The year is 2018, and Tekken now has a character roster consisting of Akuma, Geese Howard, and, er, Noctis. Boot Tekken 7 up and you'll see four different company trademarks on the start screen: Bandai Namco, Capcom, SNK, and Square Enix. It's a weird sight to say the least.
Tekken has always had its character roster quirks -- hell, Kuma, a literal bear, is still beating people half to death with his giant paws in this very game -- but Noctis simply doesn't feel like he belongs. In a fighter where every other character uses unarmed martial arts (okay, aside from Yoshimitsu, kind of), Noctis is swinging swords, spears, and axes around like it's nobody's business. He'd look fine in SoulCalibur, but Tekken? It's an awkward fit.
Fortunately, the development team has gone above and beyond in adapting the Final Fantasy XV protagonist so that he functions just like a Tekken character. Even with all of his flashy attacks and constant teleporting, Noctis somehow still adheres to all of the game's rules -- and that's seriously impressive.
And yes, that also means he controls like a Tekken character. Unlike fellow guest fighters Akuma and Geese, Noctis doesn't have a resource bar or any similar gimmicks -- he's a lot more traditional than he may first appear. Indeed, many Tekken staples are present here; he's got a mid jab, a low sweep, a hop kick of sorts, strings that feature unsafe highs, and a bunch of moves that cause tailspin. Having said all that, Noctis still feels very unique, and that comes as no real surprise since he can summon an armoury out of thin air.
His weaponry doesn't give him a damage boost or anything like that, but his various armaments do give him access to a number of unorthodox techniques. Perhaps most notably, Noctis has some crazy range. His warp strike allows him to instantly close the gap on his opponent from almost full screen, and moves that utilise his great sword or spear can hit over large distances. Even if you're just flicking through his move list in practice mode, you can tell that he's got access to some very effective tools.
Relatively speaking, Noctis is also quite easy to use. Most of his moves are simple in terms of execution, and the same can be said of his juggle combos. With this in mind, it's clear that he's designed as something of a beginner's character, and that makes sense when you consider the possibility that fans of Final Fantasy may be jumping into Tekken 7 just to give him a shot.
Overall, Noctis is a solid and satisfying addition to Tekken 7 -- even if we don't think that he's an especially good fit. He's flashy, easy to pick up, and his stage has some top notch music. Seriously, that Tekken remix of the Final Fantasy XV battle theme is superb.
Alongside Geese, Tekken 7's downloadable guest character duo cover two distinct bases. Geese is complex and a sure hit with the hardcore fighting game community, while Noctis is accessible, and aims for a much wider audience. It's been an interesting approach, and one that we think has worked reasonably well, but here's hoping that there's more in store for Tekken 7 down the line.
Have you given Noctis a try in Tekken 7? What do you think of him? Warp strike into the comments section below.
I come from the future. There's no Capcom vs SNK 3, but Akuma, Geese, and a Final Fantasy character are in Tekken.
Not only Yoshimitsu, Master Raven also has a sword.
@Amusei She doesn't use it outside of very specific moves, though, like her rage art and a couple of juggles if I remember right.
He is fun to play but why Tekken DLC characters have the honour of a review and not all the other fighting games?
What a surprise. I felt he didn't fit in at all from the get go, at least Geese and Akuma are from fighting games which made sense. This clown was just an attempt to force Final Fantasy down our throats yet again. Heck if they wanted to put in a character from the Final Fantasy series they should have put Sabin in from Final Fantasy VI at least he had moves like a fighting game already.
@Tasuki More like traditional 2D fighters though
I want a few returning Tekken characters to be honest. Never was a big FF fan so I’ll pass for now. That Tekken bowl mode needs to go on sale.
Knowing Squeenix, they will add either him or another XV character in the new Soul Calibur.
@Feena The unfortunate truth is that I'm the only one on our team who's into fighting games, but my time's limited to begin with. I'm big into Tekken so that's always the easiest game for me to cover in any real detail. Would love to do more (SFV, for example) but I just don't play it often enough to do it justice.
That’s awesome to hear. I might have to get Tekken 7 one day.
@ShogunRok I see, I see - it totally makes sense. I have been maining Noctis and Blanka since their releases anyway ^~^
@Feena And what do you think of Noctis? A bit overpowered in places? Or just solid? I've seen a lot of conflicting opinions.
@ShogunRok True that, I main Raven and Kazumi, working on Noctis as well, who do you play with? Also curious as to what your online ranking is, my Raven and Kazumi are both fighter rank, just failed my promotion to vanguard ☹️
@Amusei I've always been a King main but in Tekken 7 I've also branched out to Claudio, Feng, and Gigas. Also a bit of Leo. Might try to get better with Noctis too.
My online ranking is low with just about everyone — not even in green ranks. But I only played online ranked when I was reviewing the game, I play local or unranked against friends 99% of the time. It's one of those things where if I had the time, I'd love to get online more often.
But yeah, I've seen a lot of people say online can get tricky around the green ranks. Gotta learn those match ups and keep trying!
Sometimes it would be nice if you guys could take contributions from readers so we could help reviewing/covering stories, using the obvious filtering/editing so it meets your standards.
@ShogunRok I feel you, tekken is very time consuming if you want to get good at it, I'm having quite the struggle in the green ranks 😅 I also usually just play against my friends offline. It's the only fighting game I really got into, also looking forward to Soul Cal VI
@ShogunRok very solid but not broken or anything... His lower limbs are slow and pretty useless tbh and is pretty limited at close range. He's very flashy and mashy though and a joy to play...
@Feena Write a review feena and become @shogunrok understudy. Just like martial arts Robert Maiagi (karate kid) Ramsey will have you cleaning fences and washing cars to improve your defence in no time.
@ShogunRok I main king too! And Paul. Disappointed with gigas prefer Murdock!
@themcnoisy @Feena My other classes include watching anime and eating pizza. Also responding to hundreds of dumb emails every day.
@Ridwaano I seem to be in the minority because I prefer Gigas to Marduk — at least in terms of design.
Anyway, King Bros UNITE!
@ShogunRok I'll take the pizza class, thanks.
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