GAMING PREVIEW: Return of the King of Iron Fist Tournament

Published Nov 1, 2022


Yes, there was Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Still, many millennials will remember the joys of visiting an arcade to play the classic beat 'em up title by Bandai Namco, Tekken.

Synonymous with being the company behind the retro classic Pac-Man, Namco first launched Tekken in 1994, which managed to stand the test of time as one of the best arcade fighting games today.

Twenty-eight years later, the eighth instalment of the franchise has been announced for new-generation gaming consoles, including the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S and Microsoft Windows.

Details of the exact launch date of the latest sequel to one of the biggest fighting games of all time remain to be confirmed. However, all indications are that it will be released in Q1 or Q2 of 2023.

Despite this, most recently, Tekken 8 was announced via a trailer of two main characters in combat and serves as a benchmark of just how far the game has come – not just in gameplay and graphics, but also through the surrealism of the latest game.

Tekken fans will be delighted to know that the trailer, which contains, by far, the most realistic visuals ever seen from the franchise, was actually derived purely from in-game footage.

So realistic is the new footage that even those who have never played the game before can attest to the enhancements brought on by new games, consoles and the tech behind them.


The Tekken series features one of the most intricate storylines in the fighting game franchise and centres on three main characters built off a father-son feud between global magnate Heihachi Mishima and his son Kazuya Mishima.

In a nutshell, Kazuya is infected by a devil gene passed down through his lineage, affecting himself and his son, Jin Kazama.

The devil gene turned Kazuya into the antagonist of the series.

However, Heihachi seemed none the better after trying to throw his son into a pit of lava after the first Tekken title – but don't worry, Kazuya returns the favour by trying to kill his father in the same way after Tekken 2.

The third sequel, Tekken 3, introduced a new protagonist in the form of Kazuya’s son Jin.

Somewhere along the line is a powerful Ogre which draws its power from “the spirit of fighting”. In attempts to steal the powers of the Ogre, Heihachi hosts the King of Iron First tournaments to draw out the Ogre and harness the power for himself.

Prior to the announcement of the latest game, the Tekken Bloodline series based on the game’s plot was released on Netflix earlier this year.


Tekken started the first instalment of the series with a humble eight, while the number of characters has yet to be confirmed for Tekken 8. In contrast, the anticipated chapter’s predecessors featured 54 playable characters.

So popular had the franchise become by Tekken 7, released in 2015, that it even featured characters from other major arcade fighting-style franchises, including Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, Final Fantasy and even hit US horror TV series “The Walking Dead”.

Final bout

Tekken primarily focuses on hand-held hand-to-hand combat, and Tekken 8 is expected to be no different when launched; however, from trailers, it seems final finishing and highlighted fighting moves will be cinematically slowed down for impact even more than Tekken 7 was.

Online speculation suggests that Tekken 8 could be the last of the series; however, with even newer generation consoles on the horizon, the rumour at this stage seems unlikely.

Having shipped more than 53.5 million units, the Tekken series has been dubbed one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time while also being named the fourth-best fighting game in history.

With annual Tekken World Tours amid a barrage of other tournaments drawing millions of players globally, it’s near impossible that Tekken 8 won’t be another hit for Namco.

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