It has been over a year since I last played the demo version Tekken 7. As a demo, the game felt refreshing. People were going crazy over Akuma being added to the Tekken universe. The game mechanics were returning more to the original Tekken games, adding a twist on performing combos. On top of all the game additions and changes, Tekken 7 is the first game in the series to be available on Steam. With all the additions and announcements, along with worldwide availability, Tekken 7 was worth waiting for.
Tekken 7 has several modes to choose from, which include: the Mishima Story (Tekken 7’s main story), Online Mode (fighting people online), Offline Mode (playing the CPU, practicing moves and combos, etc.), and Customization (for editing your favorite character(s) appearance). Among the several modes, there is more than enough for both one-player and multiplayer content.
The game mechanics have changed since Tekken 6 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2, as the Bound combo system mechanic has been replaced with the new Screw combo system. Instead of the enemy being bounced on the ground to continue combos, players are now able to perform a combo extender while their opponent is being juggled in a combo (or if the a special move causes the enemy to be in the Screw state). The Screw combo mechanic makes it easier for players to dash in and continue combos. I personally found the Screw mechanic to be a pleasant change to the Tekken series, as it both made combos easier to do and allowed for combos that would not be possible without this new mechanic. In addition, Tekken 7 has introduced two new high damaging game mechanics, Rage Art and Rage Drives. Rage Arts are equivalent to super moves. To perform a Rage Art, your character must have around 20% health, at which point they enter Rage Mode and their health bar flashes red. The closer the character is to knock out, the more damage the character’s Rage Art will do. Rage Drives allow characters to do a new or modified move when the character is in Rage mode. Generally, Rage Drives are used during combos as extenders or extra damage. However, in each round, you can only perform a Rage Art or a Rage Drive, not both. Once you have used either a Rage Art or a Rage Drive, the character’s health bar stops flashing red.
Game Title Screen
In addition to several new mechanics, Tekken 7 has added several new characters, as well. Two characters stand out as “experimental” and work: Akuma and Eliza. I call them “experimental” because they are the only characters in any Tekken game to have an extra meter. Akuma has his Street Fighter IV super bar, allowing him to perform EX Special Moves, Focus Attack Dash Cancels, and his Super Move. Akuma’s move set is close to Street Fighter IV, as he is able to be played either as a Street Fighter or a Tekken character (or both). The Tekken team has done an excellent job keeping Akuma’s character and play style intact. Eliza is currently only available if you pre-ordered the game, but should soon be possible to purchase separately. A thousand-year old narcoleptic vampire, she made her first appearance in Tekken Revolution. While the majority of her moves should be familiar from Tekken Revolution, she now has a meter similar to Akuma, allowing her to cancel moves (i.e., dashing forward), and perform both EX attacks and a super move.
After playing over 50 matches, I can say that the Tekken 7’s online experience is vastly improved over its predecessors. Online Mode allows players to choose their character and wait in a virtual training room to practice moves and combos until an opponent appears. As long as you set your network connection at least a 4 bar level, your matches should be good to go. If you are looking to increase your character’s rank or earn a lot of Fight Money for character customization, Online Mode will certainly get you there in a short amount of time.
Going beyond the game itself, you might be wondering if you need to upgrade your PC to play Tekken 7. While I personally do not have the latest graphics card (NVIDIA GTX 970), as long as you have the NVIDIA GTX 700 video graphics card series or higher, you should be able to play Tekken 7 on decent graphics setting and without any offline game lag or stutter. Of course, you should play around with the graphics setting in Tekken 7 and see what works for you.
Overall, with the new combo mechanic, several game modes, great Online play, and a large character roster to choose from, Tekken 7 has a lot to offer. The game will also receive a new game mode sometime this year, as well as two more guest characters between 2017 and 2018 (keep an eye out for news on the guest characters!). If you are either looking to get into the Tekken series, or you want to play a fighting game that is familiar to you, Tekken 7 will certainly do the trick!
[Tekken 7 was purchased by the reviewer and reviewed on the PC (Steam) version. The reviewer spent over 30 hours reviewing this game.]
[ Bandai Namco Entertainment | Bandai Namco | PC (Steam)/PlayStation 4/XBOX One | $59.99 ]
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