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Tekken 8: The Aggressive Awakening

The year 2023 was a gaming extravaganza, especially for fighting game enthusiasts. Street Fighter 6 raised the bar for the genre with its seamless ble...

Joanna Koziol

Jan 23, 2024

Tekken 8: The Aggressive Awakening


The year 2023 was a gaming extravaganza, especially for fighting game enthusiasts. Street Fighter 6 raised the bar for the genre with its seamless blend of casual and competitive gameplay. Meanwhile, Mortal Kombat 1 showcased the series' finest combat mechanics, despite its sour taste left by the Premium Store. But now, brace yourself for another groundbreaking year in fighting games as Tekken 8 takes the stage. With its captivating story mode, an impressive roster featuring three unforgettable newcomers, and a renewed focus on aggression, this game is set to shine brighter than ever. Let's dive into the world of Tekken 8 and discover why it's a force to be reckoned with.

The Aggressive Evolution:
At first glance, Tekken 8 might appear similar to its predecessor, boasting improved visuals and audio. However, beneath its familiar exterior lies a game that has undergone a significant transformation. While Tekken has always revolved around juggling, combos, and wall-smashing, the introduction of the Heat meter adds a new layer of intensity. This meter allows for powerful dashes and attacks, elevating the game's pace and aggression to unprecedented levels.

From Thoughtful Defense to Ruthless Offense:
Tekken 7 rewarded strategic thinking and defensive prowess, emphasizing a balanced approach to gameplay. In contrast, Tekken 8 embraces a different philosophy. With the Heat mechanic at play, matches become lightning-fast and relentless. Once you've mastered each character's intricate moveset and harnessed the power of Heat Smashes, victory can be snatched in the blink of an eye. Tekken 8 bids farewell to the methodical dance of the past, replacing it with a heart-pounding frenzy that will leave you breathless. Admittedly, this new direction may divide long-term fans, but it's a thrilling change of pace nonetheless.

Embracing the Dark Awakens:
Tekken 7 faced the daunting task of concluding the long-standing rivalry between Heihachi and Kazuya, but Tekken 8's "The Dark Awakens" surpasses even that. This emotionally charged campaign redeems Jin and delivers some of the most awe-inspiring moments ever witnessed in a fighting game. The final chapter alone cements this as one of Tekken's best campaigns, albeit a short one. Moreover, the spotlight shines on three incredible newcomers—Reina, Victor, and Azucena—who not only bring unique movesets but also vibrant personalities to the roster. Reina, in particular, stands out, infusing Heihachi's mechanics with a refreshing twist and establishing herself as a future leader of Tekken. Still, I can't help but miss Bob and Christie's presence.

Arcade Quest: Unleashing Your Inner Fighter:
While Tekken 8's Arcade Quest may lack the variety seen in previous single-player modes like Tekken Force or Scenario Campaign, it compensates by serving as a vital training tool for newcomers. Each arcade offers valuable lessons, teaching players how to punish attacks and execute combos. It may lack the subtlety of Street Fighter 6's World Tour mode, but it's a much-appreciated addition, especially for those who are new to the intricacies of Tekken's gameplay.

The Quest for Solo Players:
Regrettably, Tekken 8 falls short in providing substantial single-player content beyond the main campaign. Arcade Quest does little to excite experienced players, offering a mere five hours of fights and a charming narrative about the absence of a "right" way to play Tekken. It's a shame that another unique single-player mode wasn't included, as online battles can only entertain solo players for so long. Nevertheless, let's not forget the exhilarating Tekken Ball, an honorable mention in the realm of solo play.

The Verdict:
Despite its single-player limitations, Tekken 8 remains one of the series' finest offerings to date. The captivating story mode, the addition of remarkable characters, and the thrilling focus on aggressive gameplay make it an absolute powerhouse. With its Heat mechanic pushing the boundaries of intensity, Tekken 8 emerges as a formidable contender in the fighting game arena. Brace yourself for an aggressive awakening and prepare to witness Tekken at its strongest.

Score: 4.5/5

Note: The publisher provided a PS5 code for the review.

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