Tekken 7: Fated Retribution – Xbox One Review
Backflip, Juggle, Parlor Trick’s, Rodeo and Cali Roll. No, I’m not training to join the circus but I’d forgive you if you thought that from my opening comment. This week I’ve been immersing myself in the world of Tekken 7. The long established beat em up franchise is back for another round or three. But can it still hold it’s own against the Daddy of all beat- em-ups Street Fighter.
Anyone who has ever played a Tekken game before knows that the storylines are bat shit crazy and Tekken 7 certainly doesn’t disappoint in that department. The main story arch sees Tekken’s longstanding patriarch Heihachi Mishima facing off against his demon possessed son Kazuya Mishima and as if that wasn’t bad enough his grandson Jin Kazama who also wants his grandfather’s head on a platter. All of this story is relaid to you by a journalist who has made it his mission to investigate the all powerful Mishima company after the suspicious death of his parents, which might lead you to believe that the story will be full of emotion. Don’t go into Tekken 7 expecting a multi layered story full of emotional ups and downs because you’ll be sorely disappointed. The cutscenes are long and incredibly confusing. One minute your watching a character throw his son off a mountain and the next it’s a scene involving a corporate takeover or a it’s a panda searching for its lost owner. This certainly isn’t Shakespeare but it’s the kind a story Tekken is famous for. We’re talking original Resident Evil levels of cheese. But that said there is a certain amount of charm to be had and it’s clearly played with its tongue planted squarely in its cheek and who plays Beat-em-ups for their storylines anyway.
As a newcomer to the series these cutscenes do a good job of introducing you to the game’s large roster of characters and their various fighting styles and when all’s said and done that’s what everyone plays Tekken for. There are 36 fighters in total and it’s been awhile since I’ve had the good fortune to control such an eclectic bunch of characters. The characters range from the slightly normal to the frankly bloody ridiculous. The usual array of characters make their return which seasoned veterans will welcome. Heihachi Mishima, Jack, King and Marshall Law and these are the fairly normal characters. Competing to become your go to character are some truly bizarre fighters. Kuma who is a bear trained in the fighting style of Kuma Shinken, Panda who is also trained in the Kuma Shinken style?. There are also some brand new characters making their debut in Tekken 7. Akuma who has been a staple of the Street Fighter series of games for years, Lucky Chloe who is obsessed with Japanese idol culture and Gigas a who is the result of a military arms race between Mishima Zaibatsu and the G Corporation.
The controls are laid out so each limb has a button assigned to it and for me that’s a good thing. You see I’m a button masher. The fluid controls of a beat-em-up have never been my thing. I don’t know how to successfully start a ten hit combo every single time but after good few hours practice with Akuma I’m not too bad. Rage Arts which have been introduced for the first time here is lets you string a set of special moves together that can decimate your opponents health gauge is timed right. The new Power Crush moves absorb damage from high and mid attacks. They have built in armour that powers throughout any defence your opponent tries to use. They can be beaten by perfectly timed lows and throws which is something I’m not very good at. There new moves are great for a Tekken newbie like myself but that’s not to say you can spam them constantly. There’s no training mode to speak of which is disappointing but there is a practice mode where you can take out your aggression and learn each character’s various moves without your opponent striking back.
Beyond the single player mode there is an Arcade mode, Practice and Treasure Battle and this is where my Tekken 7 addiction began. Treasure Battle is a mode where you have to fight various AI controlled players to rank up and earn pieces of gear to equip on the game’s various characters. Now let me tell you how bloody addictive this quickly becomes. I had zero interest in this mode and merely played it for the purpose of this review and am I glad I did, sort of. I never knew that collecting virtual tat would become so addictive. I’ve spent hours collecting this junk just so I can adorn my characters with various objects, clothes and hairstyles. Yes I know that all sounds very sad but I can’t help myself. You can also purchase any of the customization options by using in-game currency which you will quickly earn piles of by playing most of the game’s modes. Some of the game’s more exclusive pieces of equipment are only available by competing in Treasure Battle and Online Tournaments.
The game’s online modes are a mix of Player matches, Ranked matches and Tournaments. Player matches are without any ranking or Leaderboard placement involved. So you simply jump into a match kick the crap out of each other and leave. Ranked matches lets you rank up your players rankings and every now and then you will enter a promotional match. If you lose a ranked battle you have the option to engage in a revenge fight if your opponent accepts it. Tournaments feature up to eight players and they allow you to win for money and objects. You can hold them using single or double elimination rules. Online play has its own set of problems though. I’ve sat in lobbies for ten minutes while searching for a match. I’m not sure why this is but I’ve done a little searching and it seems to be a global problem which Bandai have promised to fix. During those moments when your sat waiting for a match the practice mode is available to keep you entertained thankfully but even that gets boring very quickly. The online modes are devastating because of the high skill ceiling of all the other players. My button mashing skills are no use here. Ranked Battle is particularly punishing. I don’t mind admitting that I’ve had my arse handed to me many, many times. I found Player Matches and Tournaments to be a little more forgiving but not by much. When I managed to get online the experience was seamless no matter where my opponent was from and I experienced no lag at all.
Tekken 7 is one of those games that is easy to recommend to fans and non fans of the genre. The joy of Tekken 7 is even when you’ve been thoroughly outclassed is still an enjoyable experience and take it from someone who gets ripped apart online. Yet every game feels like a learning experience and I am defiantly improving. The unbelievably addictive Treasure Battle is the star of the show and it’s something I just keep going back to time and time again. When you put all the pieces together the crazy Story Mode, online options, bonkers characters and stunning visuals it’s easy to see why Tekken 7 is in a class all of its own.
Tekken 7 is available now for £49.99
Review code supplied by XCN.