Bandai Namco has finally announced Tekken 8, developed on Unreal Engine 5 and built from the ground up for Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC. It’s crazy to think that Tekken 7 is over seven years old at this point (coincidence or not), but there’s a lot to hope for in the sequel. Conversely, there’s a lot that we hope doesn’t make it in. Let’s look at ten things we don’t want to see in Tekken 8 and why.
Over the past few years, the demand for rollback netcode has steadily grown among fighting game fans. Arc System Works implemented the same for titles like Guilty Gear Strive and older games like BlazBlue Centralfiction, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax with Dragon Ball FighterZ and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 still to come. Even the controversial Street Fighter 5 hopped on the bandwagon and added rollback netcode, and Street Fighter 6 is building its netcode from scratch to ensure the best experience.
Throughout all this, producer Katsuhiro Harada revealed that Tekken 7 had rollback netcode. It’s all well and good, but unfortunately, the implementation leaves much to be desired. With Tekken 8, hopefully, there are some improvements, if not a wholesale revamp.
Tekken 7-Style Movement
There’s a wide range of opinions on the movement in Tekken 7. Some like that you don’t need to perform complex button inputs for backdashing. Others feel that the tracking on attacks is strong while sidestepping isn’t as good as previous entries. You could interpret this as ideal for newcomers or argue it as being bad for the overall game since throwing strings is more effective than using core movement techniques that have been in the series for decades. Perhaps there’s a balance between the ability to evade attacks and having good attacking tracking, where backdash abuse isn’t the only way to win at the highest level. Time will ultimately tell but changes need to happen.
Near Endless Combos
Combos are essential to fighting games, but what happens when they get a little too long and deal too much damage? Tekken 7 has combos that seemingly go on forever, taking opponents from 100 to 0 in short order due to their damage output. You could argue that mastering these combos is one of the major appeals of a fighting game, and titles like Guilty Gear Strive initially attracted flak for streamlining combos. It’s a delicate balance where you want to reward skill but also ensure that things don’t get too crazy.
Insane Wall Carry For All Characters
Wall Carry is a fighting game mechanic where certain moves or combos can push an opponent back into a wall, which could end in a Wall Splat. Of course, it’s most effective in arenas with walls nearby. In Tekken 7, certain characters were better than others at Wall Carrying opponents, which helped distinguish them. However, somewhere along the way, Wall Carries got buffed to a ridiculous point. Jin and Fahkumram are now as effective at Wall Carry as Dragunov, Nina and Leo.
While one could argue that Wall Carry has been good since Season 1, it’s only improved further, and the increase to combo damage and generally small scale of stages hasn’t helped either, allowing characters to go wall to wall with little issue. Even if Tekken 8 tones down the damage and length of its combos, Wall Carry should be tuned accordingly to avoid such situations. Of course, having bigger stages also wouldn’t hurt.
Limited Customization (With RNG)
Customizing your character in Tekken can be fun, but Tekken 7 was a noticeable step down in terms of options for clothes and hairstyles at launch. While returning fighters could have their legacy outfits unlocked, you had to go through Treasure Battle for some outfits. The worst part? It was purely RNG – you may get outfits for several characters instead of the one you’re currently playing. Even if you enjoy Treasure Battle, it gets mind-numbing after a while. It would also be nice to get more free customization sets alongside those included in the Season Passes.
Cheating ruins the integrity of any competitive multiplayer title, and fighting games are no exception. To that end, Tekken 7’s anti-cheat leaves much to be desired. Content creator K-Wiss told VG247 earlier this month about encountering a cheater nearly every day during Season 4, and tools that can automatically block attacks and quickly break throws are still available. Hilariously, your online rank data is saved locally on your system, leading to PC players simply save-scumming in case of a loss. These things need to be fixed for Tekken 8 to have an ideal online experience.
Listen, we get it – Tekken is the record holder for the longest-running story in a video game series by far. Understandably, you want a story mode, and plenty of games can do it right. But Tekken 7’s story wasn’t very good. The choice, then, is to either hire a better writer and potentially start from square one instead of trying to keep tying things together endlessly or go back to Tekken 3’s awesome Arcade Mode.
It offered distinct paths and opponents for each character along with separate endings, ranging from cool to hilarious. While Bandai Namco no doubt wants to keep the Mishima saga going (as Tekken 8’s announcement trailer showcased), it’s probably better to go with a different story structure.
Introduced in Tekken 7, Rage Arts are powerful moves that can disrupt your opponent mid-combo. They’re only activated when at 25 percent health and can deal crazy amounts of damage depending on the player’s health. It’s a comeback mechanic and hilarious in how quickly it can turn the tide of a fight. While comeback mechanics are nothing new in fighting games, Rage Arts are excruciatingly drawn out rather than being snappy across the board. If they return, tuning the damage and making them a bit more challenging to perform would also be ideal.
Frame Counter DLC
Tekken 7 caught a lot of negative feedback when it decided to make the Frame Counter into paid DLC. Not only because it was introduced several years into the game’s release, but because such a feature should be free (especially when it’s vital to competitive play). Look at games like Guilty Gear Strive, which provided Frame Data for free, or even the upcoming Street Fighter 6, which completely revamps the original Frame Counter and includes it in the game. Locking it and potentially other vital features behind a paywall is something that shouldn’t happen again.
Only Treasure Battle
Treasure Battle was a good enough concept, providing random-ish battles for players to clear and earn cosmetic rewards from. It could get stale though, and the lack of other offline modes didn’t help. To that end, it’s probably better to keep Treasure Battle (or a similar mode) in Tekken 8 while having some returning modes for players. Bring back Tekken Force or Scenario Campaign for a fun beat ’em up style mode. Reintroduce Tekken Ball for more zany fun. Add Team Battles, Survival Mode, and some actual tutorials to get players into the game or include the old Tekken titles for fun. Yes, multiplayer is where it’s at, but that’s no excuse to skimp on the offline features.