Tekken 7 review for PS4, Xbox One, PC

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

Tekken was a franchise that I had a ton of memories from my teenage years playing with my big brother for hours on end. At the same time, those memories only lasted for the first three games on the original PlayStation. I did play most of the sequels that came after, but only in short bursts. For me, the newer games didn?t seem to keep my attention. Despite that, Tekken has always had a special place in my heart, along with some of my favorite characters in any fighting game.

I?ve been keeping my eye on Tekken 7 since it was first announced about coming to consoles a year ago. Something about it intrigued me to want to revisit the franchise. One of the main things was, we were getting a true sequel and not a ?Tag? or ?Mobile? entry. Another for me was the inclusion of Street Fighter?s own Akuma, whom is my favorite character in that series. It left a very important question.

How would Akuma fit in the Tekkenverse? Remember, Capcom had their Street Fighter X Tekken which balanced the Tekken characters to feel like Street Fighter characters, but Tekken X Street Fighter never saw the light of day. Well, Tekken 7 is the closest to it that we will probably ever have, and I?m ok with that.

In short, Tekken 7 is the defining game in the series and well worth an almost 10-year wait. Bandai Namco took what made the series memorable, and enhanced it to make sure it doesn?t feel dated. There is a ton of content both offline and online. A critical component I felt the series seemed to have been foreshadowed recently, is now front and center, which is 1 on 1 fighting. It?s crazy to think that something as simple as adding tag team mechanics, could deter me from playing the series in recent years.

One of the newest additions to the game is a full-fledged story mode, which helped me forget the dreadful Tekken movies. (Yes, they made live action Tekken movies, don?t shoot the messenger.) It?s refreshing to see more and more fighting games include a mode like this to better flesh out characters we?ve grown to love over the years. The only issue I have with this mode, is the gameplay portion feels like a long-winded tutorial mode that is seemingly absent from the game.

As you progress through the story, you could use shortcut buttons to perform special moves without a hitch. This is ok for someone new to the game and want to get the closest to a tutorial mode as possible other than practice mode. This mode looks vastly improved as well since the last time I played a Tekken game. You can tweak the actions of your character and the opponent in just about any way. This is a great training section when wanting to master combos.

Honestly, outside of these and the traditional offline and online versus modes, is two of my favorite components of Tekken 7. First is the Jukebox. I couldn?t? believe that Bandai Namco included every soundtrack since the original! What makes it even better is you can choose any as your background music for all your menus and fights. This really took me back to playing Tekken 2 for hours on end and really enjoying the music.

The other component is the customization mode. I?m not one for having to grind to earn in game money to unlock stuff as I?m dealing with that in Injustice 2. However, Tekken 7?s customization feels a bit more rewarding as you?re not only unlocking chests with items as well as currency, but you also raise in ranks as you continue to win. This in turn gets more and more challenging as expected.

With the customization mode, you can unlock new outfits for each character, some wacky and some that pay homage to earlier iterations of some. For me, to be able to take a character like Lars Alexandersson and make him look as close to my favorite anime character The Guyver won me over. To unlock certain items, you need to put the time in with Treasure mode. I don?t mind this because the items aren?t all hidden behind DLC or real like currency.

At its core, Tekken 7 is the ultimate Tekken experience. While paying tribute to previous games in the series, it?s also made for the hardcore Tekken fan in mind. Newcomers will also love it once you get a feel for the unique fight system. There isn?t much I didn?t enjoy with during my time with Tekken 7, other than it makes me want a new Soul Caliber with the same TLC that went into this game. I highly recommend picking up Tekken 7.

Grade: A