Tekken 8 sees the return of perhaps the best bonus mode in the long-running series. As developer Bandai Namco gets ready for the next battle with the best fighting games, it also reveals that Tekken 8 features a long-awaited comeback for one of the most beloved novelty modes, first seen all the way back in Tekken 3. As the Tekken 8 release date gets closer, it’s time to dust off your beach gear and pump up the action for the return of Tekken Ball.
If you’ve never played Tekken 3, or missed its one other inclusion on the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken Ball mode is an alternative way to play that centers around a large, inflatable beach ball. You can think of it as a mix of volleyball and dodgeball, but this isn’t quite like Dead or Alive Xtreme. Instead, you use your standard attacks to send the beach ball flying at your opponent in an attempt to knock them down.
The stronger your attacks connect, the more pace you can impart on the ball, and successful hits will damage your opponent, with the ultimate goal of reducing their health bar to zero the same as in a normal Tekken match. The specific nuances of learning how to best adapt your chosen fighter’s moveset to the mode make it a really fun alternative way to play.
It’ll be interesting to see how the full Tekken 8 roster adapts to the mode, as the Tekken 3 edition made champions of some characters who struggled in regular fights. I can’t wait to start testing out characters in the new-look Tekken Ball mode and trying to find some devastating tech. There’s currently no word, however, whether we’ll see the return of novelty crossover character Gon from the manga series of the same name, who was unlocked by playing the Tekken Ball mode in Tekken 3 – but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
The next Tekken 8 beta, which has been renamed to the Closed Beta Test, takes place on October 20-23 and features the same lineup as the previous Closed Network Test but also includes the additions of Raven, Feng, and newcomer Azucena. Those who had access to the previous test won’t need to register again.
Whether you’re taking part in the beta or waiting for release, you’ll want to brush up on the Tekken 8 tier list to see who’s looking hottest for the next King of Iron Fist Tournament. You can also check out more of the best sports games for plenty of competition.