My Favourite Series, part 4: Tekken

Hello readers! Please join me in welcoming back to the stage a (supposedly) regular feature here on Shoot the Rookie – My Favourite Series. Now onto part 4, today I will be taking a look at a fighting game series now in its seventh mainline iteration: Tekken!

Tekken was the first fighting game proper I ever played I think, and even at that I was fairly late to the party – not playing for the first time until I was at university in the mid-2000’s. After being introduced to it I was hooked and to this day, if you discount Guitar Hero, it is probably the game series I have played the most.

But let’s get down to business. Why is Tekken one of my favourite video game series of all time?

Games Played from the Series: Tekken 1-6, Tag Tournament 1 & 2, Dark Resurrection

Favourite Game in the Series: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (although, y’know, maybe Tekken 3)

Favourite Character from the Series: Julia Chang

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Pix playing Tekken Tag Tournament at the pub!

What do I like about it…?

Game-play

tekken5_sc006Well…duh! It would be pretty hard to include a fighting game on this list if I didn’t actually like the fighting element. For me, the game-play in Tekken is better than in any other fighting game. It just feels so natural, so responsive. Allocating a button to each limb and using them in conjunction with the direction buttons to pull off cool moves is just so simple. I first experienced Tekken as someone who had barely ever touched a console controller but I took to it easily, whereas there were several other games where I just couldn’t get to grips with the controls. That could be read as suggesting the controls are over simplistic, but it isn’t that either. It’s just that it is an accessible game for a rookie to play whilst also having a deep system which takes a long time to perfect, making it a game you can keep coming back to!

Multiplayer

team battleAlthough I don’t play Tekken online, the local multiplayer options in many of the Tekken games have probably been the main draw of the series for me over the years. Sure, I will spend hours on my own learning new moves and working my way up the ranks and I also really enjoy completing the story modes, but a lot of my Tekken playing has been with my friends. From my flatmates at university (cheers to the Catchy Flat ladies!), to parties, to random encounters in friend’s flats to many, many nights playing the game with my partner, I have played a lot of multiplayer Tekken. One of the best things about the local multiplayer features in the games is that they are quite flexible. I’m particularly fond of the Team Battle mode, which lets you play with as many as 8×8 on a team and leads to some really interesting match ups.

Characters

Tekken7_Panda_screenshot03Whilst the story of each game can be a bit hard to follow, I’ve got a great deal of affection for many of the characters within the series, some of which have been around for a long long time! Whilst Tekken 7 has approximately 6 bazillion characters, many of which I have never heard of, the original game featured just 8 when it launched in arcades in 1994, and most of them are still around today. The characters are a diverse bunch – an assassin, some street punks, a cop, a few cute high-schoolers…oh and a bad-ass devil guy, not one but two guys with jaguar heads for heads and a panda. Also, there’s Yoshimitsu. Anyway! What I’m saying is that there is someone for everyone and it is well worth spending a bit of time getting to know them all.

Mini Games

bowlingNo I’m not talking about Tekken 5’s appalling Devil Within mini-game, but rather Tekken Force Mode from Tekken 3 (which I refer to as Tekken Task Force but I can’t remember why) and of course the amazingly fun Tekken Bowling from Tag Tournament. Force Mode of course gave us the term ‘Chicken’ said over and over again in a hilarious way, and Bowling, well, it’s just characters from Tekken at a bowling alley – of course that means it is absolutely hilarious and just so much fun!

Soundtrack

Not necessarily a game series famed for it’s soundtracks, but I felt this worthy of a mention as one particular installment  – the incredible Tekken 3 – has one of the best soundtracks around. Giving each of the characters their own track allows the composers to add real personality to each of the pieces. In general the tone is dark, almost kind of dirty and dangerous sounding, but then it is also full of funky bass-lines and beats that just keep you coming back. Since discovering that Namco have made a lot of their music available on iTunes and Spotify I’ve been listening to it on my way to work this week, and yes, it has definitely stood the test of time so go check it out!

Final Thoughts

I may not have been a fan of Tekken 6 or Tekken 7, but the brilliance that is Tekken Tag Tournament 2 makes me think that there is still considerable life in this series yet. What does happen next with it will be interesting to see. Personally I’d like to see a stripped back character roster and a real focus on story, music and arenas – they got the fighting right in Tekken 3 so I don’t really see the need to mess around with it any more. Do those things and scrap the idea of DLC and I might just be tempted back for the next battle!


So, what do you think? Are you a big Tekken fan or do you prefer a different fighting game series? Maybe you don’t usually play fighting games but this has inspired you to have a go? Whatever your thoughts, let me know below!

Thanks for reading,

Pix1001

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Thank you, Spirits.

10 thoughts on “My Favourite Series, part 4: Tekken

Add yours

  1. So…having never played Tekken before, about a year ago I decided it’d be fun to try Tekken 7. My experience with the game was…it had ups and downs. Mostly downs.

    I think the thing I found most surprising was how the game makes 0 effort to be accessible to newcomers. Almost every other fighting game I’ve played at least has a tutorial that’ll tell you what the basic controls are, but I had to go to the options menu to figure out what they were for Tekken. This probably would have been less of an issue if I wan’t playing on a keyboard at the time.

    My question: you said you didn’t enjoy Tekken 6 or 7 as much as previous entries. Is that because the focus has greatly shifted to the online multiplayer component of the game and drastically de-emphasized the single player component? Or is there other contributing factors?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Always awesome to see an article on one of my favourite video game series.

    The soundtracks for Tekken have always been strong, hard to pick a favourite but I think I’ll have to go with Tekken Tag 1.

    I love the mini games in the series including Devil Within (which I absolutely adore). Tekken Force in Tekken 3 was great but I do prefer the T4 version of Tekken Force. Tekken 3 also had a really fun volley ball mini game. Tekken Bowl is godlike, glad it is in Tekken 7.

    Much like you I love the gameplay of Tekken. It just feels really good to play and the gameplay imo is at its highest level in Tekken 7.

    Now I need to go play some Tekken but which one?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow…not having a tutorial is pretty bad. Some of the games have very good tutorials, especially (i think) Tekken 4 where one of the characters takes you through all the moves and it is really fun.

    The move towards online multiplayer is an interesting question – I really believe that a series such as Tekken should accommodate both types of player, but Tekken 6 certainly doesn’t – its story mode for example was a confusing mess and not really a story mode at all. I can’t comment on Tekken 7 – I played it for a grand total of 5 minutes at a games expo and that was enough. I didn’t like the way it looked or the way it felt to play, and the fact that my favourite character was available as paid dlc instead of in the main character roster was the final nail in the coffin. I think my overall view is that they have made it too complicated, when in fact it should be very simple, with easy to understand modes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha! Sorry to diss Devil Within! I just couldn’t get into it at all!

    I need to check out the soundtrack to 1, it is one of the installments I haven’t played very much.

    I’ve been playing a lot of Tag Tournament (the first one) lately as they have the arcade version at a local bar. Apart from that it has been a while since I played much, but yet you’re right, it is definitely time to put that right!

    Like

  5. Yeeeeeah.
    After learning the basics I also had to go to youtube for a few hours to learn a bunch of techniques that are never communicated such as back dashing, side stepping, or how crouch blocking doesn’t block mids like it does in most other fighting games. Not exactly a great experience.

    Thanks for elaborating! With online multiplayer being more readily available than it was in the 80s and 90s it seems more and more fighting games have moved away from providing single player content that casual fighting game fans can appreciate and a greater focus has been placed on adding additional depth to the online mode(s). Have you picked up anything else to fill that Tekken shaped gap in your life, or do you just avoid all fighting games since the one you liked lost you?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like DOA a lot as well but haven’t got the most recent edition yet. One of the big things I feel has changed for Tekken (which presumably will never change for doa because if it did it’d be rubbish) is that it’s started taking itself very seriously, and I’d rather it didn’t, if that makes any sense!

    Liked by 1 person

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