By FLStyle 33 Comments
Tales of Tekkens past
Tekken 1, 2, 3 and Tag were awesome!
Tekken 4... not so much
But then Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online on the PS3 brought me back!
Tekken 6... not so much
And then Tekken Tag 2 came out, nostalgic feelings of the first Tag abound! But it was, for me, the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of accessibility vs. complexity. Whereas in previous Tekken games I felt more than capable of playing at a competitive level (online or against friends at least), even with 4 and 6, games I didn't like, I now felt it had gone a step beyond me.
And the story, which was once a fresh set of characters in the once revolutionary 3D fighting game genre in a badass martial arts tournament, started to drift off, making the Mishimas side-characters next to Lars and Alisa in a world crisis story. Most disappointing was the change to Jin Kazama.
Back in Tekken 2 you had Kazuya and his struggles with getting his revenge over Heihachi, resisting the Devil inside him that saved his life in exchange for his soul and dealing with his new found feelings for Jun Kazama, plus his rivalry with Paul Phoenix. And everyone else just entered to be the best and to win Tekken! Sure they all had some issues of some kind, King (the original one) and his orphanage, Law and his dojo, Yoshimitsu being the modern day Robin Hood etc. But it never took centre stage once the tournament began and it certainly never took a turn for the cartoony. They left all their personal baggage at the door, it was time for Tekken and that always took priority. It was a collective roster of badass.
Then Tekken 3 had the brave decision, certainly not done by either SF or MK at the time, to jump its story forward 17 years. Older characters, some replaced altogether, but the basic idea was still there. Jin Kazama with his flame pants and revenge story against Ogre complete with a rivalry with Hwoarang because they beat the shit out of each other in a street fight, the first fight either of them had not outright won.
And now look at Tekken 6, Kazuya broods away in his G-Corporation office, Jin broods away in his Tekken Zaibatsu office (complete with full generic bad guy black leather clothes), the whole world is apparently in danger from the giant demonic turkey Azazel and Paul wants to fight aliens from outer space. The story mode has Lars Alexandersson, recently afflicted with amnesia and accompanied by his cyborg companion Alisa Bosconovitch take centre stage in a pseudo-anime storyline where they go on a journey, learn lessons, overcome obstacles and obvious swerves. No thanks.
Tekken 7 Wishlist
So, here's my wishlist for Tekken 7, the first Tekken to grace the PlayStation 4 and XBox One.
Toning down the gameplay
- Remove the bound system - Since the bound system came into place it's felt more and more like getting hit once means that you might as well sit back and watch your opponent do an almost Marvel vs. Capcom length combo, except you don't have 2 other characters waiting in the wings. This is even more prominent in closed, walled stages which have apparently become more popular.
- More infinite stages - I'm not entirely against closed walled stages, like a MMA ring or something like that because it would also be contextually relevant, but I want the classic Tekken feel back where knocking an opponent full screen means you can forward forward forward into the running animation that would end with unblockable shoulder charge.
- Make the more of each characters moves relevant - or shorten the huge movelists, because recently the moves that have special properties like bound (see above) become the only ones worth learning. If I'm playing as Kazuya, I want to get some use out of the classic 1, 1, 2 and 1, 2, 2 punch combos instead of fishing for a successful EWGF (Electric Wind God Fist - a powerful, fast hitting, standing uppercut that is the catalyst for previously mentioned really long combos).
- A Super Meter - Super Street Fighter II Turbo style, Tekken already has suitable super combos in the form of unblockable attacks (Kazuya's Lightning Screw Uppercut or Devil Beam, Paul's Burning Fist etc.) and the 10-string combos and the multi-chain throws. Just a singular bar, no 4 or 3 bar spilt for EX moves or combo breakers, just 1 bar, 1 super combo. Maybe this is someone better suited to Tekken X Street Fighter (which Katsuhiro Harada says they're still working on as of last week and I predict will be fully unveiled at Harada's San Diego Comic-con fighting game panel next week!) but it might be something worth considering.
Improving the Story
- Finish the Mishima Storyline - World-ending threats are of no interest to me compared to the Kazuya, Heihachi and Jin conflict. And if the Tekken 7 unveiling trailer is anything to go by, it looks like they're going to do just that. Even I got a shock to see Kazumi Mishima, the almost mythical figure in Heihachi and Kazuya's backstory. I hope they do this decades-old plot point justice before embarking on a new story for future Tekken releases. Don't let it drag on any longer.
- Have a Tekken tournament, focus on the Tekken tournament and have the characters focused on it - I don't want any of these silly shenanigans during the tournament. Have an intro that shows what each character is up to prior to the tournament and then make winning the tournament their priority.
- Make an attempt to emulate Mortal Kombat (2011) - NetherRealm Studios games are the gold standard of fighting game story mode right now, we all know this to be true. If Tekken 7 has an intricate story mode or at least an attempt at it we're moving in the right direction.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading, comment below and such! Follow me on the Twitter