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
What do I like about it…?
Well…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!
Although 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.
Whilst 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.
No 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!
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!
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,