It’s been several months since Tekken 7 came out in Japanese arcades. With a console version presumably out by next year (a PS4 version is confirmed), the arcade version is the only way fans can play the game right now.
Finally, some Tekken 7 arcade cabinets have been shipped to my home country of New Zealand and I managed to play it for the first ever time. I played through the arcade mode, a practice mode as well as three matches against a human opponent. From what I have played so far, this is another solid addition to the series.
The thing I like about this arcade version of the game is that it includes a practice mode. It gives you five minutes to practice all of the moves for a certain character of your choosing. It’s been years since I played in the arcade, but this is the first time I’ve seen an arcade cabinet include a practice mode. Bear in mind, it takes one credit so it’s game over once the five minutes is over.
However, the practice mode is similar to how it’s set up in the console versions of Tekken. You are free to beat up the A.I. however you want. You can set them to do nothing, or you can alter the difficulty so you can practice blocking and parrying. It’s also helpful to get you to learn the moves of the characters too.
After practicing, I decided to give the Arcade mode a go. I chose to be Claudio to see what a new character was like. I have to say, Claudio’s moves are pretty cool. He has a lot of cool kick combos and effective punches too. His style is similar to that of Lars Alexandersson. That is the best way I can describe Claudio.
Before I was able to finish the arcade mode, I got interrupted by another player who wanted to challenge me. He was a tough player that loved to use Lili. Versus mode matches are longer as you have to win three rounds. The other player beat me when I was Claudio, however I just edged him out when I was playing as Asuka Kazama. I then proceeded to play the rest of the Arcade mode.
It’s also worth mentioning this arcade mode only has five stages with each stage requiring you to win two rounds. The first three stages are randomly generated characters, while the fourth and fifth stages you have to face against Heihachi Mishima and Kazumi Mishima respectively.
Heihachi is easy to beat as he’s just a normal human being. As for Kazumi Mishima, the first round is easy because she fights normally. However, she goes all supernatural in the second round. She flies around a lot shooting out lasers in her eyes. I’m not sure how I did it, but I managed to beat her in my first go using Asuka Kazama.
Gameplay wise, Tekken 7 plays quite fast and fluid but still retains the core mechanics that has made the series so popular. I noticed Asuka Kazama retains all of her moves and they added a few new ones to her arsenal. There is also a new parry system. I’m unsure of what it’s called, but you block your opponent’s attack setting you up to beat them up.
The biggest addition to Tekken 7 is the Rage Art. If you health is running low, you can unleash a devastating attack that deals lots of damage. Some might say this addition is a bit cheap because is allows you to catch up, but it’s cool to see the special moves.
Graphically, the game looks great. I noticed you can see a little bit of sweat on the character’s bodies after they fight. The new levels look impressive too, especially the volcanic stage where you face Kazumi who is the final boss of the game.
All in all, Tekken 7 is shaping up to be a great game. Hopefully I get a chance to play the game again so I can report on how the other characters are like. More content and characters are likely to be added to the console versions, but the arcade version of the game is still fun as the gameplay is still as addictive as ever.