Live from the fighting game tournament, Tekken Survivor Series, comes Gavin Yip. He is the orchestrator for the many successful gaming events held at the X1 Elite Gaming Lounge. Come listen as we talk about the local scene and talent we got right here in Providence!
Every year gamers from all around the globe collect themselves for the, debatably, biggest event in gaming, E3. It comes once a year and usually brings amazing surprises and gifts for the family. Just looking back, there have been many times lives have been changed over announcements made at E3. E3 2018 was no different. Although lacking in surprises because on the internet, no not that internet this internet, it still kept its promise to deliver a great gaming expo experience.
However, every year some people think they’re too good for E3. Some people get the invitation to the party and throw it away. Sure some people forget but in this case, it’s super unlikely. So I’m going to take this opportunity to call out a few people who were missing. And I’m going to rate them on how willing I am to forgive them.
Rocksteady (Batman Arkham Series)
One of the most beloved studios by comic book fans is undeniably Rocksteady, home of the best Batman games ever made. I don’t like Batman, so I’m a little more upset they didn’t show up than I normally would be. Reason? Well, there are way too many rumors that their next project is either a Superman game or a Justice League game. I love Superman. I like Justice League. Is this making sense yet? Good. BI will give them a pass though because they addressed hey didn’t feel ready to show their next project off yet. I can appreciate waiting for some high-quality masterpiece.
THQ Nordic (Darksiders Series, Biomutant, Metro Series)
I always knew Soccer had the largest following in the world of sports. Yet still, I was shocked beyond belief when I saw that these guys were giving up their invitation to E3 to watch the World Cup! Really, that’s a thing that happened. These guys just made an announcement in which almost their entire stable of games was delayed. Biomutant, Darksiders 3, and Metro Exodus all delayed and all we get is a release date for one of them? But as hurt as I am, you gentlemen and women have lives. Enjoy the World Cup, I secretly hope your favorite teams lose. Kidding best of luck.
Tekken X Street Fighter (Namco Bandai)
I don’t even know where to start with this one. I am a huge fan of the Tekken series but not so much of Street Fighter. Regardless I love the characters and stories from both universes. So when the two crossover games were announced I was 100% sold. Even got the collector’s edition of Street Fighter X Tekken. That was the street fighter version and I enjoyed it but not as much as I love Tekken. And yet here we are. My support was for naught. I still anxiously await the Tekken version of this crossover spectacular we were promised. I have hopes it’s still around the corner considering the addition of Akuma and other Capcom and SNK characters in Tekken 7. With Soul Calibur 6 around the corner, however, it might be a while.
Borderlands 3 (Gearbox)
This is the reason Rage 2 exist. I love what Rage 2 looks like it’s going to be. Being brutally honest though, Borderlands 3 is what fans of that type of game are really waiting for. It was one of the games in the same Walmart Canada leak that outed Rage 2. So maybe it’s real and good old Randy was just annoyed that his surprise was ruined. I totally understand his perspective. I hate when people ruin my surprises too. If that’s what happening Randy, I feel your pain and I’m hoping, after the time passes, the official reveal will be out of this world. I have zero doubts it won’t be. I remember reading Game Informer when the first Borderlands was announced. Bring me back to that first high. I need it.
Mortal Kombat 11 (Netherrealm)
Returning to the fighting game world there is a big question for the gruesome champions of parent offending fighting games. The last Mortal Kombat game was released a few years back and while Injustice 2 has been an amazing filler, we need gore. What appeared to be the last batch of DLC came to Injustice 2 a few months back so what have you guys been doing. I expect much more from one of my favorite development studios of all time. Much more dammit! You teased it, Boon!
Sony’s 11 Other Studios
I think that one is pretty obvious. The reality is that Sony is most likely moving their major presentation to PSX. I mean why wouldn’t they. At thins went they cater to the fans and investors and make it all about them. So it makes we didn’t hear much about them but in all honesty the way the cycles are right now we won’t hear from them for a while. I’m sure Guerrilla Games, London, Japan, Polyphony, Bend, Foster, San Diego, Pixel Opus, and Project siren have something fancy coming our way. Just wait and see. I’m all still not entirely sure if Media Molecule’s Dreams was or wasn’t on display. So it might be 10 studios missing.
If you were paying attention you’ll notice all of these absences have been forgiven. These people who make our favorite games are just that, People. At the end of it all, they need a break. They need some time to enjoy the things they enjoy (hopefully video games) and escape from work. I appreciate all the Hardworking individuals in the industry keeping it alive. As much I want to indulge in all these fascinating ideas, I want you to indulge in life. Thanks.
P.S. Miss the next one and you’re not getting another f*cking invite. Bye Bye.
Positioned as the final chapter of the incredible Tekken saga, Tekken 7 arrives to the ring right in the middle of a time where narrative driven fighting games are exchanging hard swings for the top spot. Developed and published by Bandai Namco, which is home to a few of the best story driven games including the Tales series, fellow fighter Soul Calibur, Dark Souls, & a long list of licensed franchises. Keeping longtime fans in mind, Tekken 7 maintains the core mechanics found throughout the series while tossing in a few new bells and whistles to keep things modern and exciting in the competitive scene.
The powerhouse that is Bandai Namco as it stands has no problem at all showcasing its technical prowess in the graphics area. The CGI animations give incredible value to the story telling, though quite possibly the only value (more on that later), by providing fluid mind-blowing visual magic. The cutscenes aren’t the only thing to appreciate when playing Tekken 7 however, more impressive is the pinpoint accuracy of the martial artist movement during gameplay. In a series so heavily embedded in international martial arts forms, every character stems from a different region of the country specializing in region specific martial arts form, the attention to detail is incredible. The body physics of each movement, impact on the body, and areas of exploitation mid move has to be handled carefully and using the Unreal 4 & CriWare, the Tekken team pulls it off flawlessly. When compared to games outside of the fighting genre it is clear there is still a bit more room for amazement but Tekken 7 looks exactly like it should on what should now be considered current generation consoles.
For a game toting itself as the “final chapter” in a long running series filled with incredible narratives driving the main story as well as the side stories for every character, Tekken 7 missed the mark by a long shot. The story is told through the perspective of a journalist who seemingly has been negatively impacted by the shenanigans of the Mishima family since the events of Tekken 4, as he continues to dive into the drama happening within the family and those close to it. The problem is the story provides more questions than it does answers and when it provides answers it tends to do so to either the least interesting questions or to questions most longtime fans already have the answers to. Even more disappointing is the lack of any true character development or major insight into the stories of the supporting cast. The majority of the playable characters in Tekken 7 get a single fight version of a story and none of them ever truly seem interesting, cohesive, or entirely valuable. The most painful part of it all comes in the form of the lackluster inclusion of guest fighter Akuma from Street Fighter, with even more questions being raised about how he got involved in all the action. The plot in Tekken 7 exist solely thanks to the series having built a story that needed to be completed. Did the story end? Seemingly, but was the ending good? Absolutely not.
The Tekken series has always had an incredible soundtrack and Tekken 7 incredibly raises the bar by not only having an amazing soundtrack of its own but also including the soundtrack from every game in the series. Managing to find a smooth balance of music that covers nearly every genre from heavy metal to smooth ballads to techno, the soundtrack can be used as fight music or light party ambience for any occasion. The voice acting on the other hand could definitely have taken a few steps upward, primarily during the story. Having the story narrated by one central character was already a pretty poor choice, but to have a bland uninteresting voice do the work as well seems like an intentional attempt to fail. The unknown journalist reads through the story as if he was assuming the player would be as disinterested as he is.
After nearly a decade of games Tekken 7 is the ultimate display of nearly perfect balance within a fighting game. It retains the majority of what has made the series incredible, technical, and fascinating. Newcomers unfamiliar with the series will find it very easy to grasp the concept of each face button controlling a specific limb while inputs on the directional pad alter the type of attack made. The interesting addition of the Rage Arts & Rage Drives, which can shift the balance of combat very quickly, add a new dynamic for long time veterans to enjoy mastering and understanding how to counter. The inclusion of real world martial art styles also helps to accentuate the flair and complexity of the gameplay with some characters having very defensive styles, very aggressive styles, fast styles and slow styles their are character choices for every type of player.
Tekken 7 at it’s core is a fighting game and as I always say, fighting games are fun for those who enjoy fighting games. With that said Tekken 7 is an extremely technical fighting game that is at its most fun when playing against someone of equal skill levels. The combo system is so powerful and demanding that playing against someone significantly better would be extremely boring and unexciting as the challenge can be overwhelming. The fun factor of Tekken goes above and beyond with the inclusion of character customization which allows you to dress up series favorites like Kazuya, Heihachi, and Paul Phoenix in the most ridiculous garments. Of course for those who say, love getting some decent “looks” at female characters in games, fear not as bikini costumes are available by the boatload. A few dozen arcade modes make Tekken 7 amazingly fun to play, save for the story mode of course.
As a fighting game, Tekken 7 hits the nail on the head by being a completely well-balanced technical and competitive fighter with hours upon hours worth of customizable fun. As a complete fighting game package however, Tekken 7 misses the mark significantly by providing a mediocre, bland, and incredibly disappointing narrative especially considering that; A) it was positioned as the final chapter in a series deep rooted in an incredible storyline and B) it released in a time where every game in its genre is pushing the boundary of storytelling in video games (except for Street Fighter 5, that narrative was inexcusably terrible). Tekken 7 delivers excellently for competitive fighters, but by narrative is a complete disaster.