It's time to throw down and break some bones because Tekken 8 has arrived, my fellow fighters! After a long wait, this game is finally here to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series. With the monumental success of Tekken 7, which held the record for the longest console tenure and highest sales in the franchise, Tekken 8 had some big shoes to fill. But fear not, my friends, because it has exceeded all expectations and delivered one of the most impressive entries in the Tekken universe!
The developers of Tekken 8 took a good look at the successes and failures of Tekken 7 and learned from them. They have addressed the criticisms and created a game that not only embraces the themes of "Full Power" and "Complete Destruction," but also offers a more satisfying single-player experience, improved online functions, and the smoothest onboarding process a modern fighter has ever seen. They've left no stone unturned, my friends! So, if you're a proud owner of Tekken 7, get ready for a worthwhile upgrade!
Now, let's talk about the story mode of Tekken 8, which will be your first stop on this epic journey. "The Dark Awakens" serves as a direct sequel to Tekken 7's cinematic story, but fear not, my friends, the boring narrator and unresolved subplots are gone! Instead, we follow the protagonist Jin Kazama as he embarks on his journey through the latest King of Iron Fist tournament. The seamless transitions between cutscenes and gameplay, impressive fight choreography, and a major step forward in the Tekken storyline make this one of the best story modes in Tekken history. Although, I must warn you, newcomers might find themselves a bit lost in the intricate plot.
Once you've completed "The Dark Awakens," get ready to dive back into the action with Character Episodes. Unlike Tekken 7's uninspiring character-specific scenes, Tekken 8's Character Episodes are a massive improvement. You'll embark on shorter arcade runs filled with pre-rendered arcade endings that are divided between plot progression and hilarious comedy skits. And let's not forget the Arcade Mode, where you'll face potentially tougher ghosts alongside normal AI opponents. However, the absence of character endings in this mode makes it a bit hard to justify its existence.
But fear not, my friends, because the Arcade Quest is here to save the day! It not only serves as an answer to Street Fighter 6's World Tour, featuring a custom avatar, but also acts as Tekken 8's interactive tutorial. Prepare yourself for a lighthearted-yet-satisfying story as you rise to the top of multiple arcades and eventually compete in the Tekken World Tour. With a personal trainer to guide you, the integration of Tekken 7's Treasure Battle features for unlocking cosmetics, and the introduction of the new Super Ghost Battle system that allows you to experience your own strengths and weaknesses against an AI copy, this mode is a must for any Tekken newcomer!
Now let's talk about what truly matters—the fighting itself! Tekken 8's combat system builds upon the solid foundation of Tekken 7, introducing the Special Style controls and the Heat System to enhance the aggression. These additions make it easier for casual players to enjoy the intense battles, although Special Style might not be as competitively viable as Street Fighter 6's Modern Mode. But beware, my friends, because normal moves can unintentionally force button mashers into a frenzy. Aggression is the name of the game, and it enhances the spectator experience without diverting Tekken's focus from movement and strategy.
While Tekken 8's roster may not be as extensive as Tekken 7's, with 32 fighters compared to the previous game's 51 (excluding DLC), it still packs a powerful punch. The returning characters have received a significant makeover, with improved special effects, new weapons, and unique animations that make them feel distinct from their past iterations. And let's not forget the newcomers, Azucena, Victor, and Reina, who are the best set of original characters Tekken has seen in years. Say goodbye to Tekken 7's hit-or-miss newbies! The only downside is the absence of Eddy Gordo, but fear not, my friends, as he will be the first DLC fighter to join the well-rounded roster.
Learning these characters has never been easier, thanks to Tekken 8's comprehensive training mode. It incorporates the paid DLC tools from Tekken 7 and offers even more features. You'll have access to recommended moves and combos, replays that suggest alternative strategies, frame data, and so much more right out of the box. And if you're in need of a tutorial, the Arcade Quest has got you covered. These teaching tools are a godsend for a series that often lacks a proper tutorial mode.
Now, let'stalk about the online experience in Tekken 8. The developers have listened to the community and made significant improvements to the netcode, resulting in smoother online matches with reduced input delay. Ranked matches now feature a revised matchmaking system that takes into account both player skill and connection quality, ensuring fair and competitive matches. The addition of rollback netcode has been a game-changer, providing a near-seamless experience even in matches with higher latency. With the option to create custom lobbies, participate in tournaments, and spectate matches, the online features of Tekken 8 are a true delight for competitive players.
On top of all these improvements, the graphics and sound design of Tekken 8 are absolutely stunning. The character models are incredibly detailed, showcasing the advancements in technology since the release of Tekken 7. The stages are vibrant and dynamic, with interactive elements that add an extra layer of excitement to the fights. The soundtrack features a mix of new tracks and classic tunes, perfectly capturing the intensity and atmosphere of each battle.
In conclusion, Tekken 8 is a knockout sequel that exceeds expectations and solidifies its place as one of the best fighting games of this generation. With its engaging story mode, improved single-player content, refined combat system, diverse roster, comprehensive training mode, enhanced online experience, and breathtaking visuals and sound design, Tekken 8 delivers an unforgettable fighting game experience. Whether you're a longtime fan of the series or a newcomer to the world of Tekken, this game is a must-have for any fighting game enthusiast. So, grab your controller, choose your fighter, and get ready to unleash your full power in Tekken 8!