gimme a mexican grappler in a game and i will destroy everything :yeah_tk:
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Tekken 7 is a love letter to this long-running franchise and its staggering complexity. Yet somehow it still manages to be accessible to just about anyone wanting to mash buttons, and its huge amount of customization unlocks constantly give you something to strive for beyond its silly and slightly cliched story. In a pretty good time for fighting games, with Injustice 2 knocking it out of the park, Killer Instinct continuing to give us quality content years after its release, Street Fighter 5 hitting its stride after a rocky start, and a new version of Guilty Gear Xrd air-dashing our way, the King of the Iron Fist Tournament will not be outdone.

On the surface, Tekken 7 is familiar, taking place on the series’ signature three-dimensional stages which allow you to move to your opponent’s sides as well as forward and back. Attacks are inspired by Asian martial arts and other fighting styles from around the world, placing most of the emphasis on strikes and very little on the projectiles you typically find in other fighting games. Movement is more deliberate, and carelessly jumping or dashing can be disastrous.

The introduction to Tekken 7’s pace comes from The Mishima Saga, the ambitious new story mode created for the console and PC versions (as opposed to the arcade). The Mishima Saga explores the healthy and emotionally stable relationships within the Mishima clan, where sons are obsessed with murdering their fathers and fathers can’t help but throw their sons into the nearest lava pit. Heihachi, his son Kazuya, and his grandson Jin all maneuver trillion-dollar corporations with militaries more advanced than most industrialized nations while trying to take each other out. While The Mashima Saga does attempt to portray Heihachi in an understanding light by giving motivation for his infamously chucking Kazuya into an erupting volcano decades ago, it is hard to find sympathy for any of the scions of the Mishima family.

However, there is a certain charm to the entirely over-the-top nature of Tekken’s lore and its embracing of anime tropes, and the short character-specific chapters included in The Mishima Saga help lighten the mood while also serving up nostalgia. When King battles Jack, Jack uses its artificial intelligence to adapt to King’s fighting style, so the famous luchador uses maneuvers borrowed from his long-time friend Marduk and from his rival Armor King. When Yoshimitsu attempts to infiltrate the Mishima Dojo, he finds Leo and battles the young girl before having a change of heart and catching a knee in the groin for his troubles. While it certainly isn’t sophisticated, I feel no shame admitting watching Yoshimitsu crumple to the ground had me chuckling while smiling and shaking my head.

The Mishima Saga takes an approach similar to the story mode in Injustice 2, changing points of view between Heihachi and his progeny, Tekken Force rebel Lars, and special guest Akuma - yes, that Akuma. I found this approach to the story slightly frustrating in Injustice 2, as being thrust suddenly into the boots of a new character meant I had to stop to learn them, and the same could be said of Tekken 7 and The Mishima Saga. However, Tekken 7 does offer the ability to use simplified inputs while playing The Mishima Saga to perform a handful of pre-selected attacks, easing the transition into playing a character with whom you might not be familiar. Also, while there are multiple points of view, there is a manageable number, so I didn’t need to spend a huge amount of time learning moves in order to progress.

At the same time, The Mishima Saga’s short, three-hour duration and slimmer cast made the events of the story feel important only to the Mishima clan itself, rather than all the fighters in the King of Iron Fist Tournament. Other fighters are given a brief time in the spotlight with optional side missions contained within Mashima Saga mode. While I found some of these, such as Yoshimitsu’s ill-fated excursion into the Mashima Dojo, entertaining, I was slightly disappointed to see so little focus on anyone other than Heihachi, Jin, and Kazuya and their struggle for power over the Mishima Zaibatsu and one another.

Where Tekken 7’s content does not disappoint at all is in its character customization options, which put it truly in a class unto itself and sets the new standard for letting you express yourself. Cosmetics are modifiable on an unparalleled level, going beyond thousands of individual fashion pieces to include attack effects, colorful auras, portraits and tile backgrounds, and multiple alternate costumes whose top and bottom pieces can be mixed and matched. You’re even allowed to choose from hundreds of options for the frame art around your health bar; it’s something so simple, yet it adds another cool way to make yourself unique when playing online.

Extra content is unlocked by completing matches in online Tournaments, Treasure Battle, or by spending Fight Money, which you earn simply by playing. The sheer amount of content in character appearance alone would give a completionist a hell of a lot of fights to finish in order to collect all the hats, shirts, accessories, costumes, and alternate artwork. Hwoarang starting up the Superkick Party in a Bullet Club t-shirt? Too sweet.

Underneath the excellent cosmetics, some tweaks have been made to the combat mechanics that should encourage newbies. (If you’re a newbie you might not understand this – but that’s okay, you don’t need to benefit from these changes). Relative to the phenomenal Tekken 6, sidestepping here is slower and not as useful for baits or defense, while forward and back movement is improved. This places more emphasis on short and middle ranges, which feels more comfortable for those approaching Tekken from experience with spacing-focused games in Street Fighter or King of Fighters. While sidestepping is slightly less useful and no longer a universal weapon against certain characters who lack strong tracking attacks, careful and expert usage can still open up opportunities to capitalize on mistakes. It also helps characters with traditionally slower sidesteps like King or Paul to not feel so disadvantaged in defense.

New damage scaling has reduced the amount of damage longer combos do, with launcher damage down from Tekken 6 and total damage dropping sharply from the fourth hit of a juggle onward. However, continuing to practice combo execution is a must, as wall-carry combos are still crucial even if they aren’t doing as much damage. The changes are slightly more forgiving for the newer faces among us who might throw out a poke only to whiff and find themselves getting severely punished. The movement and damage changes are a smart way to encourage people to learn Tekken 7 without sacrificing the complexity that is the series’ trademark.

Tekken 7 truly is a hallmark, a fighting game crafted with obvious affection. It strikes a fine balance between accessibility to series newcomers and retaining much of its technical traditions. The soundtrack is an electronic treat, and while the story can at times seem a bit cliche, the fact that it never takes itself too seriously lets it bring in a tremendous amount of flexible character customization. Its dedication to the details helps push it into the position of my favorite fighting game so far.

Rate: 9/10

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Allgemeine Jul 14 @ 3:59am 
I'm a scatman ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop :trolol:
Shaketime goddammit Jun 24 @ 8:23am 
+rep nice profile m8
Sonik Jun 24 @ 12:54am 
♡FrauPuderZucker♡ Jun 23 @ 1:05pm 
-rep :3 ist ne nudel :Lincei: hier noch ein Tampon für deine Periode :_Bullet_:
ΔŽŽ¥ Jun 17 @ 7:30am 
Nice Profile
meh Apr 30 @ 3:04am 
+rep Nice guy.