Tekken 8 Review


Tekken 8 Review

The Fate of the Iron Fist... 

It’s always exciting to see a new iteration of a beloved fighter take the next step into another generation of gaming. Tekken’s evolution has been nothing short of spectacular, from its early years of clunky fighting on home console, expertise and artistry demonstrated in the arcades, and proving that its the King of the Iron Fist in 2024. Bouldering its way through a blistering seven entries, its eighth looks to leave an everlasting impression within the industry and its unyielding fanbase. We’ve been spoiled this last year with excellent fighters such as Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat 1 demonstrating their respective improvements, but Tekken 8 takes the cake in what is an impressive chapter in its ongoing omnibus.

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While Tekken’s narrative has always been confounding to many, Tekken 8 continues its zany, Anime-inspired tropes through wacky and unimaginable character traits shown by its boasting cast of new and returning characters. Fan favourites make their grand return such as King, Jin, Kazuya, Nina, Paul, Jack and more, but with some characters now retired, there’s room for more to enter the fray and make an immediate impact on who your main may be. With each entry comes a respective sprinkle of features that enhance the overall Tekken formula that has fundamentally remained untouched – barring a few tweaks to improve mobility with your character, simplicity and smoother movement for better momentum – but the core framework is still relative, but new features pack an extra punch that will astound players of each generation, welcoming them back to the best fighter around.

Good to be King...

Let’s talk tur–CHICKEN. Tekken 7 was remarkable for many facets within the franchise, but notably how adaptable it was, plus perfection in overall presentation. Tekken 8 is leaps and bounds ahead of this, with some of the most dazzling, picturesque arenas that will have you gaze in awe at how gorgeous it is. This is simply a small piece of Tekken’s improvements. If your main is present, its best suited to begin your arcade experience with them before trying anyone else, just to grasp a feel of how much the engine has changed, but it’s like riding a bicycle with Tekken unlike other fighters that change ever intricate piece of your favourite’s moveset; you know exactly to expect from you fighter and your opponent – not that it’s a bad thing, if anything makes it easier to consume before learning any new character’s respective arsenal.

Multiple modes carry the weight for newcomers, most notably the Arcade Quest mode which places your avatar into a virtual arcade, where a friend will lead you through a myriad of informal tutorials. I did find myself skipping most of the steps instructed as they were much the basics of Tekken, but for those that are coming into the fighter completely blind, then this is a great way to simply run the ropes and get used to how the game controls with different fighters and their integral movement. Now let’s talk about Tekken 8’s big new features, Special Style gives players a choice in the way they choose to head into battle. Pressing L1 (LB) will enable this style and present a prompt below your character, showing how to perform special attacks in a simpler form than having to execute a combination.

This will obviously vary from each character an their attributes, but packs more of a punch, granted a much slower style of offense. Heat Bursts are similar to Tekken 7’s finishers, only that you can gain the advantage by attacking your opponent more than once. You’re given a short spurt of energy each round, as indicated by your Heat Gauge below your health bar. You can use your Heat Burst for a multitude of attacks, but your best bet is to simply mash the R1 (RB) button to perform maximum damage. While using the Special Style may prove to be somewhat enticing, I had more fun getting back into the basics with my main Jin Kazama. Simply learning his technique and flow, and some minor tweaks made for improvement, but the fun behind Tekken’s playstyle overall is its arcade combat, where you simply bum-rush your opponent with a flurry of button mashing.

It’s generally how players tend to learn combinations much easier. While switching between controller and stick, I found myself using my Dualsense more this time around as it felt quite natural to get attacks in without having the need to feel like an enthusiast – quite possibly the most accessible Tekken has ever felt. Of course, traditional ‘Practice mode’ is available for players that want to count frames, but Arcade Battle will always be my home turf. Tekken Ball returns with its goofy volleyball-like mode, where you can duke it out with a beachball, an Iron Ball, or other weirdly shaped globes that are callbacks to Tekken’s lore. Speaking of Tekken’s lore, Tekken 8 continues the elongated Saga of the troubled Mishima clan, with Jin and his estranged father Kazuya Mishima, their violent past and Kazuya’s furthered plans to use the King of the Iron Fist to rule over the world.

Tekken 8 is flawless, and should be heralded as a grand achievement for the long-running fighter, a literal groundbreaking push for future entries that will surely improvise from its example of excellence.

Each chapter comes in respective episodes for each character, and while I am not as deep into Tekken lore as I am say Mortal Kombat’s, ‘The Dark Awakens’ delivered an enthralling presentation. While short, it was long enough to tackle through in less than a day, but enough to satisfy. The campaign sets itself only six months after the evens of Tekken 7, with the promise of Jin’s final bout with his father, Kazuya Mishima on the horizon, but is entrenched with doubt as he seeks to end the Mishima bloodline once and for all. All characters have their respective resolve but are merely present to further the tale of Tekken’s overall existence, the crux of the tale continues to be Heihachi’s destruction over the course of decades and how even after his death at the hands of Kazuya, he continues to manipulate his son and grandson.

The Next Battle...


✔️ Tekken’s best entry yet. Bold, refreshing, stunning and exciting.

✔️ Fluidity personified. The easiest, most accessible fighter on the market.

✔️ Customise, personalise, and play. It’s all about having fun and experiencing Tekken in its most polished form ever.

➖ Story was a little off-beat but that’s a personal outlook.

Let’s talk about the cosmetic side of Tekken 8, and how gorgeous this entry is. From the opening menu, we’re greeted with Kazuya’s scarred face, demonstrating lifelike movements, the insane detail and care that’s showcased from initiation. As we dive deeper into the title, customisation has been a key component driving Tekken’s betterment in recent iterations. It’s been awesome how we can relive some nostalgia by entering the title’s jukebox and choosing to have the Tekken 2 playlist as its menu and theme music – just brings me back to my childhood. You may create your own custom playlist as well to suit each menu and stage.

Player Customisation allows you to change your character’s clothing, giving off your own personal style and flair. I had way too much fun with this mode, giving each character new looks and styles, but also giving Paul his spike-top hair back. I will say the lack of tighty-whiteys were a disappointment, but I’ll live. Playing through arcade will demonstrate the abundance of combinations you may choose from to customise your character’s look, while limited in how you dress your character, there is still a bountiful selection of styles from hair, clothes, make-up, tattoo’s and accessories to pick from. You can even change your character’s hair colour – Super Saiyan Jin rocks.

The Gallery gives fans a great retrospective on Tekken’s illustrious history, with clips and moments that defined its legacy in gaming, highlighting some of its lore, and how far the game has come from a technical stand-point. With 32 fighters to choose from – this prior to any DLC announced – jumping into online is nothing short of an extraordinary experience. The chaotic nature of being a complete novice and confronted by experts is absolutely daunting, but luckily, Tekken’s online is extremely balanced and catered for. However, this is only from a Ranked standpoint, if you jump into the Fight Lounge, then you can be confronted by anyone and everyone. I love this idea of a massive virtual lounge where people can meet and fight. The great thing about its design is that its segregated into different locations, so you may find some people outside the arcade, in the Dojo, at the beach or in the lounge.

It’s a great way to space everything out, but also have a set location to possibly meet friends. We know of course at some point, people will ‘claim’ their land in these lobbies, for example, the beach will only be for experts while noobs will have to stay out back until they better themselves. Then there’s customising your avatar anyway you like. It’s much like the avatar you see on the XBOX Dashboard, but a little more expansive. I personally decided to default to Jin as my avatar, as I wanted to get a short grasp on what the world itself entailed, and while it caters for customising, it doesn’t do much else besides meeting-up with people in a virtual arcade to play some rounds. Again while great in some regard, the main menu’s quick select kind of defeats the purpose.

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Speaking of the main menu, there are a plethora of selections to choose from, and can seem overwhelming at first glance. Luckily, there is a “favourites” system that allows you to quickly add what you want to play as soon as you jump into the game. You can remove choices too, but the default selection that is given at first boot are the recommended essentials for players to dive into. I appreciated this immediately as Tekken Menu’s have become gigantic in selection, so having a “pin” system gives players the option to simplify their experience without the hassle of filing through different categories, its simply boot into the game, pick your poison and play. Replays are also back with the option to save any round you find to be your best. You can save both online and offline replays. This is great for viewing later, as the game may display advice or handy tips to help better your skillset.

When Tekken boasts its tagline “The King of the Iron Fist”, it’s not a t-shirt slogan or some catch-phrase. The franchise by it, and proves it with each entry and Tekken 8 again shows why they lead the charge in what is possibly the greatest arcade fighting experience of all time. Some may say that it recycles its formula, but you don’t fix what’s not broke. Perfection cannot be perfected, and Tekken 8 provides players the perfection of being pit against itself with each entry it passes. You will never feel estranged from Tekken if you skip an entry, you can always return to the tournament and reclaim glory from where you left off, even if it was two or three entries prior. The great thing about Tekken, is it’s made for everyone, not the purists or enthusiast. It’s an incredible experience and non-stop fun. One of the leading examples in how to make a perfect fighter, perfect again. Tekken 8 is flawless, and should be heralded as a grand achievement for the long-running fighter, a literal groundbreaking push for future entries that will surely improvise from its example of excellence.

Tekken 8 Review



Tekken 8 is an upcoming fighting game co-developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Arika and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The eighth main and tenth overall installment in the Tekken series, the game is set to be released on January 26, 2024.



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