Tekken 8 (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Luke Hemming 27.01.2024

Review for Tekken 8 on Xbox Series X/S

The fighting genre has always been dominated by two major forces, Simpsons Wrestling and Bloody Roar. While players wait for these next instalments however, Capcom and Bandai Namco roll out their big hitters. As a long time Street Fighter lover, writing this review has been a difficult one. After spending some time with Tekken 8 after the disappointment and fluff of Street Fighter 6 , its clear that there is a new King of All Fists, everywhere.

Flying into the story mode from the offset, the difference is astonishing. So much love has been put into providing a concise and emotive story that even though this reviewer has not dipped into the series since Tekken 3, the Mishima saga instantly captivated and enthralled with its globe-trotting adventure full of colourful characters that are dying to be played with in the other modes. A catch up is available and well worth watching to ensure the full emotional punch to all the events occurring. Essentially a story of redemption, revenge and world domination, focused on the Kazama heir, Jin, a character who can easily be picked up by the most amateur players, giving the confidence to move into the more competitive modes after completion. Each story chapter is framed by some fantastic cut-scenes, again with some real love and time taken to ensure they look as good as possible. From the simple to the absurd, almost Final Fantasy levels, story mode is almost worth the price of admission alone, something Capcom have struggled with over their past few titles, choosing instead to barely hold it together with stale, un-interesting ways to deliver the latest lore. The end slog however, does overstay its welcome in what becomes a war of attrition for not only Jin, but whoever is controlling him.

Screenshot for Tekken 8 on Xbox Series X/S

The biggest strength to be found in its wealth of options is the dedication to offline content. Waging war on the inevitable transition to online-only content by including classic modes that have stood the test of time as well as some great re-additions. All of which encourage a quick, pick-up and play romp at any given opportunity. Character episodes are short affairs, best played after the main story mode, giving another view to proceedings, framing how each of the 32 protagonists came to take part in proceedings. The end result is a short, but rewarding cutscene. Arcade Quest is also a highlight, using a character driven narrative to explain not only the basics but the more complicated manoeuvres that will lead to success in the online options (more on those later). Starting by creating a fully customisable avatar (with the option to purchase accessories and clothing using in-game currency), you and your band of fighting game loving misfits travel around various arcades improving standings and heading for the big tournament. Although simple in its presentation, again playing through is an enjoyable experience without all of the extra guff. Approach another avatar, start a battle and improve your ranking, egged on by your friends. The real gem and necessity of this mode however, is to begin to learn some on the more intricate skills needed to progress. Multiple battles are preceded by a quick training session showing what may be the best techniques to use based on the character selected. This could be anything from simple blocking to advanced juggling. A great teachable moment not forced upon the player but also giving rewards for success in using those techniques in the next scrap.

Screenshot for Tekken 8 on Xbox Series X/S

Apart from these two ways to while away the hours, its great to see a return of Tekken Ball. Essentially violence filled beach sports where each player attempts to keep the ball in play off the ground with ever increasing damage attacks. The bigger the damage, the more damage is done to the opposition when it lands or strikes them. Harmful fun. Ghost mode is also a great option for those looking to improve their skill level, drawing from the days where Steve Harrington trained his Amiibos to mock his mates little brother and the crush he had. Essentially the ghost of your character will learn from the various bouts that are played, providing a more challenging experience as your skill level increases. This ghost can then compete against other, hopefully becoming an unstoppable fighting machine. Simply put, the better you are, the better your representative when facing others. Online modes are also sparingly simple with ranked and unranked matches to test your mettle. Namco have expanded through the unfortunately unavoidable option for customisation and a completely pointless "hub" to explore, but the difference is that those previously mentioned offline options are still here and thought out. In a world of digital versus physical, these features need to be preserved and the fact that a lot of people will simply be turned off at getting spanked at every turn in an online environment needs to be considered. The hub world however is mercifully small and serves it purpose by looking interesting enough if the mood takes to explore it.

Screenshot for Tekken 8 on Xbox Series X/S

All these features however are nothing without an enjoyable game to back it up and Tekken 8 excels in that respect. The new heat system gives any player a fighting chance with activation meaning that any attack, blocked or otherwise will still chip away at the health bar of the opponent. If getting truly dominated the option for a rage art will also be available, giving one last high damaging attempt at victory. The play style favours aggression leading to fast based bouts with a tactical element of knowing when to make that last desperation play or to keep piling on small increments of pressure. This is further encouraged with health bars being able to be replenished after continuous attacks. Every character and stage also looks fantastic due to the Unreal engine and repeated play is encouraged just to enjoy the surrounding scenery while trying to survive. Each is also worth spending time with due to the their designs and variations in play-style although as expected there are more than a few incorporating the Mishima/Kazama style and just as many being nearly indistinguishable as a military dressed, evil looking fellow.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Tekken 8 delivers a fantastically fun package worthy of the price tag. Stylish, narrative driven and not bogged down by the fluff of other recent games in the fighting genre. Offline modes have not been forgotten and time has been taken to ensure that this is not only the best in the series to date, but currently the only real option for any players looking to experience fighting games emphasising fun over funding.

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Fighting

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Insanoflex

There are 1 members online at the moment.