Tekken 7


The King of Iron Fist Tournament 7 returns to the main storyline of the series, with Kazuya and Heihachi facing off one last time to settle the score in their "final" battle. This certainly doesn't mean that this will be the last TEKKEN game, but perhaps the Mishima saga will finally reach its conclusion in this installment... (maybe). While we all love our Mishimas, any true fan of TEKKEN lore would hope that all returning characters are represented well in TEKKEN 7's storyline. The console version of TEKKEN 7 features a robust, cinematic story mode revolving around the Mishima saga (and Akuma) which will definitely appeal to the casual audience... but as always, a new fighting game lives or dies by its gameplay engine. On that note, a slew of new gameplay features will debut in TEKKEN 7 to keep things fresh, including: Rage Attacks, Rage Drives, Rage Arts, Screw attacks, and Power Crush moves.
The original arcade version of TEKKEN 7 hit Japan in early 2015. Following tradition with every main installment to date, Bandai Namco once again used their arcade launch overseas to not only test, but fund the future of the title (and the console version). On Dec. 12th, 2015, Bandai Namco announced an arcade update, TEKKEN 7: Fatal Retribution, adding new gameplay systems, updated graphics, new characters, new default costumes, new stages, and... Street Fighter's own Akuma as a playable character. Not only will Akuma be playable, but he will have a key role in the TEKKEN 7 storyline.
Turns out, Kazumi was talking to Akuma in the original TEKKEN 7 trailers & intro... all this time.

Bandai Namco said they'll support TEKKEN 7 with additional free and paid DLC content for at least 1 year after the console launch. Confirmed for post-launch content are 2 new guest characters. The first DLC guest fighter is Geese Howard of Fatal Fury / King of Fighters fame (coming in Winter 2017). Another guest character will arrive in Spring 2018. Both guest characters will be accompanied by their respective stage and unique costumes. Ultimate TEKKEN Bowl mode was added to the game in August 2017.

Each character has several default costumes + 10 customization slots. Nice!

As a series, TEKKEN never strayed very far from its roots in terms of gameplay, implementing only slight yet significant gameplay innovations with each new installment. TEKKEN 7 continues the trend, but will possibly bring the boldest changes the series has ever seen. For starters, "Screw Attacks" take the place of Bound moves, sending the opponent twirling into the air towards the ground. Screw Attacks are used very similarly to Bound, as they can be implemented into combos early or late in the combo to mix things up. Most Screw Attacks are either single hits or 2-hit combinations, and if you ask me, make combos look really really cool. 

 "Rage Arts" (AKA super moves) have finally been implemented into the hand-to-hand 3D fighter. Rage Arts are enabled when a fighter's health is very low (in Rage Mode), with the activation of the move causing the loss of Rage. Previously, Rage Mode gave characters a significant damage increase, which doesn't appear be a very large part of T7's Rage Mode. Worry not hardcore players... Rage Arts definitely aren't "foolproof" and require significant timing (they tend not to hit if a player randomly mashes them out). Smart and patient players can easily "bait out" an opponent's "random Rage Art and punish them accordingly. Rage Arts are far more dangerous when used inside of a proper combo, tacking on big damage when connected (but the damage scaling seems pretty balanced).

The next "new to TEKKEN" gameplay system is called Power Crush. Each fighter has at least 1 attack with Power Crush properties, enabling an "armor" effect which allows the attack to continue even when hit. Power Crushes absorb all of the opponent's attacks during a small window of time, but the fighter will still take damage from their opponent during the move (and this can really hurt, so spammers beware). While a seemingly powerful new ability, any player that repeatedly "spams" Power Crush can obviously become predictable and easily picked apart by smart TEKKEN players that use fundamentals.

Finally, the TEKKEN 7: Fated Retribution update introduces another way to use the Rage meter besides Rage Arts.... Rage Drives! When in Rage, players can seamlessly and quickly initiate a Rage Drive during a combo to extend it, in several different ways. Rage Drives are character specific and have unique effects... for example: some will send the opponent high into the air, some send opponents flying backward fiercely into the wall, and some bound the opponent on the ground, creating time for an additional stomp or ground throw. Rage Drives are brand new moves for certain characters, while others are variations of attacks or combinations that were previously impossible.

As a TEKKEN and Street Fighter fan for 20+ years... I couldn't be more ecstatic.

Another brand new aspect introduced in Tekken 7 will be the "slow-motion" effect... AND IT'S HYPE. In addition to adding some cool visual flare, excitement, and pure badassery to the traditional Tekken match, the slow-mo effect does have a small impact on gameplay flow. Slow-mo activates when both fighters are low on health and a K.O. is possible. Fighters can even continue fighting after the slow-mo sequence occurs if no attacks end up connecting. It looks badass. Nuff said.

Other features confirmed for TEKKEN 7:  Customizable health bars and player panels. Customizable character artwork panels by Jbstyle, Junny, Shunya Yamashita & Tomio Fujisawa. Full customization mode with new (and returning) items. A much more elaborate color edit system for all clothing items. An innovative new feature allowing both players to fight on the same side of the screen. The arcade version introduces online battles between players located in other countries (ex: Japan VS Korea). 

Details on story mode:  TEKKEN 7's story mode features "several hours" of gameplay and features past moments from the series history ( such as Kazuya as a child fighting a young black-haired Heihachi). Story mode also players to "unlock" sub plots for various characters as the game progresses (such as Claudio's story and his group of exorcists). Also confirmed are specific story mode costumes for several characters. Finally, Claudio Serafino is integral to TEKKEN 7's storyline, as he 'holds the key' to defeating the Devil Gene.

So far, there are 7 newcomers: Gigas, Josie Rizal, Shaheen, Lucky Chloe, Katarina, Claudio & Kazumi Mishima. Kazumi (Kazuya's mother) is the final boss of the game and also a playable character. She is accompanied by a tiger when she enters a battle and has several different "tiger assist" attacks at her disposal. Naturally, Kazumi's fighting style has several Mishima-inspired moves (and plenty of unique ones too). Boss Kazumi "transforms" into a more powerful version in the second round.

I get to play as "Kid Kazuya" in Story Mode? ...Dreams really do come true.

Gigas is a huge monstrous powerhouse with devastating attacks. Some of his moves are comparable to the likes of Jack and Marduk (but are completely new). Not much is known about Gigas so far, other than that his nationality is listed as "DATA DELETED" and his fighting style is known as "DESTRUCTIVE IMPULSE". Josie Rizal hails from the Philippines and uses Eskrima & Kickboxing as her fighting styles (reminiscent of a fighting style called Yaw Yan). Several aspects of her outfit take inspiration from the National Flag of The Phillipines. She has many similar attacks as Bruce Irvin (she's definitely a replacement for Bruce) but also has many of her own unique attacks.

Lucky Chloe's fighting style is based on dancing and "rhythm". Her stronger, flashier attacks require well-timed button presses, similar to a rhythm game. Chloe will do more damage / more flips & spins when the player times her attacks accurately (confirmed for her super move, at least). She has a unique stance where she dances and uses her quick footwork to mix-up up her opponent. Shaheen's "military fighting style" is completely unique and should appeal to players of certain characters who might not make it to Tekken 7. Shaheen has something similar to a Mist Step which is performed by pressing "d/f, d/f". This makes Shaheen go into a low tackle-like stance, moving towards his opponent and if connected will result in a throw technique. He has a slide move (similar to Raven's), some cool kicks & flip attacks, and move where he "surfs" on the opponent.

Katarina is a Latin American fighter who uses Savate, and she's described as an outspoken and sassy-mouthed (as seen in her taunts). Harada mentioned she is a "beginner friendly" character.
Along with some cool movement abilities, Katarina's play-style features some simple strings (to appeal to beginners) by repeatedly pressing one button (similar to Hwoarang's 3,3,3 or 4,4,4,4). She has a variety of hard-hitting kicks and some solid punching techniques as well.

The final battle between Heihachi and Kazuya?! Who will reign over the Ziabatsu...

Claudio Serafino is an exorcist and is integral to TEKKEN 7's storyline, as he 'holds the key' to defeating the Devil Gene. He is determined to investigate the Mishima Ziabatsu's actions. Claudio is the first Italian in the TEKKEN series and shows off stylish moves, flamboyant mannerisms, and magical powers which seem inspired from the likes of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Claudio could also be compared to a "Quincy" (Japanese for "Monk of Destruction") from Bleach, especially due to his Rage Art. Fans have also pointed out Claudio's resemblance to Maxi from Soul Calibur, along with the fact that one of his kicks looks like Rugal's "Genocide Cutter" and that fighting stance resembles Goenitz's from KOF.

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Page Updated: September 15th, 2017
Developer(s): Bandai Namco
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Designer(s): Katsuhiro Harada  (Producer),  Yuichi Yonemori  (Director)
Artwork By: Junny, Shunya Yamashita, Tomio Fujisawa, JBStyle
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date(s): Feb. 18th, 2015          ( Arcade "pre-launch")
Mar. 18th, 2015         ( Arcade "launch")
July 5th, 2016              ( Arcade - TEKKEN 7: FR update)
June 2nd, 2017           (PS4/XB1/Steam)
Characters Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, Asuka Kazama, Bryan Fury, Lili Rochefort, Leo Kliesen, Feng Wei, Steve Fox, Paul Phoenix, Marshall Law, King, Ling Xiaoyu, Hwoarang, Sergei Dragunov, Lars, Alisa, Claudio Serafino, Katarina Alves, Lucky Chloe, Shaheen, Jin Kazama, Devil Jin, Josie Rizal, Gigas, Yoshimitsu, Jack-7, Kazumi Mishima, Nina Williams, Akuma, Bob, Master RavenLee Chaolan, Miguel, Kuma, Panda, Eliza, Eddy Gordo, Geese Howard

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Related Games: Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3, Tekken 4, Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online, Tekken 6, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Advance, Tekken Hybrid, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition, Tekken Revolution, Street Fighter 5

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First Impression:

(June 10th, 2017):  TFG's full review is in progress... Here are my early impressions: TEKKEN 7's final gameplay system is as solid as I expected. It offers a brilliant balance of new and returning mechanic, and it's simply a very fun and accessible fighting game. Relearning my old mains and learning newcomers is especially fun and almost overwhelming. There's so much to learn. The new combos are beautiful. There's quite a bit to do offline (and the netcode, after the online patch, is thankfully pretty solid and smooth so far)! I'm slightly disappointed about the PS4 version's input lag... so I hope they fix that as well. I'm also disappointed about the lack of quality character stories/endings (but let's be real, I didn't put quarters into the original TEKKEN (1) machine for storylines).

Secondly, do yourself a favor and play the game on PS4 Pro... if not on PC running on max settings. On PS4 Pro, the visuals match the arcade version's and are absolutely stunning. Indeed, to fully appreciate TEKKEN 7's visuals requires you to update that 2013 vanilla PS4 technology. Sadly, TEKKEN 7 does not look very impressive on PS4 (and looks even worse on Xbox One at a lowly 720p). Seriously, see the game running on PS4 Pro before you even judge the graphics. It's gorgeous. 

It was pretty clear to me that TEKKEN 7 wasn't even near completion when it first hit the arcade scene, and I was right. With the T7: Fated Retribution arcade update bringing new characters, costumes, mechanics, and the "seamless" cinematic story mode, TEKKEN 7 has everything it needs to be a wholesome package when it his consoles (and PC). Obviously, Bandai Namco has more in store for the console version. It's definitely an exciting time to be a TEKKEN fan. 

In general, TEKKEN 7 animates very smoothly (when under the control of skilled players, of course). I really like how they've incorporated some of the "cooler / smoother-looking" attacks (many of which were underused in previous games) into the new TEKKEN 7 style combos... it's refreshing. With a mix of new and old animations, it still looks like TEKKEN and absolutely should.

As a TEKKEN player for over 20 years, I'm open-minded to the new gameplay systems (as I always have been with changes in new installments). I'm a person that "adapts" very well when it comes to new things. I find it funny that on one hand, some players are totally freaking out about these "huge changes" being made to the game. And on the flipside, there's the casual crowd (with their original copy of TEKKEN 3 in hand), who think "nothing ever changes" in TEKKEN. (The latter crowd think that way because they, themselves "play Tekken the same" and haven't evolved their skills with each sequel). Look at some movelists, m'kay?

This confusion among the casual crowd is actually something Bandai Namco should address... perhaps, with a proper, serious Tutorial mode of sorts. Why not make it part of T7's Story Mode. No doubt the diehards will play TEKKEN 7 for years to come, but Harada & Co. definitely need to do more to bring back the players who might've missed the last few iterations and still have no clue about the deeper gameplay mechanics of TEKKEN.

Again, as a dedicated player, I don't ever want the game to change "too much". Baseball players like to play Baseball, Billiard players love Billiards just as they are, and TEKKEN players... you get the idea, we love our TEKKEN. I welcome the updates, and I'm glad there are more options in Rage Mode outside of Rage Arts. The super move sequences will get stale otherwise (too SF4-like). Regardless of the new systems, I have faith that TEKKEN fundamentals (and raw skill) will continue to prevail against gimmicks (and spamming of any kind) in T7. In Harada I trust. The man never lets me down. 

catered to the hardcore crowd who love the tried-&-true combo engine, so it makes sense that 7 will attempt at appealing to a wider audience. Along with the "hype-inducing" new systems, TEKKEN 7 will scale back the length of default combos just a bit, which is a smart move. I've had immeasurable fun creating insane TTT2 combos, but when I began playing Tekken Revolution regularly, I remembered how much I still love "back to basics" 1-VS-1 Tekken. I'm counting on T7 to deliver that same feeling that I love.

Evolving with the new mechanics may present a challenge to some players... but as always, TEKKEN's core gameplay and characters are still intact (more or less), giving returning players a comfortable starting point as usual. TEKKEN is a game meant to be played and practiced. You get out of it what you put into it, just like training in real martial arts. That's one of the things I love most about TEKKEN. Dedicated players are always rewarded... with every sequel.
~TFG Webmaster

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