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E3 2016: Tekken 7 Impressions
Game Features

E3 2016: Tekken 7 Impressions

Namco Bandai’s latest arcade brawler finally comes home for next year; but is it still the King of Iron Fist?

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Tekken 7 may have been out in the arcades for well over a year, but mostly Japanese and Korean arcades. Think about that for a second; the competition has been getting stronger and more fevered, with Japanese and Korean players currently engaged in tournaments every couple of months. We’re just now getting our turn thanks to our friends over at Bandai Namco and the meeting power of E3. Gotta love that.

In terms of gameplay, fear not. Tekken 7 has been doing extremely well on the coin-op front, and from what I’ve played the action remains fluid and fast, staying faithful to the mastery of technical chains, sidesteps, and throw reversals. This is no surprise considering they left well-enough alone in core mechanics. Using Kazuya was like meeting an old friend, you know he’s been through some changes in game, but remains familiar as a whole.

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But there are some radical additions to the formula, specifically the “Rage Art” which are new official super moves of the game. You can unleash a devastating attack that deals cinematic-looking and exorbitant heaps of damage upon your opponent, but only when your health is low. And yes, that’s special guest star Akuma (from a certain other 3D arcade fighter we won’t mention) joining the fray, as demonic as he ever was.

Other additions such as Power Crush moves absorb damage from mid and high attacks determined by strength priority, and Rage Attacks that damages your enemy proportionally to match your current health, instead of whiffing the Rage Art entirely. For added effect there’s an occasional slow-motion effect for dynamic blows or decisive knockout hits.

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The graphics are appropriately current with some minute details added as characters get sweaty and ruffled up during the fight, and have slight emotional differentiation as the match progress. Stages are detailed with something always catching your eye. The new fighters are also unique in their own right and broaden nationalities with Shaheen (Saudi Arabia), Katarina (Brazil), female weeaboo Lucky Chole from the standard roster.

We’ll see if Tekken 7 can live up to its early promise and retain its “king of iron fist” when it comes home early next year.


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About the Author: Herman Exum