After spending 2 years being fine tuned in arcade, Tekken 7 is out for home players and it was worth the wait.
The top mode in T7 is the Mishima story mode which takes you through the history of the Tekken staple Mishima family from before Tekken 1 to the present. It is bombastic and does a decent enough job at explaining the gist of their relationship and wraps up their life long battle. The player is given a special move shorcut that will help you defeat your opponents without having to know the ins and outs of every character you are switched to. The main issue with this mode is the last couple fights. They are easily the most frustrating battles that I have ever experienced in a fighting game. Cross map projectiles? Check. Infinite energy for those moves? Check. Health and damage buffs for the enemy? You got it. Instant kill moves once they hit half health? You better believe. Regenerating Health? You bet your sweet ass. I know lists usually are most effective in threes, but I want to get across how absolute shit those fights, particularly the last one, are. It's a shame too, as I think T7 will be a lot of new fans entry point into the series and it is easy to see many bouncing off of these fights. It would be one thing if it felt rewarding, but these fights require a very careful play style. I was not left with a feeling of catharsis, but feeling drained.
The side story mode for all the other characters is as wacky as always, but feels tossed off. Single fights with text cards to fill in the story feel very anemic compared to past offerings. Luckily all the cutscenes from every Tekken game to date are in T7 as unlockables. Watching those really shows how great T7 looks. The visuals and the animation are top notch.
The online mode is fine for what it is. I had some bad luck with connections early on, but it seemed to even out. It should prove decently stable if playing online is your sort of thing. As for offline offerings, there is Arcade mode, which focuses on a few short fights ending in a boss battle , and Treasure Battle, which has you going through consecutive fights in order to get in game currency and unlockable costume pieces. Outside of that is the standard Practice mode, which has a very useful feature of playing different tones for each 'beat' of a combo, allowing you to preform combos based on the sound of their rhythm rather than just by feel. Lastly, there is a decently robust customization section for you to dress up the roster however your heart sees fit. Most of the pieces need to be purchased with the in game currency, but that flows generously, so you should never be too far from buying what you want.
Tekken has been around for more than 20 years now. It has always been a staple of the fighting game community, but Tekken 7 is a great high point of the series. It is accessible to low level play, but can impenetrable to enter higher skill ranks. This makes it feel all the more rewarding when you manage to pull off a decent combo. There is a reputation among the fighting game community that Tekken players are arrogant, and I can believe it because there are few things in gaming that can make you feel as bad ass as winning a Tekken match well.