time before we’d see a Street Fighter character make its way into the Tekken world. We had the promising yet unsuccessful Street Fighter x Tekken which managed to incorporate Tekken fighters into the SF world, and with Akuma in Tekken 7 this is a great segway for fans of Capcom games to maybe dive into Tekken to see what it’s all about. We’ll tell you from now that Akuma in Tekken 7 plays the exact way that he did in Street Fighter IV, the only difference now is you have to take into account all of the extra movement options you have. He still comes with his trusted EX meter and Raging Demon to finish off his opponents, but he feels really fluid in the game and actually fits seamlessly into the story too.
Tekken 7 has been on the radar for a lot of players ever since its announcement and we must say that it certainly does not disappoint in any way shape or form. While its learning curve may take some getting used to, it’s the overall appeal of the franchise that makes Tekken 7 such a blast to play and even watch during competitive events like EVO. Going back to the online side for a little, we managed to spend a good deal of time playing with other players in our region and we experienced no lag or framerate drops at all. Mind you we’re playing on the PC version at max settings and received no hiccups whatsoever. This is an incredible feat for Tekken 7 because one of the issues that typically plague fighting games is the online infrastructure, and whether or not it can keep up with everything happening on screen. So long as you stick within your specified region and ensure that you place your connection to 4 bars or more, Tekken 7 provides an experience that feels akin to that of playing right next to someone at the arcade.
So if you can’t fly out to Japan to experience the true arcade action, or maybe can’t attend major tournaments due to conflicting schedules or lack of funds, Tekken 7 allows anyone from around the world to connect online at anytime and play to their hearts content. Other fighters should take note of what Tekken 7 is doing because it truly is groundbreaking. No other fighting game at the moment provides this freedom of expression through deep customization, and a tournament feature that makes everyone’s lives a little easier. With a long list of returning fighters like Steve Fox, Lars, and Lee along with a good amount of new characters like Lucky Chloe, Shaheen and Master Raven, Tekken 7 is a dinner plate that’s full to the brim that will keep you satisfied for hours on end.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Tekken 7 is a complete package that offers everyone a chance to grab a nearby fightstick (or pad if that’s what you fancy) and duke it out with friends or random players around the world, without diminishing the experience at all. Every battle you encounter encourages you to play more since you earn rewards for your hard work and dedication, taking those very same rewards and showing it off to everyone. Nothing ever feels contrived or off putting and the community itself is willing to reel in new blood with its online tutorial guide which you can find on the official Tekken 7 website. This is merely just the beginning of what’s to come for Tekken 7 and the fighting game community, but it seems that Tekken 7 is that light at the end of the tunnel many of us 3D fighting game fans have been waiting for.
Hands down the best customization features in any fighting game to date.
Solid online infrastructure with an assortment of modes to play.
New Tournament mode is a huge plus not only for veterans but even casual players looking to set up their own little events.
Very casual friendly with its array of offline modes.
Great story mode which is jam packed with a ton of goodies.
Steam version supports PS4 controller/fightstick support which is amazing!
Not everyone is into fighting games, so its appeal will not cater to everyone.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Tekken 7 is a must have item right now along with other titles like Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 from Arc System Works, Injustice 2 from the folks at Netherrealm and of course Capcom’s Street Fighter V which is leading the way in the eSports scene. This is the year of fighters and if you’re looking to join in on the fun, then now’s perhaps the prime time to invest in a stick if you don’t already have one, and step your game up! For now I’ll most likely be sticking with Tekken 7 and REV 2 as the go to fighters, so be sure to check out Honey’s Gaming on Twitch if you’d like to duke it out! Be sure to also follow us on Twitter to know when we drop live updates about the latest gaming news, but also to know when we go live. Hop into our Discord as well to be a part of the growing community, and show your love for all things otaku!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!