“Tekken 7” is a one-on-one 3D fighting game for one or two players and, despite its name, is the 17th game in the storied Tekken franchise. Although Tekken 7 initially debuted in Japanese arcades back in 2015, the version released for home consoles and the PC is adapted from a 2016 update of the arcade version, known as “Tekken 7: Fated Revelation.” As a means of distinguishing itself from its forebears, Tekken 7 adds a few gameplay mechanics, such as “Rage Arts” and “Power Crushes,” to the mix.
- A Rage Art is a special desperation move that can only be used once a character’s health is dangerously low. Rage Arts deal an amount of damage that is inversely proportional to the character’s health bar and whose power is balanced out by deactivating “Rage Mode,” a state where certain moves can be powered up when the health bar is nearly empty.
- Power Crush is a form of “super armor,” allowing the character to continue his attacks while being attacked from most heights; normally, attack animations are cancelled upon being hit by an opponent. Damage is still taken while performing a Power Crush and low-striking attacks like sweep kicks are the only way to stop a Power Crush.
- Tekken 7 also trades out the old “Bound System,” a means to stagger opponents and leave them open to extra hits, for the “Screw Attack.” A Screw Attack allows the player to send an airborne enemy spinning sideways, leaving them open to “juggling;” a technique where an attacker continues to hit the opponent, oftentimes with upward-striking moves, whom is left vulnerable until the opponent touches the ground. Screw Attacks differ from the Bound system in that they cannot be combined with combination attacks against a wall.
- Tekken 7 also gives two characters a separate meter, known as the “EX/Super Meter.” Eliza and Akuma, the latter from rival fighting game series “Street Fighter,” can spend this meter to perform special attacks.
The arcade mode of Tekken 7 involves five matches against random opponents followed by matches against set penultimate and final opponents. These matches can be interrupted if a “new challenger” appears as player two presses a button to join; the screen then changes back to the character select menu so that the second player can pick her character, including which specific outfits or accessories that character will wear. Tekken 7 features online play on both the local and international levels. Tekken 7 also features a useful “Practice Mode” so that players can train and practice with a specific character and his moveset.
Players have plenty of options when it comes to their character of choice. While Tekken 7 features a roster of nearly 40 characters, 20 of them are available to play right out of the gates. While newcomers to the Tekken franchise may want to start off with either Shaheen or Katarina as they are new characters who were designed to be easy to play, Akuma handles close enough to his normal Street Fighter iterations that veterans of that series will feel right at home. Other newcomers notable for their relation to the Tekken franchise include: Kazumi Mishima, Heihachi’s wife and Kazuya’s mother, who even possesses a Devil form like her son; Jack-7, another iteration in Dr. Bosconovitch’s line of androids known for using brute force and Master Raven, a female superior to Raven with a similar fighting style. As a nod to the international nature of the fighting game community, many characters speak in their native language instead of Japanese.