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Tekken 8 Review: Mishima Mayhem Returns

Tekken 8




The Good Stuff

  • Heat System is fun & exciting
  • Lag-free online play
  • 32 characters to master
  • The Dark Awakens is a solid single-player campaign
  • Arcade Quest is a fun single player option

The Bad Stuff

  • Character endings are underwhelming

Tekken 8

From refined mechanics to fresh faces and flawless online play, Tekken 8 isn’t just a fight, it’s an addiction. Years of brawls await, guaranteed.


The King of Iron Fist Tournament returns with explosive energy in Tekken 8. This latest entry burns bright with a revamped combat system, a roster packed with familiar (and fiery) faces, and enough depth to make seasoned Mishimas sweat. Buckle up, because Tekken 8 is a thrilling evolution that punches its way to the top of the fighting game scene.



Burning New Systems

Tekken 8 rewrites the rulebook with two game-changers: Health Recover and the Heat System.

Tekken’s always been a defensive dance, but no more. Now, taking hits leaves you with “gray” damage you can reclaim by attacking. This shift forces proactive strategies, turning every fight into a thrilling tug-of-war for HP.

Build your Heat meter through attacks or just button presses. Unleash it to empower your offense: higher chip damage, character-specific boosts, and even potent combo finishers. It’s a constant tactical gamble – chase those extra hits now, or save your Heat for later domination?

 Arcade Quest lets you gradually face tougher AI, and the revamped Training Mode is a paradise for practice. Combo challenges, save states, move pinning, detailed attack info – everything you need to hone your skills.

The integrated replay system is a masterclass. Watch your matches or others’, then jump in and control any character (played by humans) at any point. Analyze your mistakes, experiment with alternative tactics, and level up your game in real-time.

 Feeling overwhelmed? Tap into Special Style. This mode assigns key moves to single buttons, letting you unleash flashy combos with less complexity. Activate it mid-match even online, letting everyone know you’re about to unleash some stylish fury.

Tekken 8 is far more than just a fighting game. It’s a strategic dance of offense and defense, fueled by Heat and empowered by knowledge. The incredible training tools and innovative replay system turn you into a master tactician, while Special Style offers an accessible entry point for newcomers.

It’s a revolution for Tekken, and an evolution for fighting games as a whole.


Fresh Blood: Flash, Fury, and a Mishima Mystery

Three fiery faces rise to join Tekken 8’s legendary ranks.

Victor, the Dapper Shadow: Voiced by Vincent Cassell, this French UN agent brings flamboyant strikes and deceptive vanishing moves. His pressure builds fast, but overconfidence has its price. 

His unexpected lore ties him to seasoned fighters, hinting at a hidden past. Azucena, the Caffeinated Cyclone: This energetic coffee queen is always buzzing, both in personality and playstyle. Her move-set provokes aggression, then punishes mercilessly. 

Expect love-hate battles, thanks to her taunting style and early dominance. But even veterans like me find her pressure more intriguing than infuriating.

Reina, the Enigma with Echoes: The most captivating newcomer, Reina bridges the gap between Tekken 7 and 8, both in gameplay and story.

Seemingly a phantom with Heihachi’s echoes (the Mishima patriarch slain by Kazuya), she’s aggressive, flashy, and deceptively simple, mastering her will be a thrilling challenge.

These fresh faces breathe new life into Tekken 8. Whether you crave Victor’s strategic flair, Azucena’s relentless assault, or Reina’s enigmatic whispers of Mishima legacy, these newcomers are ready to set the King of Iron Fist Tournament ablaze.


Single Player Playground or Punching Pad

Tekken 8’s single-player campaign is a feast fit for a King of Iron Fist. The roughly 3-4 hour “Dark Awakens” story mode is a cinematic treat, packed with cutscenes, surprise character cameos, and epic battles.

It’s a fantastic showcase for the game’s new “Special Style” with its in-fight cutscenes and slow-motion punches.

I actually found myself enjoying the story mode controls more than the regular ones, thanks to the intuitive button layout and lack of move list diving.

The story itself is a rollercoaster of “capital A Anime” moments, but it also meticulously weaves in major arcs from past games and delivers fan-service with pinpoint accuracy.

Newcomers will find it easy to follow, thanks to clear character relationships and a handy “Gallery” mode with summaries of past Tekken titles.

The only minor presentation hiccup is the transition between breathtaking real-time action and slightly blurry cutscenes.

Speaking of fan-service, each character unlocks a hilarious ending through a quick five-battle mini-adventure. These are pure goofball fun, with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments (Kazuya and Dragunov’s are particularly epic, trust me).


More Single player

But the single-player crown jewels are two brand-new modes: Arcade Quest and Super Ghost Battle.

Arcade Quest is my personal favorite, a charming crawl through virtual arcades where you customize your avatar and face off against diverse opponents, each honing a unique playstyle.

The lighthearted story about the importance of fun in a competitive genre is a sweet bonus, but the real magic lies in the extended tutorial it provides.

It’s perfect for Tekken newbies who might be intimidated by the online arena, offering tons of encouragement and shielding them from the occasional online troll.

Super Ghost Battle, on the other hand, is a self-improvement playground. You can train your own “ghost” AI based on your own gameplay habits, or download and battle ghosts created by other players.

It’s a fantastic way to identify your weaknesses and evolve as a fighter, all without the pressure of real-time matches.

I’ve already had friends gleefully thrash my ghost after I beat them online – payback never tasted so sweet!

Rounding out the single-player party is the Jukebox, a music lover’s dream. Swap out stage music, customize the final-round theme, and even access classic Tekken tracks from past games.

You can even shuffle the entire soundtrack library, from Tekken 1 to Tekken Revolution.

For longtime fans like me, it’s a treasure trove of nostalgia, and a testament to the series’ rich musical heritage.

Seriously, Tekken 8 needs to win an award for this Jukebox – every fighting game should have one!

So, before you dive headfirst into the online brawl, take a moment to savor Tekken 8’s surprisingly deep single-player experience.

It’s packed with hours of fun, laughs, and valuable learning opportunities, ensuring you’re fully prepped to conquer the King of Iron Fist Tournament, online or offline.


Online Chaos

Online play is the ultimate test of any fighter, and Tekken 8 throws down a winning punch. Gone are the lag woes of Tekken 7! Matches across the US felt silky smooth, even with thousands of miles in between.

While other regions, like Europe and South Korea, weren’t quite as flawless, they were still playable, just with some occasional jitters. And for the control freaks, there are multiple rollback settings to tweak that perfect online feel.

Say goodbye to agonizing load screens! Rematches now drop you right back into the fray, a welcome change that makes rematches lightning-fast and keeps the adrenaline pumping.

The new Tekken Fight Lounge is your online dojo. Here, you can strut your custom avatar, mingle with other fighters, bust out emotes, and access all the good stuff: Ranked Matches, Quick Matches, Custom Rooms, and even the glorious return of Tekken Ball!

It’s easy to navigate and visually stunning, but if you’re not a social butterfly, you can still access everything directly from the main menu.

The only baffling misstep comes in Custom Rooms. While you can spectate matches from the Fight Lounge, you can’t do it within the room itself.

Watching your friends duke it out is strangely absent, hopefully just a temporary oversight for a future patch. Overall, Tekken 8’s online experience is simply a triumph. 



Tekken 8 is not just a fighting game; it’s an experience. It’s a fiery evolution that retains the series’ DNA while injecting fresh thrills.

The new Heat system adds a layer of strategic aggression, the roster brims with captivating characters, and the content keeps you coming back for more.

Whether you’re a seasoned Tekken warrior or a curious newcomer, Tekken 8 welcomes you with open arms and fiery fists. Just be prepared to get burned.

So what do your think of the new Tekken 8 fighting game. Was all the hype worth it? Have you played the Tekken 8 demo? What is your experience as a Tekken franchise fan? Let’s discuss it and more below by adding your comments.  


Working in construction projects full time, and promoting mobile computing devices part-time, I'm an ICT and project management graduate using this platform to help fellow web surfers find tech solutions to solve daily problems.

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