Kazuya’s Announcement Trailer for Tekken 8 Has Made Me Want to Switch My Main

How can I be the King of Iron Fist?

by Kara Phillips
Image: Bandai Namco Entertainment

The announcement of Tekken 8 at Sony’s State of Play in September 2022 reignited many players’ love for the franchise, especially running straight off the back of an incredibly tense but successful EVO. However, during the announcement, we saw very little of the game itself, and between shots of Jin and Kazuya fighting it out, there wasn’t much to go off in terms of roster.

We’ve been drip-fed information since the first announcement, receiving few and far between roster debuts, including characters like Nina Williams and Paul Pheonix, and each one showcases the variety in abilities between characters and a new take on the traditional Tekken gameplay we became so comfortable with in Tekken 7, but until now, nothing has shaken my stand on preparing to once again pick up Jin as my main and continue in the next generation of Tekken exactly where I left off in 7.

Could Kazuya Break My Main Streak in Tekken 8?

A franchise like Tekken provides any player ample opportunity to find a character they enjoy playing as and latch onto them throughout every installment, which I find particularly appealing as fighting games as a whole rather than specifically Tekken. Of course, over the years, you’ll dabble in the arts of a few characters before really settling down with one, but as soon as I started playing Jin in Tekken 3, I felt no need to keep trying new characters, which is why I feel so rattled, having seen Kazuya’s gameplay trailer and felt a push to play arguably one of Jin’s biggest nemeses rather than sticking to what I know.

From the get-go, it was hard to believe that Kazuya wouldn’t have a spot on the roster of Tekken 8, especially since he was one of the first characters to appear in the announcement trailer. Of course, he’s an integral part of the history of the franchise, as he’s a brute power that even the most seasoned players may sweat at the thought of facing, but finally getting an insight into how he will play within the game has opened my eyes to an entirely new side of the character which has never intrigued me so much before.

It’s not a surprise that the gameplay of Tekken 8 is focused on the fast-paced, competitive nature of the franchise, resulting in hard hits which you can feel through the screen, but it’s something Kazuya mainly specializes in. Each blow he lands on Jin feels earth-shattering, as symbolized by the blue electricity surrounding his person, and the Rage Art toward the end spotlighting the Devil Form feels personal, but it captivates the raw strength players should expect to take on when Tekken 8 is finally released.

So I wonder if my drive to play Jin in each Tekken title since 3 is what’s stopped me from taking the heel approach to the game, especially since 3 is the only mainline game Kazuya didn’t appear on the card. Could I have potentially boycotted my own enjoyment by not wanting to play the villain for all these years?

Tekken 8 is already spotlighting the importance of pushing yourself to your own limits, so in reality, there could be no better time for me to branch out and take on the challenge of an entirely new character, even if they are the complete opposite of who I’ve spent the last decade or so training as. But with an entire roster still to be announced, at least I know I’m open to the idea.

- This article was updated on February 21st, 2023