Tekken 7 - Review
Tekken 7 is a true declaration of love for this iconic franchise and its astonishing complexity. It still remains accessible to anyone who wants to hammer the buttons on their controller, however, and its wide array of unlockable customization items always give you something to do, beyond its silly and slightly cliché backstory. While the current period proves to be particularly rich in fighting games, with the recent release of Injustice 2, quality content for Killer Instinct years after its release, Street Fighter 5 finding its cruising speed after a rough start, and a new version of Guilty Gear Xrd quickly approaching, one thing is certain: the King of the Iron Fist Tournament will not be left out.
At first glance, Tekken 7 looks familiar to you, with its must-have three-dimensional stages that let you turn around your opponent and slip behind their back. The attacks of the various protagonists are inspired by Asian martial arts and other fighting styles from around the world, and these mainly focus on strikes, not projectiles as is usually the case in d 'other fighting games. Movements need to be considered, and haphazard jumping and dashing can have dire consequences.
The ambitious story mode titled "The Mishima Saga" (created exclusively for the console and PC versions and absent from the arcade version) lets you get used to the rhythm of Tekken 7. The Mishima Saga explores particularly healthy and emotionally stable relationships between members of the Mishima clan, where sons dream of killing their fathers, and fathers throw their offspring into the nearest lava crater. Heihachi, his son Kazuya, and his grandson Jin all run private military companies (and technologically far more advanced than the military forces most industrialized countries have), and spend their time tearing each other apart. Although the story mode tries to make Heihachi more human by telling us the reasons that led him to throw Kazuya into the crater of an erupting volcano decades ago, it is quite difficult to experience a any sympathy for any member of the Mishima family.
However, this decidedly excessive approach taken by the Tekken universe, its appropriation of the tropes specific to the anime genre as well as the short chapters centered on a particular character included in the Mishima Saga mode, manage to lighten the atmosphere while making it soar. on the game a wind of nostalgia. When King confronts Jack, the android uses his artificial intelligence to adapt to his opponent's fighting style, which forces the masked wrestler to use techniques borrowed from his old friend Marduk and rival Armor King. When Yoshimitsu attempts to infiltrate the Mishima Dojo, he stumbles upon Leo and fights the young girl, before changing his mind and finally being granted a kick in the family jewels. While this is obviously not very fancy humor, I have no shame in admitting that seeing Yoshimitsu collapse to the floor made me both laugh and shake my head dubiously.
The Mishima saga takes a similar approach to Injustice 2's story mode by alternating points of view. You play as Heihachi and his descendants (including Lars, rebel member of the Tekken Force and incidentally half-brother of Kazuya), as well as Akuma, mythical antagonist of the Street Fighter series, as a special guest - Yes, this Akuma there! I had found this approach quite frustrating in Injustice 2, since taking control of a new character in an abrupt way also meant abandoning the previous ones and their techniques, and this observation is unfortunately also valid for Tekken 7 and its Saga Mishima. However, Tekken 7 gives you the option of using simplified key combinations when playing in story mode to perform a handful of pre-selected attacks, making the transition easier when picking up a character you have little control over. . In addition, if the points of view are multiple, the number of characters that you play successively remains quite manageable, and I did not need to spend a lot of time learning their different movements to progress. .
At the same time, the short duration of the Mishima Saga mode (allow around 3 hours) and its small cast mean that the plot is only centered on the fate of the Mishima clan, and leaves the other fighters participating in the King of Iron Fist Tournament behind. However, the latter benefit from a brief spotlight during the optional missions offered by this mode. And while I found some of those side missions to be fun, like the one allowing me to infiltrate the Mishima Dojo at the controls of the hapless Yoshimitsu, I was slightly disappointed that so little attention had been paid to characters other than Heihachi, Jin and Kazuya, fighting to take command of the Mishima Zaibatsu and another paramilitary organization.
When it comes to character customization, the content offered by Tekken 7 does not disappoint. The various customization possibilities really set the game apart and set a new standard by allowing you to express yourself freely. Cosmetic options give you unparalleled possibilities, not being limited to the thousands of fashion accessories and offering you different attack effects, colorful auras, many portraits, background mosaics as well. than a wide choice of alternative costumes whose pieces can be mixed and arranged at will. You are even allowed to choose the style of the HUD and your life bar from the wide range available, and while this is not revolutionary, it is a very nice way to distinguish yourself from other players when playing online. .
The additional content is unlocked by completing matches during online tournaments, by participating in the Treasure Fight game mode, or more simply by spending the money gleaned (called Fight Money) while playing. The gargantuan amount of content allowing you to customize your character's appearance alone will require even the most relentless players to complete a bewildering array of battles in order to obtain all of the hats, tops, accessories, costumes and more. alternative artworks. See Hwoarang wearing a Bullet Club t-shirt handing out the Cosmic Mandals? Here is a tempting proposition!
These alternate looks even allow Tekken to break free from a conception that has long been associated with the series: the lack of risk-taking when it comes to character design. In Tekken 7, even the most iconic faces in the saga change. Hwoarang wears an eye patch, Lars has new armor, Heihachi's outfit is inspired by that of the samurai, and King looks like a superhero with his cape on. While Ryu and Sagat from Street Fighter, Iori from King of Fighter or Slayer and Sol from Guilty Gear all have classic and iconic looks, I greatly appreciate that Tekken takes risks by re-imagining the design of its most famous characters. emblematic. When I see a Yoshimitsu sporting armor that looks like it came straight out of the tortured mind of artist HR Giger, I know I'm playing Tekken 7.
In addition to these purely cosmetic novelties, some adjustments have been made to the various combat mechanics and should encourage beginners (if you are a beginner you may have a hard time grasping these nuances, but it will not hurt in any way. nothing to your gaming experience). Unlike the phenomenal Tekken 6, the bypass here is much slower and relatively unhelpful for feinting or defending, while forward and backward movement has been improved. In this new opus, the emphasis has mainly been placed on attacks at short and medium range, which will facilitate its handling for players accustomed to Street Fighter and King of Fighters, based on the careful management of distances. And even if the bypass turns out to be slightly less useful and no longer represents a universal weapon against characters without powerful chain attacks, expert and reasoned use of this technique can still allow you to take advantage of your opponent's mistakes. In addition, it also allows characters with slow dodging, like King or Paul Phoenix, not to find themselves too disadvantaged in defense.
The new gradual damage scale has reduced the effectiveness of long combos (or juggles), with initial damage inherited directly from Tekken 6, and a damage curve drastically dropping after the fourth chain forward strike. However, continuing to practice the delicate art of comboing is essential, as wall-carry combos (when you chain your opponent while he is cornered against a wall) remain crucial despite the fact that they don't cause as much damage as they once did. However, these changes are slightly less penalizing for players new to the saga, who will be able to wipe off bursts of blows without being severely punished. Overall, Tekken 7's changes to movement and damage system are a neat way to encourage players to improve their skills, without sacrificing the complexity that the series is famous for.
Rest assured, the seventh installment of the Tekken saga is undoubtedly the most technical fighting game in the world. And if the combo system has been modified and simplified with the replacement of the traditional rebounds of the previous versions (allowing you to bounce your opponent on the ground during your sequence) by shots called "Screw Attacks" forcing you to send your opponent away before you can chain it, it's still possible to feel overwhelmed by the skillful pace of each match. Changes to the damage scale mean that the most damage occurs at the start of a chain, which forces you to make tough choices. Should I use the long "low-forward-right punch" combo that will get me closer to the wall, or do I risk taking some damage with a shorter "high-forward-left-kick" combo? I discovered that the fact of optimizing my sequences according to the progress of the fight was almost akin to a Zen exercise: you have to constantly reassess the conditions, adapt and make your choices quickly, take into account the distance, the damage scale, positioning and health gauge. No other fighting game gives you the feeling that every clash develops in a near-organic fashion and feels almost alive, and that's why Tekken 7 is hands down the best episode in the series.
Even more admirable, despite the extremely demanding level required to master the "Electric Wind Godfist" technique, recognize a frame from which you can take advantage or even make the difference between an attack of 12 and 14 frames, Tekken 7 remains that game that you can launch and play by pressing buttons on your controller at random. No matter who you are and your level, you can always pick up Eddie and chain the kicks. Only the urge to progress and improve your skills forces you to immerse yourself in the complexities of Tekken 7.
The onscreen action is backed up by a thunderous drum-and-bass soundtrack, and it turned out to be so amazing that I was quite disappointed not to find it on Spotify after watching it. long sought. The main menu theme, titled "Solitude", gets you in the mood as soon as you launch Tekken 7. "Empty your Mind" from the Dragon's Nest stage, "Metallic Experience" from the Mishima Building stage, and of course "The Motion" drawn of the Warm-Up Space internship made me shake my head to the rhythm of their pulsations. As if that were not enough, Tekken 7 goes even further by offering you the soundtracks of all the opus of the saga released to date (which also includes the two Tekken Tag Tournament episodes), and by allowing you to interchange them. as you see fit and customize your playlist by mixing iconic titles from the saga with new ones.
Including all the music used in Tekken is a welcome addition, and also symbolizes this desire to celebrate the franchise as a whole through this seventh opus (the Jukebox mode remaining however exclusive to the Playstation 4 version). For example, you can use the currency gleaned during the fights (Fight Money) to unlock conceptual illustrations and other sketches, advertisements, as well as all the cutscenes present in each of the previously released opuses. This definitely nostalgic approach and the fact of revisiting certain striking materials of the old shutters reminded me of my Tekken years: the many hours spent on Tekken 3 with my friends while I was still in high school, the countless pieces slipped into the terminals of arcade of Tekken Tag Tournament, or having me literally destroyed by the "Tekken Cadors" of the Bay Area when other Street Fighter regulars and I attempted to migrate to Tekken 6.
Online multiplayer matches between big connections proved to be smooth and suffered only a slight frame lag, although some weaker connections had occasionally caused the framerate to drop during matchmaking. On a whim, I accepted matches against Asian players with average connections, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fights were still pleasant, despite the fact that the latency was necessarily greater than in the game. Most of the matches between me and my compatriots. Some character techniques require expert execution in a small frame window, like the Mishima clan and their infamous Electric Wind Godfists, but Tekken 7 makes it easy for you by simulating the latency you might encounter online in its Training Mode.