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Tekken 8 CBT Has Ended, Here Are Our Thoughts

Elizbar Ramazashvili
6 min

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Tekken 8 CBT Has Ended, Here Are Our Thoughts.
Image source: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Great, yet flawed, experience

This weekend, Bandai Namco Entertainment hosted the Closed Beta Test for its upcoming and heavily anticipated fighting game – Tekken 8. We have already experienced a Closed Network Test earlier this year, you can read our thoughts here. And I’ll say this without being coy: almost everything from there still rings true.

Before the beta even started, the entire Tekken community was in an uproar because some people managed to hack the CBT client and gain access to the build way before the schedule. Everyone who didn’t want to get spoiled needed to essentially play a game of internet dodgeball, which is not very feasible. Harada himself was also visibly upset, promising zero-tolerance bans for the hackers.

But the day came, and the beta was released. The biggest difference between CBT and CNT was the addition of the lounge, which you could access after creating your own character. The customization options weren’t overly generous, but I managed to create something that I somewhat liked. My colleague Cestus also remarks:

“The avatars are a bit whatever. Customization is not terrible, and I like them more than the pixelated dummies in Strive, but Street Fighter 6 just knocked avatars out of the park, so Tekken 8 avatars feel very underwhelming by comparison. Though it was nice to see people recreate Wesker, Dante, and Kiryu already.”

And this comparison with SF6 is, honestly, hanging over this CBT like a shadow.

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The lounge itself is fine, though some of the issues stem from it being included in an unfinished state just to show the future promise. You will be able to play Tekken Ball there, and you’ll be able to practice in a Dojo. But not now, later. Much of this Beta is just a preview, and that’s fine. But I honestly doubt how prudent it was to give us all these spaces without any ability to interact with them. The only two interactive areas are the customization shop, where you can re-do the character you created earlier, and the battle area, with somewhat pointless arcade cabinets.

Cestus once again explains the issue elaborately:

“What I didn't really like is that the lobbies seem rather miniscule. So there are two types of cabinets: yellow ones essentially put you into normal matchmaking for Ranked or Quick Match, which is neat, but sort of defeats the point of joining a lobby, in my opinion. The purple cabinets are for a group match, which are basically what you have in SF6. You hop on, the other person challenges you, and both of you then go at it. This was the only way to really play against your friends in the CBT, so naturally, it was rather crowded, even if you tried to check out more remote regions.

Also, to further underline how pointless the ranked cabs are, you don't even have to use them within the lobby itself. At any place in the lobby, you can sit down and begin matching in a mode of your choice. Perhaps they could fix the lab shortage by simply allowing you to do the same for group matches and just allowing you to walk up and challenge anyone to a match. The last note regarding the lobby is that it just feels like there's not much going on.”

Lounge decorations are very decent, and by the looks of it, there might be a possibility of pinball machines, game tables, and arcade classics being interactive and playable. And this is another point of comparison with Street Fighter 6. As of now, in SF lobbies, you can queue up for a game of casual or ranked, show off your goofy character in the Avatar battle, play some retro games, or play one of the rotating modes. To be clear, I don’t ask for like-for-like functionality, but a bit more interactivity would go a long way to feel better just hanging around in the lounge.

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As for the battle system, honestly, there’s nothing much to say on top of what I felt during the CNT. The Heat system, specifically dashes, is a bit nerfed and no longer allows some of the extensions. Balance has been adjusted for several characters, but it’s not something you should pay attention to, as it will all be changed several times over in time for release.

I’m still of the opinion that Heat can help out the newcomers more than it will harm them, as it will allow them to deal more damage with a random press of a button.

Cestus has his opinion on netcode:

“It's hard to say if netcode changed a single bit though, and it's a bit worrying. There's no arguing that Tekken 8 is definitely using rollback at this point, but it doesn't seem up to the standard set by Street Fighter 6, Strive, GGACPR, or many Western titles using GGPO. In theory, we should be able to play with far more people now, but if you go past connections that were already tolerable in Tekken, you will have to deal with a mix of input delay and rollback frames that is far from pleasant. You can adjust netcode in the settings, which honestly feels like some roundabout way of allowing you to set input delay since you essentially choose between higher delay but smoother visuals, or less delay but more rollback artifacts.”

Overall, our experience of the beta was pleasant. My own takeaway is that it’s a bit disappointing that there was no practice mode. My main character didn’t make the cut, and I wanted to try out Azucena and Jun instead. The queue was popping up way too frequently to be able to do much labbing in the pre-match training, and I was mostly facing people with pre-established knowledge of their characters. I’m fully aware that the answer to this problem is a simple “git gud,” but a simple training mode would have made my experience with the Closed Beta Test much better. Can’t wait for the full release of the game!

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