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Heihachi Mishima is dead! Jun Kazama is fighting again! Jin is still dealing with identity crisis and Kazuya has gone full-send against everyone in a ‘1 v The World mission for total domination’…again!

The King of Iron Fist has never been more alive!

The most brutal and sensational family feud in history resumes on a scale that by far surpasses all its predecessors. Bamco took everything they know fans love about the Tekken story and made it even more ‘Tekkenesque’. More outrageous, more cringy and even more satisfying.

Legacy characters appear familiar but fresh and polished with the new Unreal engine 5 presentation. Striking new characters make their presence felt with their swag, backstories and move sets. Reina for example is deceptively strong with a lot of personality and style. She’s basically Thor if he didn’t need a hammer and a lot meaner. Her and other new characters like Victor aka John Wick really spice up the already extensive roster. Coupled with the high level of character customization, the game gives players a lot of freedom to be creative.   

As usual the story is wild and a bit nonsensical but in a deliberate tongue in cheek manner with the cinematics doing well to carry the honestly shaky plot at times. But is it a fun experience? 100% it is. Fast and Furious couldn’t top the action here if they tried and the new physics make fighting in Tekken 8 feel really badass. You hit hard, block hard and the combos are mind blowing. Not everything is perfect but it’s all definitely fun for new players, especially the story/arcade modes.

When it comes to issues players have with the game, the most recent would be the current Battle Pass. Microtransactions can be tricky, and when players feel the content doesn’t match the price they will make their displeasure known and they did but in reality an even bigger issue loomed. One that actually has to do with gameplay. Despite the game being fun and accessible for new players, there seems to be a divide in the FGC about the new mechanics. Some legacy Tekken players and champions are of the opinion that in making the game easier, the chess match element of Tekken where mind games and great defence was rewarded has been replaced with mindless mashing and unpredictable 50 50 guessing games. Other players are of the opinion ‘It’s a new game. Learn it and adapt’. Both opinions hold merit.

The new heat system is at the centre of all the hype and conflict. What is it? Well, when activated you basically become Mario with a star. You get awesome new moves to beat enemies up with and you’re almost unstoppable for as long as it lasts. Most people who dislike Tekken 8 really dislike the Heat system and feel it’s the main thing that detracts from the technical and defensive playstyle that is classic Tekken. Others love how it keeps the gameplay fast paced and aggressive.

Hate it or love it, Tekken 8 is the Tekken gamers must deal with for the foreseeable future. With so many new players from competing titles such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat openly enjoying Tekken 8, the developers clearly did something right. There is a simple reason the game sold over 2 million copies in its first month. The game feels fresh and despite the few issues mentioned it’s a lot of fun. Tekken 8 is highly recommended for those who enjoy fighting games and might just be the title that wins over those that don’t.

written by Narteh Kweku Djorbuah Tetteh, content contributor for Esports Africa News

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