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TEKKEN 8 | REVIEW | PS5

''FISTS OF FURY''

 


Developed: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Published: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Genre: Fighting

Release Date: Jan 26th, 2024

Platforms: PS5/Xbox Series/PC

Review copy provided to me by Bandai Namco

-Bandai Namco Creator-



Tekken 8 is the newest entry into this long storied franchise and it is developed and published by Bandai Namco. Having almost waited 10 years for a new game in this franchise, Bandai Namco decides now is the time to bring it back into the mix just as fighting games are seeing their resurgence. But can it live up to the same heights and hype that was brought to us by Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat? only one way to find out, so lets go!


STORY:


Uhh.. fist go boom boom! and kicks go bam bam!


 


''I HEARD TODAY WAS TACO TUESDAY, PRAY TELL, AM I CORRECT IN THAT ASSUMPTION?''

 

GAMEPLAY:


Recently we have seen quite the surge in fighting games making their comeback with entries for both the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, with each of those receiving fairly high praise for their overall quality. I had the opportunity to review both mentioned games and I thought they were both fantastic in their own way, with Street Fighter 6 getting the slight edge for me over Mortal Kombat 1. Well, if you don't count stuff like Woody from Toy Story versus Sullivan from Monsters Inc, then you kind of have to choose Mortal Kombat, right?, ''YOU. ARE. A. TOY!''. Yeah.. one that bleeds. But were getting off topic. Jumping back to Tekken 8, I feel what it gets right here with this new entry is the return of the thrilling and engaging one on one battles that keeps these titles so engaging, but while those versus battles may hold up to any fighting game out there, its lack of overly immersive stories such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat having a completely long and drawn out story narrative to keep players engaged, Tekken 8, well, doesn't really have those same things to back it up. However that doesn't mean this title is a lost cause, Its not like Sonic Fighters or War Gods, so don't start panicking yet you big goof, go play Ehrgeiz or something and chill. But with lacking in story department mostly, it makes up for this with delivering great combat with innovative additions to its already well established fighting mechanics - which pushes this games fighting level from ehh yeah its good, to ok, this is really damn fun. Off the bat if you're familiar with previous entries, mechanics known as Rage Arts have now been made easier to use through a single button, making it easier to execute than previously. Which is great because now you won't spend half your time fiddling around like its the 1990's all over again printing out your cheat sheets of combo or finishing attacks, so while it may seem cheap to people overall, I however feel its better in enhancing the experience for players who might be getting into the franchise for the first time with this entry, much like the changes that were made to Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat as well. Honestly for me, the more people brought into these franchises the better. Just as long as they aren't clones of myself who do a lot of button mashing and hope for the best. Don't be me, actually be good at these games.


As far as new mechanics or features implemented into this title, you cant go without speaking about the Heat System, which is in my opinion the main thing added to this game that sort of gives it that unique identity it needed in order to make it stand out compared other games on the market or even against previous entries into its own series. With Heat System, it introduces a new special meter that not only enhances all your attacks to your foes, but on top of it, it also strengthens your defenses, allowing to further pull off extended combos for a longer period of time. This can bolster your strategy in multiple different ways such as if you're an aggressive type of player, you can get the upper hand quickly and take the fight to your enemy before they have a chance for a swift reaction or play the slow and steady game and build up your meter to the point where you're ready to burst with rage and spend the entire meter unleashing a powerful combo attack that may just get you the win if its a last ditch hail mary attempt. This was my favorite feature because it made the game feel more strategy based over the usual just press buttons here and there and whoever does it first will win. It can give players the extra boost they need to pull off those adrenaline filled last second wins that will get you out of bed faster than the evil fraud of a man, Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka. What an evil... evil man. At the core of the title, Rage Arts and Heat System aside, I am happy to say that the overall gameplay that has been so fundamentally sound is still very much intact here, even down its gigantic roster of 32 characters, it stays as entertaining and engaging as ever with new fan favorite characters like Reina who packs a punch that most weren't expecting from the character, myself included. Visually the game is as appealing as being on a 8 hour car trip and not having ate anything for 24hrs prior to the trip, its 3 in the morning and you see the bright golden arch of McDonalds. You're saved. That's Tekken 8's visual appeal in a nutshell thanks to Unreal Engine 5. With the game built in this engine, the graphics, characters and details in the stages and environments themselves has never looked greater, especially the stages that have neon lit cities, It just looks absolutely stunning. Between the fighting mechanics, new mechanics and the visual appeal, you will be pretty well immersed, but there's still even more to come your way in the form of Cinematic Story Mode and Arcade Quest as far as extra content for you goes. Hold up, story mode? didn't I say there wasn't one? no I didn't say that, so get the wax out of your ears, kid, I merely was referring to the story mode here is not as robust and extensive as things like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, nothing more, nothing less.


Focusing on the main showdown between Jin and Kazuya, the story mode here in Tekken 8 further improves on the set up that was made in Tekken 7, with at times, Tekken 8 feeling like a ''bar has been raised'' type of moment as you partake in over the top action scenes that will end in high intense combat situations for a final battle that pushes what you know as Tekken from fun and even groundbreaking at times, to a little bit of absurdity, if I'm going to be honest. Its not absurd as a Cocaine Bear or a killer Sloth named Alpha, lets be real, but its still leaves you with a ''uhh what?'', mostly due to its overarching inconsistencies. While the story between Jin and Kazuya remains the most interesting concept here, it however gets a tad bit lost in translation upon entering the tournament section of the story, because that lacks anything really of substance that further improves on the narrative. Its like re-living the events of Force Mode from Tekken 3 for me personally, just felt like a drag that kept on going excessively to the point where I found myself disengaged overall, sadly. Like when your friend is telling you this huge story about a job or gig they got and you know they didn't do it because you saw them on Xbox Live at that time and through your 10 repeats of ''that's crazy bro'', they keep it going and going. That's what this section of the game was like for me. So what if you aren't a player who has a long history with the franchise that may not be familiar with Jin or even Kazuya? what if you're still learning the fighting mechanics for the first time and maybe feel a tad bit overwhelmed?. Good question you stinky face, because there's actually a mode for you and its called Arcade Quest. In Arcade Quest, you're offered a narrative driven and focused adventure that allows newcomers to effectively be introduced to this game at a much easier pace of understanding than if you just jumped into some of the online fights or something. By customizing your own avatar, you're able to explore the competitive arcade scene and learn about the gameplay mechanics themselves, as well as learn new strategies you might not have figured out on your own. Even though the story itself is much to be desired and leaves a lot on the table with what couldve been done with it, its still the best option out there for newcomers or even long stay players who just want a casual experience rather than go through the grind of the other modes, such as character episodes that provided small and brief adventures with some pretty funny endings. Or if you're bored of online battles, the story mode or even Arcade Quest, you still have the option to take on Ghost Battles where you take on an enemy Ai that adapts to the way you play, therefore in theory acting as a sparring partner to train you in order to get better. If it was only my waifu Tifa training me though, that would've made the mode worth $100 itself. Kick me Tifa!


 


''BEAR WITH IT''

 

Overall:


At the end of the day, Tekken 8 ends up a great fighting experience for new and older fans alike. Sure its not perfect with a storyline that can lose you a bit at times, less extensive Gallery, and a practice mode that is not as involved to help the player as you might think, however with the negatives aside, you have an enhanced online experience with an interactive hub that showcases your created avatar to other players before challenging, funny and cool aesthetics, Refined Rage Arts and new addition of Heat System that gets you engaged into the battle more than ever before, smooth online play, and newcomer characters to the series that grow this ever expanding roster to even greater heights. While it may not offer the depth or innovations of the story modes for Mortal Kombat 1 and Street Fighter 6, it still as an overall product remains a top of the line fighter that any fan of the series or fight game fanatic should definitely check out. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW.





 

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