So this ones been out for a while now *checks* blimey 2 years! Doesn’t time fly. What better time to do a late to the party review! It’s been patched, updated and the launch window is now a distant memory. Time to see if it still is the king of the iron fist.
The most important part of any fighting game is its core and thankfully after 7 iterations and multiple spin off this is the best it’s ever been. The combat flows brilliantly. If you’ve ever played a Tekken game you’ll be able to pick up and play this. Each button is a limb (left punch, right punch, left kick and right kick) and the 3D fighter is all about juggling airborne opponents and striking when their open. The inclusion of a simple “rage” move when your down to 1/3rd heath is great, your health bar flashes red and if you press r1 your character attempts to pull of a super move. Typically a punch or kick that chains into particle effect beauty.
One of the best features is a really subtle slowdown and zoom in effect that occurs when a counter occurs or a very near miss. So say I go in for a high punch and you countered with a medium kick, the screen zooms in, everything slows to almost bullet time and then the damage is done, the camera pulls back and the fight continues. It’s a little touch but really goes to show how well paced the fighting is. Adding some tangible tension to the smallest of moments.
It’s worth noting that Akuma from Street Fighter has been added into the mix and they didn’t just plop him in as an extra. Oh no, he’s a main story character now! His systems are a hybrid of Tekken and street fighter gaining a super bar and classic moves that aren’t surprisingly overpowered. Bizarrely the new systems resulting in a new DLC character that can pop up in random Treasure Battles a rival even without purchasing!
Presentation is the best it ever has been, I love the fact characters speak in their native language (Heihachi speaks Japanese to Nina who’s talking back in English), it’s a real mix is just super refreshing. Soundtrack is brilliant dub-step punchy but the inclusion of classic is a nice touch. The audio mixing in story mode in particular is a joy in places. It’s a shame some voice acting is top notch and one particular voice nearly ruins the entire experience.
Story mode is absolute nonsense and nobody on this earth cares about the reporter telling it. Some brilliant lessons learnt from their collaboration on Naruto Storm on how to have story fights mean that little more (punctuated with story flashes mid combat). The story itself is hilarious nonsense and not to be taken seriously, the problem is with the narrator. It seems everyone got the memo to dial up the extreme to 11 except him, the dull monotone reporter who tells the story in literally the worst way possible. You have a brilliant mad mix of fights then boring monologue with some nice art before you get back to some story fights.
It helps the story fights have “assists” to where you can hold l1 and tap buttons to have easy combo and moves occur because some of the fights are just ridiculously unbalanced. The very final phase of the final fight is total nightmare of cheap shots that almost ruins the great moments that lead up it. The special final fight feels like training for online Akuma users who might spam fireballs.
I keep bashing on this but for the record the “journalist” in the main story completely tries his damnedest to ruin the proceedings so it’s a good thing you also get character stories which are additional side stories for all the characters with a main characters being reserved for a “special ending” chapter. It’s a shame those stories were clearly chopped down before finish as they are lacklustre a simple text screen 1 fight and short cgi cutscene that isn’t quite enough.
Character customisation is nonsense as always but now each item (hat/shirt/flag out the head) is now something you either buy with Tekken’s currency or won at random from a Treasure Battle. It’s sad how it’s essentially become a microtransaction/loot crate frenzy. Even some of the items are now locked in the game as you cannot purchase them in the PSN store separately. You essentially need to move to Treasure battle and just grind it out until you eventually get the items your character needs because yes some are locked to them. It’s just a little disappointing that so much of it feels locked off as Treasure mode and the massive amount of funds it unlocks could have been a fun gambit but instead becomes more of a grind. It’s a good thing the fighting system is so enjoyable and Treasure Battle does throw randomly created characters at you to keep it fun to play.
Online is still great. People are still playing this at different levels and I played a few people in Europe without too much lag. Granted my skill level isn’t that great but playing it locally with 2 controllers and a few friends we all had the same Tekken blast you expect from a 3d fighter that can be picked up at any level. The key being that you call all have some fun but you still have that knowledge that if the hours are plugged in you’ll get some expert 10 hit juggle combos going.
So is is still worth it? Yes. The story mode is short, has variable mileage and the system for customisation is a pain but with all that said the fights and the cutscenes are just the best. The inclusion of the original soundtracks are just a pure nostalgia high and the fact that the online still works with an Arcade mode allowing for fight requests is worth noting. It’s everything in a fighting game you want and well worth combing your hair back into a ridiculous pose for.
9/10 – Tekken it to next level.