Time for TEKKEN!

With the release of Tekken 8 we wanted to provide a little insight for the classic gamer on what exactly Tekken is and how is it different.


Delving into the realm of fighting games, two significant names resonate within the gaming community - Tekken and Street Fighter. Each game offers a unique fusion of captivating narratives, compelling characters, and intricate gameplay mechanics.

Tekken: A Saga of Revenge and Family Rivalry

Tekken, developed and published by Namco, is a 3D fighting game initially introduced as an arcade game in 1994. Subsequently ported to the PlayStation, it became one of the best-selling games on this platform. The game revolves around characters competing in the King of Iron Fist Tournament, with themes of revenge and family rivalry at its core.

Street Fighter: Pioneering the World of Fighting Games

On the other hand, Street Fighter, a product of Capcom's creativity, is a pioneer in the fighting game genre. Its 2D gameplay mechanics, coupled with a diverse array of characters and special moves, have carved an indelible mark in the world of fighting games.

The significance of comparing these two titans lies in their distinctive contributions to the fighting game genre. Despite sharing a common theme - hand-to-hand combat - they offer different experiences shaped by their distinct gameplay mechanics and narrative approaches. This comparison not only illuminates their unique features but also provides insights into what makes each game resonate with its dedicated fanbase.

History and Development

Tekken emerged on the scene as a groundbreaking arcade game in the early 90s, conceived by Namco, a Japanese company already known for their contributions to the gaming industry. The game's inception marked a significant moment in the evolution of fighting games, with its release in 1994 setting a new standard for what players could expect from the genre.

Creating an Immersive Experience

Namco aimed to create an experience that was both visually striking and deeply strategic. With this focus, they crafted a game that allowed for fluid movement within a three-dimensional space, which was revolutionary at the time.

Transition to PlayStation

When Tekken made its transition from the arcade to the PlayStation, it wasn't simply a matter of porting over an existing game. The developers optimized it for home play, taking full advantage of the console's capabilities. This adaptation was met with acclaim upon its game release; players were eager to bring the arcade experience into their living rooms.

  • The initial PlayStation version of Tekken provided not only a new platform for players but also set a precedent for future installments.
  • Its success on PlayStation became a cornerstone of Namco's strategy, influencing how they approached subsequent titles in the series.

Shaping the Fighting Game Genre

By entering homes worldwide, Tekken began to build its legacy as a defining 1994 fighting video game, shaping the landscape of what competitive combat games could be.

Gameplay Mechanics

Diving headfirst into the world of Tekken and Street Fighter, let's dissect the key components that form their respective gameplay mechanics. These elements are the heart and soul of any fighting game, dictating how you engage with your opponent and ultimately claim victory.

Tekken: A Symphony of Strikes

Tekken's gameplay foundation is built on intricate hand-to-hand combat. Each character comes equipped with dozens of unique moves, forming a vast move list for players to explore. There's a certain level of precision required in executing attacks, where timing, distance, and understanding your character's strengths play pivotal roles. The game employs a four-button system representing left punch, right punch, left kick, and right kick.

A standout feature in Tekken is the inclusion of juggles or "air combos". Once an opponent is launched airborne via certain moves, they become susceptible to a series of follow-up attacks forming a "juggle". Mastery over juggling is essential for maximizing damage output and can often swing the tide of a battle.

Street Fighter: The Art of Hadoukens

In contrast to Tekken, Street Fighter primarily revolves around a six-button layout comprising three punches and three kicks. The combat design leans heavily towards the use of special moves - executed via unique joystick movements coupled with button presses - which are often flashy and deal significant damage.

Unlike Tekken, aerial combat isn't as pronounced in Street Fighter. While you can perform air-attacks or respond to enemy jumps, there's no mechanic akin to Tekken's juggling concept.

Movement Differences

Navigating your character around the stage varies significantly between these two games. Here's how they differ:

  1. In Street Fighter, movement is primarily two-dimensional - you move forward, backward, crouch or jump in an arcade-style plane.
  2. On the flip side, Tekken introduces an additional dimension to movement. The 3D stages allow characters to sidestep into the foreground or background, adding a layer of depth to the strategic positioning during fights.

Fighting Styles: A World of Difference

A key difference between Tekken and Street Fighter lies in their approach towards fighting styles. Here's how they differ:

  1. In Street Fighter, characters often possess fantastical abilities, shooting fireballs or spinning through the air like a tornado.
  2. Tekken, however, takes a more grounded approach. The characters exhibit fighting styles that mirror real-world martial arts. From Hwoarang's Tae Kwon Do to King's pro-wrestling moves, each character feels like a genuine practitioner of their respective style.

To summarize this section, each game provides a distinctive experience due to their unique gameplay mechanics:

  1. While Street Fighter offers an arcade-like feel with its special moves and two-dimensional setup,
  2. Tekken brings a more realistic combat simulation with its emphasis on hand-to-hand combat techniques and 3D movement.

Characteristics and Features

Diving into the specifics, Tekken and Street Fighter present unique character rosters that set them apart.

Tekken's Character Roster

Tekken, known for its diverse and extensive lineup, boasts over 40 characters in its latest installment. Each character brings a specific fighting style to the table, inspired by various martial arts forms worldwide. You'll find practitioners of Boxing, Capoeira, Taekwondo, and even an android with chainsaws for arms! Tekken's character models show a high level of detail, further enhancing the visual experience.

Street Fighter's Character Roster

Street Fighter, on the other hand, has a slightly smaller roster but no less diversity. The characters are not bound by the rules of realism as in Tekken - you might see a Yoga master stretching his limbs to impossible lengths or a green-skinned mutant with electrifying abilities. Street Fighter's character models have evolved over time from pixelated sprites to fully rendered 3D models but maintain their iconic exaggerated proportions.

Engaging Game Modes

But what good is a diverse roster without engaging game modes? Both Tekken and Street Fighter offer various ways to enjoy their games.

Tekken Game Modes

The latest Tekken games include:

  1. Arcade mode: A traditional mode where you fight against computer-controlled opponents in succession.
  2. Story mode: Here, you follow each character's narrative within the overarching plot.
  3. Treasure Battle: A unique mode where players engage in successive battles to earn customization items.
  4. Online mode: Allows players to challenge others globally in ranked or casual matches.

Street Fighter Game Modes

In contrast, Street Fighter also offers several game modes:

  1. Arcade Mode: Similar to Tekken's arcade mode but with different paths based on past Street Fighter games.
  2. Story Mode: Each character has their own story which ties into the main plot.
  3. Survival Mode: Players fight as many opponents as possible before their health runs out.
  4. Online Mode: Players can test their skills against others worldwide.

To sum up, both Tekken and Street Fighter shine in their own unique ways. Tekken offers a realistic approach with detailed character models and a variety of martial arts styles. Street Fighter, alternatively, offers a more stylized and exaggerated take on the fighting game genre. The diverse game modes in both franchises ensure that there's always a new challenge waiting for you around the corner.

Narrative Approach

Tekken stands out not only for its gameplay mechanics but also for its narrative approach. Unlike many fighting games, Tekken doesn't restrict itself to a simple tournament framework. It delves deeper into the lives and motivations of its characters, creating a compelling narrative that adds depth to the game.

The Mishima Family Saga: A Tale of Betrayals and Power Struggles

An integral part of Tekken's narrative is its focus on family drama and rivalry. The Mishima family saga - a complex web of betrayals, revenge, and power struggles - forms the backbone of Tekken's story. This narrative thread provides a context for the fights in the game and gives players a reason to invest emotionally in their chosen characters.

Individual Backstories: Tragedy and Drama in Every Fight

Notably, each character in Tekken has their own unique backstory that intertwines with the overarching plot. These individual narratives are often tragic or dramatic, adding another layer of complexity to the game's storyline. For instance:

  • Hwoarang, an arrogant Tae Kwon Do master from Korea, enters the tournament to challenge his rival Jin Kazama.

These personal rivalries and quests for redemption or vengeance contribute significantly to Tekken's rich narrative fabric.

Immersive Storytelling: From Design to Gameplay

The storytelling elements in Tekken go beyond cut-scenes and dialogues. They're embedded in the game design itself - from character design and fighting styles to stage settings and music. Each element is crafted meticulously to align with the game's narrative themes and enhance player immersion.

In essence, Tekken uses intricate storytelling as a tool to augment its gameplay experience. It weaves an intricate tapestry of narratives that resonates with players on an emotional level, setting it apart from other fighting games like Street Fighter.

Reception and Impact

Tekken's debut received widespread acclaim from game critics and enthusiasts. The game's innovative 3D fighting mechanics and extensive roster of characters earned it high praise in the gaming community. Critics especially praised its:

  • Depth of gameplay
  • Character design
  • Intricate mechanics like juggle combos

Publications like Electronic Gaming Monthly and GamePro gave Tekken top ratings, citing its graphics and fluidity of movement as groundbreaking.

The game's popularity soared, leading to a passionate fan base that appreciated not just the combat system but also the compelling storylines of its characters.

Tekken propelled the evolution of 3D fighters, influencing subsequent games to incorporate more dynamic movements and cinematic elements into their gameplay.

Its impact on the fighting game genre was significant:

  1. It set new standards for graphical fidelity and game mechanics.
  2. Its emphasis on a three-dimensional battlefield introduced layers of strategy that competitors had to adapt to in subsequent titles.
  3. This innovation forced rival franchises to rethink their approach to game design, pushing the entire genre forward.

As players mastered Tekken's complex systems, they pushed the boundaries of competitive play, contributing to the rise of fighting game tournaments around the globe.

The series' longevity is a testament to its quality, with sequels continuing to add fresh dynamics while staying true to the core elements that fans originally fell in love with.

Transitioning from reception to its broader cultural impact, Tekken has left an indelible mark beyond just gaming circles, inspiring merchandise, movies, and even crossover appearances in other video games.


Tekken distinguishes itself in the fighting game arena with several unique attributes that contrast sharply with Street Fighter.

1. 3D combat system: Tekken's signature feature is its 3D combat system, allowing fighters to sidestep into the foreground or background, adding a layer of depth to the strategy. This spatial element is absent in Street Fighter's predominantly 2D gameplay.

2. Realistic martial arts influence: The characters in Tekken possess a realistic martial arts influence, each with a distinct fighting style that resonates with real-world techniques. In comparison, Street Fighter opts for a more stylized representation of combat.

3. Detailed combo system and dynamic aerial juggling: The detailed combo system and the dynamic aerial juggling in Tekken also offer a different flavor of challenge and satisfaction for players seeking to master these mechanics.

4. Character-driven stories: Tekken's narrative, woven through its character-driven stories, often revolves around complex themes such as family and revenge. This approach provides a stark contrast to the generally lighter and more character-centric narratives found in Street Fighter.

When reflecting on these differences, it is evident that Tekken has carved out its niche within the fighting game genre. It stands as a testament to innovation in game design, captivating players who crave depth both in mechanics and story.

While both games are iconic staples in their own right, Tekken's distinct approach continues to attract and enthrall a dedicated fan base eager for the next bout in the King of Iron Fist Tournament.