Tekken 8 review – a complex series transformed into a welcoming one

January 23, 2024
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I suck at Tekken. Even as someone who considers themselves to be well versed in the fighting game community’s language and terminology, I’ve always found Tekken to be uniquely impenetrable when compared to its contemporaries.

Whether it was due to the wealth of poorly explained legacy mechanics brought over from previous entries, the unnecessarily abstruse instructions in a character’s already dauntingly large movelists, or the franchise’s weird disdain for tutorials in general, improving in each new Tekken title has felt like an insurmountable task. I have reached a point in every new iteration where I had to turn to YouTube guides – more often than not recorded by some poor nervous guy heavily breathing into his microphone as he umm’d and ahh’d his way through explaining what a just frame move is – because the knowledge required to actually play the game wasn’t readily available within the game itself.

Tekken 7 was the epitome of these frustrations for me, a game that only taught you a sliver of what you could actually do during the main story mode, didn’t feature a tutorial outside of this, and then had the gall to try to sell players frame data for its practice mode as DLC after the fact. When compared to Tekken 8, the two games could not feel more distinct, and it’s all the better for it. For the first time in the series history, I can confidently say that I finally feel like I know what I’m doing.

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