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  1. #1

    Retro|Spective 029: Tekken

    The shadow cast of a father stood by the edge of a cliff, looking down before casting his son to the depths bears strongly over this tale of fighters destiny...


    Mainline Entry 01 - Tekken
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation
    As one of the early 3D fighters to face off against Sega's own series, Tekken was one of the few to make a mark thanks to bringing its own style of fighting style to the market. With each limb corresponding to a button, players had to think more about their fighting approach especially in the games home port that expanded on the eight fighters of the arcade version by growing the roster to seventeen and with the added CG movies, setting the precedence of how much care went into the console ports.

    Mainline Entry 02 - Tekken 2
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation
    Expanding on the previous game, the roster was increased again for the sequel to ten for arcade and twenty five in the home. Whilst never deep, the storyline was taking a more prominent role from here in the CG movies and set up for each entry. The game also introduced the devil and angel variants that have been present ever since and even in the Ridge Racer series.

    Mainline Entry 03 - Tekken 3
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation
    Closing out the 32-bit era came the trilogy closer, the third game is one of the most well regarded and worked around the limitations of the hardware by mixing things up with a largely new cast and a bigger focus on side-stepping to make use of the 3D plane more. The time jump in the story also gave them an easy way to justify reworking any remaining fighters either by age or by passing them off as their kids taking over.

    Spin Off Entry 01 - Tekken Tag Tournament
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation 2
    The next generation opened with a non-canonical spin off rather than a sequel as Namco used the set up to try out tag based gameplay as well as being able to include any character they wanted regardless of where the storyline had them be. Offering the series largest line up yet with 35 fighters, the game was reworked visually for console to make use of the added power.

    Mainline Entry 04 - Tekken 4
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation 2
    With a greater emphasis on the storyline, the fourth main entry brought in over twenty fighters as Kazuya returned to the series to take back the Mishima Zaibatsu. With a greater focus on interaction with the environment the fighting was slowed down from the previous Tag entry making the new entry a more considered affair.

    Mainline Entry 05 - Tekken 5
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation 2, Playstation Portable, Playstation 3
    The fifth game sped the gameplay up again and returned to elements found in the initial three entries rather than the more arena'd fourth game. With over thirty fighters the game saw the mainline entries begin to meet the fighter content of the spin-off, a feat easily met when the game received an updated version in the form of Dark Resurrection.

    Mainline Entry 06 - Tekken 6
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Playstation Portable
    With the next entry Namco once again dabbled with portable versions of the game whilst attempting to mix things up for consoles by introducing a missioned single player. With destructible stage sections and an even larger roster the game relied on its rage system to mix up gameplay.

    Spin Off Entry 03 - Tekken Tag Tournament 2
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, WiiU
    Another trilogy of Tekken games complete, Namco moved on to bring in a second Tag based spin-off that dropped even more fighters to players. The arcade version contained 41 fighters whilst the console editions boosted this up to a massive 59. The game occupies a strange space whereby the main plot is not canon and yet some characters storylines here are official ones continued forward. The game acted as a compendium of where the series was up to at this point though an attempt to make it a free to play title with Revolution failed.

    Mainline Entry 07 - Tekken 7
    Formats: Arcade, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
    Arriving on PC for the first time, Tekken 7 takes place shortly after the sixth game and aimed to bring the Mishima storyline to its end, even canonically linking itself to Capcom's Street Fighter series in the process. With around 40 fighters inclusive of other franchises guest characters, the game is the current generation culmination of over twenty years work on the franchise. Still standing when its Sega made rival has long fallen silent.

    Share your thoughts and memories of the Tekken series!

  2. #2
    It's a brilliant series - easy to get into, hard to master. It always looks great, and has an interesting roster of characters, although I could do without some of the animals.

    The only game in the series I wasn't that fussed about was Tekken 4. Loved the rest, even if some of the bosses were devilishly hard to beat.

    And they haven't yet made the Streetfighter 5 mistake of not bothering to put any single-player content in. I never play online, so lack of single-player modes is a dealbreaker for me.

  3. #3
    Tekken - Didn't click with me, given how early into 3D fighters this was I think I was still not too bothered by fighters at the time and whenever I did I leant more in Street Fighters direction than this. Only later did I pay it a bit more attention.

    Tekken 2 - Hard to say why but this is probably one of the entries to stay with me the most. Loved going through it for each ending and I loved the effort Namco had clearly gone to for the home version though at the time I still preferred VF2 of the two.

    Tekken 3 - I know the love this entry gets but for whatever reason it's always left me a but cold. I couldn't say why, just something didn't click with me.

    Tekken Tag - Completely not bothered. It felt too much like the fighters were dumped into the game, like not as much TLC went into it leaving the tag mechanic as the hook but that's always left me cold in any fighter.

    Tekken 4 - Probably the low point for me, picked it up early whilst on holiday and it felt somewhat soulless with the stage elements just frustrating at best.

    Tekken 5 - Better, not fully there and by now VF was a better experience to play but the road to peak again was started with this one.

    Tekken 6 - I liked the gameplay again with this one, the extra modes and story missions of the home version weren't great but the core gameplay was solid.

    Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - Had low expectations but this really surprised me. An excellent package, remains so, and is probably my favourite despite the tag focus

    Tekken 7 - I haven't spent enough time on it to make a call yet but the little I've played hint that this may be the peak for me, feels and played like the series on top of its game.

  4. #4
    I've had a mixed opinion of Tekken since its inception.

    Coming from VF, one of my problems with the franchise was always "move redundancy". In Tekken, many characters have moves which are just redundant, where they connect in a similar way and do a similar amount of damage, meaning as a player you would always use the easiest/strongest unless you're playing for flair. Dead or Alive has a similar problem but they resolve it by allowing the player to counter moves mid-combo, meaning that if their moves have marginally different timings, that's significant. It results in a situation where characters can have quite a large move roster, but many of the moves just aren't used. I accept though that this may have been fixed in the more recent games when played at a competent level; it was certainly a criticism you could level at Tekken 1&2.

    Similarly, as a Saturn owner during much of the 32-bit era, I didn't really get into Tekken until I played 3. For me, that was the first one which felt like a genuine VF rival.

    The peak of the series for me is still Tag on the PS2. I also personally really liked 4, mainly because I liked Jin Kazama (he was reworked into a new character who practiced a form of karate, and it was very similar to the style of karate I did as a child).

  5. #5
    I kinda lost interest in this series.

    Played 1 in the arcade and on PlayStation a bit. Played 2 on PlayStation a bit more on friends' consoles.

    Tekken 3 was my main game.
    I loved all the bonus bits like bowling and the side-scrolling brawler especially.
    The game was ridiculously deep.
    I remember playing against Nina and she countered my punch! Then she broke my arms and then threw me!
    I had no idea you could do throw combos. I had a little move book with some magazine (I didn't have internet in those days) and I saw that King had the most throw combos, so I set about learning his moves.
    I can still remember his ten-hit combo from muscle memory.

    I always preferred it to Street Fighter, to be honest, because it felt more respectful to martial arts.
    Lei Wulong was obviously influenced by Jackie Chan. He had Drunken Master and Police Story outfits and he could go into Drunken style. Law was even less subtly an homage to Bruce Lee.

    Hwoarang had some preety faithful Taekwondo moves and I loved that you could swap his stance.

    Kuma/Panda, Paul Phoenix and Ling Xiayou were also fun to play.

    The downside was people playing bloody Gon or Eddie.
    The former just span and span below knee level and the latter just did his breakdance moves (Capoeira is a rubbish martial art...) and all the n00bs would just hammer the pads.
    Oh and Dr. Boskonovith just kept falling over. What were they thinking?!

    I had Tekken Tag on PS2, but it's pretty forgettable.

    I played Tekken 4 in an arcade in Las Vegas (THE Vegas, not an delusionally named seaside arcade) on a sweet leather sofa with the controllers built in and connected to a projector. The smart-arse kid on it said I was welcome to join, but he's "beaten every kid who tried to take him on so far".
    Little did he know I was once unemployed and knew King's 10-hit combo and I decimated him.
    Time after time.
    Even when he begged me to not use kicks.
    He left defeated, but wanted to see if he could win on the air hockey tables!

    I don't remember playing any of the other releases, but I'm tempted by Tekken 7 if it's back on form.

  6. #6
    Plus, there's the cheap Tekken movies to consider, missed opportunity there to turn an old tale on its head

    "I don't know you are, but I know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I have money. I also have a particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over many Iron Fist Tournaments. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you keep my son and throw him off a cliff, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you return him to me I will look for you, I will find you, and I will Mashima Zaibatsu you"

    Liam Neeson plays Heihachi in...


  7. #7
    I quite enjoy the Tekken series but only as the most casual of player dipping in and out over the years. I mostly just like some of the characters and found them visually engaging. I'm pretty rubbish at playing it though.

  8. #8
    Tekken 3 is my favourite Tekken, played it to death as a wee laddie. I appreciate the increase in move variety that rolled around when 5 was introduced too, made the game more interesting.

  9. #9
    we had the arcade in our refectory at college, learning and executing the ten hit combos where great fun, we used to have quite a community of players who would all crowd round for the lunchtime (winner-stays-on) tournaments. it eventually got taken out of the refectory as we had complaints that it was getting to rowdy and we where intimidating people with the noise we were making

    Taking home a ps1 with this was a real wow moment for me playing a near perfect (in my eyes) reproduction of the arcade at home was a moment i still cherish as a real step forward in gaming. The leap between the SNES and the PS1 was something that we haven't had in any generation since, being able to take home Arcade stuff like Ridge Racer and Tekken was an amazing leap forward.
    Last edited by Lebowski; 06-03-2018 at 01:19 PM.

  10. #10
    The blows have always felt really chunky and even more so when rumble joypads came out.

    The One is BC with both Tekken 6 and Tag II but not Soul Calibur V.
    Would this run on a One?


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