It’s the winter holiday season again. Time for traveling, spending time with your loved ones, and punching each of their faces in the King of Iron Fist Tournament!
Bare Knuckle IPA
A relative new challenger to the craft brewing scene, Brawling Bear Brewing enters the ring with an East Coast style IPA that would be right at home with Heihachi’s personal bodyguard, Kuma.
The appropriately named Bare Knuckle IPA has a subtly sweet nose of mandarin orange and floral hops. This brew leads with a tart hoppy bite, followed by a one-two punch of all-pulp orange juice and a hint of grapefruit. The final blow is a precision strike of biscuit dough with a clean mineral finish.
This delicious ale is trained in both citrus and malt styles, with flavors of fresh-baked scones with sweet orange glaze. I can’t wait to see what other brews Brawling Bear has to offer in the future.
Besides spiral-cut ham and oranges in our Christmas stockings, we had one major holiday tradition growing up. My brother and I would wake up Christmas morning and challenge each other to whatever new video game that Santa left by the tree.
As a result, the King of Iron Fist Tournament has been a staple in my family’s house since Tekken 3 hit the Sony PlayStation in 1998. Now that the latest iteration of this hallowed skirmish has graced our respective consoles, its time to see how much things have changed over the last 19 years.
From a macro view, Tekken has not changed drastically since the sixth title. Mainstay characters return to deliver devastating blows, the Mishima family reigns supreme, and costume options for characters remain absolutely delightful.
However, there are some MAJOR differences introduced in Tekken 7. Most notably, characters from outside franchises (with uncharacteristic movesets) such as Akuma and Geese Howard (from Street Fighter and Fatal Fury, respectively) have been invited to join the fray.
Not to mention, every character now has a Rage Art, which is a desperate attack that deals massive damage as a last-ditch effort when health is low. This feels very counter to the sort of “no super move” mechanics of previous Tekken titles.
That being said, I am enjoying Tekken 7. It is interesting (and frustrating) to fight against my brother’s wicked Akuma and Geese cameos in a fighting game where I am used to tried-and-true rivalries (Yoshimitsu vs. Heihachi, Lee vs. Kazuya, King vs. Ganryu). Story mode has proven to be a way to force me to use characters outside of my wheelhouse. Plus, Treasure Battle mode has given me the opportunity to dress my boys in fashionable outfits.
What sort of gaming tradition do you celebrate during the winter holidays? Perhaps you have delicious drinks that you store for the winter. Share either or both of these in the comments!
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