Tekken 8 reveal and the hero conundrum of RGG8
Blimey. I guess I’ll do a reaction video but of course it’ll get swallowed up by the entertainment videos where they pretend to be excited but I digress, games are entertainment and let’s not pretend any critical thinking would ever be more popular. Definitely not jelly no, me, never! ( Tldr)
So if you didn’t watch the video, I’m sure you all know by now that Bamco is going all out, at least graphically. It looks astonishing. At the same time, there are some questions to think about, and are yet to be answered, while Capcom has revealed much much more. And through all this, what is SNK thinking right now?
Street Fighter 6 vs Tekken 8 pic.twitter.com/twpgFpsk6m
— just heart (@AngelGarSali) September 13, 2022
How different are these pumpkin biceps really? The fanboys are already out, claiming that X is obviously better, making strange references to consoles, as if it’s automatically better, as if superior PCs don’t exist. It’s irrelevant, both look really good. The real question is what else is in Tekken’s package, as the future market is leaning towards fighting games that offer more than just fighting, or is Harada betting on the graphics and a good story being enough?
Tekken, Yakuza, KOF. Like a Dragon, the stories are mythical.
Kiryu is the protagonist of the series, much like Kyo and Ryu but much like many producers, Toshihiro Nagoshi wanted to end Kiryu’s story in RGG6, and probably way before. However, the fans are fans, they love their protagonists, and while reception to RGG7’s new bad guy turned good guy seems positive, there was some refusal by some and the lack of Kiryu left a bad taste in certain mouths. While many are apparently “moving on”, the sudden re-appearance of Kiryu in RGG8 begs the question: “why does Sega suddenly care about Kiryu again?” I think the answer should be obvious.
When Nagoshi left Sega in 2021, Masayoshi Yokoyama took over, who had been the main storyline writer. Now we’re here in 2022 and Sega announces RGG8 with two protagonists. Shun’Ei and Kyo. Wait, no, different game, but same problem, it seems to me. Why else would they bring back Kiryu, and in the very first trailer?? RGG took a lonnnng time to break through the Western Market and they were literally giving away the series on Playstation Plus, including the latest episode over the summer. So which protag has the fans’ hearts? Something tells me fans won’t be letting go of Kiryu any time soon, which might be a pain for the creative team, but if they want to succeed, they just need to get more creative. Dragonball, One Piece, Superman etc have been doing this forever.
Over at Bamco it seems the same story, the Mishima story was meant to be over. But no, the two devil gene boys are right there again, doing the old family punch up, again. Why ruin a good thing? Why take a chance on new heroes? From an artistic point of view, I can see why, and having the same old main character do the same old thing can be tiresome, and some creatives want to create their own heroes and stories and legacies. But, that will take another childhood, another lifetime to build. Nagoshi built his own studio and can make whatever he wants, it doesn’t mean all the Kiryu fans will go follow him. Certainly not, when Kiryu is still right there at Sega. Capcom seems hell bent on pushing Luke but I think they’ll succeed there because he seems to encapsulate the younger generation really well- he’s young, flashy and I just want him to shut up. And Ryu is still there in the game, so nobody is complaining. As for Shun’Ei… well, SNK are aiming at a different market completely, and it’s difficult for us to know if they’ve hit the mark.
Update: if hardcore fans had to choose, it’s no contest, Shun Ei gets 3.43% as best protag:
oh my days. I guess it's kinda unfair to put Shun Ei up against the classic protags, but it's a test and it proves he has a lot of work to do. Source: official SNK Discord pic.twitter.com/gLezBoctZ3
— Gunsmith #KOFXV (@orochinagicom) September 15, 2022
Struggle, new blood
While SNK is trying to push Shun’Ei, I hope they are taking notes. In my opinion, Shun’Ei is a waste of space (but I’m an old fart, what do I know?), but they can still push him alongside Kyo and the other 3 protags and build him at the same time. As for the graphics, SNK will just have to admire the two powerhouses but perhaps will draw some hope from the fact that T8 uses Unreal Engine so perhaps it’s possible to match it? SF6 uses an in-house engine… so it will be very interesting to see which will look better in the end and how much the engine really mattered. We’ll have to wait and see but it will no doubt give SNK a target while developing MOW2. As for KOFXV, it’s going to be very difficult to pull any eyes from these titles. What they need to do now is make sure their next DLC is attractive and pleases the playerbase that remains.
What now, SNK?
While you might think SNK is going “oh boyyyyyyyyyyyy”, now is actually a great time for SNK because SF6 and T8 are still not released, so they can keep people playing right now and up till 2023…. but after that… MOW2 will have to compete with T8…. And if any SNK guest characters appear in SF6/T8 and end up looking way better than in SNK’s own titles, it may be another kind of problem- it’s not “ps2 graphics lol”, but you get the idea. We’re gonna need some big guns for MOW2 and I’m excited to see what they’ll come out with. Graphics are not everything, you know?