Players waited 3 years for Tekken 7 to appear on their consoles and PCs. In the meantime their Japanese friends were beating everything out of the arcade version of the game. Was the wait worth it?

You will be happy to know that the mechanics that you loved throughout your history with the Tekken series is all there. The basics haven’t changed, but the developers introduced a bit of refinement to the latest addition to the fighting system.

The rage system, brought into the fray in Tekken 6, has been vastly improved and developed. Now you’ll even have a chance to perform a 30% HP attack on your enemy by sacrificing rage. Apparently the creators liked the similar idea from NetherRealm games. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.

The bound system is gone, replaced by screw attacks. So you can forget about being juggled infinitely by a seasoned player. There’s nothing worse than being used like a ball kicked up by some pro. Now you can force yourself through the enemy’s attack with power crushes, but let’s leave this to those who know what they are doing.

All in all, Tekken 7 is still Tekken, a game of crushing combos and fighting close up and personal. The plethora of moves available to each player means that you are not locked up in a few special attacks like in other, more casual fighting games. This also means that there is no sure strategy to succeed and you will always find some macho waiting for you in online play.

The game is absolutely packed with content, modes and things to do, so Tekken 7 joins this year’s Injustice 2 in creating a huge fighting pack for gamers to regularly get back to. Something right is happening in this genre with the developers getting out of their comfort zones to mix, change, modify and innovate. This does not include revolutionary changes to the mechanics, because this would be insane – why change something that has worked for the last two decades? But on the other hand, the plethora of modes and features will likely draw in new players, who previously thought that paying a full price for a product from this genre is just not worth it. With Tekken 7 it is, just like in the case of the mentioned Injustice 2, though the latter game is a bit simpler and aimed at the more casual gamer. Tekken 7 pulls no punches.

The only real major concern I have with Tekken 7 is its single player campaign, told with the voice of a journalist who investigates the long feud in the Mishima family. One would think that the character was a zombie and not a real person. For a game so aware of its goofiness, it really likes to treat itself a bit too seriously at times. So the main problem of the story mode in Tekken 7 is that it wasn’t created by NetherRealm. Don’t get me wrong, the plots presented in the recent Injustice 2 and the last Mortal Kombat game are not Oscar-worthy, but the often talked about and promoted Mishima Saga seems a bit not thought through. Some of the most beloved characters from the Tekken world don’t appear at all or are just introduced for a second. Many plot points are left there dangling or completely forgotten. And if you consider the fact that the developers told the gamers that this is one of the main reasons why they have to wait additional 3 years before the game is ported from arcades to home entertainment systems, well, decide for yourselves.

Another problem is a lack of a good tutorial mode that could teach new players how to properly fight. This may seem like a small issue to gamers with years of experience in Tekken, but to a new player everything seems complicated and just difficult. This may leave more casual players with a feeling of being conned – on one hand the variety of modes and features invites them to join the Tekken world and on the other they receive an electronic slap on a virtual cheek. Get good, the game says.

Tekken 7 is still Tekken, though, a thoroughly enjoyable, deep fighting game with a huge roster of characters and fighting styles. This is a title that at the same time is one of the easiest to learn and hardest to master. Easily one of the best fighting games of recent years, worth the wait.