It's Probably Katsuhiro Harada's Turn To Learn From Ed Boon Now?

Once upon a time there was a legend who revolutionized the 3D graphics fighting game area. That guy was Namco's Katsuhiro Harada. Although Virtua Fighter was the first 3D graphics fighting game but it was Tekken that revolutionized and evolved that industry through ups and downs. I remembered how I wasn't always a fan of Tekken due to sluggish controls during the first two games (the third started fixing that so I did become a fan of Tekken 3) though those games sold in the 90s. The first Tekken game took the world by storm and a second one was released just a year later after the firs game. Tekken 2 was starting to evolve with more character endings but there was still the problem of the computer is a cheating bastard. Tekken 3 was the last fifth generation console (and it was still a PS1 exclusive) before the arena upgraded into the much more powerful sixth generation consoles with Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 4 and Tekken 5.

I still can't forget reading from an old electronic gaming magazine where Ed Boon admits he's a fan of both Tekken and Virtua Fighter -- though the 3D Mortal Kombat games wouldn't be as fun as Tekken IMHO. Both games somewhat bumped into each other more often than not. I found Tekken's more simplistic approach more addicting than the three fighting styles per person approach in Mortal Kombat. Eventually, Boon started copying more from Harada since MK vs. DC (which I didn't like) and when Mortal Kombat was rebooted -- I got what I wanted for some time. Not exactly perfect but it was really a great game. I know I've been bitching wishing Boon would return cinematic endings (though Story Mode is full of good cinematic scenes). Then, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 kicked in which I believe is more addicting than the Mortal Kombat (2011) reboot.

But this is where I was bummed over. Mortal Kombat X was released on 2015 and Tekken 7 was released on 2017. Rather than improve the gaming experience -- I felt Tekken 7 was a downgrade. The Arcade Mode was so super short with just FIVE characters? That's shorter than the Novice Tower of the Mortal Kombat 3 series! The Story Mode isn't even as captivating and you've got that boring narrator draining life out of it! I even thought that the Story Mode could've been really good IF that boring narrator just didn't exist. Worse, I thought Tekken 7 is making toddlers out of players. What made Tekken good was the accessible to deep gameplay but the game got too accessible. MKX may not be perfect but at least you've got the ten character arcade ladder where the character ending (Still Boon why no Tekken-like endings?!) and a whole lot more of game modes. Heck, even paid DLC had endings so why aren't they available for Tekken 7?

It's most likely that Harada himself got complacent with his past successes that Tekken 7 ended up anemic. Do you remember what you've probably liked about Tekken? It's the constant innovation and evolution not only with gameplay but also with other content. A good thing abut Tekken 6 (even if I had to play through Scenario Campaign's Arena Mode to get the character endings) was the rich content it had and that the Arcade Mode was still long enough to keep you entertained! Yet Tekken 7 was a huge step backward with the extra content. Where's the fun Ghost Mode? Where's the Team Battle and whatever modes made it fun? I guess investing in nostalgic value such as unlocking past endings was NOT the best way to do so. I would rather pay to watch past endings than to pay for additional characters or game modes. I'd say the priorities were screwed up.

With MK11 on the way -- I hope Harada finds a way to make up for the mess that's Tekken 7. I wonder should he even release an upgrade version of the game with a longer arcade mode (at least eight to ten characters) or what? The next Tekken game should let you unlock character endings like you did in most Tekken games -- by defeating the Arcade Mode and not that lousy Character Episode mode in Tekken 7. With that in mind -- I hope Harada grabs a pen and paper, take notes and try where Boon got it right and where he went wrong.

Hmmm.... what do you think?