The King Of Iron Fist Tour­na­ment re­turns for an­other round

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Daniella Lu­cas

Fight­ing games have fallen out of favour re­cently, es­pe­cially since the trai­tor­ous Street Fighter V launched on PS4 last year with half its con­tent miss­ing and then got knocked for a loop in the sales charts. Oh dear. Thank­fully Tekken will step into the ring this June, send­ing its sev­enth main se­ries en­try in to show the com­pe­ti­tion who’s boss. It’s en­joyed a lot of suc­cess in Ja­panese ar­cades al­ready, and is step­ping things up for the up­com­ing con­sole re­lease.

The premise of Tekken 7 is sim­ple: keep hit­ting things un­til they fall over and don’t get up again. As usual, all of the stan­dard ver­sus modes will be present, let­ting you go a few rounds with friends, or who­ever’s silly enough to chal­lenge you to a smack­down. There’s also story mode, which this time prom­ises to be darker than ever, and to re­veal where Tekken’s in­fa­mous Devil Gene ac­tu­ally comes from.

There are new char­ac­ters and a few fresh me­chan­ics thrown in for good mea­sure. This time the game is all about get­ting in touch with your rage. When your health drops be­low a cer­tain point you start to glow red, which gives you a slight boost in at­tack and un­locks your Rage Arts (ba­si­cally su­per pow­er­ful moves). The lower you let your health dip, the more fe­ro­cious your Rage Art will be, so it’s up to you to de­cide whether the risk is worth it. If you do choose to use it early on, your Rage will be de­pleted for the rest of the fight.

Hits feel heavy yet re­spon­sive, and the dodg­ing is ap­pro­pri­ately quick. Sur­pris­ingly, for a fight­ing se­ries that’s been around as long as this, it’s very ap­proach­able, and it’s easy to pull off swish com­bos. There’s also a lot of depth that al­lows more com­pli­cated play, tak­ing ad­van­tage of char­ac­ters fall­ing, or break­ing op­po­nent com­bos. Even when tak­ing con­trol of slower char­ac­ters, there are plenty of open­ings to step into and ex­ploit.

Com­ing of rage

Each char­ac­ter and fight­ing style feels suit­ably dif­fer­ent, so there’s plenty of va­ri­ety in the ros­ter. From the jaguar­masked King’s wrestling throws to Paul Phoenix’s heavy punches to Jin Kazama’s out­landish devil pow­ers, it all feels at home on the same stage. Even when, as Panda, you’re wear­ing arm­bands and claw­ing the face off a girl who’s really a ro­bot.

As well as a load of old favourites there are those afore­men­tioned new­com­ers, in­clud­ing sprightly idol girl Lucky Chloe and mys­te­ri­ous ninja Mas­ter Raven. This en­try also sees an ad­di­tion to the fa­mous Mishima clan – Hei­hachi’s wife Kazumi. She’ll play a cen­tral part in the story mode and take her place among the an­gry, revenge-fu­elled fam­ily.

The one odd­ity is guest char­ac­ter Akuma from the Street Fighter se­ries. He looks and feels fan­tas­tic, but his play style just doesn’t quite fit in here. With a long-range fire­ball and a hur­ri­cane kick he’s a real pain to fight against, es­pe­cially when some­one starts spam­ming all of his moves and you can’t get a look in. Tekken vet­er­ans may need to ad­just whole­sale to deal with him.

The Tekken team has clearly taken notes after Cap­com’s mis­takes with Street Fighter V, so ev­ery­thing will be ready to go from day one. The game has also been re­fined greatly since its ar­cade re­lease in Ja­pan, to make sure it all plays just right. From ev­ery­thing we’ve seen so far, Tekken 7 looks like a re­turn to form for the se­ries, and a must-have for fight­ing game fans.

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