On Saturday I took a short trip to Bury to get some hands on time with Namco‘s latest Tekken at the UK Championship Qualifier. Getting a chance to play some of the game and see a whole host of high level play.
Tekken 7‘s release date of 2nd June is creeping up fast. In anticipation of this Namco and UK fighting game tournament organisers have put together a UK tour.
The dates for the tour are below.
- 15-16th April 2017 – Glasgow – http://www.hypespotting.co.uk/
- 22nd April 2017 – Dublin – https://www.facebook.com/events/400178787016197/
- 29th April 2017 – Manchester – http://www.mbagaming.co.uk/
- 6th May 2017 – Birmingham – https://www.electronicdojo.co.uk/
- 14th May 2017 – London – http://ngievents.co.uk/
The top three from each event and one wildcard will qualify for the finals. These finals take place on 26th May ESL Arena at MCM London Comic.
Last Saturday was the Manchester qualifier, so being close by I hopped on the tram and made my way to Bury. The venue was the incredible Arcade Club. If you are a fan of arcade games or an avid gamer then give the place a visit, it has one of the finest collections of arcade machines and gaming consoles. Manchester Battle Arena and ESL put on the tournament itself. MBA did a stellar job running the event with clear organisation and plenty of approachable folk on hand to help people out.
There was plenty of setups and excitement. Amongst the decent number of setups was a stream running, which was broadcast on the Bandai Namco Europe twitch here.
At the sharp end of the tournament there were a ton of great matches. Plenty of familiar players where there as well as some new faces. The really exciting part was seeing new characters like Kazumi get a good showing.
The results are below.
- 1st – CKT Elemental Deity
- 2nd – District G C-Krizzle
- 3rd – W3d D Jay_Voo
- 4th – MBA EX-Soldier
- 5th – Asim
- 5th – RTFM Roo Kang
- 7th – InfernoKong
- 7th – District G King Jae
For myself as someone who hadn’t touched a Tekken title for a year, save for a little practice on Friday, it went as expected. I grabbed a few rounds here and there in the tournament but I was more there to get hands on time and watch high level play honestly. Casuals were a happier place where I even managed to net equal wins to losses, which didn’t seem too bad. I’ll need a Rocky montage before I can break into top 8.
As playing the game was my main focus this brings us nicely onto…
Tekken 7 Impressions
First and foremost, this is a proper Tekken game. Therefore use the standard cliche that if you love Tekken you will love this game, if not this game is not likely to convert you. Though that isn’t to say there aren’t any fun new additions to the formula. We have Super-like Rage arts, powered up Rage drive moves and armoured up power crushes. Then there is the matter of Akuma.
When low on health and flashing red you are in Rage mode. Not only do your hits pack a little more punch but you can cash the Rage in for either a Rage art or Rage drive.
Rage drives seem the most tricky but I feel this is mainly due to them being new. Basically they are a series of attacks or a single attack with a higher amount of damage, though if you don’t complete the Rage drive your Rage will still be consumed.
Power crushers are basically hits with armour. Though they only have armour on high and mid so you are still vulnerable to lows.
The Rage arts are the most noticeable. For simplicity imagine a Street Fighter style Super. Triggering the move plays a little cinematic and does a grip of damage. When you’re on your last legs and get a clean Rage Art off boy does it feel good. You’re alive, you’re back in the game. It’s also pretty hype. There was an audible gasp from the crowd watching the event when a clutch one paid off.
Though if you’re talking about getting hype there is a new simple touch that brings provides plenty. Just a little bit of slow-mo at the end of the round. It sounds so subtle but feels so significant, when the action slows down and your heart is in your mouth as you desperately look for who’s move will connect to win the round. Such a smart decision from Namco Bandai and to win in this way in a tense round feels so sweet.
The graphics are sublime and the vibrant look makes the animations really pop. The hit sound effects are as overblown and visceral as ever plus background music tracks are satisfyingly memorable.
Finally as an extra bonus we have new default costumes for characters. It doesn’t sound like much but after many characters have rocked the duds for multiple instalments it is refreshing.
All in all this is a game any Tekken fan will love. The Rage additions are potent and will only get more so over time. The action is high quality, fast paced plus looks and plays fantastically. It just remains to be seen if the singleplayer and online components match up to the same quality of the local multiplayer.