With the release of "Tekken 8," the fighting genre has completed a fresh round of reinvigorating triumph.
Locked and loaded with a fresh, fast-paced battle system, a dizzyingly ludicrous story mode and airtight online play, the franchise manages to reach a peak that it's been steadily building toward since the release of the original game in 1994.
The opening slate of fighters is a tantalizing mix of styles and intensity levels, with players geared more toward strategic deployments of specials, tank-like bruisers and lithe masters of aerial acrobatics. The balance at play is impressive, with no standout cheap or weak characters.
Each battle takes on a chess-like game of psychology and strategy, testing your mental faculties as much as your twitch reflexes. The spoils come to those who master the finer moments of the game's inner rhythms.
The dev team was unafraid to go against the grain, shattering the shackles of previous entries while blazing new trails. While the game plays like something fresh and vibrant, it also remains decidedly true to the Tekken spirit.
I'll be sending out strategic texts to my old dorm friends, so we can renew our arcade battles online. Even though the "Tekken" franchise is now three decades old, it feels as though it's just getting warmed up.Publisher provided review code.