For a little more than two years now, Tekken 7 Mobile has been taunting fans of three-dimensional fighting games. Two long years, during which we had to be satisfied with gameplay videos posted on the internet by Bandai Namco, the Tekken team or professional gamers, who took part in the conception of this new opus. In a way, we almost forgot that it hadn’t been released yet, here. But fortunately, things changed a few days ago when we received our copy of the game for our test. And you can be sure, after reading this test, you’ll be looking forward to getting yours.
Three-dimensional fighting games are rare these days. Born in the mid-90s, when home consoles like PlayStation were now strong enough to enter this new dimension, the genre flourished before losing a few petals… and finally almost completely disappearing. It must be said that in the case of VS Fighting, moving and fighting in a 3D environment can pose many gameplay problems and few titles have been able to master this new space. Among them, Soul Calibur of course, but also and above all Tekken 7 Mobile, another Bandai Namco series. Famous for its endless combos, the series had lost some of its prestige after the release of Tekken 6, but Katsuhiro Harada, the spiritual father of the Iron Fist saga, is determined to put his baby back on the front of the stage and has been working for years, with a typical Japanese perfectionism, on what could be one of the best versions of his fighting game.
The Tekken 7 Mobile Edition
Since its early days, the Tekken 7 Mobile series has suffered from many clichés that it has had difficulty getting rid of. It must be said that Tekken 5, and especially Tekken 6, didn’t help. With its extended combos, endless juggles and certain accessibility, the title didn’t try to get away from these stereotypes, it grabbed them with its arms, with debatable results. Tekken 6 was not the most appreciated opus of the series, even by the fans of the first hour. His sequel had to succeed in convincing the fans and the general public, and become again the fun and accessible fighting game, but also hyper-technical and impressive. Mission accomplished, and in the end, it was not much of a success.
Tekken 7 Mobile thus says goodbye to the infinite combos to come back to something purer, rawer, closer to the feeling that Tekken 3 could provide. The fighters seem heavier, or in any case less light (the nuance is important) and come back to the ground more quickly. Some of the fighters have lost some of their blows that allowed them to easily keep their opponents in the air, in favour of other attacks capable of ejecting their victim’s several meters away. In the air, the hitboxes seem thinner than before, requiring players to have better timing and better shot choices to succeed in these famous air combos. The result of all this is that the sequences are certainly shorter but also more violent; and above all, the long juggles will require a greater mastery of the game, where a Tekken 7 Mobile wanted to be rather generous.
The game is therefore intended to be more technical, but also more nervous, with real work done on defence and the possibilities of counter-attacks. Where we too often expected a flaw in the sequence of an opponent’s combo, betting on a good guard, Tekken 7 Mobile introduces the Power Crush system, which will allow the best players to create their own opening windows… and to punish players who like button-mashing and other specialists of “I press all the buttons, we’ll see if something happens”. These blows, identified by a red icon in each character’s attack list, allow the fighter using them to absorb an attack and strike while the opponent is attacking. This means that when using a Power Crush, the player does receive the damage from the blow taken, but is not hit by any form of impact or stun, as the animation ignores the enemy attack, allowing him to inflict a severe counterattack that reverses the fight. This may seem exaggerated on paper, but in practice, things are more complicated. Firstly because it takes a real science of timing to trigger it, and secondly because Power Crushes only work on medium and high hits. This means that it is possible to counter them with a low shot, or even a mug. This is where the mind game takes all its importance since you have to be ready to be countered. Varying your attacks will be all the more important in Tekken 7 Mobile.
THE LAW MUST GO ON
Because Tekken 7 Mobile does not forget the “show” dimension. On the e-sport scene, Tekken has always been able to captivate the crowds and this new episode should be very strong. The game has been designed with this in mind, but not only. For example, it is possible to organise online tournaments yourself, participate in them and watch the matches in progress as a spectator. And still with the idea of making the fights more “telegenic”, the developers have implemented a small slow-motion system that intervenes when a decisive exchange of blows takes place. If one of the players is about to win the round and both players have attacked at the same time, the game zooms in and slows down on the potential impact zone. Guaranteed effect: the player becomes a spectator for a few tenths of a second, praying with all his soul to be the one whose shot hits first. An excellent idea, in short.