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Our review said Street Fighter 6 is “an incredibly confident and joyous fighting game. The roster is varied and vibrant, and the changes to the fighting engine make for a game that epitomises the ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’ adage.”
Later in the year, we said that Mortal Kombat 1 was “the best Mortal Kombat game to date,” praising its visuals, gameplay and story mode.
Stiff competition for the final member of the fighting game triumvirate to enter into, but from what we’ve already played for Tekken 8 during the demo and the amusingly named CNT, we think it can more than compete.
The major fighting games have never been in such a rich vein of form at the same time in their collective history. Usually, when one was having a fallow period, like Mortal Kombat and Tekken’s early 360 games, Street Fighter was flying with Street Fighter 4.
Conversely, when Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were in the doldrums of their series quality in the PS1 era, Tekken took the lead and became the defining fighting game of Sony‘s early console. Now, with several other excellent fighting games on the market, Tekken 8 will have to stand out to capture those in the fighting game tournaments that can be dragged away from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.
So far, the gameplay feels excellent. It’s incredibly hard-hitting, fluid, and it looks wonderful. The gameplay already makes Tekken 8 feel like it’s going to be remembered as a classic of the franchise, but what will secure that is the modes that will be featured in the game.
We know there’s going to be a story mode that will continue the story of Jin Kazama, Kayuza Mishima and the rest of the volcano-throwing crew.
“Tekken 8 continues the tragic saga of the Mishima and Kazama bloodlines and their world-shaking father-and-son grudge matches. In this latest chapter, Jin Kazama will seek to defy his fate as he faces his father, Kazuya Mishima, causing war and destruction across the globe,” according to an official description of the upcoming story mode.
Story modes in fighting games are at their all-time peak, and Tekken 7‘s was no exception, so we’re looking forward to seeing the plot continue. Tekken has always been massively camp in its stories, and from what we’ve seen of Tekken 8, that grand tradition will continue.
A fighting game is nothing without its roster, and Tekken 8 is bringing the heat. The full Tekken 8 roster combines old favourites with some exciting new characters. Whether any of them will be impactful enough to make it to Tekken 9 is yet to be seen, but even if they aren’t the most memorable, as long as we can play as King, we’ll be happy.
The game’s other main mode is a new single-player mode called Arcade Quest. This part of the game will see players create their own avatar which they will use to compete in various game mode, all contained in a virtual arcade. This mode, which is apparently going to be used to introduce new characters to the various mechanics of Tekken 8 looks somewhat strange from the outside, especially the Xbox 360-style avatars, but it will reportedly contain its own bespoke storyline, so we’ll certainly check it out.
Tekken 8 will almost certainly be great, but will it reach the level of excellence that’s required in the modern fighting game space? That’s yet to be seen. There is a group of players for whom Tekken is their main game that will flock to it, but for the game to remain in a healthy state it’s going to have to wrestle back the casual player who loves a fighting game but would get their face smashed if they ever tried playing online.
From a pure gameplay perspective, we’re extremely confident in Tekken 8’s quality, and we look forward to entering the King of Iron Fist tournament for the millionth time. Powerbombing an actual Panda with a man in a Lion mask never gets old.