Couch Soup Previews: Tekken 8 – A Visual Masterpiece in the World of Fighting Games

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Thomas Richards,Rohan Elliott
| October 27, 2023
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The Tekken series is a juggernaut of the fighting game genre. The series has been around for decades at this point, with the original arcade game releasing in 1994 (that’s really old). I’ve always been fascinated with Tekken, trying the series out with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the Wii U and recently buying Tekken 7 for the PS4, but it never stuck. So when I saw that Tekken 8 would be playable for the first time in Australia at PAX Aus 2023, I thought I’d give this world renowned series another chance. And I’m glad I did.

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

Bringing a bike to a fist fight. (Bandai Namco)

Having only dabbled with Tekken, I went into my time with Tekken 8 knowing next to nothing. I knew that if I pushed buttons, I would attack and that holding back on the left stick was block; that was it. Luckily, the controls in Tekken 8 are super beginner-friendly, and I got a general feel for the game after a couple of matches. In Tekken, each face button corresponds with a different limb on your character, and you mix and match these attacks to create combos. Even an almost complete rookie like me could pull off some basic combos by pressing random buttons.

I’m sure as you get better at the game, you’ll be able to be more precise, but the fact that Tekken 8 was this easy to pick up is a good thing in my books. It’s also really satisfying to hit a few buttons, see the slow-motion effect kick in, and then have your opponent do multiple backflips after being kicked in the head. With the wide variety of characters (even in the demo), there will be many ways to lay the smackdown on your opponents in the full game.

Fighting Never Looked So Good

All the particles. (Bandai Namco)

While not essential, it’s always nice when a fighting game has some decent visuals, and Tekken 8 is one of the best. Each character is highly detailed and a marvel to watch fight. I will even admit that I lost a round because I was distracted by how good the fighters looked. Each character has their own aesthetic and fighting style, so you’re guaranteed to find a character that fits your playstyle (maybe even more than one).

Each character has a unique intro, which cracked me up multiple times. My favourite was Hwoarang, who arrived out of nowhere on a motorcycle. I don’t know why I found it funny; I just did. Aside from the characters, the stages are also breathtaking. I know that everyone plays fighting games for the fighting, but I can’t help but admire these stunning stages. The visual quality and spectacle are head and shoulders above the competition. I also can’t help admiring the glorious particle effects that pop up whenever you land a hit (I think I am obsessed with these. They’re so pretty).

A Tekken Evolution

NUNCHUK POWER! (Bandai Namco)

I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time with Tekken 8. Even though it’s evolved the Tekken formula, it’s still easy enough for a newcomer like me to jump in and have fun. The characters are varied and likeable, and you’re bound to find a favourite. The game also looks incredible, and when you’re not focusing on winning, you’ll be distracted by how pretty everything looks. I can definitely see myself getting a bit competitive with this game because I was already getting a bit heated when I played against my fellow contributor, Rohan (I won pretty much every game). I even went back to play it a second time with another friend. But he kicked my ass repeatedly, so I guess karma is a bitch. Either way, I want to get better at Tekken now and can’t wait to give the full game another go when it releases.

He doesn’t look evil at all. (Bandai Namco)

If you’re like me and want your hands on Tekken 8, you won’t have to wait much longer. The game releases on January 16th for PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Keep it locked to Couch Soup for all your Tekken 8 news and more previews from PAX Aus 2023.

Editors Note: I consider myself experienced with fighting in games in general, with my preference being the Mortal Kombat or Injustice over Tekken. However, I’ve had my ass kicked enough times in Tekken to get a handle on which characters I enjoy getting my ass kicked with. With that out of the way, let me say this… Tekken 8 is a whole lot of fun. True, Thomas kicked the shit out of me for most of the games, but it was stylish and energetic that I couldn’t help marvelling at the spectacle of it all. I maintain that I did end my run with a win, and most of the games were so close. I look forward to my friends kicking my ass when the full game releases. – Rohan  

Are you going to pick up Tekken 8? Have you played the series before? Which character will you main? Let us know in the comments where we can talk about all things fighting games.

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