Fighting game fans have been eating very well this past year, with the release of “Street Fighter 6” (Check out my review HERE) and “Mortal Kombat 1” (I did a review of that one also HERE). Now with the release of the long-awaited release of “Tekken 8” the trinity is complete and it’s possible we have gotten the best one for last! I have been a long-time fan of this franchise, much like the other two, but specifically with “Tekken” its roots are steeped with the arcade lifestyle. These games aren’t as easy to master, with a slightly more complicated learning curve, but “Tekken 8” really excels in trying to be as accessible and as approachable to newcomers of the genre and to the series itself.
While the other two new fighting games in the last year have tried to slap new coats of paint on themselves or even completely reboot and remix the fundamental story, “Tekken 8” takes its ridiculous story very seriously and continues on in the next bombastic chapter. Most of the games revolve around the blood relatives of the Mishima family and to put it mildly, they are quite a dysfunctional family. The epic-ness of the long-awaited confrontation between Jin and his father Kazuya is in full force here from the very beginning. With a support cast/roster of classics you may be familiar with, along with some new faces that mix things up. While this is the eighth installment in the story, the game does offer quick recaps of all previous seven titles in the gallery section of the menu. This is also where you can rewatch the in-game cinematics, which are incredibly insane. This is without a doubt the most Tekken-y Tekken game yet, amping everything up to eleven, including some of its silliness. This might actually be the best story in a fighting game I have seen in a very long time.
Aside from the story, this also features character specific stories, which all have varying degrees of satisfaction/enjoyment. In multiplayer, you can create your own avatar character, which is pretty detailed, but the style of these avatars I have to compare to what the Xbox avatars looked like in the 360 days, they’re pretty funny looking. You can even customize characters, and the internet is going to be the internet, we’ve already seen some amazing creations coming from this feature, along with recreations of popular characters, such as Leon from the Resident Evil series. There are also many other modes that you’d expect, such as King of the Hill, and so on, but there is something new here that I found incredibly interesting that really makes this game stand out from the rest. The Ghost Battles, this new feature involving the game itself learning how you play your characters to the point where it can mimic how you fight near seamlessly. In other words, If I wanted to fight a friend of mine who plays, but they’re currently offline, I can choose to fight their ghost, which fights just like they do. I’m essentially training how to fight a specific opponent with their exact playstyles. This feature is implemented so awesomely and can be used in so many helpful ways, I’m sure a lot of professional fighting gamers are loving this feature.
All this being said, it really comes down to how you like your fighting game. The hardest of hardcore fighting gamers I’m sure will be gravitating to this one. This sequel is a testament of learning from past mistakes, taking player feedback to heart, and overdelivering on what you would expect and then some. For newcomers or veteran fans, “Tekken 8” has instantly become the best in the franchise and also one of the best fighting games currently on the market.
Related: Nick Navarro Reviews