Posted: February 4, 2015 in Video Games

I decided to take a look back at the Tekken series seeing as we have just pased the 20 year milestone of the series. Tekken 7 is due out in arcades this month and hopefully on consoles next year (heres hoping there isn’t a massive wait like there was for Tekken 6!). It is crazy to think that we are now in Tekken’s twenty first year of being a ‘thing’.

Tekken was releaed in arcades all the way back in 1994. Upon first seeing the game in action I wrote it off as a Virtua Fighter imitation. In a way it was. Naturally Sega hit gold with Virtua Fighter so who can blame Namco and others for wanting a cut of the action?

I was interested to see what it was like, how it played and I did not like it. At all. I remember finding it very hard. Looking back I can see that was a good and obvious route for the game to take. It was a challenge and with each button corresponding to a part of the body – left punch, right punch, left kick, right kick etc it gave a great degree of control. My tiny mind just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I did love the throws, I found it easier to throw an opponent than it was in Virtua Fighter and the animations were great, it looked painful! King’s leg grab is a faveourite 🙂 Even now on the PSN Tekken is still hardly a walk in the park. I can blitz through Tekken 2 to Tekken Revolution like nobody else but I still find the original hard.

The inital arcade release had eight characters for the player to choose between. The roster was made up of a bunch of weirdos haha. I can still see myself standing at the arcade looking at the character select screen and thinking “Who is that? A guy with a panther head? Robots? I’m gonna go the blonde girl!” ha ha. So next time a Lucky Chole or Alisa is added to the series just stop and remind yourself that Tekken has always been a home for the unusual. Like, have you seen Paul hair? Come on! Do you think there’s gel on this planet that would allow Kazuya’s hair to stay like that?!

Tekken employed infinte areas for the fights to take place in. Whereas Virtua Fighter had raised areanas that allowed for ring outs Tekken’s fights would go on until one fighter was KO’d. No ring outs. The stages all have a odd look due to the fact they go on forever but the detail was good for the time and lent the game a identity all it’s own. Such stages included places like Windermere, Chicago, King Geroge Island and Fiji! Opting for real world locales instead of a fantasy setting. The soundtrack also adds so much to the games atmosphere. I like the music in the game a lot. Some of the tracks are quite atmospheric and at the time they made the game really stand out.

Looking back on Tekken I never would have guessed from my first encounter with the game how much I would grow to love it and savour each new game in this fantastic series. I hope it continues for another twenty years, all the while nailing that expert gameplay and embraceing the weird and wonderful. Long live Tekken!

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