Hello biffers, your Mars is in ascendance. That astrologist you consulted about your mortgage now has a relatable character to use in punchsome fighting game Tekken 7. Zafina is a purple clad fighter with a keen interest in the stars circling your head after she knocks you the flip out. She also has a giant claw for a hand, because what self-respecting Gemini doesn’t have an evil limb that threatens to take control of their mind? Alongside her release today comes a free update with new moves for other players and some other small changes to the knuckle sandwich ’em up. Come and fight me for them.
Okay, you win. Zafina is the first of three fighters to come during the game’s third season. She is a storm of cartwheels, claw swipes, and high-heeled face stomps. She contorts her body around like some kind of twisted earwig. This must be those “ancient assassination arts” I read about. “This fighting style is characterized by its unpredictability and creepiness,” reads the ever-useful Tekken wiki. “Practitioners of these ancient styles can be seen crawling like insects.” Splendid.
The next lad to come this season will be Leroy Smith, who is essentially Ip Man with dreadlocks. He’ll be kung-fu-ing out this winter. There’s also a third and fourth character we don’t know about yet, due next year. Some folks are hoping for a guest appearance from Kiryu Kazama from the Yakuza series of dad ’em ups. But I think we all know we’re really getting the dinosaur from Tekken 2.
Alongside the claw woman today is a free update with a whole (iron) fist full of balancing changes. The season three patch notes includes a swarm of frame, distance, and damage tweaks for all characters. Changes that seem so tiny they were probably made by a sweating programmer in medical scrubs with a pair of tweezers. But of course, dedicated punchers will notice the difference.
Importantly, every character is getting at least one new move. There’s nothing toooo flashy but fightists will happily take ’em. Insufferable pop star Lucky Chloe has a hellsweep now, while philanthropist big cat impersonator King can smack people with his elbow in a slightly different fashion. My beloved pisshead Miguel has a fuming new boot to the ankle. He hates your ankles and has always hated your ankles.
Other minor changes include some more detailed stats showing on loading screens between online fights. Basically it gives you a bunch of grades, like a disappointed teacher. D for “aggressiveness”. F for “defensive ability”. That sort of thing. Just another bad report card to hide from my parents.
On top of this there are now new preset costumes for characters. Players have been pointing out that these costumes are now “tournament legal” according to the rules of Tekken tournaments, like those in the ongoing Tekken World Tour. Which means wacky and potentially distracting costumes like those worn by these two idiots may technically be allowed, even though they’re frowned-upon for making a character’s movements harder to see. I guess we’ll find out if that’s allowed or not in upcoming tourneys. Exciting!