Tekken 7 review: The better Iron Fist Tournament

So Tekken 7 has finally hit consoles (and PCs) this year, after being an arcade exclusive game that was only released in Japan & Korea by Bandai Namco Entertainment. With its worldwide June 2nd release, that means that thousands of fighting gamers worldwide can finally dust off their Tekken skills that might have been dormant since the days of Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

Tekken can be quite a different cup of tea for most when it comes to fighting games. It does away with the flashy fireballs and keep-away moves that some other fighting games have and exchanges it for complex in-your-face battling with combos that can do massive damage. This means a round can be over in seconds, leaving you thirsting for a quick rematch.

The game itself retains most of the basic concepts of the Tekken series including the complex ground and air juggles, but there’s a lot more for experienced fighters to learn and relearn with the introduction of new mechanics and characters, plus even a slight rework of old fan favourites. You’ll start off with a good number of characters right off the bat and there’s news of more coming in future DLCs.

Is there any story?

Surprisingly, the console version packs a very robust story mode which will probably delight those who enjoy immersing themselves in the lore behind the Iron Fist Tournament. It’s also a good way for first timers to get used to playing Tekken, as the story has an easy mode that shows you how to pull off those really impressive Tekken combos you might have seen at the arcades or on livestreams.

Apart from that, there’s the arcade mode if you just want to improve or pit your skills against AI opponents. The practice mode is also available for those who want to refresh themselves or try out combos with new characters. And practice is definitely what a lot of people will need to catch up with players in Japan & Korea who have had a lot more time to get used to the new mechanics in the game. There’s a lot of hours that can be put into learning the various combos and the appropriate counters for them.

Tekken also offers a very robust character customisation system where you can change just about anything on your favourite character, from their clothing to their hairstyles (and accessories!) which means you can bring your best looking “totally you” character to the fight. There’s a great number of combinations and even more to unlock in future DLCS so it’ll be a good place to spend all the fight money you’ll gain from just playing the game.

If you’re playing on the PS4 and have the PSVR, you might still want to give the VR mode a skip. Unfortunately it’s not the best application of a VR system and it’s definitely not the main selling point of a no-holds barred fighting game.

But I just want a real challenge!

If you’re an experienced player or think that AI opponents are boring, well, then you’ve probably picked the right game. Tekken is all about picking your favourite character and taking them online to face off against thousands of other Tekken warriors. The netcode seems pretty stable with no apparent lag or latency issues so you won’t have to worry about input lag or missed skills (terribly important especially in Tekken where timing for attacks, combo juggling and dodging have to be pretty exact).

Local tournaments are also springing up for Tekken 7 worldwide so it’s definitely a good time to pick up the game, put up some hours in and maybe try your hand at being the next King of the Iron Fist Tournament(No, not that other one). The upcoming Evolution 2017, an annual fighting game tournament that has competitors from all over the globe, is happening right now. It will also be the best place for Tekken fans to see the best in action and maybe pick up a few new moves.

Tekken 7 is now available on both PS4 and Xbox One, and you can get it on Steam as well.

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