Tekken 8 game review

    TechnologyGamingTekken 8 game review

    The game Tekken brings me back to a time when fighting games were transitioning into 3D. This was 30 years ago when Virtua Fighter sought to add a third dimension to fighting video games as part of an ambitious step forward for the genre. The Tekken series has gone through many installments and has been at the forefront of fighting games ever since, although almost a decade has gone by since the release of Tekken 7 in 2015. The storylines and characters made each game memorable in their own way, but can the latest iteration of the Tekken franchise bring in new players while satisfying the old guard?

    While the games usually center on the King of Iron Fist Tournament and the perspectives of each character and what happens if they win it, this installment of Tekken focuses on a familiar storyline within the Tekken series, involving in-fighting among Kazuya Mishima and his son Jin Kazama. Early on in the series, Kazuya Mishima served as the protagonist of the game, while Jin Kazama became the protagonist of the series starting with Tekken 3. Both are associated with the Mishima Zaibatsu, who are also the main sponsors of the King of Iron First Tournament. The story picks up as Kazuya Mishima announces a new King of Iron First Tournament amidst destruction from fighting between Kazuya and Jin’s factions. This tournament includes representatives from various nations. Kazuya also announces that the winner will be rewarded, while the losers will face destruction.

    While the gameplay is the same Tekken gameplay you know and love (and also the first fighting game to use Unreal Engine 5), there are new characters and elements in the game. Fighting games tend to reward quick reaction times, and this is no different in Tekken 8, although there are now some new systems such as the Heat state. Heat makes the game reward offense over defense, so you’ll have to be more aggressive than your opponent to make full use of it.

    In addition, Heat also lasts for ten seconds and changes the nature of your moveset. It allows you to do things such as a heavy guard break or a dash cancel. What makes Heat interesting is that you can recover health when guarding against Heat or normal heavy attacks, which ironically makes the intricate balance between offense and defense even more important. The Tornado effect allows you to flip opponents during juggles, making characters like Eddy Gordo (or anyone who knows how to juggle characters) even more overpowered.

    The environment is more important now than in previous games—you can now do Hard Wall Breaks, Hard Floor Breaks, Wall Blasts, Wall Bound, and Floor Blast, which allows you to use the environment to your advantage. Floor Blasts can make juggles even more dangerous as it sends an opponent back up into the air, so if you’re a juggling genius, you can potentially defeat opponents through this method alone.

    Several new characters also come into the game—Angel Jin, who is only playable in The Dark Awakens Story Mode; Azucena Milagros Ortiz Castillo, a Peruvian mixed martial artist; Jack-8, a new G Corporation Jack model; Reina, a mysterious girl who goes to Mishima Polytechnical School; and Victor Chevalier, a United Nations super-spy who is of a royal French knight lineage. Other fan favorites and long-time franchise staples return, such as Bryan Fury, Hwoarang, Xiaoyu, Marshall Law, Eddy Gordo (as DLC), Yoshimitsu, Nina Williams, and Paul Phoenix.

    After nine years between releases, the Tekken franchise remains strong. It is apparent that the franchise has not lost its luster despite the lack of an arcade release. Bandai Namco once again proves that fighting games are its bread and butter, and Tekken 8 is a worthy addition to any gamer’s collection—especially if you’ve been putting almost 30 years into the franchise like I have.

    Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
    Developers(s): Bandai Namco Studios, Arika
    Platform(s): PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X/S

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